A group of graduating AERO students at commencement with their graduate caps

Alumni & Friends


The University of Michigan started the first collegiate aeronautics program in the United States in 1914, just 11 years after the Wright Brothers’ first controlled, powered flights at Kitty Hawk.

Since then, the Department has graduated more than 6,000 aeronautical and aerospace engineers. Our alumni have gone on to distinguished careers in essentially all areas of the aerospace enterprise, in related fields, in government and in academia.

Five were astronauts who orbited Earth. Three went to the moon.

Ed White (MSE 1959) made the first spacewalk by an American.
Jack Lousma (BSE 1959, PhD 1973) commanded Skylab and piloted the third space shuttle flight.
Jim McDivitt (BSE 1959, PhD 1965) commanded Apollo 9 and was Manager of the Apollo Spacecraft Program for Apollo 12, 13, 14, 15 and 16.
Clarence “Kelly” Johnson (BSE 1932, MSE 1933) is widely considered one of America’s greatest aircraft designers. He went on to establish the legendary Lockheed Skunk Works, and led in the creation of aircraft such as the P-38, the F-104, the U-2 and the SR-71.

More than 20 alumni have been employed with SpaceX and were involved with the Dragon mission.

Learn more about our history: read Bicentennial website stories.

Sydney Hamilton talks about a career in aerospace engineering.

Alumni Spotlight: “You know your heart and you know your passion. So you call the shots. It is your future and nobody else’s. So don’t be discouraged by anyone.”—Sydney Hamilton, Aerospace Engineering, BSAE ‘13.

Stay Connected

Our alumni span the globe, and their accomplishments and involvement are critical to helping us move the department forward. There are many ways for Aerospace Engineering alumni to stay connected.


Join us in our quest for bold ideas and life-changing solutions. Together, we can solve the problems of tomorrow.


Whether you’re on-campus or on the other side of the world, you can meet other alumni, and most importantly, make a difference in the lives of Michigan Engineering students.

woman working on small electronic device


Aerospace Alumni Dr. Richard Hofer Elected AIAA Fellow

3-time alumni recognized for his extensive contributions towards Hall thruster technology

3D printed wings

Packard Fellowship Winner is Changing the Way We Think About Flight

How UM alumni Christina Harvey is planning to use her BIRD lab to explore maneuverability in aircraft design

photo of a galaxy

Alumnus Selected for First Ever NASA Sustainability Internship

Congratulations to Janki Patel for becoming one of the first “Sustainability Ambassadors” at NASA.

“We want to pay it forward”: Adnan Rukieh and Becky Folds First Gen Endowed Scholarship Fund

Reflecting on his experience, an alum funds other first gen students

Graphic of a satellite headed towards an asteroid

Alumni Profile: Julie Bellerose

Julie Bellerose’s career spanned two continents, three countries and a vast array of incredible missions.

U-M Alum Launches Rocket 55.6 miles above Earth’s Surface

Kip Daugirdas (‘08) is breaking records in amateur rocketry.

UM Aero alum Jennifer Duke in a Michigan hat on a sunny day by a rapid river.

Alumni profile: Jennifer Duke

Knowing aviation was her future, Duke leveraged expertise in aerodynamics to lead operational fleet design at Pratt & Whitney

Alum Lily Arcusa is building a new Air Force One

A non-traditional U-M student, Arcusa shows how U-M prepared her for a stellar career

Industry Advisory Board Profile: Kathryn Elliott

Elliott on finding inspiration in gas turbine engines, restarting her career and being a change agent.

Aisha Bowe posing with astronaut equipment

Aisha Bowe goes to space

U-M Alumnae selected for Blue Origin launch


Become a victor for Aerospace Engineering!

male student adjusts a plane that he is testing
David Hershey, Aerospace Engineering BSE Student, adjusts a plane that he is testing in the Aerospace Wind Tunnels.