Aerospace engineering evolved to meet the engineering requirements of developing air- and spacecraft. Aerospace engineering is actually the branch of engineering developed from aeronautical engineering divisions with the objective of embracing spacecraft engineering. Several aspects of aerospace engineering are common to mechanical engineering, yet there are specialized courses related to aerospace applications in addition to the interdisciplinary foundation courses.
Aerospace engineering is available for both bachelor's and master's degree programs. For bachelor's programs the emphasis will focus more on fundamentals of several engineering streams related to the aircraft operations. Typical study areas such as fluid mechanics, astrodynamics, statics and dynamics, mathematics, electro-technology, principles of propulsion, control engineering, aircraft structural design principles, materials science and advanced materials technology, principles of solid mechanics, aero elasticity, and avionics are essential courses under this program. Aerospace engineers will also undertake activities such as flight performance and safety testing, aero acoustic testing and implementation, and risk assessment.
Aircraft engine and instrument systems, combustion engineering, rockets and missiles, helicopter aerodynamics, cryogenics, airframe maintenance and repair, and space craft technology are popular aerospace engineering electives offering information related to an aerospace engineering specialization. Other electives include studies of advanced materials (e.g. micro gravity materials), control engineering, and safety systems.
Numerous diverse domains of aerospace engineering are being developed to improve aerospace engineering's applicability. In the last few years, aerospace vehicle design has undergone considerable improvement: propulsion for air and space travel has improved greatly, and the sophistication of sensor and control systems has improved through developments in research. Other advanced studies of boundary layer theory, flow past high-rise and low industrial structures, the fuel injection and atomization process, study of ramjets, and fuel cells are some of the current research topics for aerospace engineering applications.
Structural design, aerodynamics and shape design, propulsion systems, and control and guidance systems are some of several popular specializations within aerospace engineering at the master's level. Additionally, many interdisciplinary domain areas are increasingly finding scope for research at doctoral level in aerospace engineering. Rotorcraft technology applications and optimal systems control are some recent doctoral engineering applications of aerospace engineering.
Graduates in aerospace engineering find vast career options. Positions include aerospace engineers, pilot or crew members of space craft, physical scientists, or astronauts. People with keen research orientation can find positions in NASA and other research institutions worldwide. Aerospace engineers are the first choice for several commercial aircraft manufacturers for operational requirements. Civil aviation, defense, R&D laboratories, and space research organizations are also popular career options. Governmental agencies and policy development are also destinations for aerospace engineering professionals, whereas future development possibilities include flying cars, hybrid cars, massive jets, and sleek fighter-craft.