Clarkson University continues to defy convention and educate the next generation of world leaders, and one way they’re doing that is by making changes to one of the most popular undergraduate majors at the university. Beginning January 1, 2022, Clarkson’s Bachelor’s in Aeronautical Engineering will become an Aerospace Engineering Bachelor’s degree.
“Our decision to change the Aeronautical Engineering major to Aerospace is part of a larger curriculum overhaul to offer more opportunities to our students. The accelerated commercialization of space by companies such as Space-X, Blue Origin, and Virgin Galactic, as well as Boeing and Lockheed Martin, puts the responsibility on us to provide students with the background and tools they need to be successful in the ever-changing aerospace job market,” said Ken Visser, Associate Professor of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering and Curriculum Committee Chair.
Aerospace engineering encompasses both Aeronautical engineering (aircraft-focused) and Astronautical engineering (spacecraft-focused) engineering concepts. Aerospace engineers develop leading-edge technologies and integrate them into aerospace vehicle systems used for transportation, communications, exploration, and defense applications. This involves the design and manufacturing of aircraft, spacecraft, propulsion systems, satellites, and other planetary vehicles. Successful aerospace engineers possess in-depth skills in, and an understanding of, aerodynamics, materials and structures, propulsion strategies, vehicle dynamics and control, and configurational requirements.
Clarkson’s program will retain its strengths in Aeronautical engineering while adding options for students with new classes in Orbital Mechanics, Spacecraft Design, and Space Robotics. These new additions are supported by faculty recruits with backgrounds in space-oriented research such as Michael Bazzocchi who directs the Astronautics and Robotics Lab at Clarkson and Mohammadreza Radmanesh whose specialty is in autonomous robotics for space missions.
“The undergraduate bachelor's degree program in aerospace engineering at Clarkson not only prepares students for a technical career in the aerospace industry but provides the social, ethical and environmental context of the global issues in the industry. Our professors have a tremendous breadth of experience that they bring to the classroom and this, combined with their cutting-edge research, enables the integration of real-world problems across the curriculum in the classroom”, said Professor Brian Helenbrook, Chair of the Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering Department.