Mechanical and Industrial Engineering

Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering

Aerospace Engineering Minor Program

Aerospace engineering has two major branches – aeronautical engineering and astronautical engineering. The development of aerospace engineering was exponential after the Wright Brothers’ major public demonstration in 1908 and has continued to be so to the present day. Airplanes are by no means the only application of aerospace engineering. The airflow over an automobile, the gas flow through the pipelines, internal combustion engine powering an automobile, weather in storm prediction, the flow through our windmill, wind turbine, the production of thrust by gas turbine jet engines and rocket engines, and the movement of air through building heater and air conditioning system are just a few other examples of the application of aerospace.

The Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering provides an opportunity to students at Texas A&M University – Kingsville to complete their undergraduate program by focusing on specialization in aerospace engineering. The courses available in the curriculum to fulfill the requirements of a minor in aerospace engineering are well designed and fully recognized by the professional aerospace community.

Students who would like to pursue their careers in aerospace, aeronautics, and astronautics should select a minor in aerospace engineering. Students who seek to complete their undergraduate program with a minor in aerospace engineering must have completed three of the preliminary courses with a grade of C or better before enrolling in the full aerospace engineering courses. The preliminary courses can be selected from MEEN 3347, MEEN 3392, MEEN 3344, MEEN 3360, MEEN 4344, and CEEN 3311.

Subsequently, students shell complete three of the senior-level aerospace engineering elective courses with a grade of C or better in each. The senior-level required courses can be selected from MEEN 4301, MEEN 4303, MEEN 4305, MEEN 4307, MEEN 4371, and MEEN 4385. The description of each course is provided in the next section.

Six professional courses fulfilling the criterion of a typical aerospace engineering program have been developed and successfully included in the curriculum of the College of Engineering at Texas A&M University - Kingsville. Details of each course are provided in the following:

 MEEN 4301: Designs in Aerospace Structures

Advanced strength of materials analysis and design of light-weight elastic structures with aerospace applications. Failure modes and criteria, buckling, matrix methods for analysis, plane truss design. Energy and Castigliano methods for statically determinate and indeterminate structures. Torsion and bending of asymmetrical thin-walled sections. Design project.

 MEEN 4303: Aerodynamics

Introduction to the mechanics of fluids for aerospace applications, including the properties of fluids, hydrostatics, viscosity, the equations of motion, dimensional analysis, potential flow, and an introduction to aerodynamic forces. Aerodynamics of airfoils and wings in subsonic, transonic, and supersonic flight. Laminar and turbulent boundary layers and effects of viscosity on aerodynamic performance.

 MEEN 4305: Aerospace Flight Dynamics

Three-dimensional rigid body dynamics, aircraft equations of motion, static and dynamic stability, flight control design, introduction to aeroelastic phenomena. Orbit and altitude dynamics, interplanetary transfers, altitude coordinates, stability, control, and estimation.

 MEEN 4307: Aerospace Systems Design

Aircraft/Spacecraft design of systems and subsystems. Preliminary design or study of a complete flight vehicle. Application of mission and spacecraft design principles in developing a space flight mission concept.

 MEEN 4371: Introduction to Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

Foundations and basic components of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) from a system point of view, design considerations, payloads, communications, control and stability, navigation, UAV system roles and operations, control stations.

 MEEN 4385: Manufacturing of Composites

Introduction to composites manufacturing processes; hand lay-up, air and oven curing, filament winding, and pultrusion. Structural design criteria of marine, aerospace, chemical, and civil structures applied. Practical case studies and projects.

The objective of a minor in aerospace is to prepare a diversified workforce including underrepresented minority students to work in the advanced aerospace industry as well as government labs. Following are some examples of the organization where students can build their career

  • Boeing (space, commercial and military)
  • Airbus, Cessna/Textron Aviation, and Spirit AeroSystems
  • NASA
  • SpaceX
  • U.S. Army
  • U.S. Airforce
  • U.S. Navy
  • United Technologies