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Doctor of Engineering in Aerospace Engineering

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D.E. Degree Requirements

The Doctor of Engineering emphasizes systems design and management skills. Entrance requirements are the same as those for the Ph.D. program. 60 hours of technical and management courses beyond the B.S. are required. These 60 hours must be distributed as follows:

  1. At least 15 semester credit hours of graduate mathematics beyond the B.S.A.E. degree.
  2. At least 15 semester credit hours must be taken in engineering management courses.
  3. At least 15 semester credit hours of technical courses
    must be distributed in aerodynamics, structures and materials, dynamics and controls, design, and propulsion.
  4. At least 15 semester credit hours of D.E. project.

In addition, 12 hours of industrial internship must be completed.

Credit hours earned completing a master’s degree can satisfy a portion of these requirements when appropriate. Unique situations can be accommodated with the approval of the graduate adviser and the major professor.

In addition to general rules and regulations, a student must meet the following departmental requirements. After 2 semesters following completion of M.S. or M.E. requirements (or at a comparable level for non-M.S. or non-M.E. students), the student is evaluated. To be allowed to continue, the student must

  1. Have a minimum grade-point average of 3.5 on M.S. or M.E. course work,
  2. Pass a qualifying examination, and
  3. Submit a Plan of Study.

The qualifying examination tests the student’s breadth of knowledge and determines his or her ability to apply this knowledge to engineering design and management problems. The examination consists of 4 parts, covering design and management, mathematics, and 2 of the following 5 areas:

  1. Aerodynamics,
  2. Astronautics,
  3. Structures and materials,
  4. Dynamics and controls, and
  5. Propulsion.

A student is allowed only 2 attempts to pass this examination.

After passing the qualifying examination, the aspirant forms a project committee of at least 5 faculty members including at least 1 from engineering management. Where possible, an appropriate industrial adjunct professor will be a member. One member acts as the principal investigator and/or major professor. The committee approves the Plan of Study and administers the comprehensive examination and the oral defense of the project.

When the aspirant has completed most of the course work and satisfied the computer skill requirements, he or she must take the comprehensive examination. The first part must consist of a written project proposal outlining in some detail the work to be done for the project. The second part is an oral examination in which she or he must defend the project plans and demonstrate competence in his or her particular and related areas. Upon passing the comprehensive examination, the aspirant becomes a candidate for the D.E. The project is prepared under the direction of this committee and must be approved by them. A formal oral and public defense of the project is required before the committee, any other interested members of the Graduate Faculty, and the general public.

For the D.E. program, the research skills requirement is satisfied when the aspirant demonstrates competence in computer programming, as certified by the Department of Electrical “Engineering and Computer Science.

Note: A course taken to satisfy the Research Skills requirement may not satisfy doctoral degree course requirements; it is up to the academic and department adviser and should be included on the student's Plan of Study.

Note: Responsible scholarship requirements were approved after this catalog was finalized. Contact your department or program for more information about this requirement for doctoral students.

A 12-month continuous internship must be served in an industrial or governmental organization before assumption of the project responsibility. This internship must be under joint guidance of a preceptor, who is appointed to the adjunct faculty, and a regular faculty member. The internship requirement cannot be satisfied by working in any KU facility.

Because the internship is a degree requirement and because KU cannot guarantee internship employment, the student must indicate in writing, before completing the first semester as an aspirant for the degree and after passing the qualifying examination, how the internship requirement is to be satisfied. This can be a letter from the faculty adviser indicating a grant availability, notice of a project appointment or assignment, or a letter from a company or agency (U.S. or abroad) expressing willingness to sponsor the student in an internship.

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