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ABET

Self-Study Report


for the
Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering
Program
at
Georgia Institute of Technology
Atlanta, GA 30332-0150


July 1, 2008
CONFIDENTIAL

The information supplied in this Self-Study Report is for the confidential use of ABET and its authorized agents, and will not be disclosed without authorization of the institution concerned, except for summary data not identifiable to a specific institution.



Table of Contents


BACKGROUND INFORMATION 9

CRITERION 1. STUDENTS 15

CRITERION 2. PROGRAM EDUCATIONAL OBJECTIVES 22

As an illustration of the evaluation process associated with alumni survey data, results from the 2007 alumni survey data are briefly discussed below. 26

We start by examining the alumni data in relation to our first educational objective that we prepare our graduates to excel in technical areas. As stated earlier, an area is considered extremely important if it is rated 3 or above on a scale of 1 to 5. The preparation in that area is considered adequate if it is rated 3.5 or above, on a scale of 1 to 5. The table below shows a summary of the collected data. 26

27

Actions taken to close the loop based on Alumni Data 28



The 2007 and 2004 alumni data, when examined in the context of our educational objectives, indicated that the educational objectives are being met in nearly all of the areas. It is clear that additional improvements and changes to our educational practices and processes are desirable in some of the areas. Over the past six years, based on the 2001, 2004, and 2007 surveys, the following closing-the-loop actions have been taken. 28

The alumni survey has indicated that more preparation is needed in the area of oral and written communications and presentations. Our School has been systematically collecting samples of student writings. These include freshman writing and presentations from GT 1000 and Introduction to AE (AE 1350); sophomore writing in selected courses such as low speed aerodynamics (AE 2020), junior level lab courses (AE 3051, AE 3145) and senior design projects (AE 4350, 4351, 4536, 4357, 4358, 4359). Two full years of data has been collected, and additional systematic collection of the samples is planned to conduct longitudinal studies of the development of writing and presentation skills. We also collect comments from external visitors and judges where such data is available. Our faculty feels that good writing and presentation skills require coaching on the part of instructors and TAs rather than requiring more technical writing classes. We are examining our undergraduate curriculum (and in particular the lab courses) to see how additional instruction on writing and presentation may be integrated in these courses. AE Student Advisory Council has organized technical symposia given by AE faculty on oral and written communication skills. We are also expanding the offering of attractive electives (design-build-fly competition courses, undergraduate research) that emphasize oral and written communication skills. 28

The alumni survey indicates that additional preparation is needed in the following areas: ability to function in multi-disciplinary teams, interpersonal conflict resolution, the design of components from a business perspective, professional and ethical responsibilities in their profession, and societal/cultural impact of their professional practice. These skill sets are inter-related and are best learned in team design activities. Since the last ABET visit in 2002, the AE program has greatly expanded the senior design activities from a single sequence of courses (AE 4350 in the fall, AE 4351 in spring) dealing with aircraft design to three sequences the students may choose from: aircraft design, spacecraft design, and rotorcraft design. These expanded choices and the smaller class sizes are expected to improve the ability of the instructors and external judges (and examiners) to more closely interact with the students and develop their skill sets in these critical areas. 28

Assessment of Employer and Recruiter Input: Because Aerospace employers are diversified from very large size organizations (e.g. Boeing) to small firms and entrepreneurs, it was difficult to design a single survey that will periodically collect relevant data. The AE School therefore directly interacts with the employers and recruiters to establish our educational objectives and to assess if these objectives are being met. 28

The AE faculty and staff also have extensive interactions with industry and government employers and directly refer our graduates for internships, co-op positions, and jobs upon graduation. The faculty members also work jointly with industries and government laboratories on sponsored research activities. This interaction provides another avenue for discussing our educational objectives with the employers, and get feedback on the preparation of our graduates for succeeding in industry and government labs. 29

The data collected from the recruiter input in the form of free form conversations (which are documented, and communicated to the faculty as needed) and written e-mail responses. The web site www.ae.gatech.edu/~lsankar/ABET2008 contains samples of written input from the employers on our educational objectives. 29

Closing the Loop based on Employer Input The employers that the AE School and faculty interact with are complementary of our educational processes and appear to be very satisfied with the education that our graduates receive at Georgia Tech. All of them feel that a broad education and training focusing on the fundamentals is very important. Depending on the employer’s perspective and background, they desire additional training and emphasis in areas such as orbital mechanics, design of systems with schedule as a constraint, and systems engineering skills. The AE program, over the past few years, has increased our elective offerings in these areas. For example, a course on orbital mechanics is offered every fall term (AE 4310) and may be used as a technical elective. Courses on life cycle cost and courses emphasizing the “system of systems” are periodically offered. 29

