Hi there!

My name is Michael Heyns, and I am a Mechanical/Aerospace Engineering graduate from Olin College of Engineering. I am currently living in Seattle and working for Microsoft as a Program Manager on the Microsoft Word team.

This website is dedicated to some of my mechanical design work since attending Olin College in 2009. I have not covered all of projects and research I've done, but this cross-section highlights some of the types of work I've been involved in.

I was born in Cape Town, South Africa and I've moved around extensively since then, living in London, Seattle, Perth, and Boston and my two greatest passions are aerospace engineering and the outdoors. I’m interested in space propulsion in all forms, most significantly electrical or arcjet propulsion for use in long-duration missions and satellite station keeping.

I have worked extensively with Arcjet Thrusters, and whilst a student at Olin I spent two years working on a student-driven research team to design and fabricate a lab test system. As an undergraduate student I also worked towards a better characterization of arcjet thruster design, as I found that Arcjet Thusters are a poorly understoof form of space propulsion with an accompanying lack of design guidelines. In fact, arcjet thruster design is often based on an empirical approach drawing from past proven systems and seldom with a view to optimization based on pure physical principles.

I'm an avid outdoorsman, though my primary interest is scuba diving. I spent several years diving in New England, where I founded the Olin Scuba Club, though most of my diving now is in the Pacific Northwest/Puget Sound area. Technical diving is a recent interest of mine as it affords the opportunity to dive more varied and challenging sites, which are abundant in the waters of the Northwest. My other major hobbies include snowboarding, mountaineering, and amateur rocketry. I also teach diving to students as an indpendant scuba instructor and hold the following skills and certifications in support of my diving and outdoor activities. 

PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer, Emergency First Response CPR, AED, Primary & Secondary Care Instructor, AHA Heartsaver/AED Instructor, SOLO Wilderness First Aid, National Ski Patrol Mountain Travel and Rescue I, NSP Introduction to Avalanche Safety and Rescue, Canadian Avalanche Association Avalanche Response, FEMA EMI Introduction to Incident Command System.

If you're interested in diving or mechanical engineering design projects, poke around the site and seel free to contact me with any questions!

Thanks for stopping by!

Michael Heyns