Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

www.nps.edu/MAE

Chairman

Garth V. Hobson, Ph.D.

Code ME/Hg, Bldg 215

(831) 656-2888

gvhobson@nps.edu

Associate Chair for Operations

Claudia C. Luhrs, Ph.D.

Code ME/Hg, Bldg 215

(831) 656-2568

ccluhrs@nps.edu

Associate Chair for Academics

Joshua H. Gordis, Ph.D.

Code ME/Go, Watkins Hall, Room 313

(831) 656-2866, DSN 756-2866

jgordis@nps.edu

Associate Chair for Research

Claudia C. Luhrs, Ph.D.

Code ME/Lu, Watkins Hall, Room 305

(831)656-2568

ccluhrs@nps.edu

Christopher A. Adams, Lecturer (2008); M.S., Naval Postgraduate School, 1996.

Brij N. Agrawal, Distinguished Professor (1989); Ph.D., Syracuse University, 1970.

Christopher M. Brophy, Associate Professor (1998); Ph.D., University of Alabama-Huntsville, 1997.

Muguru S. Chandrasekhara, Research Professor (1987); Ph.D., University of Iowa, 1983.

Jarema M. Didoszak, Assistant Professor (2004); M.S., Naval Postgraduate School, 2003.

Vladimir N. Dobrokhodov, Research Associate Professor (2001); Ph.D., Zhukovskiy Air Force Engineering Academy, Russia, 1999.

Morris R. Driels, Professor (1989); Ph.D., City University of London, 1973.

Anthony J. Gannon, Research Assistant Professor (2006); Ph.D., University of Stellenbosch (2002).

Joshua H. Gordis, Associate Professor and Associate Chair for Academics for ME (1992); Ph.D., Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 1990.

Garth V. Hobson, Professor and Chairman (1990); Ph.D., Pennsylvania State University, 1990.

Douglas P. Horner, Research Assistant Professor (2005); M.S., Naval Postgraduate School, 1999.

Kevin D. Jones, Research Associate Professor (1997); Ph.D., University of Colorado, 1993.

Isaac I. Kaminer, Professor (1992); Ph.D., University of Michigan, 1992.

Mark Karpenko, Research Assistant Professor (2012); Ph.D., University of Manitoba, Canada, 2009.

Jae Jun Kim, Research Assistant Professor (2007); Seoul National University, 2004.

Young W. Kwon, Distinguished Professor (1990); Ph.D., Rice University, 1985.

Claudia C. Luhrs, Associate Professor and Associate Chair for Operations (2011); Ph.D., Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB-ICMAB), 1997.

Marcello Romano, Professor (2004); Ph.D., Politecnico di Milano, Italy, 2001.

I. Michael Ross, Distinguished Professor (1990); Ph.D., Pennsylvania State University, 1990.

Douglas L. Seivwright, Research Associate (2005), M.S. Naval Postgraduate School, 1996.

Ramesh Sharma, Senior Lecturer (2012); Ph.D., University of Oxford, U.K., 1973.

Oleg A. Yakimenko, Professor (1989); Ph.D., Russian Academy of Sciences, 1991.

Professors Emeriti:

Robert E. Ball, Distinguished Professor Emeritus (1967); Ph.D., Northwestern University, 1962.

Oscar Biblarz, Professor Emeritus (1968); Ph.D., Stanford University, 1968.

Charles N. Calvano, Professor Emeritus (1991); ED, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1970.

Allen E. Fuhs, Distinguished Professor Emeritus (1966); Ph.D., California Institute of Technology, 1958.

Anthony J. Healey, Distinguished Professor Emeritus (1986); Ph.D., Sheffield University, United Kingdom, 1966.

Matthew D. Kelleher, Professor Emeritus(1967); Ph.D., University of Notre Dame, 1966.

Paul J. Marto, Distinguished Professor Emeritus (1965); Sc.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1965.

Terry R. McNelley, Distinguished Professor Emeritus (1976); Ph.D., Stanford University, 1973.

Knox T. Millsaps, Professor Emeritus (1992); Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1991.

David W. Netzer, Distinguished Professor Emeritus (1968); Ph.D., Purdue University, 1968.

Maximilian F. Platzer, Distinguished Professor Emeritus (1970); Dr. Tech. Science; Technical University of Vienna, Austria, 1964.

Young S. Shin, Distinguished Professor Emeritus (1981); Ph.D., Case Western Reserve University, 1971.

* The year of joining the Naval Postgraduate School faculty is indicated in parentheses.

