Aero-Engineering at UA

<p>Those incoming students (and prospective students) interested in aero, might like to read through this site: <a href=“”></a>
Dean Karr has gone to the Farnborough Airshow (held bi-annually in the UK; and in alternate years in France) with a consortium specifically to promote AL as a great place to do business…and this will no doubt result in future jobs for aero students. I know 3 years ago, UA Aero gave my son great pause because of its relatively small size and ‘remoteness’ from the aviation industry. Ha! Things are rockin’ and rollin’ here. :wink: Roll, Pitch, Yaw Tide! </p>

<p>Roll Tide!!</p>

<p>Thanks for the news. What a great website. Hopefully things will be looking up when my son graduates next year. </p>

<p>@hokiefan are the graduates in the Aero engineering dept having a hard time finding jobs? My DS wants to major in Aero but I’m trying to talk to him about Mechanical with maybe a Masters in Aero. </p>

<p>Bandmom3, I’m not sure. I know some of his friends had no trouble and some are headed to grad school. I know for my son he could not get an internship or job this summer. He was lucky to get some unpaid research at the university. I guess it’s better then nothing. I personally think mechanical gives you more options but that isn’t where my son ‘thinks’ his interests are. We discussed the same thing in my house way back in freshman year but he didn’t want to hear it. As he heads into senior year we will see what happens.</p>

<p>I think if your kid is a go getter like aeromom’s, he will be fine. While my son has great grades, he is more laid back and not very aggressive in going after things. More like a go with the flow type. And when I ask him what is going on with his classmates as far as jobs and opportunities, he tells me it’s none of his business and for the most part he doesn’t ask. Maybe I can get some info out of him. I 'll report back if I do.</p>

<p>"? My DS wants to major in Aero but I’m trying to talk to him about Mechanical with maybe a Masters in Aero."</p>

<p>MechE will have more options and probably be more marketable.</p>

<p>If your son will be coming in with a number of AP Credits, perhaps he can major in MechE and also take some AeroE classes. (is there a minor in AE?)</p>

<p>@mom2collegekids and @bandmomof3- Yes, there is AEM minor.<br>
It is an additional 2 classes (7 credits) on top of ME major AND that the ME technical elective be either AEM 313 or 341. I LOVE DegreeWorks, but it is a bit misleading for this scenario if you use the What If - DW lists 7 classes for the minor, but 4 of those are required for ME major plus 1 which can be used for the ME Tech Elective.</p>

<p>Most of the first 2 years of AEM are also courses required for ME. </p>

<p>My kid is like Hokiefan - laid back. And he doesn’t know how to network. Unlike Hokiefan’s son, my son is seeing the benefit of more generalized with ME and is considering a change. I <em>hope</em> he follows through with his plans this Fall to talk to someone at UA re this. In the spring, his advisor was not helpful in laying out pros/cons. He really needs guidance from someone who knows the AEM industry better.</p>

<p>I feel to be truly successful in aero, a student has to be quite focused and passionate about the subject matter of either planes or space. A lot of people feel aero is kind of a sub-set of mechanical - this is not true IMO. It is just as broad, actually! Within aero (which does, on the surface, sound like a pretty ‘narrow’/specific major), there are many different directions and paths to go down. If you go on the AIAA website and look at all of the dozens of subcommittees they have, there are so many sub-branches of aeronautics and aerospace, that it can be as mind-boggling as the umbrella of engineering itself! Add in the need to understand composite materials, industrial engineering, technical drawings, and probably have some business acumen, on top of all the basics, and you will find that a 4-yr aero degree may not adequately prepare you for that first ‘real’ job out there. Many students do indeed go on to graduate school, because they just need more study at an advanced level to get a job in a highly technical engineering field. It is, therefore, most definitely necessary to supplement your college degree with myriad aviation- or engineering-related experiences, many of which are available at UA, even to Freshmen. </p>

