SELF STUDY REPORT Department of Aerospace Engineering Sciences Program Review 1996 I. Overview of the Department

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SELF STUDY REPORT


Department of Aerospace Engineering Sciences

Program Review

1996



I.

Overview of the Department



A.

Brief description



The Department of Aerospace Engineering Sciences is a classical
aerospace engineering department, created from

an aeronautical
engineering program in the Mechanical Engineering Department in 1947,
under the leadership of Professor Karl D. Wood. From an original
emphasis on aircraft design, aerodynamics and related aeronautical
subjects, the Department became pred
ominantly space oriented in the
last decade. Currently, there are 24 regular faculty, approximately 250
undergraduate students, and 160 graduate students. The areas of
specialization are roughly two
-
thirds astronautics (space) related, and
one
-
third aero
nautics related.




B.

Outstanding characteristics




The Department is known for its strong research programs and
attendant doctoral program.

The research programs have been utilized to
provide a significant research component to the undergraduate academ
ic
program. Departmental programs are noteworthy for their integration of
experiment and theory.



C.

Role and mission within the University




The Department plays an important role in the space emphasis of the
University. It hosts four centers which co
nduct interdisciplinary programs
that span several colleges and institutes. These features enable the
Department to contribute to the aims of the University Strategic Plan.



D.

Programs offered




Through the College of Engineering, the Department offers

the
Bachelor of Science degree. Through the Graduate School, it offers the
Master of Science, Master of Engineering, and Doctor of Philosophy
degrees. The undergraduate degree provides more space emphasis than
the majority of aerospace programs. The gr
aduate degrees are offered in
four specialty areas: aero
-
, gas and fluid dynamics, astrodynamics and
remote sensing, controls and systems, as well as structures and
materials. In addition, there is an interdisciplinary specialty in
bioengineering.



E.

P
ersonnel




The Department has rostered 24 tenure
-
track faculty (20 of whom are
tenured), and 1 faculty rostered elsewhere: 3 assistant professors, 4
associate professors, and 18 professors. There are four research faculty:



2

two research associate profes
sors and two research assistant professors.
There are approximately 20 affiliated faculty from other units and nearby
industry or research facilities, and approximately 20 postdoctoral research
associates. These are supported by 14 staff who provide admin
istrative
and technical assistance.



F.

National reputation




In 1995, The National Research Council ranked the Department’s
faculty as the thirteenth best in the country. The Department was ranked
by the NRC as first among aerospace programs in improve
ment over the
last five years. Also in 1995, the
U.S. News and World Report

survey of
engineering deans ranked the Department’s graduate program fourteenth
in the nation.



G.

Financial status




The Department has the highest research expenditures of any

Boulder
Campus department, with over $9,000,000 in FY ‘96, and over
$47,000,000 over the past six years. The Department’s revenue to cost
per full
-
time equivalent student is the best among engineering
departments in the College when compared with the AAU

Public
Institutions. Research expenditures per faculty member are larger than
those of any other department on the Boulder Campus.



H.

Placement of graduates




Nearly all students graduating with M.S., M.E., or Ph.D. degrees are
placed in good position
s in industry, government, or universities.
Approximately 5% of Ph.D. students are awarded regular faculty positions
at other universities. A high proportion of Ph.D. graduates go to positions
at research laboratories.




The Department runs an effective

placement program (particularly for
students receiving B.S. degrees), created in response to the difficult
employment environment in recent years. As a result of this program, the
Department’s graduates have been successful in obtaining challenging
posit
ions in a highly competitive environment. Despite the recent
contraction of the aerospace industry, nearly all B.S. degree recipients
have been placed within a short time of graduation.


III.

Review Criteria



A.

Quality



1.
Teaching






The Departme
nt prides itself on the quality of its teaching. Four of
its faculty have won the College’s Charles A. Hutchinson Teaching
Award, including two in the last five years. The 1996 outstanding
teacher in the College is Assistant Professor Brian Argrow, who al
so
received the W. M. Keck Foundation Engineering Teaching Excellence
Award in 1995.




3





In 1994, all of the College’s engineering departments

received the
highest level of national accreditation given. The ABET report for
Aerospace Engineering Sciences s
tated, “The quality of the laboratory
experiences is excellent. The faculty appears keenly aware of the
‘hands
-
on’ component of the curriculum and makes a concerted effort
to integrate this into the undergraduate program.” This report also
notes the posi
tive impact on teaching that the faculty’s research has:
“They are commended for developing a strong research program in
support of the curriculum.”





