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Aerospace Getting into Aerospace when university doesn't offer program

  1. Jun 20, 2009 #1
    Hey guys, I'm sure this topic has come up but I feel I have a little different case than most. So, I am currently about to enter my third year as a civil engineering student, but I've recently been very attracted to a career in the aerospace industry. My university doesn't offer such a program, but, through reading this forum, I've noticed that there are some similarities between it and Mechanical Engineering. My question is, how can I get into the aerospace field given my circumstances. A great deal of my gen ed's have been satisfied, so it won't be that hard of a switch to go to mechanical. Also, we would be required to take a certain amount of electives toward the mechanical degree. What classes should I focus on? Any advice would help a lot and thanks in advance.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 20, 2009 #2
    This type of question is so hard to answer becuase 'aerospace industry' is so so broad. There is really no way we can tell you what to take. Is there any area that specifically want to work in regarding aerospace?
  4. Jun 20, 2009 #3


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    Civil engineers build airports and runways, but perhaps you have in mind to do something more along the lines of aircraft or propulsion.

    A mechanical engineering degree would be better for someone wanting to do aerospace, if an aerospace engineering program is not possible. One could also do coursework in materials/structures.

    In propulsion, one would want to look into gas turbine/turbomachinery, which in addition to use a jet propulsion, also have application to electrical generation.

    In what particular aspects of aerospace engineering is one interested?
  5. Jun 20, 2009 #4
    After looking over the specializations, I'm really interested in all of it. I guess I like the aerodynamics (dynamics in general) and propulsion aspects the most, though.
  6. Jul 5, 2009 #5
    Well, this is a thread I can help you with.

    I am going to be a junior @ RPI in Aero Eng. I can give you a rundown.

    Aerodynamics (the class) is essentially Multi-Variable Calculus. You use Gradient Vectors, integrate, differentiate and reconcile partials, you use "curls." etc. etc.

    It is also Thermodynamics when you start talking about sonic and supersonic flight.

    So I guess if I had to tell you what classes are good ideas... I would say

    Multi-Variable Calculus and Linear Algebra (these usually get grouped together)
    Thermo and Fluids Eng. 1 (and you may want to take 2 if there's not much offered)
    and then work your way to Num. Comp. as CFD and computers have kinda taken over.

    You can also check this out and see what types of classes you need. http://catalog.rpi.edu/preview_program.php?catoid=5&poid=1056&bc=1

    Another thing also. I am looking at maybe even switching to an applied physics major. RPI doesn't officially offer an aero concentration, but I talked to the head of the physics dept. and he said he would allow it if I met the criteria for a concentration.
    You may want to do the like. Ask around and see if they'll let you do something where you can say, "with a concentration in aeronautics." That may help if you're really into Aeronautics.

    Anyways, let me know if this helps.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 24, 2017
  7. Jul 17, 2009 #6
    I would suggest a graduate composites class, combustion, fluid dynamics (or aerodynamics) a higher level of thermodynamics or compressible flow.

    other classes that could be of use are heat transfer ( or smart material systems if you are interested in the future of design!)
  8. Sep 6, 2009 #7
    Hey guys I have completed my graduation in computer engineering.I have interest to build a career into Aerospace field.Is it possible for to pursue Masters in Aerospace?
  9. Sep 28, 2009 #8
    You can only work on aerospace software or simulators.You can't work on aircraft design stuff(cfd,propulsion,flight dynamics etc) because you don't have the knowledge.You can work on the development of aerospace programs and design simulators.Search for a course in Cranfield university.
  10. Sep 28, 2009 #9
    He can work in other areas, but it will require taking the proper pre-req courses.
  11. Oct 3, 2009 #10
    Yes but this will take some time and it won't be that easy.I don't think he could follow a master in aircraft design,dunamics or propulsion.For example most universities in aerospace engineering master courses require from candidates a first degree in mechanical or aerospace engineering.
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