What is Aerospace Engineering Really?
In theory what is it?In theory what is it? Aerospace Engineering covers a pretty wide range of engineering applications. Everything from designing a more aerodynamic body for a formula 1 car to re-engineering the thrust-to-mass ratio of a space shuttle. I think of AE as being a lot like Mechanical. Engineering., except AEs work in the air.
What is it used for?See above examples. Maybe the majority (a modest majority) of AE applications are
in atmosphere flight. This is simply because we don't need a national budget of
billions of dollars to put a 777 in the air, though.
What does the major actually entail - work-wise?Like other engineering majors, work in AE classes is moderate to heavy. There is slightly more math involved in AE classes than other engineering classes.
What kind of jobs do you get with it?The type of job you get with an AE degree depends greatly on what your in major concentration was. If you concentrated on aerodynamics, then you could get a job in a Ford vehicle body design lab or even designing the bodies of planes. If your concentration was propulsion, you might end up working for GE or Pratt and Whitney on propulsion systems.
What are the fellow students like (personalitywise) in it?My experience has been that AEs are generally more friendly than other engineering majors. This, of course has been my own limited experience. Also, the Aero Deptartment. seems (for some reason) to attract a good portion of the good-looking girls.
Common MisconceptionsA common misconception is that if you get an AE degree you immediately get to work for a big plane producing company like Lockheed Martin or McDonnell Douglas. While LM and MD do take in some Aerospace Engineers, they probably look for a greater number of computer and electrical engineers. Still, there are good jobs to be had by someone with an Aerospace Engineering degree.