Department of Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics

Aerospace engineers create highly complex systems that operate in atmospheric environments (aeronautics) and/or in space environments (astronautics). Aerospace engineering is that branch of engineering that focuses on the design, development, testing, production and operation of aircraft, spacecraft and missiles. The design of an atmospheric flight vehicle requires that the aerospace engineer have a fundamental understanding of aerodynamics, aircraft structures, flight dynamics and controls and propulsion as well as a strong understanding of how each can affect the others. Similarly, the design of a spacecraft requires that an aerospace engineering have a fundamental understanding of orbital mechanics, the space environment, attitude determination and control, telecommunications, space structures and rocket propulsion, as well as an understanding of how each can affect the others. Given the complexity of modern aerospace systems, aerospace engineers increasing make extensive use of computational modeling and simulation tools and are at times required to develop new computational tools, i.e. are required to be proficient in computer programming (coding). The emphasis on highly integrated systems and computational modeling and simulation make aerospace engineers competitive and sought out in professional fields not commonly associated with the discipline. In fact, The University of Alabama’s Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering program was recently acknowledged for providing our students “with a strong multidisciplinary background that qualifies them to work in a variety of different disciplines."

As one might guess from the name, the department of aerospace engineering and mechanics is also home to faculty members with expertise in engineering science and mechanics. The discipline of engineering mechanics focuses on the underlying physical principles responsible for the fundamental behavior fluid and solid materials exhibit. Such an understanding is critical to the development of cutting-edge technology. At the undergraduate level, students are exposed to engineering mechanics via courses in statics, dynamics, mechanics of materials and fluid mechanics. The material covered in these courses represents the foundation on which a strong engineering education is built. Most engineering disciplines require students to take several engineering mechanics courses in preparation for future study in their chosen professional area.

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Programs

The undergraduate curriculum in the Department of Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics leads to a Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering (BSAE) degree and, in addition to an in-depth knowledge of aerospace engineering, the BSAE degree provides a background in the basic sciences, engineering sciences, humanities, applied analysis and design. Graduates with a suitable academic record are also prepared to pursue advanced degrees in aerospace engineering, engineering science and mechanics, other related engineering/technical fields of study and professional areas such as law and medicine.

Accelerated Masters Program (AMP)

The AEM department’s Accelerated Masters Program allows highly-motivated BSAE students to complete the requirements for both a BS in aerospace engineering and an MS in aerospace engineering and mechanics in a five-year period. A student in the program can earn up to 12 hours of dual-credit towards their BS and MS degrees. Following successful completion of all requirements for their BSAE, students in AMP are awarded their undergraduate degree. Students then continue taking graduate courses until the requirements for the MS degree are met. Students in AMP are classified as undergraduates until they complete all of the requirements for the undergraduate degree. They cannot hold graduate assistantships until they are classified as graduate students. At that time, students become eligible for graduate fellowships and scholarships. To be eligible for a Graduate Council Fellowship, a student must have completed no more than six graduate-level hours when first classified as a graduate student.

Eligibility

Students are normally admitted into AMP at the end of their junior year. To be considered for admission, BSAE students must:

a)   have at least a 3.3 GPA

b)   have completed 90 hours toward their BSAE degree

c)   submit an application to the graduate school including at least two letters of recommendation and a statement of purpose

For more information, contact the AEM Graduate Program Coordinator, Dr. Paul Hubner at 205-348-1617 or phubner@eng.ua.edu.

Faculty

Executive Vice President and Provost
  • Whitaker, Kevin
Dean, College of Engineering
  • Karr, Charles L.
Department Head
  • Baker, John
James R.Cudworth Chair
  • Gogineni, Prasad
William D. Jordan Chair
  • Roy, Samit
Undergraduate Programs Coordinator
  • Olcmen, Semih
Graduate Programs Coordinator
  • Hubner, James Paul
Mechanics Programs Coordinator
  • Barkey, Mark E.
Professors
  • Baker, John
  • Barkey, Mark E.
  • Gogineni, Prasad
  • Roy, Samit
Associate Professors
  • Cheng, Gary
  • Haque, Anwarul
  • Hubner, James Paul
  • Lang, Amy W.
  • Olcmen, Semih
  • Sharif, Muhammad Ali Rob
Assistant Professors
  • Branam, Richard
  • Mulani, Sameer
  • O'Neill, Charles
  • Shen, Jinwei
  • Sood, Rohan
  • Su, Weihua
  • Unnikrishnan, Vinu
  • Wang, Xiaowen "Sean"
Instructor
  • Beck, Sadie
Adjunct Faculty
  • Allison, Paul
  • Jordan, Brian
  • MacPhee, David
  • Marley, Brent
Professors Emeriti
  • Gambrell, Samuel, Jr.
  • Jackson, John E., Jr.
  • Jones, Stanley E.
Associate Professor Emeritus
  • Freeman, Michael

Courses

AEM
120
N
Hours
4
Aerospace Science For Educators

Students develop meaningful understanding and use of engineering and science knowledge and critical-thinking skills and come to appreciate engineering and science as part of the daily life of a scientifically literate professional.

Natural Science
AEM
121
Hours
1
Introduction to Aerospace Engineering I

To survey aerospace history, discuss pertinent topics and introduce basic concepts that promote an understanding of aerospace engineering and the profession.

Prerequisite(s) with concurrency: MATH 125 and MATH 145

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