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Best grad schools for Aerospace engineering in USA and Canada?

Best grad schools for Aerospace engineering in USA and Canada?

(OP)

Greetings sirs!

I recently completed by bachelors in Aerospace engineering and am thinking of going back to grad school for further studies. I'm interested in both Structures and Controls specializations and would like to know which one (between the two) would be more favorable in terms of career growth and job opportunities. Both subjects are equally interesting to me from a learning perspective and therefore the dilemma. I can't figure out what a controls engineer actually does in the civilian aircraft industry. Would knowing Matlab and Simulink suffice or would he need to learn other programming languages like C++ too?

Regarding grad schools, I've heard of Wichita State University having a good program in the field of aircraft structures thanks to their NIAR facility but 'US News and World Report' gives them a ranking of ~47. It feels silly to trust the rankings of a website alone. Sirs, with your experience in the industry, could you suggest me some universities that are actually worth the money in the two mentioned specialties?

Warm regards
T

RE: Best grad schools for Aerospace engineering in USA and Canada?

University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies

Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati

RE: Best grad schools for Aerospace engineering in USA and Canada?

I may be a little bias but check out Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, they have campuses in Daytona Beach, Fl and one in Prescott, AZ. I'm an alum from the Daytona Beach campus for my undergrad and am currently working on my Master's through a program that ERAU set up with my employer, a major civilian airframe OEM. A number of the professors have prior Aviation Industry experience and they work with a number of companies in the industry.

RE: Best grad schools for Aerospace engineering in USA and Canada?

I would suggest pursuing a post grad focused on composite aircraft structures. You should learn about design and analysis of composite aircraft structures, plus manufacturing of composite aircraft structures. And be sure to take advantage of any internships available with big OEMs like Boeing, Lockheed-Martin or Northrop-Grumman.

As an engineer with an advanced degree in composite aircraft structures, combined with experience working with big OEMs like Boeing, L-M or N-G, you will have no problem finding good-paying jobs in aerospace.

RE: Best grad schools for Aerospace engineering in USA and Canada?

(OP)

Not being a citizen would be a problem, I guess. The reason I mentioned Wichita State university was due its proximity to manufactures like Airbus, Spirit, Cessna etc. so finding an internship probably wouldn't be too difficult?

So Structures trumps Systems when it comes to jobs?

RE: Best grad schools for Aerospace engineering in USA and Canada?

(OP)

Rb1957, I still have time to apply for the M.Eng program at Univ. of Toronto. Would you recommend the non-thesis program over the thesis based? I've also looked at McGill, Concordia, Ryerson, Carleton though I'm not sure how good their programs are. According to one site: "The University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies (UTIAS) is the best Aerospace department in Canada."

CaptBeardface, I am assuming it to be a non-thesis program as its company sponsored? I went to the ERAU website but couldn't find any information about composites research being carried out there.

Tbuelna, thanks for the tip. A senior once advised me to keep in mind that if I were to take the structures route, I would have to be somewhat proficient in metallic structures first before moving on to composites.

RE: Best grad schools for Aerospace engineering in USA and Canada?

"I would have to be somewhat proficient in metallic structures first before moving on to composites." ... my 2c ... learn the basics well, with a good foundation you can translate ideas into different types of structures.

thesis vs course work ... thesis emphasises one specific piece of knowledge, course work covers more topics but less deeply; narrow and deep vs wide and shallow ?

Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati

RE: Best grad schools for Aerospace engineering in USA and Canada?

(OP)

Rb1957, thank you for taking the time to answer. I want a job in the industry, that's all. I have no intention in pursuing a PhD. I read about an alumnus who did his thesis on 'structural health monitoring' but is currently working as a structural design engineer. So the question is, is the 'depth' really necessary?

RE: Best grad schools for Aerospace engineering in USA and Canada?

Quote (Triptonus)

So Structures trumps Systems when it comes to jobs?

In my opinion there's probably more consistent demand for composite structures people than for systems people in the aerospace industry over the long term. So if your primary concern is job security, then I think you'd be better off in structures. There is always lots of structures work going on in the aerospace business, but there is far less mechanical systems or propulsion work since new or upgraded designs of these systems are done less often.

RE: Best grad schools for Aerospace engineering in USA and Canada?

(OP)

The avionics segment of the industry seems to be doing well, don't you think? But I guess that deviates from aerospace engineering and is more electrical and electronics based engineering (or is it?). Aren't the flight dynamics and controls engineers working in the avionics sector responsible for developing fly-by-wire systems and autopilot systems? Seems like an exciting field to work in...

RE: Best grad schools for Aerospace engineering in USA and Canada?

fly-by-wire is old hat ... the more interesting stuff (IMHO) would be automonous control of UAVs.

maybe hypersonics ... that seems to be a bit more active these days.

maybe hybrid engines (air-breathing transitioning to rocket).

i think there is a much wider demand for structures than systems (but then i am a structures guy ... wiring diagrams are just a bunch of lines on paper).

i don't think PhD level depth is needed for most industry jobs. I'm getting round to thinking that a Masters is becoming necessary 'cause the curriculum is so much wider these days. That said, course work would allow you to get more depth in several areas.

Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati

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