Master's in Aerospace Engineering

8134
Master of Science
Classroom
No
Graduate
Main Campus - Melbourne, Patuxent
Major Code: 8134 Degree Awarded: Master of Science
Age Restriction: N

Admission Status: graduate main campus, Extended Studies

Delivery Mode/s: classroom only
Admission Materials: GRE Location/s: main campus, Patuxent

The master of science degree can be earned in one of four major areas: aerodynamics and fluid dynamics, aerospace structures and materials, combustion and propulsion, and flight mechanics and controls. Because the purpose of each program is to prepare the student for either a challenging professional career in industry or for further graduate study, the programs do not permit narrow specialization. Emphasis is on required coursework in several disciplines in which an advanced-degree engineer in a typical industrial position is expected to have knowledge and problem-solving expertise beyond that normally obtained during an undergraduate engineering education.

The master of science degree can be earned on either a full-time or a part-time basis. Full-time students can complete the program in a minimum of three semesters (four in the case of graduate student teaching assistants). Students beginning their coursework during the spring semester will be able to register for full course loads, although the commencement of thesis work will normally be delayed.

Graduate student teaching assistants are required to successfully complete a three-day teaching assistant seminar offered in August and January of each year.

Admission Requirements

An applicant should have an undergraduate major in a field related to aerospace engineering. Applicants whose bachelor's degrees are in other fields are normally required to take some undergraduate coursework in addition to the program described below, as determined by the department head. Applications are also invited from graduates with undergraduate majors in the physical sciences or mathematics. In these cases, at least one year of undergraduate coursework in aerospace engineering is normally required before starting the master of science program. In evaluating an international application, due consideration is given to academic standards in the country where the undergraduate studies have been performed.

Master's applicants should take the GRE General Test. Applicants from foreign countries must meet the same requirements as applicants from the United States.

General admission requirements and the process for applying are presented in the Academic Overview section.

Degree Requirements

The Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering is offered with both thesis and nonthesis options. Each option requires a minimum of 30 credit hours of coursework. Prior to the completion of nine credit hours, the student must submit for approval a master's degree program plan to indicate the path chosen and the specific courses to be taken. For the thesis option, up to six credit hours of thesis work may be included in the 30-credit-hour requirement. The thesis can be primarily analytical, computational or experimental; or it can be some combination of these. In each case, students must demonstrate the ability to read the appropriate engineering literature, to learn independently and to express themselves well technically, both orally and in writing. For the nonthesis option, a student may replace the thesis with additional elective courses and a final program examination, following approval of a written petition submitted to the department head. Generally, students wishing to pursue an academic career are encouraged to choose the thesis option.

Curriculum

The program of study leading to the master's degree in aerospace engineering is offered in the four listed areas of specialization. The minimum program requirements consists of nine credit hours of core courses, six credit hours of mathematics and 15 credit hours (which may include six credit hours of thesis) of electives. Within the 15 credit hours of electives, six credit hours of coursework are restricted electives. The department maintains a list of restricted electives for each specialization.

The nine credit hours of core courses must be chosen in consultation with the student's advisor from one of the following lists.

