Department of Aerospace Engineering

Aerospace Engineering

The aerospace engineer is concerned with the design, production, operation, and support of aircraft and spacecraft. Aerospace engineers conduct research to advance air flight and space exploration, by solving problems, developing products, and improving processes for the aerospace industry. Aerospace engineers typically work for aircraft and space vehicle industries, national research laboratories, commercial airlines, and federal government agencies. The curriculum includes traditional courses in aerodynamics, flight dynamics and control, propulsion, structures, manufacturing, instrumentation, and spacecraft systems.


KU Aerospace Engineering (KUAE) is a world-class community of choice for outstanding students, educators, and researchers shaping the next generation of aerospace systems.


KUAE fosters a world-class community of choice for students, educators, researchers, and industry partners by strategically aligning our teaching, research, and service missions to prepare students for successful professional careers by providing them with foundational knowledge in and experience with aerospace engineering disciplines and interdisciplinary systems integration while advancing the state-of-the-art

  • We are an international leader in undergraduate, graduate, and continuing aerospace education, balancing theory and practice to best prepare our graduates for professional practice and for higher education
  • We provide world-class graduate and undergraduate research experiences focused on designing, simulating, building, testing, and flying aerospace vehicles and systems, including practical experience in applying aerospace fundamentals to interdisciplinary research and advancing knowledge.
  • We invest in research infrastructure and select and develop outstanding and diverse students, faculty, and staff to maintain an intellectually stimulating and collegial atmosphere in which to conduct globally significant basic and applied research
  • We support the aerospace profession by educating the public through outreach, educating working professionals through the KU Aerospace Short Course program and advising policy-makers in government, industry, and professional organizations.
  •  We partner with the aerospace industry through directed research, internships, and professional mentoring to ensure that our graduates are recognized and hired as those best prepared for professional success.


To support our teaching mission:

  • Attract, develop, and retain the highest quality students representing broad demographics
  • Provide immersive, experiential learning opportunities integrated across the curriculum
  • Expand the number and frequency of higher-level graduate course offerings
  • Attract, advance, and retain an outstanding and diverse technical staff to support cutting-edge, holistic, education and research
  • Achieve and maintain a state-of-the-art distance education capability to expand educational outreach to remote learners and increase access to remote expertise for local learners
  • Develop and modernize facilities appropriate to providing intellectually stimulating curricular experiences

To increase the quality and volume of funded research:

  • Attract, advance, and retain a diverse and continuously growing number of world-class faculty and research staff
  • Attract and develop the highest quality graduate students representing broad demographics, with a particular emphasis on increasing the number of doctoral students
  • Develop high-quality, state-of-the-art research facilities appropriate to enabling globally significant basic and applied research
  • Attract, advance, and retain an outstanding and diverse technical staff to support cutting-edge, holistic, education and research
  • Strategically target  and transition technologies of national importance to enhance interdisciplinary, collaborative research
  • Expand partnerships with industry leaders in directed research 

To provide service:

  • Be leaders in preparing our graduates for successful professional careers
  • Be leaders in national and international technical and academic societies and editorial boards
  • Expand the internationally renowned KU Aerospace Short Course and distance learning programs