Brief Overview

The Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (MAE) provides a strong academic program which spans the engineering disciplines of thermal-fluid sciences, structural and computational autonomous vehicles mechanics, dynamic systems, guidance and control, materials science and engineering, propulsion, and systems engineering, including total ship systems engineering, spacecraft, and missile design. These disciplines are blended together with a strong emphasis on Naval engineering applications required by surface vessels, submarines, aircraft, rotorcraft and spacecraft. Furthermore, the Department provides advanced education in classified topics in Astronautical Engineering. Programs leading to the degrees of Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering and Master of Science in Astronautical Engineering are accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET. A specific curriculum must be consistent with the general minimum requirements for the degree as determined by the Academic Council. Any program leading to a degree must be approved by the Department Chairman at least two quarters before completion. In general, approved programs will require more than the stated minimum degree requirements in order to conform to the needs and objectives of the United States Navy, and satisfy the applicable subspecialty-code requirements.

Program Educational Objectives

Mechanical Engineering

The overall Program Educational Objective of the Mechanical Engineering Program is to support the NPS Mission by producing graduates who have knowledge and technical competence at the advanced level in Mechanical Engineering in support of national security. In order to achieve this goal, the specific objectives are to produce graduates who are expected to achieve the following within a few years of graduation:

  1. Have become technical experts who are able to formulate and solve important engineering problems associated with national security in Mechanical Engineering and related disciplines using the techniques, skills and tools of modern practice, including experiments, and modeling and simulation. These problems may include issues of research, design, development, procurement, operation, maintenance or disposal of engineering components and systems for military applications.
  2. Have assumed positions of leadership in the specification of military requirements in the organization and performance of research, design, testing, procurement and operation of technically advanced, militarily effective systems. The graduate must be able to interact with personnel from other services, industry, laboratories and academic institutions, and be able to understand the role that engineering and technology have in military operations, and in the broader national and global environment.
  3. Can communicate advanced technical information effectively in both oral and written form.

Astronautical Engineering

The overall Program Educational Objective of the NPS Astronautical Engineering Program is to support the NPS Mission by producing graduates who have knowledge and technical competence in astronautical engineering at the advanced level and who can apply that knowledge and competence to fill technical leadership roles in support of national security. In order to achieve this goal, the specific objectives are to produce graduates who achieve the following within a few years of graduation:

  1. Are established as a valued source of technical expertise in research, design, development, acquisition, integration and testing of national security space (NSS) systems including formulation of operational requirements, plans, policies, architectures, and operational concepts for the development of space systems.
  2. Have assumed positions of leadership involving program management, systems engineering, and/or operational employment of space systems within the national security space (NSS) enterprise.
  3. Have effectively managed the operation, tasking, and employment of national security space (NSS) systems to increase the combat effectiveness of the Naval Services, other Armed Forces of the U.S. and our partners, to enhance national security.

Degrees

The following degrees are available. Consistent with NPS Academic Policy, with the exception of the Engineer's or Doctoral degrees, all degree requirements must be satisfied independently. A student is able to earn an academic degree listed below while enrolled in Naval Mechanical Engineering (Curriculum 570), Reactors/Mechanical Engineering DL (Curriculum 571), Nuclear Power School/Mechanical Engineering DL (Curriculum 572), Space Systems Engineering (Curriculum 591), and Applied Physics of Combat Systems (Curriculum 533).

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering

A candidate shall have completed academic work equivalent to the requirements of this department for the Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering. Candidates who have not majored in mechanical engineering, or who have experienced significant lapses in continuity with previous academic work, will initially take undergraduate courses in mechanical engineering and mathematics to fulfill these requirements in preparation for their graduate program.

The Master of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering requires:

  1. A minimum of 48 quarter-hours of graduate level work.
  2. The candidate must take all courses in an approved study program, which must satisfy the following requirements:
    1. There must be a minimum of 32 quarter-hours of credits in 3000 and 4000 level courses, including a mini-mum of 12 quarter-hours at the 4000 level.
    2. Of the 32 quarter-hours at least 24 quarter-hours must be in courses offered by the MAE Department.
  3. A student seeking the Master of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering must also demonstrate competence at the advanced level in at least one of the available disciplines of Mechanical Engineering. These disciplines are the thermal-fluid sciences; solid mechanics, shock and vibration; dynamic systems and control; system design; and materials science. This may be accomplished by completing at least eight quarter-hours of the 4000 level credits by courses within one discipline, and a thesis in the same discipline.
  4. An acceptable thesis for a minimum of 16 credits is also required for the Master of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering. An acceptable thesis for the degree of Mechanical Engineer may also meet the thesis requirement of the Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering degree.
  5. The student's thesis advisor, the Academic Associate, the Program Officer and the Department Chairman must approve the study program and the thesis topic.