Aerodynamics and Fluid Dynamics
Complete:
  • MAE 5110 Continuum Mechanics
    Credit Hours: 3
    Mathematical preliminaries, kinematics of motion, equation of conservation mass, equations for the rates of change of translational momentum, rotational momentum, and energy; the entropy inequality; models of material behavior including the linearly viscous fluid and the linearly elastic solid.
  • MAE 5120 Aerodynamics of Wings and Bodies
    Credit Hours: 3
    Approximate analytic solution of nonlinear problems in aerodynamics (including those associated with the effects of compressibility) by iterative methods that exploit the smallness of small parameter; flow about slender wings and bodies; flow about wings with high-aspect ratio.
  • MAE 5130 Viscous Flows
    Credit Hours: 3
    Theory of Navier-Stokes equations; exact solutions for steady and unsteady plane, duct, jet and stagnation point flows; Stokes and Oseen approximations; the Prandtl concept of the boundary layer and similarity solutions Blasius, Hiemenz, Faulkner and Skan, Hartree, etc.; approximate solutions for nonsimilar boundary layers.
  • MAE 5140 Experimental Fluid Dynamics
    Credit Hours: 3
    Introduces students to test facilities such as wind tunnels and water tanks. Includes measurements of force and pressure distribution on airfoil principles and applications of laser Doppler velocimetry, hot-wire anemometry, flow visualization methods and modern data acquisition systems (LabView).
  • MAE 5150 Computational Fluid Dynamics
    Credit Hours: 3
    Elliptic, parabolic and hyperbolic PDEs; finite-difference formulations; explicit and implicit methods, stability analysis; operator splitting, multistep methods; boundary conditions; grid generation techniques; applications involving Euler boundary layer and full Navier-Stokes equations.
    Requirement(s):
    Instructor approval, and prerequisite courses or equivalent
  • MAE 5160 Gas Dynamics
    Credit Hours: 3
    Differential conservation equations; one-dimensional steady flows; unsteady wave motion; small perturbations and linearized flows; bodies of revolution, conical flows, and slender body theory; blunt-body flows; three-dimensional supersonic flows; transonic flows; the method of characteristics and numerical computation for supersonic flows; real gas effects.
  • MAE 5180 Turbulent Flows
    Credit Hours: 3
    General introduction, isotropic, homogeneous and shear-flow turbulence, transport processes in turbulent flows, wall and free turbulent shear flows, atmospheric turbulence.
  • MAE 6130 Experimental Methods in Turbulence
    Credit Hours: 3
    Physical description; hot-wire anemometry; correlation and spectrum analysis; fluctuating pressure and shear-stress measurements; use of laser Doppler velocimetry and particle velocimetry for fluid flow measurements; and flow visualization method.
Aerospace Structures and Materials
Complete:
  • MAE 5050 Finite Element Fundamentals
    Credit Hours: 3
    Includes finite element formulation of a continuum, virtual work and energy principles, one- and two-dimensional problems; Ritz method, weighted residuals; time-dependent problems; isoparametric formulations and recent developments utilizing elementary finite element methods and existing software.
  • MAE 5060 Applications in Finite Element Methods
    Credit Hours: 3
    Emphasizes finite element simulation methods for problems in mechanical design; static solutions; eigenvalue techniques in stability and dynamic analysis; direct and reduced basis formulation of dynamical equations; analyses of structures; use of commercially available software.
  • MAE 5410 Elasticity
    Credit Hours: 3
    Analyzes stress and strain in two and three dimensions, equilibrium, compatibility and constitutive equations, energy methods, flexure, stretching, torsion and contact stress formulations, axially symmetric problems.
    Requirement(s):
    Instructor approval or prerequisite course
  • MAE 5430 Design of Aerospace Structures
    Credit Hours: 3
    Applications of mechanics to lightweight structures. Considers designing with monolithic and advanced composite materials; stiffened shell structures; buckling instability; failure analysis; variable section beams subjected to nonuniform loads; and computer formulations used in solving structural problems.
  • MAE 5460 Fracture Mechanics and Fatigue of Materials
    Credit Hours: 3
    Static and dynamic design and maintenance to prevent structural failure; presence of cracks, stress intensity factor, linear elastic and elastic-plastic fracture mechanics, fracture tests, fatigue crack initiation and propagation, environmental and corrosion effects, fatigue life prediction.
  • MAE 5470 Principles of Composite Materials
    Credit Hours: 3
    Particulate and fiber composites; forms, properties and processing of constituent materials; manufacture of composites, interaction of constituents, micro- and macro-mechanics and design of composite materials; stress-strain tensors and their transformation; laminate theory of orthotropic materials; strength properties.
  • MAE 5480 Structural Dynamics
    Credit Hours: 3
    Principles of dynamics applied to structural analysis, analysis of continuous media and discretized models, free vibration and forced response of structures, modal analysis, energy methods and approximate methods, applications in structural design and experimentation.
Combustion and Propulsion
Complete:
  • MAE 5130 Viscous Flows
    Credit Hours: 3
    Theory of Navier-Stokes equations; exact solutions for steady and unsteady plane, duct, jet and stagnation point flows; Stokes and Oseen approximations; the Prandtl concept of the boundary layer and similarity solutions Blasius, Hiemenz, Faulkner and Skan, Hartree, etc.; approximate solutions for nonsimilar boundary layers.
