Tyler Hrynyk is a 4th year Mechanical Engineering student here at the U of A and is also AlbertaSat’s Ex Alta-2 Project Manager. Tyler joined AlbertaSat in September 2013, in his first week and first year of engineering. He heard about it in the ENGG 100 talk and was intrigued by space and the idea of building space crafts. He always envisioned a career in this industry and wanted to learn what it was all about, ultimately it was an easy decision.
Tyler started out in the operations team and 6 months later became the operations team lead. He worked on organizing the housekeeping items and was basically the equivalent to HR. Tyler then became the deputy project manager to Chris Robson then later to Charles Nokes. This past summer Tyler then became the Project Manager.
Tyler’s proudest accomplishment is his presentation at the Canadian Small Satellite Symposium in February 2016. It was incredibly nerve racking as most of the crowd knew more than he did and so it really forced him to learn a lot more about the technical side. It was his first real opportunity for public speaking and he totally crushed it. At the symposium he gave an overview of Ex Alta-1, the Educational Outreach program and also details about payloads. Explaining what the pay loads do was the scary part, however speaking about the group came easily. Another thing Tyler is proud of is that in first year, he struggled with his GPA, but he didn’t let that deter him, he decided to hang in there and managed to make it through. He has now benefited and succeeded greatly as a result of him not giving up.
Tyler has had some awesome opportunities given to him through AlbertaSat, he has had the chance to be on CTV news and 630 Ched. The public really do pay attention to what we’re doing and it was awesome for Tyler to be the face for the team. Outside of AlbertaSat, Tyler has also had some quality life experiences. He applied to study abroad 2 years ago in Munich, Germany.
Regarding the trip, Tyler said, “it was a complete culture shock with the different language customs. Being on my own, I was able to make a lot of new friends and got the chance to explore”.
At the end of his trip, in the summer, he was able to meet up with the AlbertaSat group in Belgium for the QB50 conference.
After getting his degree, Tyler would like to get some work experience in the space industry sector, if available, and if that doesn’t work out, then in the energy sector. He’s had the opportunity to do some summer research in the MechE department working on fly wheels solar energy. He is also considering working in the the oil and gas industry so that he can have the chance to work anywhere. His dad works in Egypt and Tyler would love to be able to do things like that as well. After a few years he plans to go back and get his MBA.
“Lots of days, when we get together we don’t know what we’re doing, the task will seem impossible, but after some hard work we can always accomplish it”.
Starting off with Ex Alta-1, the group was just a few people in a room, all they had were some design plans but they couldn’t get the money. There were a lot of challenges, hurdles and headaches everyday but everyone’s dedicated and they push to achieve the impossible. Tenacity is a big thing for AlbertaSat. Tyler’s role can be super challenging but he does plenty of learning as he goes. Everyday presents its new challenges, sometimes it can be hard as it gets in the way of school. At first it definitely wasn’t easy, but once he got settled in it became easier to balance school and AlbertaSat. The difficulty balancing didn’t drive Tyler away, as he says:
“if you stay in your comfort zone you’ll never grow. Even if I feel like I don’t have the mental capacity, I still have to push myself. It’s all about the challenges”.
Tyler would choose to launch 1000 1U cubesats because that would simply be a dream for anyone who wanted constellation data. You could put them in orbit and get data from anywhere in earth and cover a lot of distance. A 1000U cubesat would also be very cool but the drag would plummet to the earth like a brick … and also we just don’t have a thick enough work bench. The fact that we are going to be building a lot more components in house with Ex-Alta 2 is super exciting for Tyler. Once the cubesat is completed, the technological knowledge and expertise of the group will have grown a lot. It’s a stepping stone towards the long term vision of building and testing the components all here. This way it is not required to outsource, you can buy the stuff here, screw it all up, put it in a vacuum chamber and that’s a lot more fun than just getting it in the mail.
What’s tyler’s favourite thing about Ex-Alta 1? Simply put, “the fact that it’s on the other side of the world. Also, just the fact that we did it, regardless of how it performs”.
He also loves that it is Alberta’s first satellite, it is flying two pieces of technology built at the U of A. This all makes him super proud.
“I love the fact that we accomplished something in Alberta nobody else has. We are even the 2nd in Canada to launch one, we are the front of the wave, breaking down doors in Canada.”
The growth of AlbertaSat is phenomenal, starting out, no one in the group really knew much about space but now they’re providing that avenue to all students.
Tyler’s success is attributed to showing a lot of consistency and being somebody that people count on. Sometimes he felt that maybe someone smarter could produce better quality work but he worked hard and demonstrated that he was somebody they could count on, he would make sure that the job always got done. He worked hard to never cause headaches for anybody and when it came time to pick someone new for project management they looked at somebody who was committed and reliable. Being a leader has always been one of Tyler’s strong points, in the past, he was the captain of hockey teams and has experience leading groups of people. “People are the same no matter what situation, so that made it easier to lead the group”.
At first Tyler didn’t think he had a chance at getting into engineering, he claims he barely got into that. When he heard of AlbertaSat, he thought he wouldn’t know enough to be able to get in, but he signed up anyway and has been incredibly successful simply because he just tried. Tyler showed this determination when he was offered the opportunity to present at the Small Satellite Symposium, instead of saying he was too scared of the questions he could be asked, he just decided to give it his best shot. This is the attitude of the group, people think of Alberta and there’s not much there for the aerospace industry but that’s why the 5 people got together and said let’s just give it a shot. And that’s what Tyler really encourages people to do.
A passing piece of advice from Tyler:
“The reason I’ve been able to be successful is because I just try, no matter what, realize you can do a lot more than you initially think of yourself”.
Author: Casia McLeod