AEM doctoral program placed third in nation
The Department of Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics' aerospace engineering doctoral program has been placed third in the nation in the recently released 2010 National Research Council (NRC) Assessment of Doctoral Research Programs.
Additionally, the aerospace engineering program is listed second in the categories of Research Activity and Student Support.
AEM Department Head, Prof. Gary Balas, reflects on the survey, "I am ecstatic with the very high standing of our aerospace engineering program in the recent NRC assessment. These results recognize what we have known; we have outstanding faculty and students who are international leaders in their areas."
Provost Thomas E. Sullivan also praised the accomplishments of the Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics faculty. "At the University, we are very proud of the significant progress in national reputation that we have seen for the Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics Department. While its reputation and quality have improved remarkably over the years, in the new NRC assessment study, the department has crossed the top 10 percent of programs nationally. This recognizes our outstanding faculty and the contributions they have made to the field of aerospace engineering and mechanics. The new NRC ranking reinforces the outstanding research and teaching that are core to the department. I congratulate our colleagues on this wonderful recognition and achievement."
The NRC assessment survey focused on three metrics: research activity, student support and diversity. The metrics associated with research activity include faculty publications, citations, grants and awards. Additionally, our high placement in the evaluation of Student Support recognizes the department's commitment to financially support all of our students throughout their academic career and also on the students' degree completion and job placement statistics.
"The 2010 NRC assessment showed that nearly half of the College of Science and Engineering's Ph.D. programs rank as high as within the upper 10 per cent of their respective peer groups. Aerospace engineering is among these highly ranked programs -- a clear testament to years of hard work and dedication by the faculty, staff, and students of the Department of Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics," said College of Science and Engineering Dean Steven Crouch.
The last NRC assessment of doctoral programs was conducted in 1993 and released in 1995. The resulting rankings were based on peer assessment of faculty quality. The 2010 assessment is considered to be more data-driven than the previous study. During the 2005-2006 academic year, institutions, doctoral programs, faculty, and students completed separate questionnaires that solicited various data elements (e.g. time-to-degree, student financial support) not included in the previous assessment. Many consider the NRC rankings to be the best rankings of doctorate programs available. Balas comments that the criteria evaluated in the survey has only improved since 2005, further indicating the department's continued growth and success. "The College and University share part of the credit for their support and investment to keep our program strong," said Balas.
The NRC is one of the four organizations that make up the United States National Academies.
Click here for the full NRC Assessment of Doctoral Research Program.
For full results and the University.s report, click here.