Department of Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics

The Department of Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics draws students and faculty from around the world to develop the next generation of aircraft, spacecraft and launch vehicles. Student and faculty research spans new technologies used in aerospace, biomedical, computer, and automotive industries, among others.

With an emphasis on mechanics, the AEM department ensures students are well grounded in the fundamentals of engineering and can become exceptional contributors to this exciting industry.

Tradition of excellence

The Department of Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics was one of the first 10 aerospace engineering programs accredited nationwide. Among its alumni are two former astronauts, as well as leaders at NASA and a multitude of aerospace engineering companies.

World-class academic programs

Offering a comprehensive curriculum for both undergraduate and graduate students, students have opportunities for hands-on learning and research including a senior capstone project where they work as a team to design, construct, and test an aircraft or space craft. Graduate students embrace a rigorous curriculum with research working alongside award-winning faculty. The Bachelor of Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics (BAEM) is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET.

Cutting-edge research

Award-winning and internationally recognized faculty conduct state-of-the-art experimental, theoretical, and numerical research and students have unique opportunities to work closely with faculty. Research is conducted in one of many departmental facilities, including the Single Crystal Growth Facility, the Wind Tunnel Lab, and the UAV (Uninhabited Aerial Vehicle) Laboratory. Faculty and students also participate in interdisciplinary research and collaborations with groups such as the Saint Anthony Falls Laboratory. Faculty conduct research in four key areas:

  • Aerospace Systems
  • Fluid Mechanics
  • Solid Mechanics
  • Nanotechnology

Business and industry connections

The department receives research grants from NASA, the National Science Foundation, Department of Energy, and more. It has ongoing relationships with corporations including Boeing, Lockheed Martin, BAE Systems, and ATK.

National rankings

  • Ranked in The Chronicle of Higher Education’s Faculty Scholarship Productivity index, the department ranked 1st for a department with less than 20 faculty, 2nd for percentage of faculty with journal publications cited by another work, and 5th overall for public universities, and 10th for all institutions.
  • Princeton Review's Gourman Report on Undergraduate Programs ranked the undergraduate program 4th in the nation.
  • The National Research Council ranked the department's doctoral program 4th in the nation for public universities. The program placed 2nd in Research Activity and Student Support.