Aerospace engineers focus on the design and development of aircraft, spacecraft and other nonterrestrial vehicles and their systems. Aeronautical engineers work specifically on atmospheric vehicles, while those designing, developing and analyzing spacecraft are astronautical engineers.
Aerospace engineers develop new technologies for use in aviation, defense systems and space exploration, often specializing in areas such as aerodynamics, structural design, guidance, navigation and control, instrumentation and communication, or numerical analysis methods. They also may specialize in a particular type of aerospace product, such as commercial aircraft, military fighter jets, helicopters, spacecraft, missiles and rockets.
Aerospace engineers apply a broad range of engineering skills and use sophisticated computational tools to design and analyze state-of-the-art, aerodynamically efficient wings and surfaces in the pursuit of optimally efficient vehicles. They invent and design lightweight composite materials and structures, highly efficient propulsion devices and autonomous, intelligent control systems. They may become experts in one or more fields such as aerodynamics, thermodynamics, celestial mechanics, propulsion, guidance and acoustics.
Our faculty and students conduct innovative research in all of the traditional core areas of aerospace engineering with applications to some of society’s most pressing problems in energy, the environment, national defense, security and transportation. State-of-the-art laboratories and computational facilities support the research and educational missions.