29

Assessment of External Advisory Council Input: The AE School External Advisory Council (AESAC) was closely involved in the establishment of our program objectives. Their input to the establishment of the objectives is documented at www.ae.gatech.edu/~lsankar/ABET2008 . The external advisors also receive annual briefings on all the aspects of our undergraduate program – processes and survey results related to our program objectives and outcomes, our new educational initiatives designed to achieve these objectives (e.g., International Plan, Research Option, Honors Program, undergraduate Research, and Design-Build-Fly Competitions), and new course offerings. The External Advisory Council also meets with the student representatives to hear about the students’ thoughts and suggestions related to the education. 29



The External Advisory Council summarizes their findings in the form of an oral and written debriefing to the School Chair and the Dean of the College of Engineering. Electronic copies of these findings are on file in the AE School Chair’s Office and will be made available to the ABET visitor. The School Chair, in consultation with the faculty, takes immediate actions on the Council’s suggestions as resources allow. The Council is briefed on the actions taken, at the next AESAC meeting. 29

Closing the Loop based on External Advisory Council Input: The input from the External Advisory Council was taken into account in establishing the educational objectives. The Council members have been complimentary of the educational initiatives being taken to achieve these objectives. They have pointed out areas that need improvement. For example, in the most recent meeting in fall 2007, the external advisory council commented on the growing pains associated with the rapid increase in our undergraduate and graduate student enrollment and the rapid growth in our sponsored research programs. They also cited the difficulties experienced by students in receiving academic advisement, and the limited access our undergraduate students to the AE computer lab to the undergraduates between 11 PM and 7 AM. The following actions have been taken to close the loop, based on the external advisory council input. 29

In co-ordination with the College of Engineering, faculty members are being added in strategic areas. The total number of instructional faculty has grown from 33 to 39 over the past several years. 30

The mandatory academic advisement of students by faculty is being replaced by the multi-tiered advisement of our freshman, graduating seniors, and other students, as discussed in the section on students (Criterion 2, above). 30

The limited access to the AE undergraduate computing lab was based on personal safety and security concerns for our students. The School is exploring placing the software needed by our students (e.g. for senior design) on public servers. Many of the other software (e.g., CATIA, ABAQUS, etc) are already available to the students under a floating license. Finally, during peak periods of an academic term (e.g. the weeks before a major senior design project is due) the School is offering 24/7 access to the lab. 30

Assessment of AE Student Advisory Council Input: AE Student Advisory Council is consulted whenever the educational objectives are revised, and their input is used to fine tune the objectives. An extensive summary of the Council’s activities and minutes of the meetings may be found at the web site http://aesac.tk documenting this interaction. The student advisory council gives the AE School input on a number of matters ranging from study abroad course offerings to co-op student preparation. 30

Closing the loop based on AE Student Advisory Council Input: The Student Advisory Council, over the past several years, has periodically met with the AE faculty leaders to discuss how our educational processes and practices may be enhanced. These suggestions have been taken into account and implemented wherever resources permit. Here are some examples. 30

The undergraduate student advising process was recently revised based on the student input communicated through AESAC. 30

The co-op surveys conducted by AESAC indicated that the co-op students desire additional training in oral and written communication skills and on the use of advanced software (e.g., CAD) and programming skills (e.g. java, C++). A lunch and learn seminar series has been organized by the AE faculty in collaboration with the students to provide informal training on these topics, to be followed by users’ group meetings organized by the students. 30

AE Expos have been organized that bring faculty and students together in an informal setting, allowing students to meet with the faculty and browse/explore the research offerings of our faculty. 30

Assessment of External Benchmark Data: External benchmark data, in particular national competitions and awards serve as early indicators of our graduates’ success in the work place. These competitions are designed by the AIAA and AHS members working actively in the industries and government labs and reflect the training and expertise expected of our graduates. The School monitors the performance of our student teams in these competitions (see AIAA Award History, http://vtol.org/temp/webrelease15.html ), and the honors and awards received by our students. Where available, comments from the external reviewers of the student entries are also collected. 30

Closing the Loop Based on External Benchmark Data: The AE student teams have done extremely well in these competitions, and have won at least one national design competition each year since 1999. The processes used to design complex aerospace systems are changing, and it is becoming necessary to incorporate these changes in our education processes. For example, manufacturability of components and the life cycle cost of the system must now be taken into account at the time of design. This information is communicated to the faculty for incorporation in the coursework. For example, in our senior design courses, the students use DELMIA in conjunction with CATIA to address manufacturability issues. Single point designs are gradually giving way to multidisciplinary optimization of systems with multiple attributes and constraints. 31

