Message from the Chair
Welcome Back, USC!
Like other academic departments across the nation, the USC Viterbi Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering has faced many challenges related to the current pandemic, but our faculty, staff and students have done an exceptional job of adapting to changing situations. For example, the undergraduate teaching laboratories have been reinvented to maintain a quality educational experience for the students, both remotely this semester as well as for safe in-person instruction if we are able to bring students back to campus for the Spring 2021 semester. Additionally, students will be able to take full advantage of the new Baum Family Maker Space for their academic and personal projects.
Thanks to a major remodeling effort, almost all AME faculty and staff are now housed in one location on the 4th and 5th floors of the Olin Hall of Engineering, further facilitating our collaborative environment and the spirit of the Trojan Family.
Our junior faculty have continued to flourish. For example, Henry Salvatori Early Career Chair and Assistant Professor of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering Mitul Luhar received a prestigious NSF CAREER award to support his groundbreaking fluid mechanics research and Assistant Professor of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering and Medicine Niema Pahlevan has received an American Heart Association Career Award to develop noninvasive diagnostics for diagnosing cardiovascular diseases.
AME remains an attractive major with 531 undergraduates, 346 Masters and 95 Ph.D. students. We are very fortunate to have excellent students and accomplished teaching faculty. The USC AeroDesign Team continues to rank among top teams in the annual AIAA Design-Build-Fly competition, earning three first-place finishes in the past five years, while the USC Formula SAE Racing Team finished first at the SoCal competition in 2019.
Finally, in my first year as chair of AME, I have prioritized three major objectives:
- Further enhance AME's external reputation through a combination of showcase facilities, publicity, industry outreach and best placement our graduates in industry, government and academic positions;
- Provide junior faculty with the resources and guidance they need to be successful; and
- Continue to improve the quality of the undergraduate experience in terms of classroom instruction, teaching laboratories, and extracurricular activities.
I look forward to working with AME faculty, staff and students, along with some of you reading this now, toward these goals.
Welcome, read on and find out about all that's happening in AME.