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The University of Texas at Arlington
Graduate Catalog 2002-2004

Program In Aerospace Engineering
Admission Requirements | Continuation | Degree Requirements | Courses

Area of Study and Degrees

Aerospace Engineering

M.S., M.Engr., Ph.D.

Master's Degree Plans

Thesis (M.S.), Thesis-Substitute (M.S.) and Non-Thesis (M.Engr.)

Program Director

D.G. Tuckness

204 Woolf Hall, 817-272-2603

Graduate Advisor

Thomas Lund

316C Woolf Hall, 817-272-7053

Graduate Faculty


Anderson, Chan, Dulikravich,

Gaines, Joshi, Lawrence, Lu,

Payne, Seath, Wang, Wilson

Associate Professors

Lund, Tuckness

Assistant Professor


Professors Emeritus

Dalley, Fairchild, Jiles


The overall objective of the graduate program in aerospace engineering is to develop in a student the ability to define a technical problem, establish an appropriate mathematical or experimental model based on a firm understanding of the physical nature of the problem, analyze the problem by theoretical, numerical, or experimental techniques, and evaluate the results. Although this ability is developed in the context of aerospace problems, it is applicable to the engineering of any physical system. The program is designed for a student with any of the following specific objectives:

  1. A sound foundation in advanced mathematics, science, and engineering which will equip the student well for research and development work or for further advanced study toward a doctoral degree in engineering.
  2. A program of advanced study which allows specialization in one of the following areas:
    a. Fluid dynamics, aerodynamics and propulsion (theoretical and applied aerodynamics, gasdynamics, viscous fluid mechanics, turbulence, computational and experimental fluid dynamics, hypersonic flow theory, high-temperature gasdynamics, V/STOL and rotorcraft aerodynamics, air-breathing and rocket propulsion);
    b. Structural mechanics (theory of elasticity, mechanical vibrations, structural dynamics, composite structures, damage tolerance, smart structures, high-temperature structures and materials, aeroelasticity);
    c. Flight mechanics (atmospheric and space flight mechanics, orbital mechanics, guidance, navigation and control);
    d. Vehicle design (atmospheric flight vehicle design, spacecraft design).
  3. A balanced but non-specialized program of advanced study in aerodynamics, astronautics, flight dynamics, structural analysis, propulsion, and fluid mechanics, with emphasis on experimental techniques and modern mathematical analysis.

Admissions Requirements

Admission Criteria

Admission to the graduate program in AE is based on equal weighting of the of the following six criteria:

  1. An overall GPA, as calculated by the Graduate School, of 3.0 or higher in undergraduate coursework.
  2. Relevance of the student's previous degrees to the AE curriculum.
  3. Reputation of the universities or colleges the student has attended.
  4. A sum of verbal and quantitative GRE scores of at least 1050 for MS or 1250 for Ph.D. applicants.
  5. Three satisfactory written recommendation forms from prior professors or supervisors.
  6. A written essay on the student's goals and reasons for pursuing graduate studies.

Admission Status

1. Unconditional Admission: Applicants who show by meeting all of the above criteria that they are fully prepared to start immediately on their selected graduate program of interest will be admitted unconditionally.

2. Probationary Admission: Applicants who fail to meet the conditions for unconditional admission, but satisfy at least four of the six criteria listed above, will be considered for probationary admission. The graduate advisor normally identifies areas of deficiency that must be removed by successfully completing assigned remedial courses before the admission status is changed to unconditional.

3. Provisionary Admission: Applicants who are unable to supply all of the required documentation prior to the admission deadline, but who otherwise appear to meet the admission criteria, may be granted provisional admission.

4. Denial: Applicants who fail to meet at least four of the six admission criteria will normally be denied admission.

5. Deferral: A deferred decision may be granted when an application file is incomplete or when a denied decision is not appropriate.

Criteria for Award of Fellowship

Applicants who are admitted unconditionally and demonstrate skills, experience or interests that meet the needs of the AE Graduate Program will be considered for fellowship.


The Aerospace Engineering Graduate Program, in fulfillment of its responsibility to graduate highly qualified professional engineers, has established certain policies and procedures. In addition to the requirements of the Graduate School listed elsewhere, to continue in the program each aerospace engineering graduate student must:

  1. Maintain at least a B (3.0) overall GPA in all coursework major and minor, and
  2. 2. Demonstrate suitability for professional engineering practice.