<p>So, I’ll chime in on a couple of points. You can major in either aero or mechanical, and get a minor in the other - that’s one option to cover your bases and make yourself a bit more marketable. For minoring in ME (majoring in AE), you have to take 2 additional classes; for minor in AE (major in ME) you would have to take 3 additional classes. See here and here: <a href=“”>;/a&gt; & <a href=“”>About – Mechanical Engineering | The University of Alabama. This relatively ‘minor’ requirement is because so much of the curriculum is shared between ME and AE, especially in the first 4-5 semesters of classwork. That said - and it looks easy, doesn’t it?! - it can be difficult to fit even these 2-3 classes in. Both ME and AE majors are pretty jam packed with courses. Having AP credits will most definitely help you. You can also try minoring in EE and/or add some computer and graphics classes…or pretty much anything business-related as well, in order to make yourself more marketable with an aero degree.</p>

<p>My son is definitely one of the more focused and passionate students about his aero major - he is not very interested in tagging on a mechanical minor or anything else not specifically related to aero. Instead, he has joined several industry-specific organisations (some of which have chapters on campus), audited a graduate-level research class on micro-air vehicles (like miniature drones and other UAVs), is part of UA’s Design/Build/Fly team, and has been aggressive about getting relevant scholarships and internships, starting in his Freshman year. He had an internship this past summer as well, during which he secured an ‘educational leave of absence’ (meaning, he is technically still an employee and just re-joins with another internship next summer). It’s basically a co-op without the time off school, because in aero, co-ops are not usually pursued since so many of the classes are only taught certain semesters at UA…if you do a co-op in aero (which is most definitely a ticket to securing a job!), you will take 5+ years to finish your BS degree.</p>

<p>I was a little taken aback to read the original articles I posted - I mean, Alabama is courting the (as in THE!) global airshow bigwigs in conjunction w/ other AL schools and organisations. Fan-flippin’-tastic! Dean Karr is amazing. Trust me when I say that UA graduates are in good hands w/ their engineering degrees, IF they seek out opportunities that are knocking while they are at school. A degree is just not enough nowadays - you need much more experience to land that first ‘real’ job, especially in such a specialised field. </p>

<p>My main advice is to follow your passions, tho, and don’t worry about jobs - if you are passionate about something, and strive for excellence in everything you do, you will be successful at it. Good luck! PM me if you want specifics about anything.</p>

<p>Sorry about the duplicate info. Longhaul posted before my long-winded tome, and I didn’t see it beforehand!</p>

<p>Wow, I love that internship with educational leave of absence. Great idea! </p>

<p>Aeromom, your son is going to go places. What a great experience. He surely earned it. Congrats.</p>

<p>Thank you all for the information. I can’t wait to show my DS the information that you all have provided. This just adds another check mark of why DS needs to go to BAMA. </p>

<p>It doesn’t hurt to seek out internships and opportunities via any connections you have. Check out the Co-op opportunities.</p>

<p>Friend’s DD (AU) as a junior is doing a ME Co-op at a paper mill. So she will take longer to graduate, but her work experience is translatable to ME jobs available at graduation - and maybe her Co-op employer will have a good job offer for her too.</p>

<p>Alabama is hardly ‘remote’ from the aviation industry. Huntsville is one of the key hubs of the industry, especially in government related aviation R&D, testing, acquisition and contracting. NASA manages its manned space program out of Marshall Space Flight Center on Redstone Arsenal, and the Army’s Aviation and Missile Command is also there, alongside the Missile Defense Agency’s headquarters. Defense Intelligence Agency’s Missile and Space Intelligence Center is also on Redstone Arsenal. Huntsville is like no other place in America when it comes to missile, space, and army aviation.</p>

<p>Alabama is a huge aviation state - not just space but Air Bus just opened their newest facility in Mobile and GE Aviation is right outside of Auburn along with Pratt & Whitney…and more. </p>

If anyone can help with this, it is most appreciated!


I am reviving this post:-) Considering there was only one company looking for an aero major at the Spring 2017 Coop Fair at UA, I’m hoping that more will chime in with any future offerings at UA for aero majors. It’s a very small group of kids compared to other majors, and I know my DS is mostly forging his own path. Hoping that will change in upcoming semesters and that there is more support and opportunity and not such a push to switch to ME. Right now we are encouraging him to continue his studies after his Bachelors in this field.