Department of

Aerospace Engineering


Aerospace Engineering at Penn State


Aerospace engineers develop leading-edge technology and integrate it into aerospace vehicle systems for exploration, infrastructure, and defense applications. The mission of the Department of Aerospace Engineering is to advance knowledge, and benefit society through research integrated with education. We investigate challenging, fundamental problems in aerospace science and technology in a collegial, interdisciplinary atmosphere, while providing our students with an education that combines rigorous academic study and the excitement of discovery with the support and intellectual stimulation of a diverse community of scholars. We prepare our students for responsible, rewarding professional careers and continuing personal growth. Additionally, we serve the various extensive communities to which we belong, in ways suited to our individual abilities and interests.

Latest News

NAVAIR engineer receives

unique recognition


Samantha (Kahn) Pappas (B.S. '02, M.S. '04), air vehicle test lead for the Triton Unmanned Air System (UAS) program, is the 2014 recipient of the Women in Aerospace (WIA) Initiative, Inspiration, Impact Award for “being an impeccable leader, inspiring mentor, and exceptional engineer whose technical expertise and unwavering dedication were paramount to the advancement of Naval Aviation.

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Aerospace engineering's Palacios named top engineering educator under 40


Prof. Jose Palacios pictured in the icing chamber.


photo credit: Cate Hansberry

Jose Palacios, assistant professor of aerospace engineering, is featured in the American Society for Engineering Education's (ASEE) Prism Magazine's "20 Under 40" this month. Palacios has been recognized by ASEE Prism magazine as a top engineering educator under 40, in part for his aircraft-icing research using a Boeing motor with 10-foot-diameter blades.

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Penn State wins the inaugural DOE Collegiate Wind Competion at the annual AWEA Windpower meeting



LasVegas,NV. -- The 10 teams in the Department of Energy’s Collegiate Wind Competition showcased their business plans, made the economic case for their products, and simulated a real-life venture.


For overall first place: Penn State University!

First place in Market Issues Contest Award: Penn State University,and

People’s Choice Award: Penn State University.


Congratulations to Dr.Susan Stewart, Dr. Dennis McLaughlin and PhD student Brian Wallace for guiding undergrads from at least three colleges (Engineering, EMS, Communications) in a tremendous team effort.

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IT Flies competition: David Glade, test pilot with Penn State students, Justin Valenti, Angelina Conti and Chris Axtenphoto credit: Jacquie Bui Quy

Dr. Maughmer's students attend "IT Flies" competition at the University of Dayton


UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Merlin Flight Simulation Group's Aircraft Design and Handling Competition was held in Dayton last week and aeospace students, Justin Valenti, Angelina Conti and Chris Axten, from Dr. Maughmer's class entered the Zephyrus Human Powered Aircraft. The aircraft was their Flight Vehicle Design Fabrication class project (aersp 404H). Groups took turns "flying" their designs in the MP521 Engineering Flight Simulator at the U of Dayton.

Marion Neal, who came to Dayton from Merlin Flight Simulation Technologies in England for the competition stated, "It was a pleasure to have the three Penn State students over to Dayton for IT FLIES USA." She said that the "project is a superb one for students; not only do they have to think about the design of the aircraft, but build it too!"

The Zephyrus has been in our News before. Here is a prototype (battery powered) test flight on Youtube.


News Archive - Read past news stories

Hammond Building

Aerospace Seminars

Optical Calibration of the Falcon
Telescope Network


Heather Nelson
Master of Science Seminar
Dr. Sven Bilen
Dr. Tim Kane

Friday, November 7, 2014
1:00 p.m.
228 Hammond Building

The International Space Station:
An update on the vehicle and
the challenges involving engineering, research, and
human physiology


Astronaut Serena Auñón MD,MPH
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX
Department of Internal Medicine
University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX

Friday, October 24, 2014
4:00 p.m.
100 Life Sciences Building

“Funded by UPAC! Your Student Activity Fee at Work”

Aerospace Highlights

Aerospace Students are in Wichita, Kansas for the AIAA 18th Annual Design, Build, Fly Competion

2013 Design Build Fly entry from PSU studentsThis photo is last year's entry

University Park – Six Aerospace Department students and  two advisors are in Wichita Kansas this week to compete in the 18th annual AIAA Design, Build, Fly event, sponsored by Cessna/Raytheon Missile Systems. Student teams must design, fabricate, and demonstrate the flight capabilities of an unmanned, electric powered, radio controlled aircraft which can best meet the specified mission profile. The goal is a balanced design possessing good demonstrated flight handling qualities and practical and affordable manufacturing requirements while providing a high vehicle performance.
Alex Troup, Nick Grasser, George Farah, Eric Tschantz, Evan Savage and Ben Pipenberg
Advisors: Mark  Maughmer and Chris Saunders