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IF YOU’RE NOT FLYING, YOU WANT TO CREATE THE DEVICES THAT FLY. YOU WANT TO SEND THE NEXT SPACECRAFT TO MARS.

Aerospace Engineering (Aero)

aer·o·space en·gi·neer·ing

The science and practice of flight split into two branches: Aeronautics- the study and design of aircrafts within our Earth’s atmosphere- and Astronautics- the study and design of spacecrafts flying just outside of our atmosphere and beyond.

Also Known As: Aviation Engineer, Aerodynamics, Astronaut, Propulsion Engineer, Thermodynamicist, Vibration Engineer, Naval Engineer, Automotive Engineer, Train Engineer, Hyperloop Specialist, + 10,000 more

A female professor holds a blue model airplane over her head, preparing for launch

WHY AERO AT MICHIGAN?

  • Top 3

    consistently highly ranked Aerospace Engineering Program

  • 4,000+

    alumni

  • 7

    astronaut alumni

  • 1914

    Founded, Oldest Undergraduate Program in US

  • >45%

    students from outside of Michigan

One male student sits at a simulation chamber cockpit as another male student points to one of the screens surrounding them

What do Aerospace Engineers do?

We are involved in a wide range of professional activities, and only personal skills and interests bound these activities. In traditional areas, we conceive, design, manufacture, test, and operate aircrafts, spacecrafts, satellites, missiles, propulsion engines systems and their components. We can also use our technical skills to develop successful careers as entrepreneurs, new technology managers, policy managers, and educators.

ACADEMIC FOCUS AREAS

  • Aerodynamics and Propulsion

    Study air flow either around aerodynamic bodies (external flows, aerodynamics or fluid dynamics) or through engines (internal flows or propulsion). Gas dynamics is important for numerous aspects of aerospace engineering, such as airplane aerodynamics, helicopter aerodynamics, hypersonics, jet propulsion, rocket propulsion, advanced propulsion, properties of the space environment and many others.

    Courses: Compressible Flow, Hypersonic Aerothermodynamics, Gas-Turbine Propulsion, Combustion Processes, Aeromechanics of Rotary Wing Vehicles

  • Structures and Materials

    Aerospace structures differ from other structures due to their high demands for performance and needing to be lightweight. Modern aerospace structures typically require the use of composite materials, advanced multifunctional materials and thin-walled constructions. To obtain the level of performance required from flight structures, thorough knowledge of material limitations, structural stability and strength considerations are needed.

    Courses: Theory of Plates & Shells, Space System Design, Structural Dynamics, Aeroelasticity, Mechanics of Composite & Microstructured Media

  • Autonomous Systems and Control

    The autonomous systems and control specialization has a strong aerospace emphasis as illustrated by current research on aircraft dynamics, flight planning, flight control, and autonomous flight; dynamics and control of attitude systems; astrodynamics; guidance, navigation, and associated flight systems; flexible aerospace vehicles; and acoustics and flow control. There is a strong multidisciplinary systems orientation that emphasizes linear and nonlinear systems, optimization, feedback control, optimal planning and decision-making, stochastic processes and estimation, and computational and software aspects of flight systems.

    Courses: Computational Methods for Aerospace Engineering, Flight Software Systems, Flight Testing, Control of Aerospace Vehicles, Aerospace Information Systems

  • Space Systems

    A subset of faculty members in Gas Dynamics and Flight Dynamics and Controls develop spacecraft and advanced spacecraft subsystems such as propulsion and control systems. Experimental and computational studies center around spacecraft electric propulsion systems, with projects ranging from the small, like developing electric propulsion systems that are small enough to fit on a chip for cubesat propulsion, to the large, with thrusters big enough to drive piloted missions to asteroids and Mars.

    Courses: Rocket Propulsion, Electric Propulsion, Astrodynamics, Orbital Analysis and Determination, Dynamics and Control of Spacecraft

  • Computation

    Computation plays a fundamental role in the design, analysis, and operation of modern Aerospace systems. Applications include flight software, embedded computing for on-board control, optimization of structural, aerodynamic, and propulsion systems, etc. Broadly speaking, our research is organized into two branches: Computer science and Computational science, with a healthy overlap. Computer science relates more to the software and avionics part of the research, while computational science relates to analyzing, modeling, and designing the physical system. Data science, another area of emphasis in the department, pertains to the development of algorithms to extract knowledge and insight from real-world and simulation data, with the goal of application in decision-making scenarios.

