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A Comprehensive Review of U.S. Minor Degrees in Aerospace, Aeronautical, and Astronautical Engineering and Unmanned Air Systems

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2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

Personnel Development & Retention

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Thomas A. Ward Cedarville University Orcid 16x16

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Dr. Tom Ward currently works at Cedarville University in the Mechanical Engineering department. He has worked at several universities in both the US and Southeast Asia, since shifting from federal employment as an aerospace engineer with the US Air Force in 2006. He is an experienced lecturer in aerospace and mechanical engineering, specializing in propulsion, thermofluids, design, and energy. He has served as associate dean, research director, and elected university senate member. He has served as principle investigator on projects in biomimetic micro air vehicles and hydrogen fuel cell propulsion systems. In these research projects (and others) he advised several PhD and MSc postgraduate students to completion. Dr. Ward is also experienced in directing undergraduate student teams competing in the SAE Aero Design and Shell Eco-marathon competitions.He has authored a text book called Aerospace Propulsion Systems (Wiley, 2010) and over 50 journal and conference papers. Prior to 2006, Dr. Ward worked as an aerospace engineer with the US Air Force for 18 years, which included a special 4.5 year assignment to the United Kingdom Ministry of Defence in London, as an integrated exchange engineer.

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Corinna Megan Ward Capital Group

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Corinna M. Ward currently works at Capital Group Companies having graduated from Cedarville University cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Finance and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Marketing in 2018. Corinna holds various industry licenses including her SIE, Series 6, Series 63, and Series 65 through FINRA. She competed in the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Institute Research Challenge to compete globally against more than 5,000 peers from 1,000 institutions qualifying in the local finals as one of four teams represented in 2018 and is currently studying for her Certified Investment Management Analyst (CIMA) certification through Yale University’s School of Management.

[Statements attributed to Corinna Ward were not made in her capacity as an associate of Capital Group and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Capital Group or its affiliates.]

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The demand for graduates with aerospace engineering skills is outpacing the annual number of graduates from US academic organizations. Minor degrees programs in aerospace engineering (or similarly titled) are less common than bachelor and postgraduate degree programs, but offer an alternative to students desiring to gain some knowledge and skill in this field of study, without the depth that higher degree programs require. However, there is no US national accreditation standard that provides a framework for these minor degree programs. The intent of this article is to discover what is currently being practiced by academic organizations throughout the United States. In this article, a comprehensive survey was conducted on all US aerospace engineering, aeronautical engineering, astronautical engineering, and unmanned aerial systems (UAS) minor degree programs. Statistical analysis was performed to determine program commonalities and differences. Differences were examined between public, private, and government academic organizations. Also a comparison was made between minors offered by organizations that also offer higher degree programs to those that do not. Minor degree programs in UAS are also compared. These programs thread the boundary between aviation and engineering topics. Although UAS minor programs vary greatly between organizations, analysis reveals some commonalities. It is hoped that this article will serve as a guide to academic organizations desiring to start a new minor degree program or expand upon their existing one with the addition of a minor.

Ward, T. A., & Ward, C. M. (2021, July), A Comprehensive Review of U.S. Minor Degrees in Aerospace, Aeronautical, and Astronautical Engineering and Unmanned Air Systems Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. 10.18260/1-2--36569

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