The Aerospace Engineering program of study emphasizes aerodynamics, structures, propulsion, and flight mechanics with instructional material leading to a year-long capstone design experience in the senior year. Design Teams are often multi-disciplinary with students from other majors and at different academic levels.
Outstanding Design requires a comprehensive background in all of the areas of study associated with Aerospace Engineering.
Aerodynamics: Subsonic, supersonic and computational aerodynamics are all a part of the aerospace engineering program at Virginia Tech. Students learn to use state-of-the-art computational and experimental facilities for flows from 10mph to Mach 10.
Structures: Light yet super-strong, modern aero-space structures employ composite materials and innovative geometries. Aerospace Engineering students learn the latest numerical techniques for structural analysis.
Propulsion: From props to jets to rockets, Aerospace Engineeringstudents use their background in physics, thermodynamics and fluid dynamics to understand and analyze the propulsion systems of the future.
Flight Mechanics: Astromechanics, Aircraft Performance, Stability and Control; all are needed to understand how to make the designs of tomorrow go faster, further and higher or deeper into space.
Electives: Other courses include Design Optimization, Automatic Flight Control, Computational Aerodynamics, Computational Structural Analysis, and Aerospace Manufacturing.
This video was part of a documentary which followed an engineering team from Virginia Tech as they prepared for the 2010 Lunabotics Mining Competition at the Astronaut Hall of Fame at Kennedy Space Center. The team was made up of 3 mining engineering students and 3 aerospace engineering students. The work was done in the department's SAT lab.
Top educators tell us that the best way to learn is to teach your peers in a group environment. Aerospace Engineering Design courses use the group design process to both better simulate the way design is done in the real world and to promote the benefits of collaborative learning.
By doing design in groups, Aerospace Engineering students learn to build on one another's strengths, to work with others toward a single goal, to make the compromises needed to optimize a good design into an award winning design.
Dedicated to Excellence in Instruction
The faculty/student ratio on the Aerospace Engineering program is about 1 to 10, allowing each faculty member to really get to know the students. Aerospace Engineering faculty bring a variety of professional backgrounds to the classroom. Diverse and extensive experience in aerospace industry design, NASA Research, flight testing and many other developing fields greatly enhance the classroom and lab experience with state-of-the-art and up-to-the-minute reality. Several faculty are licensed pilots, giving them a practical feel for aeronautics and the ability to relate well to student interests. Many are active members of professional societies involved with the improvement of engineering education; and all are dedicated to excellence in engineering instruction, several having won teaching and research awards.