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Restructuring the Aero/Astro Engineering Degree at MIT Eric Feron Laboratory for Information and Decision Systems Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

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Presentation on theme: "Restructuring the Aero/Astro Engineering Degree at MIT Eric Feron Laboratory for Information and Decision Systems Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics."— Presentation transcript:

1 Restructuring the Aero/Astro Engineering Degree at MIT Eric Feron Laboratory for Information and Decision Systems Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics July 17, 2000

2 Outline Aero-Astro System Engineering Degrees at MIT Meng Program Conceive, Design, Integrate, Operate (CDIO initiative) Conclusions

3 System Engineering Degrees in Aero/Astro Undergraduate Education: Significant evolution of teaching curriculum to account for System Engineering reality in aerospace industry Graduate Education: –Meng Program: A relatively new graduate program (1995) for non-research education. –SDM: An Aero-Astro-led, MIT-wide program in systems Engineering for mature students. General feeling that Aero-Astro is uniquely qualified for true Systems Engineering education.

4 Meng Program Definition (From the MIT Bulletin) Students pursuing a master's program in the department have two options for structuring their studies: The Master of Science (S.M.) program typically focuses on a single discipline, providing considerable depth as well as an emphasis on research. The complementary Master of Engineering (M.Eng.) program is for individuals planning engineering careers in aerospace product design and development. This practice-oriented, professional degree program relies on many aerospace industry companies for speakers, study materials, and project reviews related to student projects.

5 Meng Program Pre-requisites Prequisites: –Applicants should complete an accredited undergraduate aerospace engineering program. –Well-qualified students with non-aerospace backgrounds may also apply. Not a fifth year degree (unlike, eg. Electrical Engineering degree). –Students come in part from MIT, but mostly from other institutions. Ideal for 9-month or 1-year grad students - 2 years possible.

6 Meng Program specifics Emphasis on Aerospace Systems Engineering: –Required courses: Aerospace Product Design (Fall) Aerospace Product Design Tools (Winter/IAP) Aerospace Design Project + 12 Unit thesis(Spring) –Other courses: Math requt - Other courses with general system engineering flavor (eg introduction to optimization & decision analysis 4 Other disciplinary Aero & Astro courses –New feature: CDIO project requires 24 units thesis - lighter course load.

7 Aerospace Systems Engineering Methods and means used to address the unique complexity of aerospace products. Requirements analysis, [..] design trade techniques, and process structuring [..] for [..] integrated product-process development. Experience with structured creative synthesis approaches [..]. Foundational engineering (technical) management activities [..]. Teamworking skills are refined in group problem sets.[]. Computer-based tools that support the design and development of complex aerospace products [..]. Numerical Design Structure Matrix refinement improves process information flows and reduces design-development cycle time. Discrete Event Simulations evaluate system/product behavior prior to making hardware and software design allocation decisions. StereoLithography (Rapid Prototyping), [..] generates preliminary manufactured hardware parts [..]. [..] M.Eng. Design Project and Thesis: Multi-disciplinary student teams (3-6 students per team) [..] focus on design projects recommended by industry and faculty. Projects address aircraft, spacecraft, or aerospace product subsystem design requirements. Student-prepared design review presentations are scheduled at several points during the Spring Semester. [..]

8 Supporting the Meng program Students support: –Self: Organization (domestic or foreign) sends individual students for 1 year of grad study. eg: USAF, Foreign Gov't. –Departmental fellowships: Department offers 1-year fellowship to best applicants, regardless of degree sought. –Sponsored projects: Specific projects may need significant system engineering component, eg Draper Laboratory sponsored small surveillance projectile. –Current enrollment in the 20s/year.

9 Project example: Draper- MIT WASP WIDE AREA SURVEILLANCE PROJECTILE The main goals of the project are: to develop entrepreneurship among engineering students to demonstrate brand-new technology that meets US military and civilian needs.

10 WASP project Student-designed project under faculty supervision (Deyst & Boppe) 2-year project with 1-year students: Mix with MS and PhD students. Asymmetry of student projects from year 1 to year 2: –Year 1 concentrates on concept study - blueprints –Year 2 concentrates on product manufacturing & flight testing. A very successful project: Many faculty involved, Draper follow-up under DARPA sponsorship: New versions of vehicle (weight/structure trade-off).

11 Typical Curricula Jerry W.: – : Meng with industrial/research support (Boeing - NASA Dryden) – : PhD in Aeronautics and Astronautics (MIT) Cory H.: – : Meng with research support (Draper) –1997-now: Project engineer for new department bdg + MS in Technology and Policy Sebastien K.: – : Meng with Research Support (Draper) –Started up company Anne F.: – : Meng -self supported (Foreign Govt)

12 New developments: CDIO CDIO: Conceive Design Integrate Operate. A Department-wide (faculty- and degree-wise) towards better integration of above principles into academic curriculum: Shift Undergraduate Education from Engineering science-oriented education to Engineering design-oriented education. Teach engineering courses in the context of their application –Revise/develop course contents and teaching context. –Interrelate courses through continuing projects. –Develop and modernize teaching laboratories.

13 MIT Infrastructures: Overall new building architecture (Exploded view) Mass Ave Bdg 35 Bdg 33

14 Complex Systems Operations Center

15 New Aero Astro Teaching Hangar

16 Attributes for successful Meng Student Self-supported/Fellowship or… Sponsored research: Requires excessively well-trained engineering students in a particular discipline (structures, circuits, programming). 1 year is very short - need to leverage capabilities immediately. –Good mix with longer term students (MS or PhD students) for project continuity. –Indeed can be instrumental to successful projects - often research needs go against Meng goal (systems engineering).

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