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Vitalizing The Conceptual Aerospace Design Offering

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2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

Using IT to Enhance Design Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.1457.1 - 10.1457.6



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Paper Authors

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Bernd Chudoba

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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

Vitalizing the Conceptual Aerospace Design Offering

Bernd Chudoba and Alfred G. Striz

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


Traditional aerospace capstone design courses often suffer from a lack of student skills in dealing with open-ended problems. Key to solving this shortcoming is finding the right balance when teaching students the three primary elements of design proficiency: (a) engineering sciences, (b) Computer-Aided Engineering (CAE) methods, and (c) the actual design process. Clearly, the fundamental science/engineering knowledge is covered well in the present system. Thus, the critical elements in today’s design education are familiarity with modern CAE tools and their thoughtful application to the conceptual design process. The lack of these factors has been found to impede the efficient development and evaluation of various alternative aircraft/space vehicle systems in both academia and industry, resulting in a less informed final design decision.

In the School of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering at the University of Oklahoma, this problem is being addressed on various levels: by moving the CAD course to the junior year, students will have better retention of the material; the junior-level aerospace structures course is being redesigned to include a major finite element component (using Pro/Mechanica and/or ANSYS); the junior-level aerodynamics course will utilize a vortex-lattice approach (e.g., LinAir, VORSTAB); and a state-of-the-art computer code for the conceptual and preliminary design of flight vehicles has been acquired for use in the senior capstone experience. This design tool called PrADO (Preliminary Aircraft Design and Optimization) incorporates many different modules for the multidisciplinary analysis, design, and optimization of conventional and unconventional flight vehicles. Students will initially learn about the code in the first of the two semester capstone courses, then will use the code for actual applications in the second semester. At the same time, they will be exposed to the classical aerospace design paradigms for better understanding of the computational results.

Finally, we will vertically integrate a hands-on design-build-fly experience, starting at the sophomore level and culminating in the two senior design capstone courses. Here, the students will initially build an R/C aerospace vehicle, which will be optimized in the different disciplines structures, aerodynamics, and controls over the course of their studies, using the mentioned software. All changes will be evaluated by our standard ABET assessment methods. We expect that this hands-on approach using both hardware and software will make our graduates more competitive in the job market and more interesting to industry. Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright 2005, American Society for Engineering Education

Chudoba, B., & Striz, A. (2005, June), Vitalizing The Conceptual Aerospace Design Offering Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--14288

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