Posted by Anonymous (not verified) on 21 Feb 2018

The year 2018 promises to be an exciting one for Capitol’s astronautical engineers, as they finish up projects and await the outcome of some big moves by the space industry.

astronautical engineering projects rocket Astronautical Engineering Projects at Capitol Technology University

Project Cactus-1:

Long-time student payload project, Cactus-1 is in its final build stages. This CubeSat, or miniature cube-based satellite, brings together two student projects: TRAPSat, a debris capture experiment, and Project Hermes, which is exploring methods of satellite command and control via TCP-IP. Cactus-1 is currently on schedule for equipment testing around spring break this semester, with the final launch date pending, but anticipated for the fall.

Autonomous Drones Project:

Several of Capitol’s Astronautical Engineering program students are working to complete their senior projects revolving around autonomous drones. The astronautical engineering department has been getting more familiar with drones, flying drone races about once a month at Capitol open houses. One senior project even includes an aerial zeppelin-like-construct which can stay aloft for much longer times than a propeller based aerial vehicle.

Project Aether:

Capitol's international payload through the RockSat-X Norway program is conducting an experiment and testing two engineering innovations. Project Aether, an advanced communications and spectroscopy payload, is a joint effort between Capitol Technology University and the University of Maryland Baltimore County. The payload will test hybrid insulation and the Iridium constellation's data rate reliability, and take spectrographic images of the Aurora Borealis to study the atmosphere.

Astronautical Engineering Industry Projects

NASA Exploration Mission-1 Project:

NASA has officially begun their work on Exploration Mission-1, a mission to assess the feasibility of deep space exploration with manned crews. This is the first step in NASA’s plan to send men to Mars by the year 2030.

Space X Falcon Heavy:

On February 6, Space X successfully launched the “most powerful rocket in the world.” This rocket, the Falcon Heavy, was designed with the intention of being able to carry enough fuel, crew, luggage, and passengers to be used for missions with crew to the Moon or Mars.

ESA & JAXA BepiColombo:

The European Space Agency (ESA) has teamed up with the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), on their project to launch a planetary probe mission to Mercury in 2018. This probe mission, the BepiColombo, will be the first to really explore Mercury; the least explored terrestrial planet and the closest planet to our sun. This mission hopes to understand more about the history and composition of the inner planets, including our own.

NASA James Webb Telescope Project:

Another international space project to launch in October of 2018 is the James Webb Space Telescope. NASA is leading the project, with help from the European and Canadian Space Agencies, which will use new infrared light reading technology to help us understand the formation of planets, solar systems, and even the universe as we know it. Capitol astronautical engineering alumni are currently working on the James Webb Space Telescope through their positions at NASA.



Posted by svanhorn on 20 Feb 2018

The National Society of Black Engineers was founded in 1975 with the goal to increase the number of culturally responsible Black engineers who excel academically, succeed professionally, and positively impact the community. According to their website, “With more than 500 chapters and nearly 16,000 active members in the U.S. and abroad, the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) is one of the largest student-governed organizations based in the United States.”

Capitol is one of the many institutions to support a student-run chapter of NSBE. We recently sat down with chapter president, Jaylen Fitts, to see what Capitol’s NSBE chapter has in the works:

SVH: So what’s been going on with NSBE lately? Can you tell me about any important recent events?

Fitts: Last semester we did a Chic-fil-a night. We raised money so that we were able to go to our most important professional event, the NSBE national convention, which will be in March on the 21st-25th. We will be conversing with not only businesses and corporations that we might intern and work for, but also other NSBE chapters and professional organizations that help us prepare for our careers.

SVH: One of your members recently told me that you had teamed up with Howard University’s chapter of NSBE.

Fitts: Well, Howard invited us over; they do a toy drive through their Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority organization. So we decided to stop by and show them our courtesy because Howard was a big factor in us starting up our organization over here and we wanted to bring a few toys for the kids.

SVH: How so? Did Howard’s chapter inspire you?

Fitts: They helped a lot with our transitional period between chapter leaders. It was very worthwhile, our experiences with Howard. So we wanted to show them our support.

SVH: That’s awesome. I love that you guys paired up to do something, it’s very cool.

Fitts: Yeah, It’s very spirit of NSBE.

