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The Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
The proposal to merge the department of aerospace engineering with the department of mechanical engineering, to form the department of mechanical and aerospace engineering, was approved by faculty members of the two departments with overwhelming majorities, as well as by the college of engineering, the University Senate, and the OSU Board of Trustees. It was effective July 1, 2010.
All aerospace engineering degree programs will continue to be fully supported. Thus, the merged department will offer B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in aerospace engineering as well as mechanical engineering and M.S and Ph.D. degrees in nuclear engineering. The change in the name of the merged department will also ensure that the merger does not impair the visibility of the disciplines to potential students as well as to the public at large.
OSU’s national visibility in the aerospace engineering community will be heightened by the greater number of faculty members in the two departments working collaboratively and closely in aerospace engineering research and education. The merged department will offer a strong mentoring environment for junior faculty and graduate students involved in aerospace engineering research. Further, academic synergies between the disciplines would allow faculty in the merged department to work collaboratively in teaching courses as well as in introducing new courses that would be of interest to students in both disciplines. In order to facilitate interactions between all faculty members in the merged department, faculty members in the aerospace engineering department will be housed in the current home of the mechanical engineering department, the Peter and Clara Scott Laboratory, a state-of-the-art 240,000 sq.ft. facility constructed in 2006 at a cost of $ 71 Million.
The larger size of the merged department offers significant benefits in the form of heightened visibility in the mechanical engineering community, as well as opportunities for increased investment in the focus areas of the merged department. Over time, such investments are expected to lead to improved rankings of all programs of the merged department.
We are confident that the merger, taken together with the strong positive growth trends in both the current aerospace and mechanical engineering departments, will raise national awareness of the totality and high quality of aerospace engineering research at OSU, and further strengthen OSU’s links with NASA GRC, AFRL, and GE Aviation, while maintaining the visibility of the aerospace engineering program to potential student populations and the public. The merger will also enable the merged department to invest its resources in targeted focus areas of excellence in mechanical and aerospace engineering and thus elevate rankings of both disciplines.