While the assessment data indicates that our undergraduate students win a number of individual awards, the data indicates that their participation and success in national student conferences is not commensurate with the size of our undergraduate student body. This observation has been communicated to our faculty, and has led to an increased effort by our faculty to offer undergraduate research experiences (AE 2698, 2699, 4698, 4699) and an undergraduate thesis option. 31

In summary, our program educational objectives were established in consultation with our constituents. We use a number of assessment instruments (alumni survey, employer input, external advisory council input, and Student Advisory Council input) to monitor if these objectives are being realized and to periodically take corrective actions. This input and corrective actions are systematically documented as discussed at www.ae.gatech.edu/~lsankar/ABET2008. 31

31

CRITERION 3. PROGRAM OUTCOMES 31



CRITERION 4. CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT 38

CRITERION 5. CURRICULUM 41

CRITERION 6. FACULTY 48

CRITERION 7. FACILITIES 53

CRITERION 8. SUPPORT 57

CRITERION 9. PROGRAM CRITERIA 59

APPENDIX A – COURSE SYLLABI 62

Under construction 62

APPENDIX B – FACULTY RESUMES 63

Under construction 63

Degrees 64

Georgia Tech Experience 64

Other Professional Positions and Consulting Experience 64

Selected Patents 64

Selected Publications: 2003-2008 64

Selected Presentations and Keynote Addresses: 2003-2008 65

Professional Service and Development Activities: 2003-2008 65

Institutional Service and Development Activities: 2003-2008 65

Selected Honors and Awards 65

Olivier A. Bauchau, Ph.D. 66

Degrees 66

Georgia Tech Experience 66

Other Professional Positions and Consulting Experience 66

Selected Publications: 2003-2008 66

Selected Presentations and Keynote Addresses: 2003-2008 67

Professional Service and Development Activities: 1998-2002 68

Institutional Service and Development Activities: 1998-2002 68

Selected Honors and Awards 68

Prix Auguste Sacré awarded by the Académie Royale des Sciences, des Lettres et des Beaux-Arts de Belgique, for the period 1994-2000. In recognition of his work in Structural Dynamics, and Rotors and Rotor Blade Dynamics. 68