The faculty of the Department have been aggressive in
participating in special undergraduate academic

programs, including
the Undergraduate Excellence Fund, and the Undergraduate
Research Opportunities Program. Since the initial conception of the
College’s Integrated Teaching and Learning Laboratory, the
Department has led the way in many aspects of this

comprehensive
change in the undergraduate academic philosophy. Members of the
Aerospace faculty chaired the groups developing fluids, systems,
thermodynamics, and measurements sections of this innovative
curriculum project. The Department faculty have t
hus far taught 8 of
18 sections of the College’s ITLL Freshman Projects course
(containing nearly half of the 327 students) and a substantial fraction
of the new College Freshman Computing course. Half of the College’s
new multidisciplinary Senior Project
s course will be taught by
Aerospace’s faculty. Professors Peterson and Bedard are structuring
their sections around a national design competition. Through the
Department, the Colorado Center for Astrodynamics Research and the
Colorado Space Grant Consor
tium are teaching a high school
outreach program funded by NASA that involves high school students
in research conducted by the Department’s faculty and students.






2.
Research





In research, both in quality and quantity, the Department ranks
among
the best in the nation. In each of the last six years, the
Department has ranked among the top half dozen aerospace
engineering departments in the nation as measured by total research
expenditures, research expenditures per faculty member, and Ph.D.
degre
es granted. For the past three years, overhead
-
bearing research
expenditures in the Department have exceeded $8,000,000, making it
a near tie for first in the University with three other departments
(MCDB, Electrical Engineering, and Chemistry). In FY 95
, research
expenditures were $8,852,906, rising to $9,107,760 in FY 96. New
awards for the past year exceeded $12,000,000, indicating continued
growth.






3.
Faculty and Graduate Program





The National Research Council in 1995 ranked the Department’s

faculty quality as the thirteenth best in the nation. The Department
was among four programs at the University ranked in the top twenty.



4

The Department was ranked first among aerospace programs in
improvement over the last five years. In 1995, the
U.S
. News and
World Report

ranked the Department’s graduate program fourteenth in
the nation.





In the last four years, the Department has averaged over twenty
Ph.D.’s granted per year. In nearly every case the new Ph.D. has
been placed in a responsible p
osition at a government laboratory,
industry, or another university. The Department has a good record of
placement of all its graduates, both with graduate and undergraduate
degrees. The Department is dissatisfied with the number of its Ph.D.’s
joining ac
ademe.







4.
Curriculum






The curriculum, both graduate and undergraduate, has been
regularly reviewed and improved. Currently, the graduate curriculum
has finished its first year of a major revision, and the undergraduate
curriculum is in the mi
dst of a significant change incorporating the new
ideas of the College’s Integrated Teaching and Learning Laboratory,
and the new demands of engineering fields of today.



B.

Centrality




In 1984, President Arnold Weber announced his Space Initiative. T
he
following year, President Gordon Gee adopted this Space Initiative as his
own, and declared this Department to be the “gemstone in the crown” of
his drive to make this the Space University of the nation. The
administration invested in this Department w
ith good results. Today this
Campus is one of three or four with valid claims as the Space University
of the nation, when one considers the combined strength of APAS, LASP,
and Aerospace Engineering Sciences.




The Department has had outstanding success
in interdisciplinary
research with strong cross
-
campus programs including BioServe Space
Technologies (BST), the Center for Aerospace Structures (CAS), the
Colorado Center for Astrodynamics Research (CCAR), the Center for
Space Construction (CSC), the High

Performance Computing Center
(HPCC), participation in

the Program in Atmospheric and Oceanic
Sciences (PAOS), and an informal interdisciplinary program in remote
sensing. In addition, aerospace students play a major role in the Colorado
Space Grant Colleg
e.




Through its interdisciplinary research, its contributions to the Space
Initiative, and its contribution to the general engineering curriculum
through ITLL, the Department plays key roles in achieving the aims of the
UCB Strategic plan.







C.

Stude
nt demand




Student demand for aerospace engineering has long been cyclical. At
the peak of the last cycle, for five years (1988
-
1992), the Department had
the largest number of undergraduate majors in the College:





5



1986

1987

1988

1989

1990

1991

1992

19
93

1994

1995

1996




583


648


660


615


623


549


477


380


314


256 227





The downturn in undergraduate enrollment lags behind a similar
national drop in aerospace engineering majors. The Department’s
number of majors has remained 50% higher than
the national average for
aerospace engineering departments, which was 150 in 1995 (Appendix
G). A bright spot in the enrollment problem came in the Fall, 1996,
freshman class. It showed a significant increase to 62 (or 11.3% of the
class), up from 51 (or

8.8% of the freshman class) in 1995.




Graduate enrollment in the Department has shown a dramatic
increase since the University’s Space Initiative commenced in 1984. Full
-
time graduate enrollment at fall census:




1986

1987

1988

1989

1990

1991

1992

199
3

1994

1995

1996




47


62


80


151


169


187


196


201


176


155 157








This does not include approximately 35 part
-
time graduate students
each year. The average graduate enrollment in aerospace engineering
graduate programs in 199
5 was 85 (ADCA/AIAA Enrollment Survey,
Appendix G).





The degrees granted reflect these trends:






B.S.

M.S. and M.E.

Ph.D.

FY 86


72

14


8

FY 87


75

22


2

FY 88


80

23


4

FY 89

111

21


6

FY 90

109

38

11

FY 91

111

72

16

FY 92

103

45


6

FY 93


86

77

23

FY 94


94

57

16

FY 95


81

47

26

FY 96


69

30

18




These enrollment and graduation numbers place the Department in the
top six in the nation by size.



D.

Uniqueness




With the exception of the Air Force Academy, the Department offers
the only

undergraduate program in aerospace engineering in Colorado,
and, without exception, the only graduate program in aerospace
engineering in Colorado. The graduate program has been recognized
(based on uniqueness and quality) by the Western Interstate Comm
ission
on Higher Education (WICHE) for student exchange throughout the
fourteen state region.




6




The Department has research and graduate programs that are among

world leaders in aerospace structural dynamics and control, atmospheric
and ocean remote sensi
ng, bioengineering in space, computational, solid,
and fluid mechanics, global positioning technologies, microgravity fluid
mechanics, ocean modeling, precise orbit determination, satellite remote
sensing, and space debris.




7


IV. Teaching Programs and
Student Concerns




A. Outcomes assessment



The Department’s existing outcomes assessment is based on national
standard examinations. All students are required to take either the
Engineer
-
in
-
Training examination, or the Graduate Recor
d Examination.
The Colorado Commission on Higher Education has recently changed the
outcomes assessment requirement. In response, the Department is
currently developing expanded plans in conjunction with the College of
Engineering. The new outcomes asse
ssment methods will measure
broader student capabilities in analysis, design, teamwork, and
communication skills. This will provide more detailed feedback on the
quality of the curriculum and its delivery.




In addition, the Department conducted a s
urvey of Aerospace alumni
(limited to the past ten years) in the Fall of 1995, with 99 responses
received out of the 670 requests mailed. Both the number of responses
and the level of detail in the responses were encouraging. Questions
ranged from the ge
neral level of preparedness provided by the curriculum
to specific issues in curriculum reform. Alumni seem genuinely interested
and willing to help assess our program.




The Department plans to conduct periodic surveys of this type, which
will provide

an additional means of outcomes assessment.




Current senior survey results are presented in Appendix G, and
summarized in section C (2) below.




8



B. Placement of graduates




The Department has kept comprehensive records on the placement of
graduates s
ince the Spring of 1995. Over the last three semesters 108
B.S. degrees have been awarded, and the employment status of 90 of
these is known. Thirty percent have gone to graduate schools, 60% have
found jobs in industry or with government laboratories, a
nd 10% are
fulfilling commitments to the Armed Forces. Graduate schools accepting
Department graduates include Alabama, University of Pennsylvania,
M.I.T., as well as Colorado. Industry placements include large national
companies such as Boeing, TRW, Hug
hes, Rockwell, McDonnell Douglas
and Honeywell, and also include a strong Colorado industry
representation; i.e. Lockheed Martin, Ball Aerospace, United Airlines and
Aerospace Design and Development.




In 1993 one of the Department’s graduates received a
Rhodes
scholarship and is currently in graduate school at Oxford. Of the 14
University of Colorado graduates who have been astronauts, 8 of them
received their degrees from this Department.




The majority of students going on to graduate school do so at
CU, with
most remaining in the Aerospace Department. Although some go on to
other first
-
rank universities such as MIT, it is not clear whether most stay
here at CU due to the many opportunities for research assistantships, or
due to their inability to com
pete nationally.




