Enhance your experience by joining the Design, Build & Fly team, conducting research with faculty mentors, working in industry through co-op opportunities, and joining the student chapters of the American Institute of Aeronautices and Astronautics and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

Aeronautical Engineering

From the latest wide-bodied aircraft to the next generation of the space shuttle, someone has to figure out how to make them fly reliably and efficiently. Clarkson's aeronautical engineering program will prepare you for a career in design, wind tunnel testing, engine design and testing, and flight testing of new vehicles. You will learn about these areas and more:

  • Aerodynamics
  • Aircraft propulsion
  • Aircraft structures
  • Flight mechanics
  • Aircraft stability and flight control
  • Aircraft design
  • Aerospace materials

Aeronautical Engineering careers include tasks ranging from airframe design, wind tunnel testing, engine design and testing, and flight testing of new vehicles, to the design of airliner cabin comfort systems. Career opportunities exist with large companies, such as Lockheed-Martin, Pratt and Whitney, Boeing, B.F. Goodrich, General Dynamics, and General Electric. Or, you may prefer a smaller company, such as Cessna or Bombardier Aerospace, or a career with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

The objectives of the Aeronautical Engineering program are that graduates
1. Will competently apply engineering methods to solve professional problems associated with the design, manufacture, and maintenance of aircraft and related systems and understand the social, ethical, and environmental context of their work.
2. Will communicate clearly, collaborate competently in teams, and assume leadership roles
3. Will have the habit of continuous professional development

The 120-credit program contains 87 credit hours of required technical courses, 33 credit hours of electives (including two professional electives, one undesignated elective and five Knowledge Area/University Course, KA/UC, electives)

The first two years of the curriculum cover mathematics, physics, chemistry and engineering science courses. In the third and fourth years, students take specialized courses on topics such as aerodynamics and flight mechanics. These courses provide knowledge and skills that strongly support the second outcome listed above, which is a key element in aircraft design. The laboratory components of the first-year physics and chemistry courses introduce study of the relationship between theory and reality. This fosters the development of the student's technical intuition. Aeronautical engineering laboratory courses add to this development.

Training in professional problem-solving begins in the spring of the second year, with the first course in engineering design. The first course to train students formally in the solution process, it lays the foundation for the fourth-year capstone design course. In the capstone course, students work in teams to design an aircraft in a "real world" environment. Thus, they learn to apply the solution process to a real professional problem by responding to a Request for Proposals. From Conceptual Design sketches to full 3-D CAD models, which are then built on the stereolithography machine at Clarkson, to final testing in the wind tunnel, the students undergo the experience of a aeronautical engineering professional environment.

Download the Aeronautical Engineering Curriculum:  (PDF)

Students may acquire additional professional experience by participating in the Design, Build, and Fly Competition team. Or they may participate in the Formula SAE, MiniBaja, Clean Snowmobile, or other SPEED team competitions, which are open to any student.

Aero Senior Design

Aaron Friebel, Class of 2008, created a movie example of the Aero Senior Design.  Click on the image to launch the video (17 Mb) in a new window.