The Department of Aerospace Engineering promotes cutting-edge research in the area of aerospace by the sophistication and comprehensivization of simulation technologies, and provides advanced professional education systematically, aiming at the establishment of design technologies of aerospace vehicles for use under severe circumstances and unique restrictions.
Aerospace vehicles, such as jetliners which fly gracefully through the skies, and rockets launched into space with tremendous roar boast of the beauty that only sophisticated mega-systems have. There are certain machines whose design itself is science: for instance, interplanetary probes which enter the atmosphere at ultra high speeds to collect data, and space robots which can autonomously explore faraway cosmic spaces. The research and development of aerospace vehicles in which state-of-the-art technologies are accumulated draws youths with ambitious dreams for the future.
The details of education and research in the department can be simply summarized by two keywords: simulation science and space technology. In the area of simulation science, research is carried out focusing on enhancing elaborate simulation technology based on science and airframe design methods applying simulation results. Research achievements mainly contribute to the development of aircrafts in Japan. On the other hand, in the area of space technology, research is carried out focusing on autonomous probe robots which play a leading role in deep space exploration, large-scale aerospace structures represented by space stations, and new-generation propulsion engines of spacecrafts launched into cosmic space. The achievements are contributing enormously to the progress of core technologies in Japan’s space development.
Many of the professors in the department worked in frontline research of aerospace area or aircraft development, as researchers of the former National Aerospace Laboratory of Japan (currently, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) or engineers of aircraft manufacturers. Therefore, research is being made at the laboratories of the department under numerous fascinating topics directly linked to the development of aircrafts and spacecrafts in Japan. About two-thirds of the students with master degrees in aerospace engineering go on to serve society as engineers of private companies. Most of the remaining students pursue a doctoral degree, and will participate in new research and development programs or teach younger people at national or private research institutes or university organizations.
In the development of aerospace technology, particularly important is the comprehensive technical strength for completing gigantic systems such as next-generation environmentally-compatible commercial aircrafts, supersonic transports (SST), reusable launch vehicles (RLV), and international space stations. This requires the establishment of sophisticated design technologies under harsh environments and restrictions, which means the need for the sophistication and comprehensivization of individual technologies starting with numerical simulation. Such aerospace technology is exceedingly knowledge-intensive with state-of-the art technology, and is thus anticipated to lead to the growth of the aerospace industry and provide substantial ripple effects on other industries. From this perspective, the department is committed to cutting-edge research and systematic advanced professional education in specialized fields of aerospace.