An upgrade concentration in aerospace engineering (AEC) at the University of Hawaii in Mānoa is about to take off, which will translate into more training opportunities for aerospace engineering students and the promise of expanding the local workforce in the field.
AEC, which was launched in 2019, will be transferred from the Bachelor of Science in Engineering Science program at bachelor of science program in mechanical engineering Beginning in fall 2021. This initiative will simplify program offerings, as many aerospace engineering courses overlap with mechanical engineering. There are also plans to increase student enrollment in the program, as mechanical engineering students will no longer need to move from majors to engineering sciences.
the College of Engineering and the School of Oceans and Earth Sciences and Technologies (SOEST) have also agreed to integrate the curricular elements of the Terrestrial and planetary exploration technology (EPET) certificate program in SOESTof Hawaii Institute of Geophysics and Planetology in the AEC.
“With the growth of the aerospace sector, whether it is the air force or the space force or by the private sector and both here in Hawaii and across the world it is even more critical than the College of Engineering and other units like SOEST be able to offer programs such as the new Aerospace Engineering program within our Mechanical Engineering department so that our graduates can take advantage of these rapidly growing opportunities and employers can have a workforce locale from which to draw, ”Dean of the College of Engineering Brennon Morioka said: “It is exciting for us to be a part of these new areas of growth in our economy, especially at a time when Hawaii is trying to redefine some of our economic priorities. “
Associate Professor Dilmurat Azimov teaches mechanical engineering courses, such as mechanical engineering (ME) 451 Feedback control systems, which are required in the AEC Track.
“The AEC enables students to remain competitive in the aerospace market and provides great opportunities to participate in the development of aerospace technologies, including terrestrial and planetary exploration technologies, and to contribute to space exploration missions, ”said Azimov. “We hope that this transfer will allow us to attract students to aerospace engineering and to contribute to the sustainability of student enrollments and Hawaiiaerospace job market. “
Integrated aerospace projects
Four courses in the current AEC the curriculum will be replaced by EPET Classes. Assistant researcher and Hawaii Space Grants Consortium Deputy director Frances zhu teaches EPET/ME 400 Space Mission Design, one of the new courses of the AEC Track.
“The students of EUH have always expressed an interest in aerospace engineering. Three vertically integrated projects focus on aerospace topics and these groups total more than 50 students at a time, ”Zhu said. “EUH has also included space systems as a priority in its reorganization and strategic plan. The state of Hawaii, and EUH as the main higher education institution, must support the training of highly technical graduates. The field of robotics will be a pillar for EUH, Hawaii and future space missions. Creating an atmosphere in which prospective students can learn and work on aerospace engineering projects increases interest and participation in the field.
This program is an example of EUH Mānoa’s objectives of Improve student success (PDF) and Research Excellence: Advancing the Business of Research and Creative Work (PDF), two of the four objectives identified in the Strategic plan 2015–25 (PDF), updated in December 2020.