Before the period detailed above, the national industry was in a down
-
sizing cycle. Based on the recollection of the undergraduate academic
advisor, many students did compete successfully for traditional aerospace
positions, but many a
lso found opportunities in other fields such as
software development. Despite the rather narrow impression that people
may have of aerospace engineering, the Department’s graduates are
apparently quite well
-
rounded engineers, who are attractive to a varie
ty of
industries.



C.

The undergraduate program



1.

The New Undergraduate Curriculum



The engineering career is changing. Success depends on
adaptability, communication and teamwork skills, and lifelong
learning. The curriculum m
ust provide a more rounded, integrated
exposure to engineering science which includes hands
-
on work
with physical systems and computational tools, as well as
additional experience in oral and written communication and
teamwork.





The approach is characte
rized by a more integrated core
curriculum, with enhanced upper division elective flexibility. The
sophomore year is revamped, integrating previously separate
introductory courses in mechanics, thermodynamics, materials, and
fluids
by focusing on interdisciplinary design problems with
significant experimental and computational components. Upper
division requirements are reduced, allowing wider choices in



9

technical electives to suit increasingly diverse student interests and
career op
portunities.



This revision is made possible by the new approach in national
accreditation requirements focusing on outcomes assessment
rather than rigid curriculum structure. Lower current enrollment
makes implementation of these
changes feasible.





ITLL will be instrumental in providing significant hands
-
on and
teamwork experiences to round
-
out this more integrated
curriculum. While there is not a specific ITLL course, many of the
core courses already are making use of ITL
L pilot modules. The
revised curriculum will depend on ITLL facilities and equipment to
support additional laboratory components.



The departmental faculty have already strongly endorsed the
overall goals and approach for the new c
urriculum. Work is
underway to define the details of the integrated sophomore
courses, resources needed, and faculty development requirements.
The goal is to implement this new curriculum beginning in the Fall
of 1997.



2.
Student activ
ities and participation



Undergraduates in the Department participate in a number of
professional and academic groups. The strongest of these is AIAA,

which fosters student interaction between upper and lower division
students, as well as contacts withi
n industry. Monthly meetings
focus on industry presentations and future career information. The
chapter sponsors ten to twenty student paper entries in the District
competition every year. Aerospace students also participate in the
Society of Women Eng
ineers, Sigma Gamma Tau, and the
Engineering Council. Three times a year the Department organizes
informational sessions for students covering undergraduate
research opportunities, senior design lab topics, and aerospace
elective courses.


The Department
sponsors Pizza Networking Seminars several
times a year to introduce students to faculty research and special
elective courses related to faculty special interests. Student
undergraduate research is highlighted at these seminars.


Two student representati
ves are regular members of the
Department’s Curriculum and Teaching Committee. Three
students are regular members of the Self Study Committee.


Recent senior survey results indicate that the Aerospace
Department is providing a quality undergraduate experi
ence.
Seniors have indicated their strongest satisfaction is with clarity of
degree requirements, availability of required courses, upper
division instruction, and academic advising in the major. Seniors
were least satisfied with career advising in the m
ajor, texts and
instructional materials, lower division instruction, and faculty
concern for students. However, over the last few years, seniors



10

have reported an increasing level of satisfaction with academic and
career advising, and availability of resea
rch opportunities.




3.
Undergraduate research


The Department helps undergraduates arrange for participation
in faculty research through independent study, paid research
assistance positions, and the University’s Undergraduate Research
Opportunit
y Program (UROP). More than 10% of aerospace
students are involved in UROP, with the Department’s students
comprising the largest percentage of any department on campus.
Numerous opportunities exist for students to work with actual space

systems and rese
arch through the HOMER project, Space Grant
College (where 23 of 55 undergraduate participants are aerospace
majors), and BioServe projects where 30
-
35% of the work force is
undergraduates. Fifteen to twenty percent of undergraduate
students participate i
n independent study each semester.
Coordination of these activities, along with Co
-
op and Summer
Intern programs, is handled by the Student Advisor.




4.
Undergraduate academic advising


The majority of the under
graduate academic advising
responsibilities is handled through a staff position. This centralized
advising system has released faculty from these duties to
concentrate more on teaching and research. Faculty advising is
still available via office hours, b
ut is geared more toward career
advising.


