Research in Aerospace and Ocean Engineering poses exciting new challenges to the students who have the opportunity to work closely with their faculty advisor on current problems. These problems reflect the latest interests in new advancements in science and technology by NASA, Navy, Air Force, and various aerospace and non-aerospace industries. Our graduate students do significant hands-on research and often work in teams with other graduate students on wide-range of topics, some focused in a newly developing area, and some multidisciplinary in nature. These activities include state-of-the art research in aerodynamics, structures, flight dynamics and control, and multidisciplinary analysis and design Students are encouraged to present their research results at conferences and in archival journals tied to industry and/or government sponsored projects and include interaction with personnel and facilities from those organizations.

Some Research Groups in AOE

Center for Space Science and Engineering Research

Compound Aircraft Transport (restricted access)

High-Speed Flow Research

Hy-V (restricted access)

Nonlinear Systems Laboratory

Plasma Torch (restricted access)

Truss-Braced Wing Design Group

Turbulence Research

Unsteady Aerodynamics

Collaborative Efforts

Collaborative Center for Multidisciplinary Sciences (CCMS)

Virginia Tech, Wright State University (WSU), and the Air Force Research Laboratory at Wright Patterson Air Force Base (WPAFB), Ohio, specializing in the design of aerospace vehicles, have teamed to form a collaborative center for the development of future aerospace vehicles (FAVs). The center is based at Virginia Tech. Virginia Tech's Multidisciplinary Analysis and Design Center for Advanced Vehicles (MAD center) and WSU researchers involved in this new collaboration, along with the Air Force's Multidisciplinary Technology Center (MDTC), form the Collaborative Center on Multidisciplinary Sciences (CCMS).

Multi-Disciplinary Analysis and Design of Advanced Vehicles - MAD Center

For a number of years, Virginia Tech had been on the forefront of research in the area of multidisciplinary analysis and design. In June of 1994, faculty members from aerospace and ocean engineering, engineering science and mechanics, mechanical engineering, industrial engineering, mathematics and computer sciences, at Virginia Tech joined together to form the Multidisciplinary Analysis and Design (MAD) Center for Advanced Vehicles. The center was established with the single goal: to perform research that is relevant to the needs of the US industry and to foster collaboration between the university, government and industry. In October of 1994, the center was chosen by NASA headquarters as one of the five university centers to establish a fellowship program to develop a graduate program in multidisciplinary analysis and design. The fellowship program provides full stipend and tuition support for seven U. S. students per year during their graduate studies. The grant is currently being administered by the MDO Branch of NASA Langley.

National Institute for Aerospace - NIA

NASA has awarded a contract potentially worth $379 million to a recently formed nonprofit corporation to create an institute to conduct cutting-edge research, develop new technologies and provide educational opportunities. The National Institute of Aerospace is expected to be fully operational in January. It is a joint venture between NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va., and the newly formed National Institute of Aerospace Associates (NIAA), which is composed of state universities and a nonprofit organization.

The National Institute of Aerospace will be housed at Langley to facilitate agency collaboration. Langley's partners, under the umbrella organization NIAA, include the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Foundation; the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University; the University of Virginia; the University of Maryland, College Park; North Carolina State University Raleigh; North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, Greensboro; and the Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta.

Virginia Center for Autonomous Systems

The Virginia Center for Autonomous Systems (VaCAS) is an ICTAS/College of Engineering research center which facilitates interdisciplinary research in autonomous systems technology. VaCAS hosts research activities spanning every application domain: water, land, air, and space. VaCAS member research activities range from fundamental control theory to vehicle development to applications for science, security, and commerce.

Virginia Tech Airworthiness Center (VTAC)

The Virginia Tech Airworthiness Center (VTAC) is a long-term collaborative partnership with Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR), in conjunction with its Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division (NAWCAD).  VTAC researchers conduct airworthiness studies, develop new tools for airworthiness assessment, and conduct research on new approaches to streamline the airworthiness process. VTAC was established under the auspices of Wyle Laboratories’ Reliability Information Analysis Center, contracted to  the USN and USMC Airworthiness Directorate at NAVAIR. Information about VTAC may be found at