Degrees 68

Georgia Tech Experience 68

Other Professional Positions and Consulting Experience 68

Selected Publications: 2006-2008 68

Selected Keynote Addresses: 2004-2008 69

Professional Service and Development Activities: 2004-2008 69

Institutional Service and Development Activities: 2004-2008 69

Selected Honors and Awards 70

Eric Feron, Ph.D. 74

Degrees 74

Georgia Tech Experience 75

Other Professional Positions and Consulting Experience 75

Selected Patents and Invention Disclosures 75

Selected Publications: 2004-2008 75

Professional Service and Development Activities: 2004-2008 76

Institutional Service and Development Activities: 2005-2008 76

Selected Honors and Awards 76

Degrees 77

Georgia Tech Experience 77

Other Professional Positions and Consulting Experience 77

Selected Publications: 2005-2008 77

Selected Presentations and Keynote Addresses: 2005-2008 77

Professional Service and Development Activities: 2005-2008 78

Institutional Service and Development Activities: 2005-2008 78

Selected Honors and Awards 78

Dewey H. Hodges 79

Degrees 79

Georgia Tech Experience 79

Other Professional Positions and Consulting Experience 79

Selected Patents and Invention Disclosures 79

Selected Publications: 2003-2007 79

Selected Presentations and Keynote Addresses: 2001-2005 80

Professional Service and Development Activities: 2001–2005 80

Institutional Service and Development Activities: 2001–2005 80

Selected Honors and Awards 81

Degrees 83

Georgia Tech Experience 83

Other Professional Positions and Consulting Experience 83

Selected Patents and Invention Disclosures 83

Selected Publications: 2003-2007 83

Professional Service and Development Activities: 1993-2007 84

Institutional Service and Development Activities: 1993-2007 84

Selected Honors and Awards 84

Degrees 85

Georgia Tech Experience 85

Other Professional Positions and Consulting Experience 85

Selected Publications: 2002-2007 85

Selected Presentations and Keynote Addresses: 2002-2007 86

Professional Service and Development Activities: 2002-2007 86

Institutional Service and Development Activities: 2002-2007 86

Selected Honors and Awards 87

Degrees 87

Georgia Tech Experience 87

Other Professional Positions and Consulting Experience 87

Selected Patents and Invention Disclosures 87

Selected Publications: 1998-2002 87

Selected Presentations and Keynote Addresses: 1998-2002 88

Professional Service and Development Activities: 1998-2002 88

Institutional Service and Development Activities: 1998-2002 88

Selected Honors and Awards 89

Degrees 96

Georgia Tech Experience 96

Other Professional Positions and Consulting Experience: 2002-2007 96

Selected Publications: 2002-2007 96

Selected Presentations and Keynote Addresses: 2002-2007 97

Professional Service and Development Activities: 2002-2007 97

Institutional Service and Development Activities: 2002-2007 97

Degrees 102

Georgia Tech Experience 102

Other Professional Positions 102

Selected Publications 102

Selected Presentations 103

Professional Service and Development Activities 103

Selected Honors and Awards 104

Degrees 104

Laurea, Mechanical Engineering Politecnico di Torino, Torino Italy 1995. 104

Georgia Tech Experience 104

Other Professional Positions and Consulting Experience 104

Selected Publications: 2002-2008 104

Gonella S., Ruzzene M., “Multi-cell Homogenization of One-dimensional Periodic Structures” accepted ASME Journal of Vibrations and Acoustics, January 2008. 104

Gonella S., Ruzzene M., “Homogenization and Equivalent In-Plane Properties of Two-dimensional Lattices”, accepted International Journal of Solids and Structures, January 2008. 104

Apetre N., Ruzzene M., Hanagud S., Gopalakrishna S., “Perturbation technique for wave propagation analysis in a notched beam using spectral element modeling”, accepted JoMSS, December 2007 104

Gonella S., Ruzzene M., “Analysis of In-plane Wave Propagation In Hexagonal and Re-entrant Lattices” accepted Journal of Sound and Vibration, October 2007. 104

Apetre N., Ruzzene M., Hanagud S., Gopalakrishna S., “Spectral and Perturbation Analysis of First Order Beams with Notch Damage”, Accepted ASME Journal of Applied Mechanics, August 2007. 104

Spadoni A., Ruzzene M., “Numerical and Experimental Analysis of The Static Compliance of Chiral Truss-Core Airfoils” Journal of Mechanics of Materials and Structures, Vol. 2(5) pp. 965, 2007. 104

Selected Presentations and Keynote Addresses: 2002-2008 105

Professional Service and Development Activities: 2002-2008 106

Institutional Service and Development Activities: 2002-2008 106

Selected Honors and Awards 106

Joseph Homer Saleh, Ph.D. 107

Degrees 107

Georgia Tech Experience 107

Other Professional Positions and Consulting Experience 107

Publications 107

Book 107


Saleh, J. H. 107

“Analyses for Durability and System Design Lifetime: A multi-disciplinary approach” 107

Cambridge University Press, 2008. 107

Jordan, N. C., Saleh, J. H., Newman, D. J. “The Extravehicular Mobility Unit: Case Study in Requirements Evolution and the Need for Flexibility in the Design of Complex Systems.” Acta Astronautica, Vol. 59, Issue 12, 2006, pp. 1135 – 1145. 108

Selected Presentations and Keynote Addresses: 1998-2002 108

Selected Honors and Awards 108

Degrees 117

Georgia Tech Experience 117

Other Professional Positions and Consulting Experience 117

Selected Patents and Invention Disclosures 117

Selected Publications: 2005-2008 117

Selected Presentations and Keynote Addresses: 2005-2008 118

Professional Service and Development Activities: 2005-2008 118

Institutional Service and Development Activities: 2005-2008 118

Selected Honors and Awards 118

Degrees 119

Georgia Tech Experience 119

Other Professional Positions and Consulting Experience 119

Selected Publications: 119

Selected Presentations and Keynote Addresses: 119

Professional Service and Development Activities: 120

Selected Honors and Awards 120

Degrees 121

Georgia Tech Experience 121

Other Professional Positions and Consulting Experience 121

Selected Patents and Invention Disclosures 121

Selected Publications: 2005-2008 121

Selected Presentations and Keynote Addresses: 2005-2008 121

Professional Service and Development Activities: 2005-2008 122

Institutional Service and Development Activities: 2002-2005 122

Selected Honors and Awards 122

APPENDIX C – LABORATORY EQUIPMENT 125

Under construction 125

APPENDIX D – INSTITUTIONAL SUMMARY 125





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