This advising method has worked extremely well, with the
Department’s staff academic advisor receiving two separate
awards as the “Outstanding Undergraduate Advisor” for the
University during 1991
-
92, and the Coll
ege award for 1991.
Various surveys have also indicated student satisfaction with the
Department’s academic advising system. The 1995 Senior Exit
Survey revealed that the Aerospace Engineering Sciences
Department is one of only two departments on the en
tire campus
where students are satisfied with their major’s academic advising.


Beginning with the Fall 1996 Semester, electronic academic
advising is also available on the World Wide Web. Students can
access their records and verify their degree progress
.
Furthermore, non
-
Aerospace students considering a change or
transfer to Aerospace can see what degree requirements they have
fulfilled for a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering Sciences. This
procedure, and the staff and faculty participation in Open Option
Engineering student activities, will help to promote the Department
and aid in recruiting undergraduate students.




D.

The Graduate Program



The Graduate Program must be on pace with both the changing
marketplace demands at the Mas
ters level for students interested in an



11

industrial career, and also provide a solid foundation for those students
opting for a research/academic career.



The Graduate Program should also reflect the research expertise and
the strengths of the faculty, he
nce enabling students to participate in
faculty research grants as RAs.



Over the past two years, the Department has made major revisions in
its graduate program requirements. These changes are designed to meet
the above
-
named goals of a strong graduate

program. The new program
offers the M.S. degree either with a nonthesis or a thesis option. In the
nonthesis option, the minimum requirement is 30 credit hours of course
work, whereas with the thesis option 4
-
6 credits must be for M.S. thesis
credits. In

the thesis option, an oral examination based on the thesis is
also required.



All M.S. students are required to take one graduate level math course
and one graduate level applied computation course, as well as four
departmental core courses in at least
two different areas from a specified
list of courses. At least two courses must be taken in one area, which will
be the major area of study. This requirement ensures both breadth and
depth of knowledge in the selected areas of expertise. There are four
spe
cialty areas offered by the Department: (i) Fluids, (ii) Astrodynamics
and Remote Sensing, (iii) Controls and Systems, and (iv) Structures.



The M.S. thesis must consist of original and independent research
conducted by the student under the supervision
of the faculty advisor; the
topic should be related to the major field.



The Ph.D. Program requires 36 hours of graduate courses, and 30
hours of dissertation credit. The student must pass departmental
preliminary and comprehensive exams, complete a Ph.
D. dissertation
based on original research work, and successfully defend the dissertation
in a final examination.



Enrollment in both the M.S. and Ph.D. programs increased
substantially from 1985 to 1992 and has been more or less steady since
then. In te
rms of program efficiency, an important factor is the
student
faculty ratio. The Table below summarizes trends in enrollment
over the past six years, (based upon Fall semester census).






Degrees Awarded






Ph.D.


M.S.

Year

Ph.D. Enr

M.S. Enr.

Faculty

Enr/Fa
culty

Enr./Faculty

1990


80


99


21


3.81


4.71

1991


82


105


24


3.42


4.38

1992


100


96


27


3.70


3.56

1993


94


92


28


3.38


3.29

1994


108


68


27


4.00


2.52

1995


87


74


27


3.22


2.74

1996


77


80


24


3.21


3.33




12




The number of degrees awarded at both the M.S. and Ph.D. levels
increased significantly between 1985 and 1993 and has leveled since
the
n. The following is based upon calendar year degrees granted:







Placement:




There is no systematic study of placement data over a number of
years; however, there is a survey conducted by Graduate Secretary
Rae Boggs in 1994 that compiles some of this data. Accordingly, and
to the best of our knowledge, most of our graduates ar
e placed in
industry and in Federal Research Labs (NASA, Jet Propulsion, etc.),
as well as research associates at academic institutions.



E.

Teaching improvement and quality control



For faculty facing promotion, tenure, or reappointment decisions, a
sen
ior faculty member is expected to visit a lecture (or several) and
provide first
-
hand evaluation of the faculty member’s teaching for the
record. In general, there is no program to evaluate and improve the
teaching of the faculty other than the mandated s
tudent in
-
class
evaluations. However, there are several programs which the Department
participates in that seek to improve the quality of teaching.



1.
Teaching Excellence Program





Assistant professors in the Department have been ur
ged to
maintain teaching portfolios and attend Faculty Teaching Excellence
seminars. It appears that all untenured faculty have prepared
comprehensive teaching portfolios, and have initiated classroom
evaluations by other faculty. Many have also particip
ated in the
Faculty Teaching Excellence Program (FTEP) which conducts classes
and seminars designed to improve the quality of university teaching.
Several Department faculty have worked closely with the FTEP in the
development of programs for all professo
rs.




