School of Aeronautics and Astronautics at Purdue University

Our Reputation

Our Faculty

  • 38 tenured/tenure-track faculty
  • 42 Fellows of professional societies 
  • 3 NAE/NAS members
  • 22 NSF Career/YI award winners
  • 43 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. 

During the first 60 years of its existence, the School of Aeronautics and Astronautics awarded 5,824 bachelor's degrees, 1,439 master's degrees and 474 doctoral degrees. The graduates have made significant contributions to the aerospace field and have held positions of high responsibility in government and private industry.

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.


To serve the State of Indiana and our Nation by providing degree-granting programs recognized as innovative learning experiences that prepare students to be exceptional, recognized contributors to aeronautical and astronautical engineering in industry, government laboratories and universities.

To develop and maintain quality graduate research programs in technical areas relevant to aeronautics and astronautics and to foster a collegial and challenging intellectual environment necessary to conduct enabling and breakthrough research for aerospace systems.


Be the state's, the nation’s and the world’s preferred provider on aerospace engineering education and research.


Compete through excellence, innovation and impact; leverage strengths in AAE and across Purdue to develop new areas; collaborate with industry and government for win-win initiatives; understand and anticipate stakeholder needs to develop new frontiers.


Excellence, diversity, teamwork, respect, accountability, leadership, citizenship