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Developing An Integrated Aerospace Engineering Curriculum

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2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

Current Issues in Aerospace Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.403.1 - 9.403.7



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Paper Authors

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Alfred Striz

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Developing an Integrated Aerospace Engineering Curriculum

Alfred G. Striz

School of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering University of Oklahoma Norman, Oklahoma


When the College of Engineering at the University of Oklahoma was given additional faculty positions to boost the major areas of Aerospace Engineering (AE), Electrical Engineering (EE), and Computer Science (CS), the three Schools started an ongoing discussion about the best multidisciplinary use for such faculty members. On recommendation of then Assistant Dean of Engineering at OU, Donna Shirley, who was the manager of the NASA Mars Exploration Program in the 90’s, the School of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering (AME) decided to update and modernize its AE course sequence, adding new thrust areas in EE and CS to its award winning and ABET accredited conventional AE program.

Over the last two years, AME has developed a challenging and exciting modern AE curriculum that incorporates the growing field of intelligent systems as a major aspect into the mix of courses and increases the space-engineering component while preserving a strong aeronautics program. Specifically, the digital aspects of AE technology were added: an embedded real time systems experience and an expanded controls sequence. The standard modern physics course was replaced by our own course in astrodynamics and space science, coupled with an elective follow-on course in space systems and mission design to enhance the space component of the program. The new course offerings are rounded out by a systems engineering course together with two capstone semester experiences.

It is expected that these changes will better prepare our students to compete in a job market that has moved to hiring students who understand the systems integration of differing technologies, all coming together to make up a complex aircraft or spacecraft, rather than students trained solely in the conventional aerospace disciplines.


In 1999, the enrollment of the Aerospace Engineering program at the University of Oklahoma had declined to less than 100 students, compared to the Mechanical Engineering enrollment of over 500. In the same time frame, the University of Oklahoma College of Engineering (CoE)

Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2004, American Society for Engineering Education

Striz, A. (2004, June), Developing An Integrated Aerospace Engineering Curriculum Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--12906

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