2.
Lead Graduate Teacher Program participation





The Lead Graduate Teacher serves as a liaision between the
Department faculty and the Teaching Assistants (TAs) in the
Department with the primary goal of improving the quality of teaching
done by graduate students through seminars, one
-
on
-
one consultation
and improved communication. Since the inception of the Lead
Year

Ph.D.

MS
-
ME

Ph.D/Faculty

MS
-
ME/Faculty

1990

12

58

0.57

2.76

1991


8

65

0.33

2.71

1992

17

38

0.63

1.41

1993

25

52

0.89

1.86

1994

27

55

1.0

2.03

1995

23

45

0.85

1.67




13

Graduate Teacher Program, the Aerospace Department has .been an
active participant, and continues to be a leader within the Col
lege.
Cooperation and resource sharing efforts developed by the College
leads have been implemented campus
-
wide.




The Lead Graduate Teacher is responsible for training new and
continuing Teaching Assistants (see 3 below). Other activities include
the
organization and presentation of seminars on topics such as
Gender Bias/Sexual Harassment, Teaching Portfolios, Seeking a Job
in Academia, Writing Grant Proposals, etc. The Lead Graduate
Teacher also serves on the Curriculum and Teaching Committee,
provid
es video consultation of T
A
s in the classroom, and surveys the
T
A
s for quality in their teaching and communication with faculty.





3.

TA Training





Each year, the Lead Graduate Teachers put on a one day training
seminar in the Fall and the S
pring for the College’s Teaching
Assistants (TAs). Approximately 150 TAs participate in this training
each year with approximately 30 coming from the Aerospace
Engineering department. The morning schedule includes a mandatory
seminar on sexual harassment

as well as various talks and panels on
issues involved with the TA position. The afternoon is filled with
microteaching
--

each TA giving a brief lecture that is videotaped and
then reviewed to provide feedback.




4.
Teaching assessment





In Appendi
x H are the College policies which include the criteria for
teaching assessment for the College. These criteria are used by the
Department for all teaching assessment. This includes assessment for

reappointment, promotion, tenure, salary equity, and annu
al
evaluations. In summary, teaching is assessed using:



Faculty Course Questionnaires



Teaching publications



Teaching Awards and other recognition for teaching



Curricular or course development and innovations



Peer evaluations and student group interviews



supervision of independent study and research students



Extra teaching contributions such as High School Honors Institute



Optional Statements from the faculty member about teaching
contributions



Informal feedback from students to deans or the Chair


V.

Dive
rsity Plan




All College Engineering departments participated in preparing and
adopting a uniform diversity plan, the College Diversity Plan. The College
Plan (which is also the Department’s Plan) is included in Appendix D. It



14

covers several major theme
s: recruitment, retention, climate, education,

and

process.



A primary goal is to recruit and retain a population reflective of the state
and national pool which also has an international character. At the
undergraduate student level, the Department par
ticipates actively, through
faculty sponsorship and contributions, to these goals through the effective
organizations of the Minority Engineering Program, the Women in
Engineering Program, and the College Diversity Committee.



At the graduate level, the
Department has directly and successfully
recruited for women and minorities. The Department won a Department of
Education graduate fellowship program, titled the Century XXI Fellowship
program, tailored to recruit and retain women and minority graduate st
udents.
Over a five
-
year period, this program supported some forty graduate
students, greatly enhancing the Department’s diversity. The Department
from the beginning was a leader of the University proposals for Patricia
Roberts Harris fellowships. The De
partment was the most successful of all
University departments in obtaining these fellowships for women graduate
students.



All of these efforts have had a strong positive effect on the student
population of the Department as the following tables show.




15


Women and Minority Enrollment in the Department

UNDERGRADUATE


Year

Women %

Minorities %

1990


82 13.2


75 12.0

1991


74 13.5


77 14.0

1992


71 15.3


65

14.0

1993


75 19.7


49 12.9

1994


56 17.8


47 15.0

1995


54 21.1


40 15.6

1996


53 23.3





Women and Minority Enrollment in the
Department

GRADUATE





These tables indicate an increasing trend in enrollment percentages for
both minority and fem
ale students. The total numbers follow the general
trend of decreasing total number of students.



In the last three years, these percentages are approximately the same as
the College percentages. For 1995, the College percentages of women were
19.8% und
ergraduate, and 19.6% graduate; College percentages of
minorities were 15% undergraduate and 10% graduate. For 1996, the
College percentage of women are 19.6% undergraduate, and 21.2%
graduate.



