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Aerospace Engineering

Field Description

The program emphasizes balance in aerospace science and technology, both basic and applied, to prepare students for the diverse opportunities at the frontiers of research, in contemporary industrial development, and in government agencies. The faculty is particularly strong and active in aerospace vehicle dynamics and feedback control, wind energy, celestial mechanics, the Global Positioning System, and spacecraft systems engineering, as well as in basic aerosciences including transonic flows, turbulence, nonequilibrium gas dynamics, unsteady and vortical flows, combustion processes, transport processes in microgravity and chemical kinetics.

Aerospace vehicle dynamics and control: Modeling, analysis, theoretical investigations, and applied technology development related to the flight mechanics of spacecraft and air vehicles and motivated by contemporary problems relevant to the private and public sectors; flight experiments and mission operations of spacecraft in Earth orbit and beyond; numerical and experimental investigation of autonomous air vehicles, mechatronics architectures that enable advanced flight technologies.

Wind energy: Basic and applied studies of wind-energy systems, including multiscale aerodynamics, coupled fluid/structure interactions, meteorological implications for on-and off-shore wind energy, energy-output prediction for turbines and other technologies, instrumentation and remote sensing for design and siting of wind farms; wind-energy harvesting through non-traditional approaches such as aeroelastic effects.

Celestial mechanics: Kinematics and dynamics of orbital motion for planetary bodies and spacecraft; behaviors of orbiting bodies among subtle gravitational sources, such as asteroids; design of trajectories and timing for space-exploration applications.

Global Positioning System: Estimation of GPS-based position and velocity through realtime algorithms; characterization of the Earth's ionosphere, atmosphere, and surface processes through analysis of GPS signals; design and implementation of software-defined radios as GPS receivers; high-precision navigation of spacecraft formations.

Spacecraft systems engineering: Conceiving, designing, implementing and operating space systems, which includes individual spacecraft as well as formations, constellations, and swarms; analysis of and innovation in spacecraft architectures, including Earth-observing satellites; studies in reliability, manufacturability, operability, and other features of contemporary space-system concepts.

Basic aerosciences: Studies in transonic flows, turbulence, nonequilibrium gas dynamics, unsteady and vortical flows, combustion processes, transport processes in microgravity, and chemical kinetics; modeling and simulation of aerospace fluid systems; development of predictive tools, such as computational fluid-dynamics codes; applications include design of aircraft, analysis and optimization of propulsion and aircraft power plants; fluid/thermal behaviors in combustion systems.


The Ph.D. program provide advanced levels of training suitable for students pursuing careers in research and development, education, or government service. The field does not admit students into an M.S.-only degree program; applicants may apply for the Ph.D. program with a bachelor's degree. Ph.D. students must take a qualifying examiniation in addition to the examinations required by the Graduate School. Typically the qualifying exam is taken at the end of the first semester for students entering with a Master's degree and at the end of the first two semesters for those entering with a Bachelor's degree. Teaching experience for two semesters is required of Ph.D. students.


The professional degree of Master of Engineering (Aerospace) provides a one-year course of study for those who want to develop a high level of competence in current technology and engineering design and who plan to practice engineering in industry or professionally. The program has a thirty-credit curriculum and requires an engineering design project.

Contact Information

Website: http://www.mae.cornell.edu
Email: maephd@cornell.edu
Phone: 607 255-5250

107 Upson Hall
Cornell Unversity
Ithaca,New York 14853

Subject and Degrees

Concentrations by Subject

Aerospace Engineering

  • aerodynamics
  • aerospace systems
  • biomedical mechanics
  • dynamics and control
  • materials and structures
  • propulsion
  • thermal sciences

Faculty

John David Albertson

  • Campus: Ithaca
  • Concentrations: Aerospace Engineering: thermal sciences
  • Research Interests: understanding exchange rates of mass, energy, and momentum between land and atmosphere

C. Thomas Avedisian

  • Campus: Ithaca
  • Concentrations: Aerospace Engineering: thermal sciences
  • Research Interests: heat transfer; fluid mechanics and combustion

Shefford P Baker

  • Campus: Ithaca
  • Concentrations: Aerospace Engineering: materials and structures
  • Research Interests: mechanical behavior of materials for structural, nano-scale, and biological applications

Gregory Paul Bewley

  • Campus: Ithaca
  • Concentrations: Aerospace Engineering: thermal sciences
  • Research Interests: turbulence, both its intrinsic properties and its role in various environmental settings

Lawrence Bonassar

  • Campus: Ithaca
  • Concentrations: Aerospace Engineering: biomedical mechanics; materials and structures
  • Research Interests: synthesis and mechanics of polymers and composites

Mark Campbell

  • Campus: Ithaca
  • Concentrations: Aerospace Engineering: aerospace systems; dynamics and control
  • Research Interests: space systems; estimation and control; autonomy in aerospace systems; controlled structures

Lance R Collins

  • Campus: Ithaca
  • Concentrations: Aerospace Engineering: aerodynamics; propulsion; thermal sciences
  • Research Interests: turbulence physics; combustion; aerosol coagulation and breakup dynamics; polymer drag reduction

Paul Richard Dawson

  • Campus: Ithaca
  • Concentrations: Aerospace Engineering: materials and structures
  • Research Interests: material processing; micromechanics; plasticity; computational mechanics

Olivier Desjardins

  • Campus: Ithaca
  • Concentrations: Aerospace Engineering: propulsion; thermal sciences
  • Research Interests: Computational Fluid Dynamics

David Erickson

  • Campus: Ithaca
  • Concentrations: Aerospace Engineering: thermal sciences
  • Research Interests: micro/nanofluidics; optical fluidics; labs-on-a-chip; nanoscale integration; single nucleotide polymorphisms