  • Academic Focus Areas are topics in which a student, through the use of technical and free electives and in consultation with their advisor, could decide to focus.

Academic Focus Areas are topics in which a student, through the use of technical and free electives and in consultation with their advisor, could decide to focus.

Graduate receiving hood during ceremony

Sequential Undergraduate/Graduate Studies Program (SUGS)

Complete your bachelor’s and master’s degrees in only five years with SUGS by taking some graduate-level classes during your undergraduate years, so you can save yourself one semester and complete the masters with only two additional semesters.

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Sample Course List

First-Year

First-Year

  • Fall Semester
    • CoE Core Calculus I (Math 115)
    • CoE Core Engineering 100
    • CoE Core Chemistry (125/126 and 130 or 210 and 211)
    • Elective Intellectual Breadth
  • Winter Semester
    • CoE Core Calculus II (Math 116)
    • CoE Core Engineering 101
    • CoE Core Physics (140 and 141)
    • Elective Intellectual Breadth

Sophomore Year

Sophomore Year

  • Fall Semester
    • CoE Core Calculus III (Math 215)
    • CoE Core Physics (240 and 241)
    • Major Requirement Intro to Aerospace Engineering (AEROSP 201)
    • Major Requirement Aerospace Engineering Systems (AEROSP 205)
    • Major Requirement Aerospace Engineering Seminar (AEROSP 285)
  • Winter Semester
    • CoE Core Differential Equations (Math 216)
    • Major Requirement Solid Mechanics and Aerospace Structures (AEROSP 215)
    • Major Requirement Gas Dynamics (AEROSP 225)
    • Major Requirement Dynamics and Vibrations (MECHENG 240)

Junior Year

Junior Year

  • Fall Semester
    • Major Requirement Engineering Distribution
    • Major Requirement Engineering Distribution
    • Major Requirement Aircraft and Spacecraft Structures (AEROSP 315)
    • Major Requirement Aircraft and Spacecraft Propulsion (AEROSP 335)
  • Winter Semester
    • Elective General Elective
    • Major Requirement Aerodynamics (AEROSP 325)
    • Major Requirement Aircraft or Spacecraft Dynamics (AEROSP 341 or 343)
    • Major Requirement Aerospace Engineering Lab I (AEROSP 305)

Senior Year

Senior Year

  • Fall Semester
    • Major Requirement Control of Aerospace Vehicles (AEROSP 470)
    • Major Requirement Aerospace Engineering Lab II (AEROSP 405)
    • Elective Technical Elective
    • Elective Intellectual Breadth
  • Winter Semester
    • Major Requirement Aircraft or Space System Design (AEROSP 481 or 483)
    • Elective Technical Elective
    • Elective General Elective
    • Elective Intellectual Breadth

Individualized schedules will be made by students in consultation with an advisor who will tailor their classes to better fit the student's needs.

PRACTICE YOUR PURPOSE

Apply the skills you are learning in class to the real world.

Student Design Teams

Masa Logo
MASA - Michigan Aeronautical Science Association
A maize and blue model airplane with a large block M takes off from the runway
M-Fly
A drone with 4 propellers floats in the air with a pyramid shaped center with a white box on tip and wires sticking out
MAAV - Michigan Autonomous Aerial Vehicles
4 students wearing MRover shirts smile while carrying the rover, a machine platform with 4 tires and a robotic arm.
MRover - Michigan Mars Rover
A large metal box with a metal ring around it labeled “P-Pod 3” with 4 smaller boxes with colorful wires within it
The Michigan Exploration Laboratory
Four members of MACH wearing MACH shirts hold machine parts and smile at the camera
MACH - Design, Build, Fly RC Aircraft
Members of Hyperloop pose for a photo in the North Campus Grove
Michigan Hyperloop

Professional Development

Students stand in front of a maize and blue Michigan Hospital helicopter.
Michigan Aviators
Women in Aero Astro Logo
Women in Aeronautics & Astronautics
Sigma Gamma Tau Logo
Sigma Gamma Tau - Honors Society
Team members huddle for a photo in the center aisle of an airplane
American Institute of Aeronautics & Astronautics
Wolverine Airmen Association Logo
Wolverine Airmen Association (WAA)

