UTC’s student rocket team—the Rocket Mocs—are the No. 1 team in the country, the first time a team from the university has reached those heights. Formed in January 2018, the six-member team from the College of Engineering and Computer Science launched a rocket to 11,563 feet, a figure that drew a room-wide gasp when announced earlier this month at the awards ceremony for the Students for the Exploration and Development of Space Rocketry Contest. The team placing second only hit 6,635 feet. A second gasp came immediately after when attendees were told that the UTC rocket—named Phoenix—reached a maximum speed of 1,294 mph.
New Sports Complex Opens
The $7.7 million UTC Sports Complex officially opened Nov. 9, giving a new space for intramural sports, club sports and other events. About 17 acres and located next to Engel Stadium on East Third Street, the facility includes four multi-purpose, synthetic turf fields for flag football, lacrosse, soccer and ultimate Frisbee, plus one grass field for rugby and band practice. There also are a quarter-mile walking track and three sand volleyball courts. Along with the sports-oriented features, the complex—paid for through student fees—has a clubhouse with restrooms and maintenance/storage areas, two pavilions, seating areas with shade structures and concrete bins for bulk material storage. The entire complex, which took about a year to build, is covered by LED lighting designed to focus on the sports fields and not spill over into the surrounding community.
President Visits UTC Arena
On Nov. 4, President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence came to UTC’s McKenzie Arena to hold a political rally to boost the campaign of U.S. Senate Republican candidate Marsha Blackburn. About 10,000 people were in the arena for Trump’s speech, with about 2,000 outside, watching on a Jumbotron TV. Blackburn won the election and joined the Senate in January.
UTC Going Smoke-free
On Jan. 1, the campus of UTC went smoke-free. The policy includes cigarettes, cigars, pipes and vaping devices and covers faculty, staff, students and anyone else who comes to campus.