You’ve landed on Tristan Schwab’s Personal Website. I grew up in Winter Park, Colorado and as a kid, I loved mountain biking, skiing, and traveling the world (still do!). I am a controlled coffee lover, build model airplanes, and still ride my bike as much as I can.

I am currently pursuing a Bachelors Degree in Mechanical Engineering at UC Berkeley and actively seeking summer engineering industry internship opportunities. I am studying engineering because I want to learn how to design and manufacture commercial products.

What roles am I looking for?

In my collegiate club teams and research labs, I wear many hats and constantly seek ways to improve my engineering understanding. I value a strong sense of community and find inspiration in innovative products using new materials, manufacturing methods, and designs. I have experience working with cross-disciplinary teams, developing simulations to optimize manufacturing processes, building partnerships to accelerate workflow, and developing strong skills in CAD, manufacturing and tolerancing, design, and hardware.

Where I have been:

Engineering Portfolio Highlights

Design for Nanomanufacturing: SpaceCAL (ongoing)

“SpaceCAL” is a consecutive Computed-Axial-Lithography (CAL) printer designed for micro-gravity to support non-inventory manufacturing for in-space missions. Our objective is to experiment with bioprinting, printing of seals and gaskets in flexible material, further understand the relationship between gravity and part strength (or lack thereof), the range of printable viscosities without part sedimentation, heat generation and convective flows within resins during printing, and assessing the modularity and accessibility of a CAL system for astronaut use.

SpaceCAL will be tested in Micro-Gravity for the first time on a Zero-G Flight Test May 9th, 2022. Personal Contributions to the Project:

  1. FEA analysis of the frame assembly, additional triangulation to withstand <9G max accel.
  2. Structures part orders and assembly
  3. Conference presentations on VAM Advantages
  4. Machined 6061 brackets, Fablight Pulse laser cutting plates, enclosures for brains
  5. Resin formulation for initial experimentation (UDMA, PEGDA, etc…)
  6. Vial Stack Alignment Issues
  7. Initialized research collaboration with international research group

Design for Nanomanufacturing: OpenCAL (Personal Project)

OpenCAL is an open-source volumetric printer intended to serve a growing community of VAM enthusiasts and lower the cost of development for volumetric printing. The project was initiated in 2021. The greatest expense in VAM is the optical setup due in large part to the precision optical components and light source. Additionally, CAL is affected by alignment on two independent axes. A system must be designed and manufactured with a high degree of accuracy to support optical alignment for a cylindrical vial. The final design was a collet and collet tool holder modified with a timing belt gear drive (see gallery).

Space Enterprise and NewSpace @Berkeley

Propulsion and Safety Engineer on a collegiate rocketry team for two semesters learning about liquid bi-propellant rocket development, water/cold flows, and eventually, a hot fire in the Mojave Desert of UC Berkeley’s first liquid-combustion engine, Eureka-1.

Eureka-1 is a vertical LOX + Propane engine mounted to a steel test stand with two COTS SCBA tanks. The upper tank is filled with propane while the lower tank holds oxygen. One of the exciting challenges I learned about was working with oxidizers and more generally, cryogenics.

During Cold Flows, the fill process sometimes took 30 minutes and we constantly monitored pressure relief valves, GEMS and check valves on the rocket to prevent backflow and/or overpressure. Before hot fire, we developed a pretty diligent anti-FOD cleaning procedure, where we disassembled the engine, scrubbed most components with D.I Water and Simple Green (except for those that would be part of the Oxygen sub-assembly), and wrapped most valves and connections in saran wrap to avoid contamination.

The rocket goes up or rocket blows up- system designed to assure the former. Reliability ensures the former. 1000 million ways it could go wrong, and only one way it can go right.” 

– Chief Mel Russo (2021)

NewSpace @ Berkeley

  • Organized and hosted speaking events with over 100 participants on the UC Berkeley campus to promote careers in newspace.
  • Co-led meetings and on-campus space partnerships.

Note: I am currently working on organizing this website to become more representative of my quality work rather than quantity. Please bare with me as I address this. 🙂