Silvia Ferrari

  • Campus: Ithaca
  • Concentrations: Aerospace Engineering: dynamics and control
  • Research Interests: design and analysis of methods and algorithms for computational intelligence and sensorimotor learning and control

Elizabeth Mills Fisher-York

  • Campus: Ithaca
  • Concentrations: Aerospace Engineering: propulsion; thermal sciences
  • Research Interests: combustion; combustion chemistry

Albert Richard George

  • Campus: Ithaca
  • Concentrations: Aerospace Engineering: aerodynamics; aerospace systems; propulsion; thermal sciences
  • Research Interests: aerodynamics; acoustics; helicopter and automotive aerodynamics and aeroacoustics

Christopher J. Hernandez

  • Campus: Ithaca
  • Concentrations: Aerospace Engineering: biomedical mechanics; materials and structures
  • Research Interests: orthopaedic biomechanics; solid mechanics imaging

Anthony R Ingraffea

  • Campus: Ithaca
  • Concentrations: Aerospace Engineering: biomedical mechanics; materials and structures
  • Research Interests: computational and experimental fracture mechanics

Brian J. Kirby

  • Campus: Ithaca
  • Concentrations: Aerospace Engineering: aerodynamics; biomedical mechanics; propulsion; thermal sciences
  • Research Interests: micro- and nanofluidics; microbioanalytical devices; laser microfabrication; interface science

Donald L Koch

  • Campus: Ithaca
  • Concentrations: Aerospace Engineering: aerodynamics; thermal sciences
  • Research Interests: particulate and multiphase flows; colloids and aerosols; non-continuum gas flows

Hadas Kress-Gazit

  • Campus: Ithaca
  • Concentrations: Aerospace Engineering: dynamics and control
  • Research Interests: autonomous systems; hybrid systems; control; robotics

Hod Lipson

  • Campus: Ithaca
  • Concentrations: Aerospace Engineering: aerodynamics; aerospace systems; biomedical mechanics; dynamics and control
  • Research Interests: computer-aided design and design automation; artificial intelligence; evolutionary robotics; rapid prototyping

Michel Yves Louge

  • Campus: Ithaca
  • Concentrations: Aerospace Engineering: thermal sciences
  • Research Interests: granular segregation and gas-solid flows; experiments in microgravity; fluidized beds; flow instrumentation; dielectric properties of snow

Douglas MacMartin

  • Campus: Ithaca
  • Concentrations: Aerospace Engineering: dynamics and control
  • Research Interests: dynamics, feedback analysis, control design related to climate science

Matthew Peter Miller

  • Campus: Ithaca
  • Concentrations: Aerospace Engineering: materials and structures
  • Research Interests: experimentally based material model development; effect of processing on properties

Mason A. Peck

  • Campus: Ithaca
  • Concentrations: Aerospace Engineering: aerospace systems; dynamics and control; materials and structures
  • Research Interests: dynamics and control; spacecraft design; systems engineering

Perrine Pepiot

  • Campus: Ithaca
  • Concentrations: Aerospace Engineering: propulsion; thermal sciences
  • Research Interests: Computational Fluid Dynamics

Stephen Bailey Pope

  • Campus: Ithaca
  • Concentrations: Aerospace Engineering: aerodynamics; propulsion; thermal sciences
  • Research Interests: combustion; fluid mechanics; turbulence; numerical methods; aerospace propulsion

Dmitry Savransky

  • Campus: Ithaca
  • Concentrations: Aerospace Engineering: dynamics and control
  • Research Interests: Estimation and control theory; computer vision and machine learning applications for automated optical system alignment and image processing; optimal scheduling for autonomous space observatories; and statistical analysis of astronomical data sets

Daniel Selva

  • Campus: Ithaca
  • Concentrations: Aerospace Engineering: aerospace systems; dynamics and control
  • Research Interests: Systems engineering and architecture with emphasis on space systems: global optimization, multi-agent systems, machine learning, and knowledge-based systems.

Robert Shepherd

  • Campus: Ithaca
  • Concentrations: Aerospace Engineering: dynamics and control
  • Research Interests: Soft Robotics, Material Intelligence for Control Systems

Meredith Silberstein

  • Campus: Ithaca
  • Concentrations: Aerospace Engineering: materials and structures
  • Research Interests: polymer physics, mechanochemistry, micromechanical experiments and modeling, continuum mechanics

Marjolein van der Meulen

  • Campus: Ithaca
  • Concentrations: Aerospace Engineering: biomedical mechanics; materials and structures
  • Research Interests: orthopedic biomechanics; skeletal functional adaptation; bone structural behavior; mechanics of musculoskeletal tissues

Zheng Jane Wang

  • Campus: Ithaca
  • Concentrations: Aerospace Engineering: aerodynamics
  • Research Interests: biological fluid dynamics; scientific computing and modeling; statistical physics

Zellman Warhaft

  • Campus: Ithaca
  • Concentrations: Aerospace Engineering: aerodynamics; thermal sciences
  • Research Interests: experimental fluid mechanics; turbulence; micrometeorology

Charles Harvey Kaye Williamson

  • Campus: Ithaca
  • Concentrations: Aerospace Engineering: aerodynamics
  • Research Interests: fluid dynamics; aircraft vortex instabilities; vortex-induced vibration; wakes; turbulence; fundamental vortex interactions

Ke Max Zhang

  • Campus: Ithaca
  • Concentrations: Aerospace Engineering: thermal sciences
  • Research Interests: air pollution; environmental nanoparticles; transportation and air quality; energy systems; climate changes