Research

Ella Atkins headshot
Ella Atkins: Autonomous Aerospace Systems Lab
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Karthik Duraisamy headshot
Karthik Duraisamy: Computational Aerosciences Lab
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A computer model of aerodynamic flow with a rainbow background
Alec Gallimore & Ben Jorns: Plasmadynamics & Electric Propulsion Laboratory
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Carlos E. S. Cesnik headshot
Carlos Cesnik: Active Aeroelasticity & Structures Research Lab
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James W. Cutler headshot
James Cutler: MXL Cubesats & Nanosatellites
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A plastic square with smaller pieces attached at every corner, each piece wrapped with orange cellophane-like material
Daniel Inman & Henry Sodano: AIMS Lab & Aerospace Materials Laboratory
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Mirko Gamba headshot
Mirko Gamba: Gas Dynamics Imaging Laboratory
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Anouck Girard headshot
Anouck Girard: Vehicle Optimization, Dynamics, Control, & Autonomy Lab
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James F. Driscoll headhsot
Jim Driscoll: Propulsion and Combustion Engineering Lab
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Joaquim R. R. A. Martins headshot
Joaquim Martins: Multidisciplinary Design Optimization Lab
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Alumni Biographies

Each of these alumni are real people who were once in your shoes, deciding a major. Explore their path and how a Michigan education set their life in motion.

  • Aisha Bowe headshot
    • Aisha Bowe
    • STEMBoard
  • Steve Sandoval headshot
    • Steve Sandoval
    • Starkey Hearing Technologies
  • Dan Patt headshot
    • Dan Patt
    • Vecna Robotics
  • Tess Hatch headshot
    • Tess Hatch
    • Bessemer Venture Partners
  • Jeff Froster Headshot
    • Jeff Froster
    • Froster Engineering
  • Barbara Millen Johnson headshot
    • Barbara Millen Johnston
    • SAIC
  • Tia Sutton headshot
    • Tia Sutton
    • Truck and Engine Manufacturers Association
  • Anne Marinan headshot
    • Anne Marinan
    • NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
  • Matthew McKeown headshot
    • Matthew McKeown
    • SpaceX
  • William Crossley Headshot
    • William Crossley
    • Purdue University
Aisha Bowe headshot

    Aisha Bowe

    STEMBoard

Steve Sandoval headshot

    Steve Sandoval

    Starkey Hearing Technologies

Dan Patt headshot

    Dan Patt

    Vecna Robotics

Tess Hatch headshot

    Tess Hatch

    Bessemer Venture Partners

Jeff Froster Headshot

    Jeff Froster

    Froster Engineering

Barbara Millen Johnson headshot

    Barbara Millen Johnston

    SAIC

Tia Sutton headshot

    Tia Sutton

    Truck and Engine Manufacturers Association

Anne Marinan headshot

    Anne Marinan

    NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Matthew McKeown headshot

    Matthew McKeown

    SpaceX

William Crossley Headshot

    William Crossley

    Purdue University

Not sure what major to choose?

Tap into our network of 85k+ engineering alumni. Do you have questions you’d like answered? Our alumni are always eager to talk about engineering.
(Current and admitted UM students only.)

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A drone with four propellers and two bright lights- one red, one green- in a black-walled room

Industries & Occupations

  • Aerospace Industry
  • Aerospace Parts Manufacturing
  • Federal Government
  • Automotive and other Transportation Industries
  • Navigational Instruments Manufacturing
  • Scientific Research
  • Business Consulting and Management
  • Computer Systems Design Industry
A female professor looks up at a small white drone flying above in this aerial view of a green field

Companies

  • Boeing
  • Airbus
  • Lockheed Martin
  • United Technologies Corporation
  • NASA
  • Northrop Grumman
  • SpaceX
  • General Electric
  • Ford Motor Company
  • General Motors

Find salary information at the Bureau of Labor Statistics

$61,692- U-M Aerospace Engineering graduates average starting salary (ECRC 2017-2018 Annual Report)

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Aisha Bowe headshot

Aisha Bowe

  • STEMBoard
  • Founder & CEO

University of Michigan, BSE Aerospace Engineering, 2009
University of Michigan, MEng Space Engineering, 2009
Certified Project Management Professional (PMP)
Career Summary

Aisha Bowe is the Founder and CEO of STEMBoard, a technology solutions company for federal and large private-sector clients that also works to educate underserved youth in STEM. At STEMBoard, she leads a team of engineers and computer scientists in addition to managing relationships with corporate clients and multi-million dollar federal contracts.

Between undergraduate and graduate degrees, Bowe was an intern at NASA Ames Research Center where she examined accessibility to space for satellites. She continued her career at NASA Ames for eight years, working as a Mission Engineer and as an Aerospace Engineer on miniaturized satellites and aircraft trajectory optimization. Bowe now lives and works in Washington, DC.

