Message from the Chair
Today, space affects government, business and culture. Many countries project military power, commercial interests and national image through space missions requiring a core engineering workforce for the space industry and government centers.
In 2004, the University of Southern California established a unique, pure-space-focused academic department in the Viterbi School of Engineering to address specific challenges in space engineering education for the American space enterprise: the Department of Astronautical Engineering. As founding chairman of the department, I was proud to celebrate its tenth anniversary in 2014.
Offering the full set of degrees (Bachelor, Bachelor Minor, Master, Engineer, Ph.D. and Graduate Certificate), the largest component has been and continues to be its flagship Master of Science in Astronautical Engineering (M.S. ASTE) program, specifically focused on meeting the needs of the American space industry, spacecraft operators, and government space research and development centers. This program has expanded nationally through distance education, reaching students in many states as well as Canada and stationed at military installations across the globe.
In addition to participation in faculty-led research projects, ASTE undergraduate and graduate students are given the opportunity for hands on learning and research in the Rocket Propulsion Lab (highlighted below), the Liquid Propulsion Lab, and building microsatellites at the Space Engineering Research Center (SERC), operated jointly with Viterbi’s Information Sciences Institute (ISI) in Marina del Rey.
Our unique department provides engineering students with the knowledge and training necessary for exciting technical careers and leadership positions in this new changing paradigm of the space engineering workforce.
Mike Gruntman, PhD