  • MAE 5150 Computational Fluid Dynamics
    Credit Hours: 3
    Elliptic, parabolic and hyperbolic PDEs; finite-difference formulations; explicit and implicit methods, stability analysis; operator splitting, multistep methods; boundary conditions; grid generation techniques; applications involving Euler boundary layer and full Navier-Stokes equations.
    Requirement(s):
    Instructor approval, and prerequisite courses or equivalent
  • MAE 5160 Gas Dynamics
    Credit Hours: 3
    Differential conservation equations; one-dimensional steady flows; unsteady wave motion; small perturbations and linearized flows; bodies of revolution, conical flows, and slender body theory; blunt-body flows; three-dimensional supersonic flows; transonic flows; the method of characteristics and numerical computation for supersonic flows; real gas effects.
  • MAE 5310 Combustion Fundamentals
    Credit Hours: 3
    Includes equilibrium chemical thermodynamics and thermochemistry, chemical kinetics, transport phenomena and conservation equations; Rankine-Hugoniot theory, Chapman-Jouguet waves and detonation and deflagration; diffusion flames and premixed flames; flammability, ignition and quenching.
  • MAE 5320 Internal Combustion Engines
    Credit Hours: 3
    Investigates the applications of thermodynamic, fluid dynamic and combustion principles to spark- and compression-ignition engines, and direct-injection stratified charge engines; ideal and actual cycle analyses; exhaust emissions, air pollution and control; engine heat transfer; and engine modeling.
  • MAE 5350 Gas Turbines
    Credit Hours: 3
    Introduces characteristics, performance analyses and design methodologies for stationary aircraft gas turbines. Topics include gas turbine cycle analyses, component design of combustors, compressors, turbines and nozzles, fluid dynamics and heat transfer, gas turbine fuels and emissions.
  • MAE 5360 Hypersonic Air-Breathing Engines
    Credit Hours: 3
    Introduces the analysis of hypersonic aerospace vehicles, with emphasis on air-breathing propulsion concepts and systems. Topics include performance behavior and cycle analysis of ramjets and scramjets, supersonic mixing and combustion processes, and component design.
Flight Mechanics and Controls
Complete:
  • MAE 5801 Advanced Flight Dynamics and Control
    Credit Hours: 3
    Includes static and dynamic stability of flight, modern treatment of flight dynamics, detailed longitudinal and lateral-directional flight motions, effect of nonlinearity, flight under disturbances and handling qualities. Reviews classical and modern control theories, flight control strategies, and flight augmentation systems and autopilots.
  • MAE 5802 Multivariable Feedback Control Systems
    Credit Hours: 3
    Includes modern analysis and control design approaches for linear multivariable systems. Includes modeling of dynamic systems, concept of controllability and observability, eigenstructure assignment technique, singular value decomposition, stability robustness and optimum control methods.
  • MAE 5803 Nonlinear Control Systems
    Credit Hours: 3
    Includes nonlinear system fundamentals (stability and dynamic peculiarities, methods of nonlinear analysis); basic nonlinear control methods (sliding control and feedback linearization, multidimensional extension); advanced nonlinear control methods (adaptive control, neural networks); and nonlinear control applications.
  • MAE 5804 Guidance and Navigation of Aerospace Vehicles
    Credit Hours: 3
    Includes the principles for guidance and navigation of spacecraft, launch vehicles and missiles. Applies nonlinear programming, calculus of variations and optimal control to flight and trajectory optimization. Covers ballistic and adaptive pursuit guidance; orbit determination and celestial navigation; recursive navigation; GPS and Kalman filtering.
  • MAE 5805 Spaceflight Mechanics and Controls
    Credit Hours: 3
    Includes orbit determination and prediction; advanced orbit maneuvers, multiple-impulse and finite-duration thrust profiles; 3-D rigid-body dynamics, satellite stability and attitude control; Earth gravity field models and harmonics; orbit perturbations and variational methods; relative orbital mechanics and CWH equations; and 3-body problem.
Select one course:
  • MAE 5610 Advanced Dynamics
    Credit Hours: 3
    Newtonian and analytical mechanics; rigid-body dynamics, Euler's equations and spinning bodies; Lagrange's equations, Routhian and Hamiltonian mechanics, canonical transformations and Hamilton-Jacobi theory; dissipative, gyroscopic and circulatory systems; applications of numerical methods to complex dynamics problems.
  • MAE 5360 Hypersonic Air-Breathing Engines
    Credit Hours: 3
    Introduces the analysis of hypersonic aerospace vehicles, with emphasis on air-breathing propulsion concepts and systems. Topics include performance behavior and cycle analysis of ramjets and scramjets, supersonic mixing and combustion processes, and component design.

 

Electives are selected from these course offerings and appropriate courses in mathematics, in consultation with the student's advisor and committee. The topics of emphasis for aerospace engineering in the four areas of specialization include aerodynamics, computational fluid dynamics, experimental fluid dynamics, flow instability theory, combustion, aerospace propulsion and power, aerospace structures, composite materials, fracture mechanics and fatigue of materials, and flight dynamics and control.