At such time as questions are raised by aerospace engineering graduate faculty regarding either of the above, the student will be notified and will be provided the opportunity to respond to the Committee on Graduate Studies in Aerospace Engineering. The Committee on Graduate Studies will review the student's performance and make a recommendation concerning the student's eligibility to continue in the program. Appeal of a decision on continuation may be made through normal procedures outlined in the section of this catalog entitled "Grievances Other than Grades."

Degree Requirements

All Graduate Degrees

All entering students must be proficient in mathematics, engineering analysis, and computer programming. Students not meeting these requirements may be admitted on a probationary basis and given a plan of remedial undergraduate coursework. No graduate credit will be granted for these, or any other undergraduate courses. Normally, all master's and doctoral candidates in aerospace engineering shall enroll in the Graduate Seminar (AE 5101) a minimum of three times (see course description). Repeat enrollments shall require an oral presentation of thesis/dissertation results. All candidates are required to select a Supervising Professor and obtain an approved program of work in the second full semester or after 12 hours are completed.

Master of Engineering or Master of Science

The Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering offers both the Master of Engineering and the Master of Science degrees in Aerospace Engineering. The Master of Engineering is a non-thesis program of advanced study, requiring 36 hours of coursework. This is the preferred route for distance education students. Although the Master of Engineering is a non-thesis degree, students pursuing this option must still select a faculty member to act as a Supervising Professor. The Supervising Professor will assist the student as described below.

The Master of Science degree requires a minimum of 24 hours of coursework, a minimum of 6 hours of thesis preparation, and an acceptable thesis. Additional research credit hours are often needed for the Master of Science degree. The thesis may be oriented toward either research or advanced engineering analysis and design. Students pursuing the Master of Science option must select a faculty member to act as a Supervising Professor. The Supervising Professor will help to form an appropriate plan of study for elective courses, guide the student through his research project, and take care of any required administrative tasks.

In special cases, the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering will also grant a Master of Science degree based on a "thesis substitute," which is of more limited scope compared with the Master's thesis. In this case, a minimum of 30 hours of coursework and a minimum of 6 hours of research are also required. Additional research credit hours may also be needed for the thesis-substitute option.

All three Master's degree plans require the same set of core courses. Five core courses are required; three in engineering, and two in a minor area, typically mathematics. In addition to the five lecture courses, three credit hours of graduate seminar are also required (see the discussion in the preceding section). The engineering core is satisfied by taking a minimum of three out of the following core courses:

  1. 1. AE 5302 Advanced Flight Mechanics
  2. 2. AE 5313 Fluid Dynamics
  3. 3. AE 5326 Advanced Propulsion
  4. 4. AE 5341 Aerospace Structures

In most cases, the minor is satisfied by completing the following two courses:

  1. 1. AE 5351 Analytical Methods in Engineering
  2. 2. AE 5352 Engineering Analysis

For students with exceptional mathematics background, the minor may be composed of two courses selected by the student and Supervising Professor that are deemed supportive of the student's area of concentration and meet approval of the Graduate Advisor.

For any of the Master's degree plans, the balance of the required coursework hours may be chosen by the Supervising Professor to meet the student's needs and interests. Normally these additional elective courses should be selected from the offerings of the Program in Aerospace Engineering or the Program in Mechanical Engineering. Courses taken outside the two programs require approval of the student's Supervising Professor as well as the Graduate Advisor.

Doctor of Philosophy

The Ph.D. degree can be tailored to satisfy the individual student's aspirations in choice of the area of specialization, while at the same time providing a broad range of knowledge in the major technical areas comprising the field of aerospace engineering. The program will generally require two to three years of full-time study beyond the Master's degree and will include a scholarly dissertation that provides an original contribution to the literature in aerospace engineering.

All entering the Ph.D. program are required to take, at the first opportunity, the Ph.D. Diagnostic Exam: this is offered once per year on the first Saturday in October. Possible outcomes of this evaluation are: 1) continuation in the doctoral program, 2) approval to continue with certain specified remedial work, 3) failure with approval to retake, 4) termination in the program.