Master of Science in Astronautical Engineering

The Master of Science degree in Astronautical Engineering requires:

  1. A minimum of 48 quarter-hours of graduate level work. The candidate must take all courses in an approved study program, which must satisfy the following requirements:
    1. There must be a minimum of 32 quarter-hours of credits in 3000 and 4000 level courses, including a minimum of 12 quarter-hours at the 4000 level.
    2. Of the 32 quarter-hours, at least 24 quarter-hours must be in courses offered by the MAE Department.
  2. A student must demonstrate knowledge of orbital mechanics, attitude determination, guidance and control, telecommunications, space structures, spacecraft rocket propulsion, space power, spacecraft thermal control, and spacecraft design and testing.
  3. The student must also demonstrate competence at the advanced level in one of the above disciplines of Astronautical Engineering. This may be accomplished by completing at least eight quarter-hours of the 4000 level credits by courses in this Department in a particular area and a thesis in the same discipline area. The typical specialization track is in Structures, Dynamics, and Control, and requires two (2) non-design AE48XX courses.
  4. An acceptable thesis for a minimum of 16 credits is also required. The student's thesis advisor, the Academic Associate, the Program Officer, and the Department Chairman must approve the study program and the Thesis Proposal.

Master of Science in Engineering Science (Mechanical Engineering)

Candidates with acceptable academic background may enter a program leading to the degree of Master of Science in Engineering Science (with major in Mechanical Engineering). Candidates who have not majored in mechanical engineering or closely related subject areas, or who have experienced significant lapses in continuity with previous academic work, will initially take undergraduate courses in mechanical engineering and mathematics to prepare for their graduate program.

The Master of Science in Engineering Science (with major in Mechanical Engineering) degree requires:

  1. A minimum of 48 quarter-hours of graduate level work. The candidate must take all courses in an approved study program, which must satisfy the following requirements:
    1. there must be a minimum of 32 quarter-hours of credits in 3000 and 4000 level courses, including a minimum of 12 quarter-hours at the 4000 level.
    2. Of the 32 quarter-hours, at least 24 quarter-hours must be in courses offered by the MAE Department.
  2. A student seeking the Master of Science in Engineering Science degree must also demonstrate competence at the advanced level in at least one of the available disciplines of Mechanical Engineering. These disciplines are the thermal-fluid sciences; solid mechanics, shock and vibration; dynamic systems and control; system design; and materials science. This may be accomplished by completing at least eight quarter-hours of the 4000 level credits by courses within one discipline, and a thesis in this same discipline.
  3. An acceptable thesis for a minimum of 16 credits is also required for the Master of Science in Engineering Science (with major in Mechanical Engineering) degree. The student's thesis advisor, the Academic Associate, the Program Officer, and the Department Chairman must approve the study program and the thesis topic.

Under special circumstances as approved by the Academic Associate, the Program Officer, and the Department Chair, students may take four additional courses in lieu of a thesis. Those four additional courses should be at least 3000 and 4000 level courses offered by the MAE Department, and among them at least two courses should be at the 4000 level.

Entrance into the 571 Reactors/Mechanical Engineering Curriculum Program, leading to the degree Master of Science in Engineering Science (with major in Mechanical Engineering), is restricted to individuals who have successfully completed the Bettis Reactor Engineering School (BRES) and who have an academic profile code (APC) of 121 or better. All entrants must be nominated for the program by the designated program coordinator and primary consultant for Naval Reactors (SEA-08). See Curriculum 571 for details.

Entrance into the 572 Nuclear Power School/Mechanical Engineering Curriculum Program is restricted to graduates of the Officers Course of Naval Nuclear Power School and having an APC of (323), and undergraduate engineering degree or equivalent, and being nominated by their command. See Curriculum 572 for details.

Master of Science in Engineering Science (Astronautical Engineering)

Candidates with acceptable academic background may enter a program leading to the degree of Master of Science in Engineering Science (with major in Astronautical Engineering). Candidates who have not majored in astronautical engineering or closely related subject areas, or who have experienced significant lapses in continuity with previous academic work, will initially take undergraduate courses in astronautical engineering and mathematics to prepare for their graduate program.

