About

Message from the Chair

Aerospace and mechanical engineers design and build unique, complex mechanical-optical-electronic (mechoptronic) systems, ranging in scale from the International Space Station (102 m) to microscale electric generators and pumping systems (< 10-3 m). During the last half-century the capabilities of mechoptronic systems have expanded to near-Earth, planetary, interplanetary and galactic space. There has been a parallel inward extension to the ocean depths, far underground, and deep inside the intricacies of our own bodies. A broad range of engineering science research is critical to developing novel, complex mechoptronic systems. As a consequence, aerospace and mechanical engineers conduct extensive basic and applied research within and crossing their usual disciplinary boundaries, they also synthesize research from many other disciplines.

At USC, the Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering (AME) Department’s faculty has adopted three major Strategic Themes to help guide the directions and enrich the contents of our education and research programs, at both the undergraduate and graduate levels:

Biodynamical
Engineering

Biodynamical
Engineering

Locomotion of birds and fish, or robotic equivalents, alone, or in groups. Self assembly of complex systems. Mathematics of cancer and population dynamics.

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Energy
Engineering

Energy
Engineering

Combustion efficiency, fundamentals of energy generation and storage. Molecular and nano-scale kinetics and reaction mechanisms. Pollutant formation, dispersal, and measurement.

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Exploration
Technologies

Exploration
Technologies

Novel aircraft and ground vehicle designs, satellites, micro-air vehicles, intra-vascular transport. Explorations enabled by new technologies in propulsion, flexible, and nano engineered materials.

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Descriptions of our educational programs can be accessed under Academics.

In addition, the Department actively supports three design/build student projects that include volunteers from all undergraduate years, along with graduate student and faculty mentors. These projects are: a competition airplane, competition cars, and a competition hyperloop pod. These and other student groups can be found under Current Students. Also, a yearlong senior projects laboratory course facilitates access to our faculty’s research for interested serious undergraduate scholars. Undergraduate Merit Research scholars from all years have an opportunity to participate in the AME faculty’s research through a program supported by the School of Engineering.

Welcome to the AME web site! During your visit I believe you will discover the enthusiasm that we have for the wide variety of exciting opportunities forming the future of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering.

Geoffrey R. Spedding,
Chairman, Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering

2009 Department Brochure

Traditional Disciplinary Strengths

Combustion and reacting flows, fluid mechanics, dynamical systems, nano-materials synthesis and characterization.

Student Groups

AIAA student design projects

National success (placed 3rd, 1st, 3rd,1st, 3rd) in last 5 years

AeroDesign Team/Design-build-fly

National success (placed highly most years — always fun; 1st place 2014)

Formula SAE/SC Racing

Very strong upward trajectory

SpaceX Hyperloop Pod
Human Powered Vehicle Design Team

Numbers

There Are
0
Faculty Members
In 2014,
There Were
0
AME Undergraduate Students
And
0
AME Graduate Students