Message from the Chair
Greetings from the USC Viterbi Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering,
AME remains an appealing major with 531 undergraduates, 406 Master's and 96 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.
Like departments all across the globe, we faced many challenges adapting to remote operations during the pandemic and in preparing for the return to safe in-person operations this fall, but our faculty, staff and students have done an exceptional job of adapting to these changing situations. In the end, we have been able to consistently prioritize hands-on, experiential education, finding work arounds to ensure first and foremost the safety of our students, faculty and staff.
To this end, over the past year and a half, we adapted AME's undergraduate instructional labs for safe operation and conducted our introductory Aerospace Engineering and Mechanical Engineering classes entirely remotely while retaining hands-on experiences. Despite the challenges, AME faculty and students have recently won numerous best paper and achievement awards (too many to report here; see this page for a list).
With the return to campus, students are now able to take full advantage of the new Baum Family Maker Space for their academic and personal projects, including the USC Racing Team advised by AME Prof. Yann Staelens.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.
A high priority for my first year as AME Department Chair was to increase AME's rankings through a combination of showcase facilities, publicity, industry outreach and best placement our graduates in industry, government, and academic position. According to US News and World Report, in the past year our programs rose in rankings as follows:
2021: Rank: 21/67 (69th percentile)
2020: Rank: 22/65 (66th percentile)
2021: Rank: 29/182 (84th percentile)
2020: Rank: 37/179 (79th percentile)
I look forward to working with AME faculty, staff and students, along with some of you reading this now, toward furthering these educational and research accomplishments.
Welcome, read on and find out more about all that's happening in AME.
Chair of the Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering