Aerospace Engineering-MS Option

Aerospace Engineering-MS Option

We are adding an accelerated named option in Aerospace Engineering for the Engineering Mechanics Master of Science degree. The distinguishing features from the Research named option are that 1) the new program is a coursework-only degree that can be completed in 12 to 16 months and 2) there is an emphasis on aerospace-related topics.

The Engineering Physics Department offers an MS degree in the fields of Engineering Mechanics (EM) and in Nuclear Engineering and Engineering Physics (NEEP). The parent plan for the EM MS has been oriented toward research; it has a thesis track and an independent-study track, and a number of these students continue to the PhD program. To accommodate administrative requirements, the parent plan is being moved into the new ’Research’ named option. The ’Aerospace Engineering’ named option that is proposed here will focus on getting students through a rigorous masters-level engineering program with minimal interruption to their professional engineering careers. While students in the ’Research’ option can use the same coursework to satisfy degree requirements, their independent-study, and possible thesis research, requires additional time to complete the MS degree.

The Engineering Physics Department also offers the Fundamentals of Applied Mechanics named option of the EM MS degree. This program is designed to educate students with a non-engineering scientific background in fundamental methods of engineering so that they are equipped to pursue a career in engineering. In contrast, the proposed Aerospace Engineering option is designed for students who have completed undergraduate degrees in engineering and would like to learn advanced topics that will further their careers.

The program is coursework-only graduate education in the engineering mechanics field with particular emphasis on aerospace topics. All students will learn theoretical and computational methods for engineering analysis and take a relevant laboratory class for hands-on experience. The aerospace topics includes fluid mechanics, rigid-body dynamics, structural dynamics, mechanics of aerospace structures. It is not intended to provide the depth of a strict aerospace engineering degree but instead provides a more general mechanics foundation with an aerospace emphasis. Graduates will have a unique combination of skills that will be attractive to industry.

While students in our research-oriented MS will also learn the topics and skills discussed above, the accelerated program will allow the students planning to pursue a career in industry a shorter path to completion. Our intent is to also attract employer interest to fund their engineering employees with a limited time commitment.

EMA Program Name-Aerospace

Changes to EMA Program Name-Aerospace

We changed the name of the “Astronautics Option” in Engineering Mechanics to the “Aerospace Engineering Option”.  Students will continue to get a degree in “Engineering Mechanics” and so only the name of the option would change.  This is only an option and it would not be accredited.  The program as a whole would continue to be referred to internally as the Engineering Mechanics & Aerospace Engineering program, although technically this is just an option.  For simplicity, the abbreviation will remain EMA.

Historically, “astronautics” was an accurate description for the content of the option, as the crowning classes in the program were “Satellite Dynamics,” “Astrodynamics” and “Finite Element Model Validation” (for spacecraft).  At the time of its creation, the content in the astronautics program was dominated by courses offered by Profs Schlack and Kammer, whose expertise was in space vehicles and systems or the “space” part of “Aerospace Engineering.”  In the recent decade or two, the focus has shifted to balance more evenly between space and aerospace.  Both Schlack and Kammer have retired and have not been replaced by faculty with expertise in the areas that they used to teach in.  Popular electives now include “Flight Dynamics and Control,” “Aerodynamics Lab” and “Propulsion.”  Aerodynamics has become a staple of the program.  The new name better reflects this shift.

Furthermore, the “Astronautics Option” has never had strong name recognition.  Students have felt that they have to explain what this is to employers or to other students.

The consensus among the faculty is that the name “Aerospace Engineering” is better understood and would increase interest in and recruitment to the program and simplify the discussions that students have with employers.

Engineering Mechanics BS

Engineering mechanics is the scholarly term for the study of forces and the resulting deformations, accelerations, motions, vibrations and other action that they cause. As such, engineering mechanics forms the foundation of a degree in aerospace, mechanical or civil engineering, and it is fundamental to important parts of biomedical engineering, chemical engineering, materials science, and other engineering disciplines. Hence, a degree in engineering mechanics provides a broad scientific background which enables its graduates to tackle challenging problems in most fields of engineering. The curriculum emphasizes the basic sciences—mathematics, computer science, physics and the engineering sciences—fluid dynamics, thermodynamics, mechanics, materials science, and electrical engineering. Although the degree program is entitled engineering mechanics at UW–Madison, the program is most comparable to aerospace engineering and mechanical engineering programs at various universities across the United States. However, internationally, this field is more commonly known as “mechanics” rather than “mechanical engineering” or “aerospace engineering.” A few select universities in the United States offer programs that are similar to UW–Madison’s engineering mechanics program under titles such as “engineering science” or “theoretical and applied mechanics.”

File: engineering-mechanics-bs.pdf

Engineering Mechanics MS

The master of science and doctor of philosophy degrees in engineering mechanics are offered within a graduate program covering contemporary areas in both theoretical and applied mechanics. With the guidance of a major professor, a program can be designed to meet an individual student's needs and interests.

The Department of Engineering Physics offers two distinct master of science (M.S.) degree programs in Engineering Mechanics:

Engineering Mechanics M.S., Research – traditional master’s program culminating in a thesis for students with an undergraduate background in mechanics
Engineering Mechanics M.S., Fundamentals of Applied Mechanics Option – accelerated, for students with an undergraduate background in science, who would like to transition into engineering

File: engineering-mechanics-ms.pdf

Engineering Mechanics PhD

The master of science and doctor of philosophy degrees in engineering mechanics are offered within a graduate program covering contemporary areas in both theoretical and applied mechanics. With the guidance of a major professor, a program can be designed to meet an individual student's needs and interests.

The program is broadly structured into several main areas of instruction and research interests in mechanics of materials and astronautics: continuum mechanics, computational mechanics, dynamics and vibration, fluid mechanics, nanomechanics, solid mechanics, and biomechanics. Related fields in which minor work may be done include civil and environmental engineering, chemical and biological engineering, electrical and computer engineering, materials science, mechanical engineering, nuclear engineering and engineering physics, physics, geological engineering and geology, mathematics, statistics, and computer science.

File: engineering-mechanics-phd.pdf

Engineering Physics BS

The Department of Engineering Physics offers the B.S. degree in engineering physics. The degree is designed to provide graduates with skills in emerging technological areas. They are well prepared for pursuing advanced graduate degrees and for employment in high-tech startup companies and traditional engineering firms, as well as positions in academia, government, and national laboratories.

Students specialize in one of three technological focus areas: nanoengineering, plasma science and engineering, and scientific computing.

Distinguishing features of the engineering physics degree include a strong emphasis on math, physics, and engineering fundamentals; choice of a technical focus area; and emphasis on research as part of a campus research group or through individually mentored research with a faculty member, culminating in a senior thesis.

File: engineering-physics-bs.pdf