Professor to Participate in Japanese Educational DVD About Rockets


Professor Kenneth D. Mease to appear in “Be-Go Global - Science & Dreams” DVD

Kenneth D. Mease, Ph.D., professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering in The Henry Samueli School of Engineering, will be featured in Benesse Corporation’s “Be-Go Global – Science & Dreams” DVD. The DVD is part of the “Be-Go Global” series from the Benesse Corporation of Japan that stars computer generated character “Ever,” a second-grade boy from Japan; Sam, an American boy; and Rudy, a reindeer/man.

In the DVD, Mease meets Ever and Sam, boys who dream of becoming rocket scientists, at the Discovery Science Center in Orange County where Ever and Sam are visiting to see the Boeing Delta III Rocket.  Mease invites the boys to UC Irvine where his students are at work on UC Irvine’s Rocket Project. Ever and Sam learn about rocket science, build and launch water rockets,  and the DVD ends with the boys watching the UC Irvine rocket team launching their rocket in the desert. The DVD, targeted toward second-graders, will reach over 100,000 families in Japan who subscribe to the “Be-Go Global” educational program.


This is the sixth year in which a team of undergraduates has designed, built and launched a rocket. Professor Mease is the faculty advisor and David McCue, a programmer analyst in UC Irvine’s Office of Information Technology and a knowledgeable and experienced rocketeer, is an advisor and facilitator. Each year the specific objectives of the rocket project have been different and with the exception of one year, in which the team participated in a competition held in Utah, the rockets have been launched in the Mojave Desert and have reached altitudes of over 10,000 feet.

Mease received his B.S. from the University of Michigan and his M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Southern California. He began his career at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory as a member of the technical staff of the Navigation Systems Section. He then served on the faculty of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Princeton University, before joining UC Irvine.

His research has contributed to the guidance, navigation and control of aircraft and spacecraft, time-scale analysis for nonlinear dynamical systems and molecular control; and has been sponsored by NASA, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the National Science Foundation, McDonnell Douglas Corporation, Rockwell International Corporation and The Boeing Company. He has also consulted and had contracts with Universal Space Lines, Optimal Synthesis, Guided Systems Technologies and Continuum Dynamics. He is an associate editor for the Journal of Optimization Theory and Applications and has previously served as associate editor for the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Journal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics and the American Astronomical Society Journal of the Astronautical Sciences. He is an Associate Fellow of the AIAA and a Member of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics and the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Control and Guidance Systems Committee.