The grade of R (research in progress) is a permanent grade; it cannot be changed by completing course requirements in a later semester. To receive credit for an R-graded course, the student must continue to enroll in the course until a passing grade is received.

An incomplete grade (the grade of X) cannot be given in a course that is graded R, nor can the grade of R be given in a course that is graded X. To receive credit for a course in which the student earned an X, the student must complete the course requirements. A grade of X cannot be changed by enrolling again in the course in which an X was earned. At the discretion of the instructor, a final grade can be assigned through a change of grade form.

Three-hour thesis courses and three- and six-hour dissertation courses are graded R/F/W only (except social work thesis courses). The grade of P (required for degree completion for students enrolled in thesis or dissertation programs) can be earned only in six- or nine-hour thesis courses and nine-hour dissertation courses. In the course listings below, R-graded courses are designated either "Graded P/F/R" or "Graded R." Occasionally, the valid grades for a course change. Students should consult the appropriate Graduate Advisor or instructor for valid grade information for particular courses. (See also the sections titled "R" Grade, Credit for Research, Internship, Thesis or Dissertation Courses and Incomplete Grade in this catalog.)

Aerospace Engineering (AE)

Course fee information is published in the online Student Schedule of Classes at Please refer to this Web site for a detailed listing of specific course fees.

5101. GRADUATE SEMINAR (1-0). May be repeated as often as required. Enrollment is mandatory for first semester graduate students and for students enrolled in thesis, dissertation, or research courses. Purpose is to acquaint peers and faculty with research in progress at U.T. Arlington. During each enrollment after the first, students present progress reports on their research. The last report serves as a "dry run" for the oral defense.

5301. ADVANCED TOPICS IN AEROSPACE ENGINEERING (3-0). May be repeated for credit as topics change. Topics include: hypersonic aerodynamics, transonic aerodynamics, unsteady aerodynamics and optimum aerodynamic shapes.

5302. ADVANCED FLIGHT MECHANICS (3-0). Basic dynamics of vehicles, flight path analysis and optimization. Prerequisite: permission of department.

5303. AERODYNAMICS OF WINGS AND BODIES (3-0). Application of classical potential theory to the analysis of the aerodynamics of wings and bodies. Knowledge of complex variable theory assumed.

5309. FLIGHT VEHICLE DESIGN (3-0). Given a set of requirements such as payload, range, speed, takeoff and landing distances, etc., a designer must conceive of a vehicle configuration that will meet or exceed the requirements. Aerodynamics, propulsion, flight performance, stability and control, structures, and vehicle systems, as they pertain to the vehicle being designed, will be introduced. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.

5311. ADVANCED ASTRONAUTICS (3-0). Topics include orbital mechanics, Keplerian mechanics, orbit determination, perturbations, numerical techniques, and applied optimal estimation.

5312. ADVANCED DYNAMICS (3-0). Principles of dynamics of particles and particle systems; Lagrangian and Hamiltonian mechanics; canonical transformations; dynamic system stability; and introduction into dynamical systems analysis using methods such as phase space analysis, surface of sections, etc.

5313. FLUID DYNAMICS (3-0). Basic conservation laws, flow kinematics, special forms of the governing equations, two dimensional potential flows, surface waves and some exact solutions of viscous incompressible flows. Also offered as ME 5313. Credit will be granted only once.

5315. FUNDAMENTALS OF COMPOSITES (3-0). Fundamental relationships between the mechanical behavior and the composition of multiphase media; failure criteria discussed. Also offered as EM 5333, ME 5348.

5321. ENGINEERING VECTOR AND TENSOR ANALYSIS (3-0). Introduction to the related topics of vector analysis, matrix algebra, and three-dimensional tensor analysis. Material covered includes curvilinear coordinates, differential and integral operations; transformation properties of tensors; invariance, eigenvalues, and eigenvectors; isotropy. Theory is illustrated with engineering examples. Also offered as ME 5328. Credit will be granted only once.

5322. AEROELASTICITY I (3-0). Math models for the steady aerodynamics and structural stiffness of aircraft wings are presented and combined into a static aeroelastic math model. Loss of wing lift due to static aeroelasticity as well as the structural instability called aeroelastic divergence are covered.

