School of Aeronautics and Astronautics at Purdue University

Our Reputation

Our Faculty

  • 39 tenured/tenure-track faculty
  • 42 Fellows of professional societies 
  • 3 NAE/NAS members
  • 22 NSF Career/YI award winners
  • 44 editors/editorial board members of scientific journals
  • 109 members of technical committees at national and international levels

Our Research

  • Leads world in research in rocket propulsion with the nation’s best experimental facility. Home to the largest academic propulsion lab in the world.

  • World leader in laminar-turbulent transition in hypersonic flows. Has one of the world's best three hypersonic tunnels with laminar nozzle-wall boundary layers and low noise comparable to flight.

  • Leads world in Earth remote sensing based on the reuse of satellite transmission.

  • Aerospace Systems faculty lead FAA Centers of Excellence and conduct large-scale research programs for U.S. Department of Defense and NASA and also have an ITAR research program led by 2-3 professional research staff.

  • Systems, Network and Control with focus on autonomy and intelligence of multi-vehicle systems with applications to UAS, large air traffic control, cyber-security, and multi-agent coordination.

School Overview

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 and 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. 

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, aerospace systems, astrodynamics and space applications, structures and materials, autonomy and control, and propulsion. It further provides design courses to integrate these disciplines into the design of flight vehicles that will perform the required mission.

We’re carving firm footholds in every technical area related to aerospace engineering and working to amplify our impact in each, whether it be safe, efficient and sustainable air transportation; exploration of and access to space; maintaining defense and security; or using aerospace to facilitate new opportunities.

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.