How to Do Custom Engineering Calculations in Excel: Using Delta V as an Example

How to Do Custom Engineering Calculations in Excel: Using Delta V

It is possible to make engineering calculations in Microsoft Excel. Heres how: 

Example: Calculating Delta V for a Rocket

  1. Define the Calculation: To calculate delta V (change in velocity) for a rocket, engineers can use the rocket equation: 

ΔV = V_e * ln(m_0 / m_f)



ΔV = change in velocity (m/s)

V_e = effective exhaust velocity (m/s)

m_0 = initial total mass (kg)

m_f = final total mass (kg)


  1. Create a Spreadsheet: Create a new spreadsheet in Excel to perform the calculation.
  2. Input Data: Input the data required for the calculation into the spreadsheet, such as the effective exhaust velocity (V_e), initial total mass (m_0), and final total mass (m_f).
  3. Create Formulas: In the spreadsheet, create a formula to calculate the change in velocity (ΔV) using the equation given above: 

ΔV = V_e * LN(m_0 / m_f)


  1. Validate the Calculation: Validate the calculation by inputting sample data and checking that the results are accurate.
  2. Document the Calculation: Document the calculation by adding a description of the calculation and the formulas used to perform it in the spreadsheet.


But instead of using Excel, use a tool that has inbuilt formulae and automatic calculations.


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