Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering
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The Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics (AEM) Department at the University of Minnesota is the descendant of one of the first ten accredited Aeronautical Engineering programs in the country and the Mechanics of Materials program. The AEM Department is part of the College of Science and Engineering, which includes the engineering, math and science departments at the University of Minnesota. The degrees offered by the AEM Department include the undergraduate Bachelors of Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics and graduate Masters of Science and Doctor of Philosophy in Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics.

The AEM faculty conduct research in the areas of Fluid Mechanics, Solid Mechanics and Materials, Aerospace Systems and in other emerging fields such as Nanotechnology. Departmental facilities include the Hypersonic Research Center, wind tunnels, crystal grower, materials testing machines, and aerospace systems laboratories, as well as two cluster supercomputers.

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About AEM:

  • The Department is tied to excellence: in education, outreach, and pioneering research.
  • It boasts award-winning and internationally-recognized faculty whose expertise lie in three primary areas: Aerospace Systems, Fluid Mechanics, and Solid Mechanics.
  • Faculty within the department educate and work with over 330 undergraduates and approximately 90 graduate students.
  • Alumni go on to work in industry and the military, designing everything from scramjets to airliners to space-related missions at NASA.


The Aeronautical Engineering Department at Minnesota was one of the ten original schools accredited in 1938 when accreditation began. The other schools were California Institute of Technology, Georgia Tech., MIT, University of Alabama, University of Cincinnati, University of Detroit, University of Michigan, University of Washington, and NYU.

From "Aeronautical Science 101: The Development of Engineering Science in Aeronautical Engineering at the University of Minnesota" Masters paper in the History of Science and Technology by Amy E. Foster, 1999:

The University of Minnesota first offered courses in aeronautical engineering to undergraduates in mechanical engineering in 1926. Professor Charles Boehnlein from the Department of Mathematics and Materials instructed all these early courses. The electives focused on aerodynamics.
The early foundations of aeronautical engineering as an option within mechanical engineering departments typified the situation at schools across the United States in the 1920's and 1930's. University faculty and administration often saw aeronautical engineering as little more than a highly specialized field of mechanical engineering. Many courses in mechanical and aeronautical engineering, such as engine design, structures, dynamics, and controls, overlapped in this period. When university officials realized that aeronautical engineering stood apart, they moved aeronautical engineering out from under the wing of mechanical engineering.

More AEM History.

Last Modified: 2014-10-15 at 20:09:33 -- this is in International Standard Date and Time Notation