Aerospace & Mechanical Engineering Department
Aerospace engineering (AE) is a very exciting field. AE is concerned with any vehicle moving through the atmosphere, through space, or even traveling on the surface of another planet. Mechanical engineering (ME) is a very broad and continuously evolving field which focuses on the design of machines and mechanical systems - from miniature machines Micro-Electrical-Mechanical Systems (MEMS) to incredible large and complex systems like the Space Shuttle launch vehicle.
Aeronautical vs. Astronautical
Aerospace engineering is a combination of aeronautical and astronautical engineering. AE is the engineering associated with atmospheric flight (which includes aircraft, helicopters, missiles) or even automobiles. The same principles of aeronautical engineering would apply to any fluid medium – such as water. Astronautical engineering is the engineering of space missions, which also covers a large number of topics.
New Technology and Challenges
If you are reading this page, you probably already know something about aerospace engineering. One of the reasons aerospace engineering is so exciting is that it is a field which generally pushes the envelope on new technology - making things better, lighter, faster. Because of this, it is a constantly changing field and it continually challenges us.
Making Ideas Work
If you aren't really sure what engineering is all about, here's a widely accepted definition: "Engineering is the art and science of utilizing nature's resources for the benefit of humanity." In plain English, engineering is all about taking an idea and finding a way to make that idea work. Engineers use the principles of science, math, and technology to design or analyze something that can be created. Engineers do the planning and analysis to make sure that things are going to work right - the first time, on time and on budget!
Apply Your Knowledge
The Aerospace or Mechanical Engineering Degree Program here at Embry-Riddle, Prescott, will help you grow as an individual by pushing you to learn and understand what it takes to become a successful engineer. We offer a choice of curriculum tracks - Aeronautical (aircraft) or Astronautical (spacecraft) design in AE and Robotics (autonomous vehicles) and Propulsion (gas turbines) design in ME - so that you can apply your engineering knowledge and creativity to a project which you are passionate about.
Engineering is hard work. Using the processing of metals as a metaphor, if engineering were easy, we would cast the information into you. However, it is not easy. Instead we liken the process to forging - which creates a superior metal, but requires more skill and work. Our faculty and alumni agree that the work pays off because it creates graduates who "hit the ground running" in their careers.