Aerospace Engineering Major
Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering
The field of aerospace engineering has grown rapidly in recent decades to assume a vital role in modern human endeavors. Ranging from manned lunar excursions, exploration of the solar system and ecological study of Earth, to beneficial commerce on space stations and high-quality products for humans and military concerns, the contributions from the aerospace engineering profession have been profound. Aerospace engineers are currently involved in space station operations and are expected to take part in future moon-base and space station missions, as well as manned exploration of Mars. The many spin-offs from their involvement in these activities in space will surely benefit humanity just as has their previous space involvement.
The undergraduate curriculum for the aerospace engineering major at Florida Tech presents the fundamentals underlying modern aerospace engineering and prepares the student for a lifetime of continued learning. During the freshman and sophomore years, emphasis is placed on mathematics and physics, while aerospace engineering is introduced through a sequence of three courses. The sophomore and junior years direct the student toward the engineering sciences, including materials science, thermodynamics and fluid mechanics. During the junior and senior years, the study becomes progressively centered on the specific issues facing practicing aerospace engineers.
The aerospace engineering major uses the basic tools imparted during the first two years and applies them in studies of aerodynamics, propulsion systems, aerospace structures and design projects. Other courses taken during the last two years expand the student’s knowledge in the fields of mechanics of solids, electric circuits, flight stability and control, and mission analysis. Technical electives taken during the junior and senior years allow the student to direct the program toward specific areas of personal interest, such as flight training and human factors engineering, space science, mathematics, computer science or other engineering disciplines.
Laboratory experiences are essential to the education of engineers, and these are provided in chemistry, physics, computers, materials, fluids, structures and experimental aerodynamics. The capstone of the educational process is embodied in the aerospace engineering design project, which synthesizes and focuses elements from the various disciplines into a design activity of current aerospace engineering interest. The faculty of the program serve jointly in the supervision and consultation for these projects.
Aerospace engineering majors are encouraged to define career objectives early in the program (preferably during the sophomore year), so that in consultation with faculty advisors, electives can be selected that are best suited to the achievement of specific goals.
Aerospace engineering majors may also choose to benefit from the experience gained through the cooperative education program. After graduation, the aerospace engineering student is prepared to pursue a career in either industry or government as a practicing engineer, or to enter graduate study in engineering, applied mechanics or mathematics.