The Master of Science in Engineering Science (with major in Astronautical Engineering) degree requires:

  1. A minimum of 48 quarter-hours of graduate level work. The candidate must take all courses in an approved study program, which must satisfy the following requirements:
    1. there must be a minimum of 32 quarter-hours of credits in 3000 and 4000 level courses, including a minimum of 12 quarter-hours at the 4000 level.
    2. Of the 32 quarter-hours, at least 24 quarter-hours must be in courses offered by the MAE Department.
  2. A student must demonstrate knowledge of orbital mechanics, attitude determination, guidance and control, telecommunications, space structures, spacecraft/rocket propulsion, space power, spacecraft thermal control, and spacecraft design and testing.
  3. The student must also demonstrate competence at the advanced level in one of the above disciplines of Astronautical Engineering. This may be accomplished by completing at least eight quarter-hours of the 4000 level credits by courses in this department and a thesis in the same discipline area. The typical specialization track is in Structures, Dynamics, and Control, and requires two (2) non-design AE48XX courses.
  4. An acceptable thesis for a minimum of 16 credits is also required. The student's thesis advisor, the Academic Associate, the Program Officer, and the Department Chairman must approve the study program and the Thesis Proposal.

Master of Science in Engineering Science (Aerospace Engineering)

Candidates with acceptable academic background may enter a program leading to the degree of Master of Science in Engineering Science (with major in Aerospace Engineering). Candidates who have not majored in aeronautical/aerospace engineering or closely related subject areas, or who have experienced significant lapses in continuity with previous academic work, will initially take undergraduate courses in aeronautical engineering and mathematics to prepare for their graduate program.

The Master of Science in Engineering Science (with major in Aerospace Engineering) degree requires:

  1. A minimum of 48 quarter-hours of graduate level work. The candidate must take all courses in an approved study program, which must satisfy the following requirements:
    1. there must be a minimum of 32 quarter-hours of credits in 3000 and 4000 level courses, including a minimum of 12 quarter-hours at the 4000 level.
    2. Of the 32 quarter-hours, at least 24 quarter-hours must be in courses offered by the MAE Department.
  2. A student must demonstrate knowledge of aerodynamics, aircraft stability and control, avionics, aircraft structures, aircraft and missile propulsion.
  3. The student must also demonstrate competence at the advanced level in one of the above disciplines of Aeronautical Engineering. This may be accomplished by completing at least eight quarter-hours of the 4000 level credits by courses in this department and a thesis in the same discipline area. The typical specialization track is in Aircraft Structures, Aerodynamics, Stability and Control, Avionics or Propulsion.
  4. An acceptable thesis for a minimum of 16 credits is also required. The student's thesis advisor, the Academic Associate, the Program Officer, and the Department Chairman must approve the study program and the Thesis Proposal.

Mechanical Engineer

A graduate student with a superior academic record (as may be demonstrated by a graduate QPR of 3.70 or better) may apply to enter a program leading to the Mechanical Engineer Degree. A candidate must prepare his or her application and route it through the Program Officer to the Department Chairman for a decision. Typically, the selection process occurs after completion of the candidate's first year of residence.

A candidate must take all courses in a curriculum approved by the Chairman of the MAE Department. At a minimum, the approved curriculum must satisfy the requirements stated in the following list.

The Mechanical Engineer Degree requires:

  1. At least 64 quarter-hours of graduate level credits in Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science, at least 32 of which must be at the 4000 level.
    1. At least 12 quarter-hours of graduate level credits must be earned outside of the MAE Department.
    2. At least one advanced mathematics course should be included in these 12 quarter-hours.
  2. An acceptable thesis of 28 credit hours is required for the Mechanical Engineer Degree. Approval of the thesis advisor and program must be obtained from the Chairman of the MAE Department.

Astronautical Engineer

A graduate student with a superior academic record (as may be demonstrated by a graduate QPR of 3.70 or better) may apply to enter a program leading to the Astronautical Engineer Degree. A candidate must prepare his or her application and route it through the Program Officer to the Department Chairman for a decision. Typically, the selection process occurs after completion of the candidate's first year of residence.

A candidate must take all courses in a curriculum approved by the Chairman of the MAE Department. At a minimum, the approved curriculum must satisfy the requirements stated in the following list.

The Astronautical Engineer Degree requires:

  1. At least 64 quarter-hours of graduate level credits in Astronautical Engineering or Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science, at least 32 of which must be at the 4000 level.
    1. At least 12 quarter-hours of graduate level credits must be earned outside of the MAE Department.
    2. At least one advanced mathematics course should normally be included in these 12 quarter-hours.
  2. An acceptable thesis of 28 credit hours is required for the Astronautical Engineer Degree. Approval of the thesis advisor and program must be obtained from the Chairman of the MAE Department.