In 1995
-
96, the Department’s women graduates represented
19% of the
B.S., 27% of the M.S., and 28% of the Ph.D. degrees. This compares
favorably with the College percentages of 22%, 17%, and 19%, respectively.



The Department has had even more success in recruiting and retaining
women and minority faculty memb
ers. Through the University’s Special
Opportunity Program, four women and one minority (Afro
-
American) faculty
were hired. One of the women faculty left the area, and is now on the faculty
only as an adjunct member. All of the others are still on the fac
ulty.



In addition to those hired through this program, the Department has one
Hispanic, two Asian American, and one Indio Asian American for a total of
five minority faculty. Thus, minority faculty represent 21% of the regular
Department faculty, and t
he women faculty represent 12.5%. These
Year

Women %

Minorities %

1990


12 7.1


15 8.9

1991


22 11.8


15 8.0

1992


25 12.8


16 8.2

1993


32 16.0


14

7.0

1994


32 18.2


17 9.7

1995


30 19.4


14 9.0

1996


32 20.4





16

percentages are well above the College percentages of 4.8% and 9.5%,
respectively. Though not included in the preceding figures, the new Minority
Engineering Program Director, Dr. Germán R. Núñez, is a Professor
At
tendant Rank in this Department.



The University has prepared an analysis of the entire University which
includes a comparison of faculty women and minority percentages against
the percentages in the available pool of faculty members. For the
Department
, this analysis shows that the percentage of minority faculty
exceeds that of the available pool, and the percentage of women faculty far
exceeds that of the pool. The analysis shows that this Department is one of
the most successful departments in the Un
iversity in this respect, and is the
most successful department in the College.



The annual survey of graduating seniors contains information on the
impressions of these students about the climate in the Department regarding
women and minority students.

This survey indicates that the Department’s
students have a significantly more favorable feeling about the climate for
women and minorities than do the rest of the College’s students.



The detailed survey of graduate students in May, 1996 showed a stron
gly
favorable rating by them regarding the climate for and treatment of women
and minorities.



To improve the climate for students, all Departmental faculty in leadership
or administrative positions, most staff, and most senior faculty have
participated
in one or more of the sensitivity training sessions provided by the
University. In addition, every year for the past five or six years Dr. Mary Ann
Shea of the University Teaching Excellence Program, and Dr. Laura Border
of the Graduate Teacher Program ha
ve given separate seminars on teaching
environment issues. These Department
-

sponsored workshops cover the
proper treatment of gender and race in academia.



Many departmental faculty, including all of the junior faculty, participate
individually in the
Teaching Excellence Program. This program emphasizes
the maintenance of a positive climate for all students and prepares the faculty
member to address gender, race, and disability issues constructively.


VI.

The Strategic Plan



A.

Statement of goals




Since the University launched its Space Initiative, the Department of
Aerospace Engineering Sciences has taken on a special role in this thrust.
The goals of the Department are chosen to assure that it fulfills this
mission, leading the University toward

its place as one of the outstanding
space universities in the nation. To this end, the Department endeavors
to provide a high quality undergraduate education with a strong basis in
science, mathematics and engineering enabling the student to begin a
dist
inguished professional career or to successfully continue in graduate
studies. The Department strives to maintain a high quality graduate
program leading to the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Aerospace Engineering
Sciences and to make significant contributions

to aerospace research.




17




The Aerospace Engineering Sciences faculty has established these
goals:



To provide a high quality undergraduate education that imparts to a
student the technical proficiency to have a distinguished professional
career in the aero
space field, including a balanced exposure to the
arts and humanities needed for rich enjoyment of life.



To provide a strong basis in science, mathematics, and aerospace
disciplines enabling the student to successfully continue on in
graduate studies.



To m
aintain high quality M.S. and Ph.D. programs in Aerospace
Engineering Sciences.



To contribute valuable research results for the future of aerospace
flight.



To attain a rank for the Department among the top 10 Aerospace
Engineering Departments in the nation
.



To assist the Colorado and national aerospace industry to remain
competitive and to grow.





The Strategic Plan, Appendix B, is designed to move the Department
toward the achievement of these goals. Submitted annually to the
Department’s External Advis
ory Committee for suggestions and approval,
it is a living document which will change and grow as circumstances
evolve.



B.

