The University of Michigan started the first collegiate aeronautics program in the United States, in 1914, just 11 years after the Wright Brothers' first controlled, powered flights at Kitty Hawk. Since then, the Department has graduated more than 4,000 aeronautical and aerospace engineers. Our alumni have gone on to distinguished careers in essentially all areas of the aerospace enterprise, in related fields, in government, and in academia. Five were astronauts who orbited Earth. Three went to the moon. Ed White (MSE 1959) made the first spacewalk by an American. Jack Lousma (BSE 1959, PhD 1973) commanded Skylab and piloted the third space shuttle flight. Jim McDivitt (BSE 1959, PhD 1965) commanded Apollo 9 and was Manager of the Apollo Spacecraft Program for Apollo 12, 13, 14, 15 and 16. Clarence "Kelly" Johnson (BSE 1932, MSE 1933) is widely considered one of America's greatest aircraft designers. He went on to establish the legendary Lockheed Skunk Works, and led in the creation of aircraft such as the P-38, the F-104, the U-2 and the SR-71. More than 20 alumni (pictured above) have been employed with SpaceX and were involved with the Dragon mission.
Stay in the Loop
If you are an alumnus or alumna, and would like to get on our mailing list, set up a visit, give us some news for the newsletter, or just say hi, please contact Ms. Kimberly Johnson.
Alumni, Get Connected
MconneX is a new College of Engineering initiative designed to provide you with dynamic content. Their hope is to get you excited about Michigan Engineering, and encourage you to become involved with the College. It's about you so get engaged with the Michigan Engineering community. Visit MconneX for department webinars and register for upcoming on-demand web casts. Click here to view recent Aerospace MconneX and Michipedia Videos
Professor Emeritus William J. Anderson is gaining a following on YouTube with a complete set of lectures for three Masters' classes
These lectures are recommended as supplemental material for any UM courses on FEA and acoustics. There are a total of 59 hour-long lectures, divided into 100 video clips (approximately 2 clips per lecture). The accompanying written course materials (notes, study guides) are on the net as: www-personal.umich.edu/~billa/
- Linear, Static Finite Element Analysis
- Structural Dynamic Finite Element Analysis
- Numerical Acoustics
Alumni in the News
U-M startup SkySpecs, which designs unmanned aerial vehicles used to perform infrastructure inspections, took third place in the Accelerate Michigan Innovation student competition. SkySpecs was one of 312 student teams from around the state to enter the competition. SkySpecs, which received $10,000 in prize money, is led by Michigan Engineering recent alumni Daniel Ellis (BSE Aero’10), Thomas Brady (BSE Aero’11, MSE ’12), Samuel DeBruin (BSE CompE ’12) and Ryan Moore (BSE CompE ’12). The team spent last summer developing their idea in the TechArb student startup accelerator.
Fellow TechArb company Centricycle, former TechArb and current master of entrepreneurship company Warmilu, Jump Start Grant winner SMRT Delivery LLC, and master of entrepreneurship venture Universal Vaccines, were among 10 teams chosen to advance to the Accelerate Michigan finals. A2B Bikeshare was selected as a semi-finalist.
2012 Alumni Merit Award for Aerospace Engineering, Professor David Darmofal
(Watch Alumni Awards video) 10/12
Prof. Darmofal has become one of the country’s leading experts in aerodynamic design. In addition to his role as Professor in the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics at MIT, Professor Darmofal is also the Director of the MIT Aerospace Computational Design Laboratory. He guides the Laboratory’s mission to lead the advancement and application of computational engineering for aerospace systems design and optimization. He also has served as the department’s interim head.
Among his honors, Professor Darmofal has been recognized with an NSF Career Award and Post-Doctoral Fellowship.
At MIT, he is a MacVicar Faculty Fellow, in recognition of his exemplary and sustained contributions to the teaching and education of undergraduates.
He was honored with the MIT School of Engineering Bose Award for Junior Faculty, and just last year received the Earll M. Murman Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Advising. It is presented to a faculty member who has served as an excellent advisor and mentor for undergraduates, and who has had a significant impact on their personal lives and academic success. In addition, Professor Darmofal was recently named the Raymond Bisplinghoff Faculty Fellow in recognition of his contributions in research, teaching, and service.
Pratt's 'pure' innovator rewrote its script for engine design
Hartford Business 8/12
Pitch a technical problem to Paul R. Adams as unsolvable and Pratt & Whitney Co.'s top aeroengineer turns sleuth. The questions roll: Why? Try a new approach? What tools will make it work?
Adams learned early that few engineering problems are hopeless. Fresh from University of Michigan in the early '80s, he tested cruise-missile motors for a tiny propulsion maker whose rival was giant Pratt & Whitney Canada. There, he learned to ply technical snags with time and focus. Read full story at hartfordbusiness.com
Michigan Alumni help with SpaceX's Dragon 6/12
SpaceX's Dragon, the first cargo-carrying private spacecraft, made its way back to Earth Thursday, and it was helped along the way by Michigan engineers.
“Our students are flocking to companies like SpaceX,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, professor of space science and aerospace engineering at U-M. “Many of them started out at another company and then left to go work there. They are leaving higher-paid, more stable jobs for this, which is amazing because it is much higher-risk and more challenging.”
There are more than 20 U-M graduates who have been employed by SpaceX, Zurbuchen estimated, and many are involved with the Dragon mission. While SpaceX declined to allow their engineers to speak to the media during the mission, a search for their employees confirmed that estimate.
SpaceX’s successful Dragon mission marks the first time a privately-run company has docked with the International Space Station and delivered cargo and supplies to its crew. The mission is the first of twelve scheduled flights contracted by NASA, at the price tag of $1.6 billion dollars.
John DeLisi (UM Aero alum) named new aviation safety chief of the Office of Aviation Safety (OAS) 5/12
The US National Transportation Safety has selected John DeLisi as the new director of the Office of Aviation Safety (OAS). DeLisi will assume his new position on June 2 following the retirement of Tom Haueter, the current director.
DeLisi has been serving as the Deputy Director of OAS since 2007. During his 20 years with the NTSB, he has overseen numerous major investigations, including the January 2009 ditching of US Airways flight 1549 in the Hudson River and the February 2009 Colgan Air accident in Buffalo, New York. Read full story at Air Traffic Management.net