Doctor of Philosophy

The Department offers Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degrees in Mechanical Engineering, Astronautical Engineering, and Aeronautical Engineering. Students having a superior academic record may request entrance into the doctoral program. All applicants will be screened by the departmental doctoral committee for admission. The department also accepts officer students selected in the Navy-wide doctoral program, qualified international officers, and DoD civilian students.

An applicant to the doctoral program who is not already at NPS should submit transcripts of previous academic and professional work. Also, all applicants are required to submit a current Graduate Record Examination (GRE) general test to the Director of Admissions, Naval Postgraduate School, 1 University Circle, He-022, Monterey, California 93943.

Every applicant who is accepted for the doctoral program will initially be enrolled in one of the following programs: Mechanical Engineer, Astronautical Engineer, or Aeronautical Engineer Program; under a special option which satisfies the broad departmental requirements for the Engineer's degree, which includes research work. As soon as feasible, the student must identify a faculty advisor to supervise research and to help formulate a plan for advanced study. As early as practicable thereafter, a doctoral committee shall be appointed to oversee that student's individual doctoral program as provided in the school-wide requirements for the doctor's degree. Joint programs with other departments are possible.

Special Programs

Along with degree programs, the department offers special programs that are sequences of courses along with capstone design projects that focus on the design of important military systems, such as platforms and weapons.

Total Ship Systems Engineering Program

The Total Ship Systems Engineering Program is an interdisciplinary, systems engineering and design-oriented program available to students enrolled in Mechanical or Astronautical or Aeronautical Engineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering or Combat Systems programs. The program objective is to provide a broad-based, design-oriented education focusing on the warship as a total engineering system. The sequence of electives introduces the student to the integration procedures and tools used to develop highly complex systems such as Navy ships. The program culminates in a team-performed design of a Navy ship, with students from all three curricula as team members. Students enrolled in programs leading to the Engineer's degree are also eligible for participation. Entry requirements are a baccalaureate degree in an engineering discipline with a demonstrated capability to perform satisfactorily at the graduate level. The appropriate degree thesis requirements must be met, but theses that address system design issues are welcome.

Missile Systems Engineering Program

The Missile Systems Engineering Track is an option that can be perused within the framework of the Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (MSME) or Master of Science in Engineering Science Degree programs. This program is a regular part of the TEMASEK program, but is also open to DoD contractors, as well and all U.S. Military and DoD Civilian Students. The program provides a solid engineering foundation in analysis and design techniques involved in developing offensive and defensive missile systems.

This option consists of a four-course sequence of special missile courses embedded in the normal MSME or MSES(ME) degree program of courses and a thesis.

The courses for this program are:

  1. ME3205 Missile Aerodynamics
  2. AE4452 Advanced Missile Propulsion
  3. ME4703 Missile Flight Dynamics and Control
  4. ME4704 Missile Design

NPS works with industry, primarily with Raytheon Missile Systems Division in Tucson, AZ, to create this unique blend of high-quality academic courses and “real word” systems engineering focus in missile design and manufacturing, leading to a program of unique military relevance.

Autonomous Systems Engineering Program

The Autonomous Systems Engineering Track is an option that can be perused within the framework of the Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (MSME) or Master of Science in Engineering Science degree programs. This program is open to DoD contractors, as well and all U.S. Military and DoD Civilian Students. The program can be completed in four to six quarters, depending on academic preparedness of the student, and is developed around several core courses related to modeling and guidance navigation and control algorithms design for autonomous underwater, surface, ground, aerial systems, satellites and spacecraft. Additional course electives can be taken to enhance specialty areas, along with thesis research related to a specific type of an autonomous system or its component, or a wide range of other useful military technologies.

The core courses of the program are:

  • Introduction to Unmanned Systems
  • Low-Level Control of Unmanned Vehicles
  • Unmanned Vehicles Navigation
  • High-Level and Discrete Event Control of Autonomous Systems
  • Computer Vision
  • C3 Networks for Unmanned Systems
  • Collaborative Control of Multiple Autonomous Systems
  • Unmanned Systems Design

The final course in this sequence, Unmanned Systems Design, is a capstone course that integrates the material into a design of (a component of) an autonomous underwater, surface, ground, aerial, or space system, its algorithm or sensor to be tested within the tactical network environment during quarterly field experiments at Camp Roberts Training Site.

Laboratories

MAE Laboratories are designed to support the educational and research mission of the Department. In addition to extensive facilities for the support of student and faculty research, a variety of general use equipment is available. This includes equipment and facilities for the investigation of problems in engineering mechanics; a completely equipped materials science laboratory, an oscillating water tunnel, an underwater towing tank and a low turbulence water channel; a vibration and structural dynamics laboratory; a fluid power controls laboratory; a robotics and real-time control laboratory; facilities for experimentation with low velocity air flows.

