Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering
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AEM 4333: Aerospace Design: Special Projects

Catalog Description



AEM 4333

Aerospace Design: Special Projects

3 credits


Catalog Description:


Student groups design, build, and test aerospace projects. Projects include designs from 4331 or projects such as microgravity experiments. Students keep design log/notebook, prepare status reports, and give final oral presentation.


Course Web Address:


Prerequisites by Topic:


  1. Aerospace Vehicle Design (AEM 4331)






Format of Course:


Group projects (independent study)


Computer Usage:


CAD/CAM, FEA, MatLab/Simulink, etc. (varies by team)


Course Objectives:


The purpose of this course is to allow students to take their conceptual designs through the building and testing stages.  The projects in this course are continuations of the projects started in the previous semester of AEM 4331.  Students work in small multidisciplinary groups to finalize and build their designs.


Course Outcomes:


Students who successfully complete the course will demonstrate the following outcomes by designing, building and testing a model and documenting same with a proposal, status reports, meetings, oral presentations and written reports.


  1. An ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science and engineering.
  2. An ability to design a system, component or process to meet desired needs. .
  3. An ability to function on multi-disciplinary teams.
  4. An ability to identify, formulate and solve engineering problems.
  5. An understanding of professional and ethical responsibilities.
  6. An ability to communicate effectively.
  7. A knowledge of contemporary issues.
  8. An ability to use the techniques, skills and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice.


Relationship of course to program objectives:


This course is an integrated design experience in which students learn teamwork, problem solving skills, system design and oral and written communication skills. The course involves fluid mechanics and aerodynamics, aerospace structures and dynamics and controls. The course also teaches professionalism and ethics, and is designed to foster life-long learning.


Relationship of course to program outcomes:


This course provides the following program outcomes:


  1. Design and conduct experiments
  2. System design
  3. Multidisciplinary teamwork
  4. Identify engineering problems
  5. Professionalism and ethics
  6. Communication skills
  7. Lifelong learning
  8. Contemporary issues
  9. Engineering tools
  10. Aerodynamics
  11. Materials
  12. Structures
  13. Propulsion
  14. Flight mechanics
  15. Stability and control


Course Outline:


Independent work followed by group presentations.


Outcome Measurement:


Outcomes are measured individual and team oral presentations, CAD drawings, design logs (notebooks), written reports, and peer evaluations.


Student Survey Questions:


This course improved my ability to do the following:


  1. Apply knowledge of math, science and engineering.
  2. Design a system, component or process to meet desired needs.
  3. Function as a member of a multi-disciplinary team.
  4. Identify, formulate and solve engineering problems.
  5. Communicate effectively.

6.      Use modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice.


Please answer the following questions regarding the course:


  1. The course gave me a fair opportunity to work in an area where I have strong professional interests.
  2. The AEM and UM facilities (computer labs’ hardware and software, Machine Shop, AkH 230 Model Shop, AkH330 Wind Tunnel) were adequate for this course.
  3. The course’s Project Group organization is a good way to teach students teamwork to prepare them for the job market.
  4. The level of work required in this course was appropriate for the credit given.
  5. Model shop rules and safety procedures were adequate for this course.
  6. Balance between team autonomy, and guidance/direction from professor, staff, and TA’s was appropriate.
  7. I developed technical leadership skills and an appreciation for good planning, leadership and discipline. 


In this course I acquired the following:


  1. An understanding and experience in detailed structural design of aircraft.
  2. Experience in designing and conducting experiments.
  3. Experience with use of aerodynamics, materials, structures propulsion, flight mechanics.
  4. Experience with system design for stability and control of aerospace vehicles.
  5. An understanding of fabrication of aerospace systems.
  6. An experience in flight testing.
  7. Experience in design and fabrication under realistic constraints of time, money, equipment and availability of skilled personnel.
  8. A greater ability to achieve engineering goals and choose courses of action in open ended, ambiguous situations where the correct decision was more a matter of engineering opinion and judgment than demonstrable fact. 


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Last Modified: 2013-01-08 at 12:05:31 -- this is in International Standard Date and Time Notation