5324. DYNAMIC AND STATISTICAL DATA ANALYSIS (3-0). Uncertainty and error analysis, transducers, signal conditioning, analog and digital data acquisition techniques and systems, statistical analysis of random data in time and frequency domains. Also offered as ME 5334. Credit will be granted only once.

5325. ADVANCED COMPOSITES (3-0). Review of current state-of-the-art applications of composites: composite structural analysis; structural properties, damage characterization and failure mechanism; stiffness loss due to damage, notched sensitivity; delamination; impact; fatigue characteristics; composite material testing; material allowables; characteristics of composite joints. Also offered as ME 5325 and MSE 5349. Credit will be granted only once. Prerequisite: ME 5348 or MSE 5348 or AE 5315 or permission of the instructor.

5326. ADVANCED PROPULSION (3-0). Development of thrust and efficiency equations, thermodynamic cycle analysis, cycle design methods of aerospace propulsion systems, component performance analysis methods, component matching and dynamic interactions, and vehicle/propulsion-system integration.

5327. COMPUTATIONAL AERODYNAMICS I (3-0). Solution of engineering problems by finite- difference methods, emphasis on aerodynamic problems characterized by single linear and non-linear equations, introduction to and application of major algorithms used in solving aerodynamics problems by computational methods. Prerequisite: consent of instructor.

5328. COMPUTATIONAL AERODYNAMICS II (3-0). Review of the fundamental equations of aerodynamics, development of methods for solving Euler, boundary-layer, Navier-Stokes, and parabolized Navier-Stokes equations, application to practical aerodynamic analysis and design problems. Prerequisite: AE 5327 or consent of instructor.

5329.GRID GENERATION METHODS IN AERODYNAMICS (3-0). Generation of grids for numerical solution of aerodynamic analysis and design problems, generation of grids by algebraic methods, solution to differential and integral equations, application to aerodynamic flow field analysis. Prerequisite: graduate standing or consent of instructor.

5332. HYPERSONIC FLOW (3-0). General features of hypersonic flow fields. Inviscid hypersonic flow: thin shock layer theory, Newtonian flow, constant density solutions, small disturbance theory, method of characteristics. Prerequisite: consent of instructor.

5335. LINEAR SYSTEM ANALYSIS ENGINEERING (3-0). To equip the student with knowledge of systems applications of the state-space concept and real-time solution techniques. State-space formulations, reference trajectory, linearization, linear vector spaces, the state transition matrix and its properties; and controllability and observability concepts treated. Also offered as ME 5307. Credit will be granted only once.

5336. KALMAN FILTERING (3-0). Kalman filter design and implementation. Optimal filtering for discrete-time and continuous-time dynamical systems with noise. Wiener filtering. State-space determination. Prerequisites: Permission of instructor. Also offered as ME 5336 and EE 5322. Credit will be granted only once.

5339.SPACECRAFT SYSTEMS DESIGN AND ENGINEERING (3-0). Spacecraft design methods and system engineering; atmospheric and vacuum environments; flight mechanics and propulsion; attitude determination and control; configuration and structural design; thermal control; power subsystems; telecommunications; mass, power, and volume estimates.

5341. AEROSPACE STRUCTURES (3-0). May be repeated for credit as topics change. Topics may include: the static and dynamic response of structural members and machine elements with and without damage under complex loads. Normal mode method for undamped and proportionally damped systems, component mode synthesis, generally damped systems, complex modes, effect of design modification on system response. Finite element method in the study of the static response of complex structures and of continua; applications to field problems; analytical methods emphasized, and digital computer application undertaken.

5342. GASDYNAMICS (3-0). Review of fundamental compressible flow theory, method of characteristics for perfect gases, the Rankine-Hugoniot conditions, linearized flow theory. Also offered as ME 5342.

5343. HIGH-TEMPERATURE GASDYNAMICS I (3-0). Surveys kinetic theory, statistical mechanics, and chemical reaction rate theory. Application to the prediction of thermodynamic properties of gases and the analysis of problems in high-temperature gasdynamics.