Current areas of strength




The Department has the following strengths:


Space Vehicle Technology




18



systems engineering and operat
ions



astrodynamics, GPS



space experiments



structures and materials



biology in space



controls


Aero Vehicle Technology



structures and materials



aerodynamics, fluid mechanics



controls


Remote Sensing Technology



space environment



space dat
a utilization



ocean, atmospheric, and geological science




It should be noted that the Department currently has minimal or no
strength in spacecraft propulsion, spacecraft electric power,
communications, and space electronics; nor does it have str
ength in
avionics, computer
-
aided design, flight mechanics, and aircraft
propulsion. Although each of these areas constitutes an important
aerospace discipline, they are not considered further as potential areas of
excellence for the Department.




C.

Future faculty additions




The Department plans to strengthen the following areas by requesting
new positions or through retirement replacement.


(1) Aero and space vehicle technology:


aero and space structures, materials, system dynamics


satellite and

flight control


coupled structure, aerodynamics and control systems


high performance computing


aeroacoustics, transition and turbulence control, gas



dynamics


(2) Applications of satellites:


communications, imaging


remote sensing,


oceanograph
y, atmospheric sciences, and geodesy


GPS, especially in support of spacecraft technology


astrodynamics


(3) Space exploration and experiments in space:


bioengineering


microgravity fluid mechanics


materials processing




19




D.

Undergraduate curric
ulum innovation




The Department has begun a major revision of the undergraduate
curriculum that will be completed over the next three years. This
innovation will integrate the core curriculum, make it relevant to
applications, make it “hands
-
on” experie
ntial, interweave communication
and teamwork skills, provide more choice at the upper levels, and include
continuous improvement procedures.




The freshman and sophomore revisions will be implemented in 1997
-
98 with a planned step
-
by
-
step implement of all

innovations over the
following two years.




The new undergraduate curriculum is an interdisciplinary, hands
-
on
experience that is balanced with basic core disciplines and humanities.
The Department plans to capitalize on the availability of ITLL facilit
ies for
this curriculum innovation. To implement this plan, the Department
submitted to the CCHE a curriculum innovation proposal of $2.1 million for
FY 97
-
2001 period and has been actively pursuing corporate sponsorship
commitments from Lockheed
-
Martin,
Boeing, Hughes, and educational
foundations.



E.

Graduate Program and research growth




The Graduate Program in Aerospace Engineering Sciences has grown
in size and improved significantly in quality over the past decade.
Recently, the doctoral program w
as rated thirteenth in the nation by the
National Research Council, and had by far the highest rate of
improvement of any program over the past five years. While the faculty is
proud of these accomplishments, we feel that the potential exists for our
prog
ram to be ranked in the top ten academically and in the top five in
other criteria such as Ph.D. production per faculty member. (In research
expenditure per full
-
time equivalent faculty member, we are already in the
top five.)




The Department’s research
strengths are largely in emerging fields
and are associated with national research programs sponsored by NASA,
NOAA, NSF, DoEd and The Department of Energy. Focus areas include:

Astrodynamics

Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences

Bioengineering

Controls and Sy
stems

Fluids

Global Positioning

Remote Sensing

Spacecraft Design

Structures




The Department has incorporated these areas of research emphasis
into the graduate curriculum. The Department believes that the following
areas will experience the highest grow
th in the next five to seven years:





20



satellite data utilizations


remote sensing, GPS, etc.



aero vehicle technology, including aircraft and launch vehicles



satellite design and fabrication technology



space
-
based environmental engineering


ocean and atmosp
heric
modeling



space exploration and experiments





The number of students enrolled in the Department of Aerospace
Engineering Sciences graduate program is satisfactory, but the quality of
our student pool could be improved by increasing the recruiting su
ccess
rate for the best students. This will be done by offering more research
assistantships and first year summer employment to our best candidates.
We will strive to make the new program we have implemented this year
successful. We will continue to de
velop our strengths in computational
and geophysical fluid dynamics, astrodynamics and remote sensing,
ocean and atmospheric modeling, structures and controls, high
performance computing, and bioengineering. We will more widely
advertise our program by se
nding our best Ph.D. graduates to tenure
track and postdoctoral positions at top universities and in turn recruit
postdoctoral candidates from these universities.



F.

Facility additions




The Department has a major laboratory addition in the approval st
age,
prioritized at fifth position by the BCPC (see Appendix H). This $900,000
project will provide 7200 square feet of new laboratory and office space.
Current projections suggest this space will be finished within three years.