Aerospace technology has grown out of the problems of design, construction and operation of vehicles that move above the Earth's surface, vehicles ranging from airplanes and helicopters to rockets and spacecraft. Design of such vehicles has always been challenging, not only because of the high premium placed on lightweight vehicles performing efficiently and with high reliability, but also because they must sometimes operate in hostile environments. These same requirements exist not only for future spacecraft and high-performance transport aircraft, but also for the next generation of ground transportation, such as high-speed trains, over-water transportation and automated motor vehicles. In addition to working on vehicle-oriented design problems, aerospace engineering graduates are often involved in systems management in the broadest sense. Because of the anticipated life mission of the aerospace student, the undergraduate curriculum at the University of Michigan is designed to convey a clear understanding of the fundamental aspects of the fields most pertinent to aerospace engineering. Real-life problems in aerospace and related areas are emphasized in the applications of theory. In their senior year, students select a design course in which they are given an appreciation of the interrelation of the various areas of study in the design of a whole system.
Dan Inman, Clarence "Kelly" Johnson Professor of Aerospace Engineering, 3064 FXB.
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