Career Timeline
  • STEMBoard
  • NASA Ames Research Center
Reflection on Time Spent at U-M

Bowe has reflected that her journey was not linear; as a young student in Ann Arbor, MI, she struggled with self-esteem and confidence in the classroom. However, she credits key influencers in her life for encouraging her to continue her education.

Favorite Student Orgs

During her time at the University of Michigan, she was a leader and member of the UM Chapter of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) and of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE).

Steve Sandoval headshot

Steve Sandoval

  • Starkey Hearing Technologies
  • Senior Systems Engineer of Product Development

University of Michigan, BSE Aerospace Engineering, 2006
University of Michigan, MSE Aerospace Engineering, 2007
Certified Project Management Professional (PMP)
Career Summary

Steve Sandoval is a Senior Systems Engineer of Product Development at Starkey Hearing Technologies where he has worked to develop the Livio AI product line, including the first hearing aids to include integrated sensors and artificial intelligence. In his career he has led teams that managed over $20M worth of complex, multi-year projects such as the operational deployment and upload of new software to on-orbit satellites, development of new wireless features in hearing aid products, and the development and testing of scripts for performing automated command sequences on billion-dollar satellite systems.

In his graduate studies at the University of Michigan, Sandoval focused on aerospace structures and stress analysis. Previously, he had interned at Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company during the summers of 2005 and 2006. His full-time engineering career began at Lockheed Martin as an Integration and Test Engineer for the Television Infra-Red Observation Satellite (TIROS), a weather satellite program for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). During Sandoval’s eight-year career at Lockheed Martin, he served in various roles including Senior Systems Engineer, Project Manager, Systems Engineering Team Lead, and the Program Integrator for the SBIRS GEO-2 Satellite Launch Campaign.

Career Timeline

Starkey Hearing Technologies
Lockheed Martin

Dan Patt headshot

Dan Patt

  • Vecna Robotics
  • CEO

University of Michigan, MS Systems Engineering; System Automation; Aerospace Engineering
University of Michigan, PhD Aerospace, Aeronautical, and Astronautical Engineering, 2000
Career Summary

Dr. Dan Patt is CEO of Vecna Robotics, a leading commercial robotics and industrial automation technology provider. Vecna Robotics has unique artificial intelligence technology for resilient orchestration of diverse autonomous systems, industrial equipment, and human capabilities. Patt also serves as a Non-Resident Senior Fellow at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Analysis (CSBA), a leading policy research institute located in Washington, DC.

During his studies at the University of Michigan, Patt developed highly integrated software toolsets for model-based vehicle design with emphasis on active control of noise and vibration. Aerospace Engineering Professor Peretz Friedmann was his faculty advisor. After receiving his PhD, Patt held senior technical positions at Boeing Phantom Works, Karem Aircraft, and Radiant Sciences, gaining engineering experience in robotics, air vehicle flight testing, dynamics analysis, adaptive control, learning systems, systems integration, human interface, and health monitoring. Before assuming the role of CEO at Vecna Robotics, Patt was Deputy Director of DARPA’s Strategic Technology Office. At DARPA, he led the effort to develop a strategy for renewed conventional military advantage focused on achieving decision superiority and risk distribution.

Career Timeline
  • Boeing Phantom Works
  • MSC Software
  • Karem Aircraft
  • Radiant Sciences
  • Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
  • Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments
  • Vecna Robotics
Tess Hatch headshot

Tess Hatch

  • Bessemer Venture Partners
  • Investor

University of Michigan, BSE Aerospace Engineering, 2015
Stanford University, MS Aerospace, Aeronautical, and Astronautical Engineering
Career Summary

Tess Hatch is an investor at Bessemer Venture Partners’ Silicon Valley office. Her focus is frontier tech, or the “science fiction” technologies in the commercial space, drone, and autonomous vehicle industries. She currently serves as a board director for Phantom Auto and as a board observer for Impossible Aerospace, Iris Automation, Rocket Lab, Spire, Velo3D, Forever Oceans, and Smule.

