AE research funding grows by nearly 30 percent
Research expenditures for the department were about $9.5 million in FY 17, as compared to approximately $7.4 million in FY 16. These numbers only reflect external funds, and do not account for other research-related funds such as start-up funds and graduate student support in the form of Stillwell Fellowships and teaching assistantships.
AE Department Head Phillippe Geubelle said the growth is attributable in part to AE faculty members’ active participation in large research center activities, including the Department of Energy-sponsored Center for Exascale Simulation of Plasma-Coupled Combustion and the Air Force-sponsored Center of Excellence in Self-Healing, Regeneration, and Structural Remodeling.
He also credited the ten faculty members AE has recruited over the past six years. Those investigators have successfully developed active research programs.
“Growth has been observed in multiple research areas, from new multifunctional materials to computational flow physics, from applied aerodynamics to non-equilibrium, hypersonic flows, from GPS research to cybersecurity,” Geubelle said. “The department has also seen a major growth in the area of nanosatellite technology, and is now involved in five CubeSat missions to be launched over the next couple of years.
“The ‘recipe’ is relatively simple: continue to attract top-notch, creative faculty members and graduate students,” Geubelle continued. “The Department is currently conducting a search for four new faculty members in areas such as applied aerodynamics and aircraft design, additive manufacturing and composites, aerial robotics and controls, and experimental hypersonics.”
The expansion of research programs has contributed to a historic growth of the number of AE graduate students, now standing at 198, about twice what it was a decade or so ago. “We also started a few years ago a fellowship program aimed at recruiting excellent graduate students, and we have seen a nice growth in the size of our PhD program,” Geubelle said.