SVH: So, do you have any future plans in the works at present?

Fitts: In the near future we will be bringing in people from our NSBE professional organization and having them talk to our students and members. They will be talking us through not only job prep, but like also how to grow your network and how to live your life after graduation. They provide somebody to go to with just questions and answers.

And after that hopefully we’ll be doing some workshops that will be geared towards the annual convention. And after that we’re just gonna do fun stuff.

SVH: I’m glad to hear that because I know that our chapter had been a little less active, but recently I’ve seen you guys pick up again.

Fitts: I really want it to be a long lasting thing, so hopefully I’ll just get the gears turning and it won’t stop.”

SVH: What, for you, is the best part of being involved with NSBE?

Fitts: Not only just learning how to become a professional in my career, but also the network. There’s so many talented and inspiring people that I get to talk to daily.

For instance, I was at a meeting with college park and I just found out that one of them was a Rhodes Scholar. It’s just always getting to talk to people who’ve been traveling around the world and talking to huge companies and stuff like that. The people are what I enjoy.

It’s a lot of collaboration, but that’s what I’m here for.

Capitol’s chapter of NSBE meets regularly. If you are interested in joining, please contact them at:


Posted by svanhorn on 19 Feb 2018

It’s National Engineers Week, and Capitol is pumped to highlight some of our awesome engineers! Check in with us throughout the week as we cover stories featuring Capitol student engineers, engineering clubs, and professors.

To celebrate the week, Capitol’s branch of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) has rallied together the other clubs on campus for a week packed with fun and informative activities for our students on campus. We talked to SWE club president Kimberly Brandenburg about the week to come and what’s next for SWE:

SVH: So Kim, what made you want to get this week’s events together?

Brandenburg: Well, one thing I was a little disappointed with after transferring to this school was the lack of club and organization activity. There were clubs, but the only one that really did any school wide functions was S-LAB.  Though now clubs are becoming much more active with the help of our new Director of Student Life, Brandi McKee, I still wanted to create events that could become staples within the school and bring our own club forward as a driving force within the club/Engineering community.  Plus, it's National Engineering Week, if Engineers don't celebrate it then who will?!

SVH: Can you talk to me a little about the Society of Women Engineers at Capitol?

Brandenburg: SWE is actually the first (and only) club to have a Canvas 'course'.  Sheldon Bryan from Distance Learning was, and continues to be, such a huge help with that. He's kinda my hero (She laughs). The page allows us to keep in contact about all that's going on with our club and also allows us to post events to member's canvas calendars.  It's been vital to our success so far.

Also, recently our member, Zalika Dixon, was a winner in the Grace Hopper Celebration computing competition. Last fall she received a scholarship and cash prize for her idea! We're so proud, and intend to do that same competition again this year! 

SVH: That’s awesome! Is there anything else on the horizon for SWE?

Brandenburg: Yes. Later in the semester we will be hosting a panel of industry professionals to talk about their experiences, give advice, and answer questions.  It will be exciting for the whole school because we are choosing speakers from each of the main majors of our university, and each with a very different background. Some of them are even alumni!

SVH: What motivated you to join SWE?

Brandenburg: So actually, I helped re-establish SWE at Capitol. The last time SWE was active at this university was 2011. In February of 2017, my classmate Christina and I decided we wanted more recognition for females in this field (and in the school, since there are so few of us). And we wanted to create a community where we help each other set ourselves up for successful futures. So we brought SWE back. 

SVH: And we are glad to have you active again. What would you say your favorite part of SWE is?

Brandenburg: Well, not only do we get to participate in school events like Engineering week, we also get the opportunity to go to networking events, join in project competitions together, and attend conferences among other opportunities.  Each member of our collegiate club also has the support and opportunities provided by the national SWE organization as well, which offers great connections, local events, scholarships, and employment information for their members.


Starting on Monday, SWE will be hosting a scavenger hunt and prize wheel event. Tuesday will see Capitol’s branch of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) present a mainstream movie featuring female, African American engineers.

On Wednesday, Capitol’s Fusion Lab, run by our astronautical engineers, will hold a “Find the Pi Challenge.” The engineers of the Minecraft Club will hold a project demonstration on Thursday.

