The Department of Aerospace Engineering continued its history of accreditation by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) in the summer of 2019. Department of Aerospace Engineering associate professor Vinay Dayal led the department’s successful accreditation in 2018 and 2019. Dr. Dayal coordinated the department’s ABET data collection and review, wrote the department’s ABET report and played a lead role in organizing and coordinating the site visit for the 2019 accreditation. He is currently assisted by Dr. Benjamin Ahn (an expert in engineering education research).
A voluntary program, ABET accreditation is carried out every six years by an ABET team, with an ABET program evaluator performing an on-campus site visit in the respective department. The evaluation team reviews course materials as well as student projects and sample assignments. The program evaluator interviews students, faculty and administrators and tours facilities. The department passed the review with flying colors. No concerns or weaknesses were identified by the ABET team during their review of the department in 2019.
To address the 2024 ABET accreditation the department has created a new astronautics requirement and has developed two courses for it: Rocket Propulsion and Spacecraft Flight Dynamics which addresses spacecraft attitude dynamics and control. The department’s philosophy is to use the astronautics requirement to not only satisfy ABET requirements for 2024 but also to address other ABET astronautics topics in the future. Dr. Ossama Abdelhkalik, an AIAA Associate Fellow and expert on spacecraft orbit design and optimization, oversaw the curriculum revisions for the new astronautics requirement.