Aerospace Engineering, Ph.D.

Aerospace Engineering, Ph.D.

The Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering

Aerospace Engineering PhD

The PhD in aerospace engineering program at Florida Tech gives doctoral students opportunities for creative investigation of scientific and engineering problems in topics related to aerospace. Located in the heart of Florida’s Space Coast, just south of Kennedy Space Center and near a large number of major high-tech engineering companies, Florida Tech was founded in support of the space program and since 1958 has offered students a comprehensive aerospace and aeronautics education.

Areas of Concentration

The PhD in aerospace engineering program prepares graduates for their career using the latest body of knowledge in the industry and by providing excellent research facilities for conducting state-of-the-art research. Three areas of concentration are available for doctoral candidates:

  • Aerodynamics and fluid dynamics
  • Aerospace structures and materials
  • Combustion and propulsion

Distinguished Faculty

Florida Tech’s faculty is highly distinguished with research interests in propulsion, flight mechanics and control, mechatronics, robotics, fluid mechanics, aerodynamics, computational methods, composite structures, lasers, and hurricane and wind damage, among others. Florida Tech’s low student-to-teacher ratio allows students working toward a PhD in aerospace engineering to work closely with professors who mentor their success.

Research Opportunities and Facilities

Doctoral students earning a PhD in aerospace engineering at Florida Tech pursue research in a wide range of areas that align with their interests and career goals. The university is home to an abundance of aerospace engineering-related research centers and laboratories including:

  • Wireless Center of Excellence
  • National Center for Hydrogen Research
  • College of Engineering Center for Space Commercialization
  • Laser, Optics, and Instrumentation Laboratory
  • Wind and Hurricane Impacts Research Laboratory
  • Dynamic Systems and Controls Laboratory
  • Robotics and Spatial Systems Laboratory
  • Federal Aviation Administration Center of Excellence for Commercial Space Transportation
  • Center for Remote Sensing
  • Center for Aviation Human Factors
  • Institute for Materials Science and Nanotechnology
  • Institute for Energy Systems

Doctoral students in the PhD in aerospace engineering program have an opportunity to work with regional and international research organizations including NASA, the Department of Energy, the Department of Defense, the Florida Department of Transportation, and the Federal Aviation Administration.

Faculty members are engaged in a wide range of research topics, which students can participate in and contribute to, including:

  • Aerodynamic testing and wind engineering
  • Experimental and CFD analyses of non-stationery complex flows
  • Crashworthiness of composite materials
  • Astrodynamics
  • Trajectory and mission design organization
  • Spacecraft guidance navigation and control
  • Graphic processing unit (GPU) computing
  • Solid, liquid, and hybrid rocket propulsion system design

Florida Tech is surrounded by thriving aerospace organizations and industries that provide internship and employment opportunities to students working toward a PhD in the aerospace engineering program. These includes:

  • NASA
  • Boeing
  • Northrop Grumman
  • Harris Corp.
  • Embraer
  • Piper Aircraft
  • Patrick Air Force Base


Employers seek out graduates with a PhD in aerospace engineering from Florida Tech for careers in design and development, field service, marketing, software development, and research at leading aerospace firms. Employers that have hired Florida Tech graduates include NASA, Raytheon, Northrop Grumman, Boeing, Harris Corp., GE, Pratt and Whitney, the US Army, Navy, and Air Force, and mainstream engineering firms.