Aerospace engineers design, analyze, model, simulate, and test aircraft, spacecraft, satellites, missiles, rockets, and the larger systems in which these vehicles operate. The aerospace engineer is often a specialist in one of many areas such as propulsion, aerodynamics, fluids, flight mechanics and avionics, heat transfer, structures, cost analysis, reliability, survivability, maintainability, operations research, marketing, or airspace management. Aerospace engineers have also applied their knowledge to related fields such as automated mass transportation, bioengineering, medical systems, environmental engineering, communications, and many more.
The Department of Aerospace Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) is an international leader in aerospace science and engineering. With nationally ranked undergraduate and graduate programs, internationally renowned faculty, and state-of-the-art research facilities, the department is committed to excellence and leadership in teaching, research, and service.
The AE Department at UIUC is committed to cooperative research within the university and with other universities, state and federal government agencies, and industry. Our faculty and graduate students are active in a variety of interdisciplinary centers including Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology, Center for Space Technology and Research (CSTAR), Center for the Simulation of Advanced Rockets (CSAR), Coordinated Science Laboratory (CSL), Micro and Nanotechnology Laboratory, National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA), and Information Trust Institute. AE faculty and graduate students conduct research in over twenty different laboratories on campus and consistently play a role in the development of major advances in aircraft and space applications.
Founded as the Department of Aeronautical Engineering in 1944, the department has grown and broadened its programs, and its name has changed with it. In 2004 the name was changed from Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering, which had been used since the 1960s, to its current name, Aerospace Engineering (AE). We are proud of our excellence in the fundamental engineering sciences and ground-breaking research with direct application to aerospace systems because they form the foundation of aerospace engineering as well as apply to many of the important problems and challenges that confront the aerospace industry today. Our greatest success is our students, who graduate to become leaders at many of the top universities, corporations, and research laboratories in the nation and across the world.
Research in Aerospace Engineering is both basic and applied, contributing fundamental knowledge and applying that knowledge to aircraft and space applications. With our faculty involved in five research centers and more than twenty laboratories, AE is committed to cooperative research with other universities, state and federal government agencies, and industry.
The Department of Aerospace Engineering is an accredited program which offers Bachelor of Science, Master's of Science (thesis and non-thesis), and doctoral degrees. Information about these programs and how to apply is located in the undergraduate and graduate sections of this website.
The undergraduate and graduate programs in aerospace engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign are consistently ranked among the top 10 in the nation. Our over 350 undergraduate students enjoy access to an internationally renowned and award-winning faculty, world-class laboratories, and the first-rate Grainger Engineering Library Information Center. In addition, undergraduates have a number of unusual learning opportunities through which they can apply class work into practice: these include student-lead design/build operate projects like building a satellite or a remote control aircraft, capstone design courses in astronautics and aeronautics, summer Undergraduate Research Opportunities Programs, industrial co-ops and internships, and many other exciting programs.
Illinois graduates provide technical and management leadership through their positions in the world's leading aerospace companies, organizations, and universities. Illinois graduates are employed at NASA, Air Force, Boeing, Lockheed-Martin, General Electric, United Technologies, Honeywell, Gulfstream, etc. Students who earned their degrees in 2007-2008 received job offers with an average annual salary of $54,675 for the B.S. and $62,500 for the M.S. degree. Visit Engineering Career Services for more information.