Hatch’s passion for space exploration began when Sally Ride, the first American female astronaut gave a speech at her high school. Inspired, Hatch attended a summer STEM camp at MIT the summer before her senior year. The following summer, she interned at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) where she was able to see the final preparations for the Curiosity rover. She was invited to Mission Control to watch the rover’s landing, citing the “seven minutes of terror” — the seven minutes of waiting for communication to travel between Mars and Earth — as her motivation to study aerospace engineering. After receiving her undergraduate degree at the University of Michigan, Hatch attended Stanford University for her master’s in aerospace engineering. There, she learned about venture capital and realized that she wanted to make an impact as an investor to “help push emerging space companies and technologies forward.” She has worked at Bessemer Venture Partners since 2017.

Career Timeline
  • Bessemer Venture Partners
  • Phantom Auto
  • SpaceX
  • Iris Automation Inc
  • Impossible Aerospace
  • Rocket Lab
  • Spire
  • Velo3D
  • Forever Oceans
  • Smule
  • NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Jeff Froster Headshot

Jeff Froster

  • Froster Engineering
  • International Entrepreneur & Founder

University of Michigan, BSE Aerospace Engineering, 1999
Licensed Professional Engineer, Michigan
Career Summary

Jeff Froster is an international entrepreneur and founder of Froster Engineering, an innovative low-energy building services firm in Perth, Australia. In 2004, Froster moved to New Zealand to work as a mechanical engineer for several high-profile building firms and on multiple defense projects. The move was a risky one; he left a well-paid job, friends, family, his 1993 Sports Red Ford Probe, and a stable lifestyle in Michigan with $2,000 to his name. The same year, he received his Professional Engineering (PE) certification.

Acting on his longtime passion for holistic problem-solving, he founded Froster Engineering in 2012 to “tackle the industry problems that he had seen” throughout his career with the goal of “mak[ing] the building industry more like aerospace and bring the developer, engineer and architect all into the discussion together early on.” As a Wolverine abroad, Froster founded the Alumni Club of Australia in 2014. The club hosts an annual meetup to watch the Michigan/Ohio State Homecoming game and builds community among alumni in the region.

Reflection on Time Spent at U-M

I learned to appreciate the key to strength in teams at the University of Michigan. I studied and completed an Aerospace Engineering Degree at the School of Engineering. The challenge was met by the relationships with fellow students and professors that left a lasting impression on my career at UM.

Favorite Student Orgs

Pi Kappa Phi- social fraternity

Barbara Millen Johnson headshot

Barbara Millen Johnston

  • SAIC
  • Senior Technical Engineer

University of Michigan, BSE Aerospace Engineering, 1982
Career Summary

Barbara began a career working as an engineering intern at K.J Law Engineering while in school before she pursued graduate studies in electronics, controls, space craft design, management and leadership, and cost and scheduling. Barbara then moved on to work various technical engineer assignments and management/leadership positions at Northrup Grumman. Barbara retired from Northrup as a senior director with 600 employees and a $10 million/year budget and is currently working as a technical consultant with SAIC.

Career Timeline
  • K.J. Law Engineering
  • Northrup Grumman
  • SAIC
Reflection on Time Spent at U-M

Enjoy your time in college. Participate in events and especially engineering/design projects. Get an internship or some type of work experience while in school to better understand the work environment and your areas of interest. Apply to post graduation jobs early in our senior year (Oct/Nov). Most companies hire graduates 6-10 months in advance of your graduation

Tia Sutton headshot

Tia Sutton

  • Truck and Engine Manufacturers Association
  • Engineer

University of Michigan, BSE Aerospace Engineering, 2000
Career Summary

Tia Sutton has had a career dedicated to improving and protecting our environment. After graduation, she had an eighteen-year career at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a Regulatory Engineer. In the last four years at the EPA, she worked as a Regulatory and Congressional Coordinator with the Office of Transportation and Air Quality. She now lives in the Greater Chicagoland Area, working as an engineer at the Truck and Engine Manufacturers Association.

Sutton carried on her dedication to public service beyond the University of Michigan. In 2012, she served as Congressional Environment and Energy Fellow for the Office of Michigan Senator Carl Levin. In that role, she expanded Congress’s knowledge and awareness of key issues facing the environment in the United States.

Career Timeline
  • Environmental Protection Agency- Office of Transportation and Air Quality
  • Office of Senator Carl Levin
  • Truck and Engine Manufacturers Association
Reflection on Time Spent at U-M

During her time at Michigan, she co-organized an effort to install a staircase in the Nichols Arboretum, or “the Arb” to commemorate a fellow student who had died while working for the Peace Corps. Sutton also served a three-year term on the UM College of Engineering Leadership Advisory Board’s Strategic Education Initiatives Sub-Committee, volunteering her time and expertise to help guide the future course of the College of Engineering’s instructional and research programs.

