In this post, we will get to chat with Kenzie Timmons, the mechanical subsystem lead for the LORIS Mission. Kenzie has done an amazing job leading the mechanical subsystem that includes design and development of the chassis and integration and assembly of the final bus. Like all the other subsystem, this is complicated stuff and it takes great leadership to make sure everything is up to code.
Where are you from and why did you choose to study at Dalhousie?
I am originally from Inverness Nova Scotia but grew up in New Glasgow Nova Scotia. Dalhousie is just the natural progression for Engineers in Nova Scotia, I completed my first two years at Acadia University.
What you’re studying?
I am currently in my 4th year of Mechanical Engineering with Coop.
How did you come to study your field/why are you interested in it?
I have always loved math and physics but hate the theoretical nature behind them once you get advanced enough within each. As a kid I enjoyed creating things and for a long time I had no idea the exact study I wanted to do, but I knew I wanted to use math and physics in real-world situations. It was not until I learned that engineering is also called applied science that I started looking further into the discipline. After learning that engineering is simply using every science to create things that seem impossible, I knew it was exactly what I was going to pursue.
What is your subsystem for LORIS and does it do?
I am the team lead for the Mechanical Subsystem within LORIS. Originally the Chassis team, we handled the design of the metal framework that holds everything together and ensured it met all requirements for deployment and survival in space. As the project went on, Chassis became too specific for the work we do. We now handle the modeling of all subsystems and created the mechanical standards to follow within LORIS, we analyze both the structural and thermal stresses of the entire satellite, and we design all testing apparatus required by other subsystems. I like referring to us as the skeleton that keeps everyone together!
How did you come to be involved with DSS?
In Fall 2019 I got an email sent to all 3rd year mechanical engineers seeking new individuals sent on behalf of the previous Chassis Lead. He gave me an intro task and a week to model a keychain. I completed the task that evening as I was too excited to wait, the next day I was on the team! Our lead only had 4 more months until graduating, so along with my first task of modeling the payload, the team was also instructed to think of a new lead. I stepped forward, thinking I had no chance as I was only on the team for a week, though turns out I was the only one to step forward! I spent the rest of the semester making sure I get as much information as possible and it was in that time, I truly found a love for LORIS and the work we do on this team.
What is the thing you’re most excited about for the LORIS mission?
Everything! I, like many others, am a part of this mission because it is something I enjoy. I get to join in on the general meeting every week and be in awe at how quickly I get lost when software starts talking about their code, or OBC setting up remote access and virtual sims, or Power talking about circuitry, only to have them get lost when I start talking mechanical. DSS is full of amazing minds and I get to see them in action every week.