NPS Center for Autonomous Vehicle Research: The primary goal of the NPS Center for Autonomous Vehicle Research (CAVR) is to educate students in the development and use of technologies needed for unmanned vehicles through coursework, thesis and dissertation research. The secondary goal of the CAVR is to advance Naval autonomous vehicle operations by providing support to the fleet, Navy labs and Program offices, testing and experimentation of advanced technologies, independent verification and validation of a variety of novel autonomous vehicles concepts, and by innovative concept development. Currently the CARV houses two autonomous submarines (Aries and REMUS), Sea Fox surface vehicle and a wide variety of Tier I and Tier II class unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) staring from Scan Eagle UAV and all way down to miniature flapping-wing vehicles.

CAD/CAE Computer Laboratory: This lab consists of Windows PCs and is used heavily by students for both class and thesis related work. This lab has a wide range of special mechanical engineering software for analysis and design. This facility includes a 128 processor cluster for large scale computations.

Additional Laboratories

Nano/MEMS Laboratory: This laboratory provides a facility for teaching the emerging technologies of Nano/MEMS.

Fluid Mechanics and Hydrodynamics Laboratories: The fluid mechanics laboratory supports instruction in basic courses in fluid mechanics. It is equipped with a small wind tunnel for specific instructional purposes. The hydrodynamics laboratory includes a unique U-shaped oscillating water tunnel for the study of a wide range of phenomena, such as flow about stationary and oscillating bodies, vortex-induced vibrations, stability of submarines and boundary layers, and vortex-free-surface interactions. The hydrodynamics laboratory also houses a recirculating water tunnel for numerous flow-separation and vibration phenomena and a vortex-breakdown facility for the investigation of the stability of swirling flows. These facilities are supported by a 3-beam Laser-Doppler-Velocimeter, numerous other lasers, high-speed motion analyzers, data-acquisition systems, and dedicated computers for numerical simulations.

Materials Laboratory: Laboratory supports teaching and research in processing, characterization, and testing of advanced structural, functional, and nanotechnology materials for defense applications.

  • Auger Surface Analysis Laboratory: It consists of an ultrahigh vacuum system and an electron beam source to probe the surface and interface structure of composites and microelectronic devices.
  • Transmission Electron Microscopy Lab: Contains a TOPCON 002B TEM used for materials science and engineering teaching and research.
  • Scanning Electron Microscopy Lab: Contains a TOPCON 540 SEM used for materials science and engineering teaching and research.
  • X-Ray Diffraction Laboratory: Two Philips X-ray Systems are used for materials science and engineering teaching and research.
  • Optical Microscopes Laboratory: This lab includes several optical microscopes as well as electronic imaging and image analysis systems that are used for materials science and engineering teaching and research.
  • Metallurgical Sectioning/Polishing Laboratory: This supports all teaching and research by provision of facilities to prepare samples for examination.
  • Transmission Electron Microscopy II Lab: This laboratory is equipped with a JEOL-100CX microscope and is used primarily for instruction of students in the techniques of electron microscopy.
  • Scanning Electron Microscopy Laboratory: This laboratory is equipped with an older model Cambridge Instruments SEM.
  • Physical Testing (Dilatometer) Laboratory: This laboratory is dedicated to dilatometry and is primarily used for research applications.
  • Heat Treatment Laboratory: This laboratory supports courses and research mainly in the materials area and includes a selection of conventional furnaces.
  • Corrosion Laboratory: This laboratory supports the instructional program in the area of corrosion science and engineering.
  • Metallurgical Etching Laboratory: This laboratory supports all teaching and research in materials by provision of facilities for the chemical treatment of samples for metallo-graphic examination.
  • Welding Laboratory: Welding is the primary method of fabrication for Naval vessels, and instruction and research on welding/joining of both conventional and advanced alloys is carried out in this facility.
  • Materials Processing Laboratory: This supports both teaching and research involving deformation and thermal processing of materials. It is equipped with presses, a rolling mill, and various heat treatment furnaces.
  • Creep Test Laboratory: This laboratory supports research in high-temperature structural metals and composites.
  • Mechanical Test Laboratory: This lab supports mechanical testing with impact, creep, and fatigue instrument and electromechanical properties.
  • Ceramics Laboratory: This laboratory is devoted primarily to research on high temperature materials based on various ceramic compositions.
  • Composites Laboratory: This laboratory supports research in composite materials, especially metal matrix composites.