Anne Marinan headshot

Anne Marinan

  • NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
  • Spacecraft Systems Engineer

University of Michigan, BSE Aerospace Engineering, 2011
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MS Aero/Astro, 2013
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, PhD Aerospace, Aeronautical, and Astronautical Engineering, 2016
Career Summary

Dr. Anne Marinan is a Spacecraft Systems Engineer at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). She was the Lead Systems Engineer for the Mars Cube One, or MarCO mission launched in May of 2018. It was the first deep space mission to carry CubeSats to deep space and its successful flyby in October 2018 provided the first images of Mars from a CubeSat. Marinan is also the Lead Engineer for Team Xc, JPL’s collaborative design team for rapid development of SmallSat, NanoSat, and CubeSat space mission concepts with constrained cost, mass, and volume budgets. She is currently an Instrument Engineer for the Europa Clipper mission in the Payload Systems Engineering Group.

Marinan was also a summer intern at JPL. After graduation, Marinan interned at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory where she researched spacecraft mission concept design.

Career Timeline
  • NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
  • Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory
Favorite Student Orgs

In her time at the University of Michigan, Anne was also highly involved. During her four years, she was VP and College Relations Co-Chair for the Society of Women Engineers (SWE), Career Fair Logistics Co-Chair for Tau Beta Pi, a student researcher at the Student Space Systems Fabrication Laboratory (S3FL), a Physics Study Group Leader, and a member of the Women’s Glee Club.

Matthew McKeown headshot

Matthew McKeown

  • SpaceX
  • Propulsion Manager

University of Michigan, BSE Aerospace Engineering
University of Michigan, MS Aerospace Engineering, 2008
Career Summary

Matthew McKeown is a manager working on the Dragon reusable spacecraft program at SpaceX. He’s been a SpaceX engineer since 2008 when he was hired after graduation to work as a development engineer.

McKeown’s passion for rockets has been lifelong. He has been launching them since the age of 10 and when he was 16, he built a 52-pound scale model of a Boeing Bomarc supersonic rocket that climbed 3,500 feet. During his time at the University of Michigan, he acted on his passion for rocketry by co-founding the Michigan Aeronautical Science Association (MASA), a student team that designs, builds, tests, and launches rockets in annual competition. He was also a 1931E Honor Society scholar, a recipient of the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation award, and an active athlete in UM Club Tennis. McKeown had three internships during college: one at Blue Origin in Seattle, Washington in 2005, one at Lockheed Martin in Orlando, Fla. and the following year at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., where he was a Mars Science Laboratory propulsion engineering intern. He now works at the SpaceX facility in Hawthorne, CA.

Reflection on Time Spent at U-M

During his time at the University of Michigan, he acted on his passion for rocketry by co-founding the Michigan Aeronautical Science Association (MASA), a student team that designs, builds, tests, and launches rockets in annual competition. He was also a 1931E Honor Society scholar, a recipient of the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation award, and an active athlete in UM Club Tennis.

William Crossley Headshot

William Crossley

  • Purdue University
  • Head of School of Aeronautics & Astronautics

University of Michigan, BSE Aerospace Engineering, 1990
Arizona State University, MS Aerospace Engineering, 1992
Arizona State University, PhD Aerospace Engineering, 1995
Career Summary

Dr. William Crossley is the J. William Uhrig and Anastasia Vournas Head of the School of Aeronautics and Astronautics at Purdue University and director of Partnership to Enhance General Aviation Safety, Accessibility and Sustainability (PEGASAS) at the Federal Aviation Administration Center of Excellence for General Aviation. Crossley is an American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Associate Fellow and served as the AIAA Aircraft Design Technical Committee chair. He has received teaching awards at Purdue on the school, college, and university levels.

After his undergraduate studies at the University of Michigan, Crossley received his master’s and Ph.D. from Arizona State University. While attending Arizona State, he worked for McDonnell Douglas Helicopter Systems as a member of the Advanced Concept Development Group responsible for conceptual design studies of advanced helicopters and rotorcraft. Upon receiving his PhD in 1995, he joined the Purdue University faculty assistant professor. He led the formation of the System of Systems signature area and currently is a member of the Purdue Systems Collaboratory leadership team. His research areas are environmental impact of aviation, design under uncertainty, and optimization and design methods for aerospace systems, especially rotorcraft and aircraft design.

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