CDS and SMM Exam Information

The CDS and SMM QE shall be a 3 hour, written, closed-book examination.

Evaluation - Scoring will be conducted "blind," referring to the Test Number. After scoring the exam, and before recommending a result, the student's identity will be revealed to the PD Examination Committee, and the student's Ph.D. advisor(s) will be consulted. The committee will then evaluate the student's exam performance, summarized by a letter from the committee chair, written with the knowledge of the committee and signed by the chair and members, to the Head. If the student is found deficient in an area, the committee has the flexibility to recommend corrective measures, e.g. taking the exam for a second time or the taking of another course, and will so state in the letter. The Head will be responsible for the final results and for communicating these to the student, the advisor, and the Graduate College. If the QE is not passed on the second try, the student will be dropped from the Ph.D. program. If objections are raised to the results of a QE, the Head may call a special meeting of the faculty, or may ask the AE Graduate Policy Committee to make recommendations to the Head on issues relating to the QE. If a member of the GPC has a conflict of interest the Head will appoint a suitable replacement.

Core Topics

Core topics for each PD are given below. These core topics can be adjusted for each candidate based on the courses submitted for the qualifying exam.

Dynamics and Control

  1. Dynamics:
    • Particle kinematics and dynamics in translating and rotating coordinate frames
    • Newton’s second law: translational and rotational applications, mechanical work, kinetic and potential energy
    • Lagrange’s equations for finite-degree-of-freedom mechanical systems
    • Multiple-degree-of-freedom vibration theory
    • Rigid body kinematics and dynamics
  2. Control:
    • Modeling of linear dynamic systems
    • Convolution and block diagram algebra
    • Laplace transform solution of differential equations
    • Linear systems stability: Routh's criterion
    • Performance specification of controlled systems
    • Feedback control of linear systems: design using different types of feedback
    • Root locus analysis and design
    • Frequency response analysis and design

Sample Texts:

  1. Principles of Dynamics, (2nd edition, 1988) by D. T. Greenwood, Prentice Hall
  2. Feedback Control of Dynamic Systems, (4th edition, 1994) by G. F. Franklin, J. D. Powell, and A. Emami-Naeini, Addison-Wesley

Structures and Materials

  • Analysis of stress and strain
  • Constitution of isotropic and orthotropic materials
  • Properties of common aerospace materials
  • Euler-Bernoulli beams in extension and bending
  • Torsion of shafts
  • Analysis of open and closed section monocoque and semi-monocoque beams and shafts
  • Energy methods, including theorems of virtual work, minimum potential and complementary energy, and Castigliano's Theorem
  • Theory of elastic stability with application to beam-columns
  • Finite element methods applied to truss and frame type structures

Sample Texts:

  1. Introduction to Linear Elasticity, (1994) by Phillip L. Gould, Springer Verlag
  2. Analysis of Aircraft Structures, An Introduction, (1993) by Bruce K. Donaldson, McGraw-Hill