Marine Propulsion Laboratory

This laboratory has gas turbine (Allison C-250) and diesel (Detroit 3-53) engines connected to water brake dynamometers, located in separate, isolated engine test cells. These engines are instrumented to obtain steady-state performance and high-frequency, time-resolved measurements. Aerothermodynamic, acoustic, and vibration phenomena in turbo-machinery and reciprocating engines are being investigated, particularly relating to non-uniform flow and condition-based maintenance (CBM) in naval machinery. These engines are used for both instructional and applied research programs in the area of marine power and propulsion. In addition, this lab has bench-top rotordynamics experiments for demonstrating high-speed machinery balancing and investigating rotordynamic instabilities. The lab has sub-scale flow facilities for developing and testing low observable (stealth) technologies for engine inlets and exhausts.

Rocket Propulsion Laboratory

This lab conducts research on advanced concepts in solid, liquid, and combined mode propellants. Experimental and computational research is conducted in the areas of propellant mixing, combustion, pulse detonation, thrust control, and plume mixing. A full range of mechanical and optical diagnostic techniques are used on small and subscale experiments.

Structural Dynamics Laboratory

This lab is devoted to structural dynamics and is especially designed to facilitate both teaching and research into vibration and shock effects associated with underwater explosions, as well as related shipboard vibration problems. The ability to validate simulation models with lab-scale tests is critical for student education. The lab includes a state of the art multi-channel data acquisition system, and a large variety of transducers and instrumentation.

Thermal Engineering Laboratories

These labs are used mainly for instruction in heat transfer to investigate convection phenomena of single and multi-phase flows and include facilities for measurement of temperature change and fluid motion in a range of systems. The lab also includes equipment/instrumentation for measurements in microelectronics and micro-heat exchanger systems.

  • Convection Heat Transfer Laboratory: Used mainly for instruction in heat transfer by convection phenomena and includes facilities for measurement of temperature change and fluid motion in a range of systems.
  • Electronic Cooling Laboratory: The operation of microelectronic devices results in intense, but very localized, heating of electronic devices.
  • Two-Phase Heat Transfer Laboratory: This is an instructional and research laboratory for the study of heat transfer involving more than one phase, e.g., heat transfer involving liquid and vapor phases during boiling or condensation.

Ship Systems Engineering (TSSE) Laboratory

This is an integrated design center in which student teams perform a capstone design project of a Navy ship. Ship design encompasses hull, mechanical, and electrical systems as well as combat systems, and is done in cooperation with the Meyer Institute.

Astronautical Engineering Laboratories

  • Spacecraft Design Laboratory: This laboratory houses computer-aided design tools for spacecraft design and a spacecraft design library. It is used heavily by students for three spacecraft design courses, AE3870, AE4870, and AE4871. Students can do collaborative spacecraft design using the unique design tools not available in other educational institutions.
  • Smart Structure and Attitude Control Laboratory: This lab consists of five major ongoing experiments to facilitate the instruction and research by students in the area of both smart structures, sensors, and actuators for active vibration control, vibration isolation, and shape control in space applications and attitude control of flexible spacecraft and space robotic manipulators. In addition to students' thesis research, it also supports courses AE4816, AE3811, and AE3818.
  • Optical Relay Spacecraft Laboratory: This joint laboratory of NPS and AFRL is used for both instruction and research on acquisition, tracking, and pointing of flexible military spacecraft. The main facilities include a bifocal relay mirror spacecraft attitude simulator, actuated by variable speed control moment gyros; a single focal spacecraft attitude simulator, actuated by reaction wheels; and an optical beam and jitter control test bed. This laboratory is used for courses AE3811, AE3818, and AE4818.
  • Spacecraft Robotics Laboratory: The Spacecraft Robotics Laboratory, funded by NPS and AFRL, hosts the Autonomous Docking and Spacecraft Servicing Simulator (AUDASS). This test bed, consisting of two independent robotic vehicles (a chaser and a target), aims to carry out on-the-ground testing of satellite servicing and proximity formation flight technologies. The vehicles float, via air pads, on a smooth epoxy floor, providing a frictionless support for the simulation in 2-D of the zero-g dynamics. This is used for course AE3811.
  • FLTSATCOM Laboratory: This laboratory consists of a qualification model of the Navy communications satellite, FLTSATCOM and the associated ground support equipment for testing the satellite. This is an instructional laboratory and is used by students in laboratory course AE3811. Students get operational experience including spin-up of a reaction wheel, rotation of a solar array drive, firing sequence of thrusters, and receiving telemetry on the satellite operational parameters.
  • Segmented Mirror Telescope (SMT): The SMT is a unique platform for research into advanced Adaptive Optics (AO) techniques employing a prototype satellite imaging system with approximately 1,000 degrees of freedom.