Finally, on Friday the Robotics Club has paired up with IEEE, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, to present a Robotics day. There will be demonstrations, industry speakers, and a few surprises for attendees.

All events will run from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. in the student center for those interested in attending.

Students interested in joining the Society of Women Engineers at Capitol can email for more information and access to SWE’s Canvas page.


Posted by raherschbach on 15 Feb 2018

Music plays in the background in a room full of quiet conversation. An occasional giggle breaks out as the students laugh at their artwork.

S-LAB, the student leadership advisory board at Capitol, is actively seeking to provide more events and activities for our student body this year. We recently checked out one of their regular events, Paint and Sip night. S-LAB is currently running the popular event twice a month, and we can see why. We walked away feeling happy, full, and relaxed.

There was plenty of food, from cheese and crackers, to fruit, to marshmallows, and various sparkling beverages for painters to enjoy. Attendees were able to choose from various sized canvases and a wide variety of colors to create their own mini masterpieces.

“Even if painting isn’t your thing, the ability to sit down with your friends for an unplugged activity can be a rare treat,” said director of student life and residential services, Brandi McKee. “You can come in and listen to music and meet new people while keeping your hands busy. It’s a fun time.”

Paint and Sip isn’t the only event S-LAB has brought to Capitol students this semester. In January, S-LAB held a lock-in event, with 70 to 80 students in attendance throughout the night. Students gathered in the library for video games, board games, and food in this all night event.

Also in January was S-LAB’s first annual Glow Party. This dance party was a big hit, with neon lights and a totally tubular 80’s theme.

So far in February they’ve brought us a game party, where students gathered to watch the big game on our big screen in the auditorium, and a silent library event, with competitive games based off of the hit MTV show.

Coming up, S-LAB is planning an improv day for February 23rd. This event will have improvisation-style games which students can participtate in, and should deliver lots of laughs for anyone who comes. Also in the works, a rescheduled Trivia Night with a game show feel.

S-LAB is striving to have more events available to students throughout each month. Some events have even seen the raffling off or giving away of Capitol swag to attendees.

To keep up with S-LAB events, check them out on Instagram at @captechu_slab. Those wanting to join in on the fun can also catch the next Paint and Sip night on February 20th from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. in Room 266.



Posted by raherschbach on 15 Feb 2018

Malware at the Olympics: cybersecurity pros weigh in

If it wasn’t clear already, the weekend news out of Pyeongchang demonstrates it once more: nothing is immune from cyber attacks.

An image of the Olympic ringsAs the opening ceremony got under way, the official website for the Winter Olympics went offline. WiFi networks in the Olympic stadium and the press center crashed. Attendees found themselves unable to print out tickets or locate event venues. Reporters had difficulty filing their stories.

The likely culprit? Sophisticated “wiper” malware that was dropped into the network using stolen credentials. Once in, the malware harvested other logins and passwords, hijacked Windows tools used to scan the system, ran scripts and commands, and hid its tracks by cleaning out system and security logs,

“The timing and the nature of the attack suggest that the intent was primarily to embarrass the organizers of the Games,” says Dr. Mary Margaret Chantré, cybersecurity professor at Capitol Technology University. “Unlike many other cyber attacks, this one was not about theft of money or data. Rather, it appears intended to cause disruption and make problems for people during a high-visibility moment at the Olympics.”

On Monday (February 12), researchers from Cisco Talos Intelligence reported that the incident was likely carried out by someone with in-depth knowledge of the Pyeongchang network.

Those responsible “knew a lot of technical details of the Olympic Game infrastructure such as username, domain name, server name, and obviously password," wrote the researchers, Warren Mercer and Paul Rascagneres.

In addition to creating headaches and a potential public relations fiasco, the attackers may have had another motive, Chantre says. “The attack may also have been a way of demonstrating capabilities – of telling the world 'look what we are able to do. We can get into your networks and take them offline.'"

Want to help unmask cyber adversaries and fight attacks such as the Pyeongchang network breach? Consider enrolling in a cybersecurity degree program at Capitol Technology University. Capitol is an DHS and NSA-certified Center of Excellence in cybersecurity education, offering programs at the undergraduate, master’s and doctoral levels. For more information, contact the cybersecurity program at