Aerodynamics and propulsion is the study of compressible flows: either around aerodynamic bodies (external flows, aerodynamics or fluid dynamics) or through engines (internal flows or propulsion). Aerodynamics and propulsion is important for numerous aspects of aerospace engineering, such as airplane aerodynamics, helicopter aerodynamics, jet propulsion, rocket propulsion, advanced propulsion, properties of the space environment and many others.
At Michigan, courses in the aerodynamics and propulsion curriculum cover topics such as incompressible flow, compressible flow, viscous flow, turbulence, plasmadynamics, non-equilibrium and rarefied flows, jet and rocket propulsion, electric propulsion and computational fluid dynamics, among others. Research at Michigan covers a wide array of topics of current interest in aerodynamics and propulsion. Some particular strengths of Michigan’s research program in aerodynamics and propulsion are listed below. In addition, particular research topics are listed on faculty members’ web pages.