Research Centers

The following Research Centers are organized in the MAE Department:

  • Aerodynamic Decelerator Systems Center and Laboratory: Payload delivery has always played a vital role in a variety of combat and humanitarian operations. In the recent years the touchdown accuracy improved drastically allowing delivering not only traditional bundle supplies, but also smaller, time-critical items like munitions, medical resupplies, sensors, autonomous ground robots. Moreover, the delivery of these articles is possible using smaller autonomous aerial vehicles as opposed to conventional military aircraft. The center focuses on a variety of novel research topics that support technologies vital to the Army's and Navy's future force, combating terrorism and new emerging threats. It includes the development of guidance, navigation and control algorithms for a family of various-weight precision guided airdrop systems to be deployed from fixed- and rotary-wing unmanned platforms, along with research on different sensors to support airdrop missions. The center is constantly working on different challenging projects, providing a wide variety of thesis opportunities in different areas: conceptual design, CFD analysis, computer modeling, image processing, control design, sensor integration; supports coursework in Control and Autonomous Systems.
  • Center for Materials Sciences and Engineering: The Center for Materials Sciences and Engineering provides a focus for research and education in Materials Science and Engineering at NPS.
  • Center for Autonomous Underwater Vehicle Research: The primary goal of the NPS Center for AUV Research is to educate Navy and USMC officer students in the development and use of technologies needed for unmanned underwater vehicles through coursework, thesis, and dissertation research. The secondary goal of the Center is to advance Naval UUV operations by providing: Support to the Fleet, Navy Labs and Program Offices.
  • Turbo-Propulsion Laboratory: The Turbo Propulsion Laboratory houses a unique collection of experimental facilities for research and development related to compressors, turbines, and advanced air-breathing propulsion engine concepts. In a complex of specially designed concrete structures, one building, powered by a 750 HP compressor, contains 10 by 60 inch rectilinear and 4 to 8-foot diameter radial cascade wind tunnels, and a large 3-stage axial research compressor for low speed studies. A two-component, automated traverse, LDV system is available for CFD code verification experiments. A second building, powered by a 1250 HP compressed air plant, contains fully instrumented transonic turbine and compressor rigs in explosion-proof test cells. A spin-pit for structural testing of rotors to 50,000 RPM and 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit is provided. Data acquisition from 400 channels of steady state and 32 channels of non-steady measurements, at up to 200 kHz, is controlled by the laboratory's Pentium workstations. A third building houses a 600 HP radial and 150 HP boost compressor capable of delivering 2000 scfm of air at 10 and 20 atmospheres respectively. These charge four tanks for blow-down to a supersonic wind tunnel (4 x 4 inches), a transonic cascade wind tunnel (2 x 3 inches), and two free jets (one 6-inch and one 1-inch in diameter). The large free jet is equipped with an instrumented thrust stand for the testing of small gas turbine engines. The building also houses a 3-inch diameter shock tube.
  • Spacecraft Research and Design Center: The Spacecraft Research and Design Center at the Naval Postgraduate School consists of six state-of-the-art laboratories: Fltsatcom Laboratory, Spacecraft Attitude Dynamics and Control Laboratory, Smart Structures Laboratory, Spacecraft Design Center, NPS-AFRL Optical Relay Mirror Spacecraft Laboratory, and Satellite Servicing Laboratory. These laboratories are used for instruction and research in the Space System Engineering and Space Systems Operations curricula. The emphasis has been on providing students with hands-on experience in the design, analysis, and testing of space systems, and to provide students with facilities for experimental research. The emphasis in the research is on acquisition, tracking, and pointing of flexible spacecraft with optical payloads; active vibration control, isolation, and suppression using smart structures; space robotics, satellite servicing, space system design, and computer aided design tools. These laboratories have been used in joint projects with Naval Satellite Operational Center, NRL, AFRL, Columbia University, and Boeing. See www.nps.edu/SRDC.
  • Center for Survivability and Lethality: The Center provides research and education in a broad range of technologies and methodologies to make platforms more survivable to attack and more lethal to hostile platforms and systems. Work in submarines, surface ships, fixed wing and rotorcraft, and space systems are supported. The Center also conducts research in improving the survivability of civilian infrastructure and transportation systems. Twenty NPS faculty members from MAE, Physics, and Electrical Engineering participate in the Center. See www.nps.edu/csl.

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Course Descriptions

AE Courses

ME Courses

MS Courses

MX Courses

TS Courses