5348. HYPERSONIC PROPULSION (3-0). Design and performance analysis of propulsion systems for sustained flight at hypersonic speeds, airframe/propulsion system integration, supersonic combustion, finite-rate chemistry effects, radiative cooling.

5350. HIGH TEMPERATURE COMPOSITES (3-0). Constitutive behavior of high temperature composites, manufacturing, current limitations and advances, thermal fatigue, long term stiffness and strength, damage tolerance and durability.

5351. ANALYTIC METHODS IN ENGINEERING (3-0). Introduction to advanced analytic methods in engineering. Methods include multivariable calculus and field theory, Fourier series, Fourier and Laplace Transforms. Prerequisite: undergraduate degree in engineering, physics, or mathematics. Also offered as ME 5331.

5352. ENGINEERING ANALYSIS (3-0). Introduction to partial differential equations and complex variable theory with application to modeling of physical systems. Prerequisite: undergraduate degree in engineering, physics, or mathematics.

5360. MULTIDISCIPLINARY INVERSE DESIGN AND OPTIMIZATION (3-0). For a new design of any realistic device to be competitive, it must satisfy a number of often conflicting requirements, objectives, and constraints. This course offers a variety of basic concepts and methodologies for inverse design and optimization with practical applications in fluid mechanics, heat transfer, elasticity, and electromagnetism. Prerequisites: Programming skills using either FORTRAN, C or C++. Basic courses in fluid mechanics, elasticity or heat transfer. One course involving partial and ordinary differential equations. One course involving numerical analysis for partial differential equations. Consent of instructor. Also offered as ME 5360. Credit will be granted only once.

5361. MULTIDISCIPLINARY COMPUTATIONS (3-0). Concurrent engineering analysis involving fluid flow, heat transfer, elasticity, and electromagnetism; design optimization methods for multidisciplinary problems; examples of practical applications. Prerequisites: Reasonable programming skills in FORTRAN or C (C++). Consent of the instructor. Also offered as ME 5361. Credit will be granted only once.

5362. GUIDANCE AND NAVIGATION (3-0). Equilibrium glide trajectories for atmospheric flight. Design of guidance and navigation system for various aerospace vehicles. Discussion of the various guidance systems used in a homing missile seeker system, etc. Equilibrium glide trajectories for atmospheric flight, energy guidance methods. Selection and trade-off between various navigation components such as the IMU, GPS and other navigation components. Basics of Kalman filtering. Prerequisite: AE 5302 or permission of instructor.

5363. INTRODUCTION TO ROTORCRAFT ANALYSIS (3-0). History of rotorcraft. Behavior of the rotor blade in hover and forward flight. Rotor configurations , dynamic coupling with the fuselage, elastic and aeroelastic effects. Also listed as ME 5363. Credit will be granted only once.

5191, 5291, 5391. ADVANCED STUDIES IN AEROSPACE ENGINEERING. May be repeated for credit. May be graded P/F. Graded R.

5398, 5698, 5998. THESIS. 5398 graded R/F only; 5698 and 5998 graded P/F/R. Prerequisite: graduate standing in aerospace engineering. Co-requisite: AE 5101.

6314. SPACECRAFT MISSION DESIGN AND ANALYSIS (3-0). Spacecraft mission design and constraints; launch windows; rendezvous analysis; design of typical mission.

6315. THEORETICAL ASTRONAUTICS (3-0). The equations of motion of the restricted problem of three bodies; Jacobian integral; motion around Lagrange points; applications to Earth-Moon systems; investigations into spacecraft station keeping at Lagrange points. Prerequisite: AE 5311.

6322. AEROELASTICITY II (3-0). Models for the unsteady aerodynamics as well as structural stiffness and mass of aircraft wings are presented and combined into a dynamic aeroelastic math model. Atmospheric turbulence response, ride quality, wing buffeting, and flutter (dynamic aeroelastic instability) are covered.

6197-6997. RESEARCH IN AEROSPACE ENGINEERING. May be repeated for credit. Graded P/F/R. Co-requisite: AE 5101.

6399, 6699, 6999. DISSERTATION. Prerequisite: admission to candidacy for the Doctor of Philosophy degree. 6399 and 6699 graded R/F only; 6999 graded P/F/R. Co-requisite: AE 5101.


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