The School of Aeronautics and Astronautics at Purdue University

Prof. Tom I-P. Shih, AAE

Professor and Head Tom I-P. Shih
School of Aeronautics and Astronautics

Contact the School:
701 W. Stadium Ave.
W. Lafayette, IN 47907-2045
Telephone: (765) 494-3006
FAX: (765) 494-0307

The field of aeronautical and astronautical engineering includes the challenging problems encountered in the design and operation of many types of aircraft, missiles, and space vehicles and puts a constant demand on research and development groups for an even better understanding of basic physical phenomena.

Aeronautical education has existed on at least a small scale at Purdue University since about 1920. Aeronautical Engineering degrees were first offered at Purdue by the School of Mechanical & Aeronautical Engineering during WWII, and the first B.S. Degrees were awarded in 1943. The School of Aeronautics was established as a separate entity on July 1, 1945. (For a complete history visit the School's history page.)

During the first sixty years of its existence, the School of Aeronautics and Astronautics has awarded 5,824 BS degrees, 1,439 MS degrees and 474 PhD degrees. These graduates have made significant contributions to the aerospace field, and have held positions of high responsibility in government and private industry. Twenty-three graduates of Purdue have become astronauts, and of these, fourteen have been graduates of the School of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

The Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering curriculum concentrates on the fundamental subject areas necessary to the research, development, design, and operation of the aerospace industry. The curriculum is designed to emphasize the disciplines of aerodynamics, propulsion, structures, dynamics, and control, and further provides design courses to integrate these disciplines into the design of flight vehicles that will perform the required mission. A strong background in mathematics and physics is required to pursue these disciplines, and extensive use of computers and programming skills is a necessity.

The future holds many interesting challenges. The record shows that our graduates have demonstrated their ability to provide technical leadership in a variety of successfully completed projects. A degree from Purdue University in the School of Aeronautics and Astronautics promises to prepare our future graduates for the 21st century in the aerospace field.