OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

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Aerospace Engineering Minor

Photo of a rocket being launched95% of students in aerospace- related Capstone Design projects were hired by the industry  after graduation. 120 students are members of  the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), one the largest student branches nationwide. 70 students on competition teams  in aviation and rocketry. 3 engineering disciplines contribute to team projects — electrical, chemical, and computer science. 3 student research projects and satellite launches are funded by NASA Space Grant.

Preparing for Aerospace Careers


The School of Mechanical, Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering’s Aerospace Engineering minor is a unique, transcript-visible opportunity for engineering students to prepare for a career in the aviation and astronautics industry.

The recent rapid growth in the aerospace industry has led to a resurgence of interest in aerospace engineering among high school, community college, and university students across the country. Advances in aerospace technologies in the aviation field make air travel safer and less expensive while leaving a smaller carbon footprint. Within astronautics, the most advanced launch vehicles send communication and space-science satellites, and manned spacecraft, into orbit.

Programmatic Goals

Most aerospace companies, both in aviation and in astronautics, hire new graduates with degrees in general engineering disciplines such as mechanical or electrical engineering. We provide opportunities for students to take technical engineering courses relevant to aviation and astronautics fields, and to gain the experiential knowledge that industry seeks, through lab and senior Capstone Design courses.

Industry recruiters are specifically looking for the following attributes when hiring:

  • Demonstrated passion for aerospace through experiential learning, internships or involvement in professional organizations, such as the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA).
  • Academic knowledge related to the design, testing and manufacturing of aircraft, unmanned aircraft, launch vehicles and satellites.
  • Demonstrated leadership and collaboration across engineering disciplines through competition teams or Capstone Design experience.

How We Achieve Aerospace Engineering Excellence at MIME

I. Aerospace Engineering Coursework

The undergraduate minor in aerospace engineering requires 27 credits, most of which can be double-counted with the senior-restricted technical electives required for the B.S. degree in mechanical engineering.

The courses include:

  • Introduction to Aerospace Engineering
  • Space Systems Engineering
  • Aerospace Applications in Mechanical Engineering
  • UAV Engineering
  • Aero Vehicle Design Lab

II. Capstone Design Projects

Capstone Design courses for seniors, ME 497 and 498, include the opportunity to participate in projects related to aviation, rocketry and satellite technologies. Our major projects are described below.

Students at the Experimental Sounding Rocket Association (ESRA) competition

The Experimental Sounding Rocket Association (ESRA) competition at Spaceport America, New Mexico, brings together national and international student rocketry teams in the 30,000 and 100,000 foot altitude challenge categories. In addition to altitude targets, student teams are judged on the design, performance of the payload, and a business/design presentation. Rocketry teams collaborate across disciplines with other College of Engineering students in electrical, computer and chemical engineering. In parallel with competition teams, students design and build experimental rocket motors, including hybrid and liquid-liquid motors.

Design-Build-Fly is an aviation challenge sponsored by AIAA, hosting 80 teams from all over the world in which teams build a mission-specific, radio-controlled aircraft. MIME students use state-of-the-art composite structures and wind tunnel testing for their design.

Rock-Sat is a NASA-sponsored project in which students build a payload that will launch on a rocket from the NASA Wallops facility in Virginia. Teams build a payload that will have access to space, utilizing the most current industry practices in the design, control and telemetry of the microsatellite, or CubeSat. These teams are funded by the NASA Oregon Space Grant and collaborate with fellow engineers studying robotics, electrical engineering and computer science, and physics majors at the OSU College of Science.

III. Industry Partners

Aerospace industry partners that have hired our graduates include:

SpaceX, Boeing, Insitu, Northrup Grumman, Virgin Galactic, Blue Origin, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, Aerojet Rocketdyne, Orbital ATK, General Atomics Aeronautics, and China Lake Navy Weapons.