Traditionally the aerospace engineer has been involved with the design and development of high speed vehicles such as aircraft, missiles and spacecraft. In recent years this list has evolved to include ocean vessels and high speed land vehicles as well.
The extreme environments in which these vehicles operate have dictated the construction of the most complex engineering systems devised by humans and require integration and application of such disparate fields as fluid mechanics and thermodynamics, structural mechanics, control system theory and vehicle dynamics. Often the aerospace engineer is confronted with problems that cannot be fully defined but, in spite of this, require imaginative and sophisticated solutions.
The goals of the Aerospace Engineering program are:
- to educate those who will succeed in the aerospace industry and in national graduate programs;
- to exemplify the linking of theoretical and practical knowledge; and
- to provide service to the profession.
The Aerospace Engineering Program is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, http://www.abet.org, and aims to:
- provide students with a comprehensive education that includes in-depth instruction in aerodynamics, aircraft and spacecraft structures, flight mechanics, orbital mechanics, flight propulsion, and design of aerospace systems;
- provide adequate laboratory experience and independent study opportunities; and
- prepare students for careers in aerospace engineering by emphasizing analysis and problem-solving, exposure to open-ended problems and design issues while fostering teamwork, communication skills, and individual professionalism.
Students desiring to major in Aerospace Engineering should have a particularly high aptitude for science and mathematics, and incoming freshmen should have taken substantial college preparatory courses in these disciplines in high school. Incoming transfer students should have completed at least one year of college calculus and one year of college physics (with laboratory) prior to beginning the program at Cal Poly Pomona. The community college student planning to transfer into this department should consult a school counselor or department to determine which courses meet the program requirements.
Graduates of the program will have:
- an understanding of physics, chemistry and mathematics sufficient to address real world engineering problems;
- an understanding of engineering science fundamentals that enables them to examine real world engineering problems for the underlying physical principles and decide on appropriate methods of solution;
- the ability to analyze and design aerospace structural elements;
- the ability to perform aerodynamic analyses;
- the ability to analyze air-breathing propulsion systems;
- the ability to analyze the flight dynamics of aircraft and spacecraft and design flight control systems;
- the ability to analyze spacecraft trajectories;
- the ability to work in teams and design complex systems such as aircraft and spacecraft from a conceptual design perspective;
- good oral, written and graphic communications skills; and
- an understanding of the role of the engineer in society and an awareness of ethical, environmental and quality concerns of the engineering profession.
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