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There are a number of opportunities for students to get hands-on experience while enrolled as a student at Aerospace Engineering, including being part of a student team or participating in an undergraduate research project.
The University of Michigan College of Engineering supports a wide array of student project teams. The Wilson Student Team Project Center occupies a facility adjacent to the FXB building to support a diverse set of student team projects. Students gain experience with all phases of the design, build, test project cycle.
The department has summer research projects for undergraduate students under Rackham’s Summer Research Opportunity Program (SROP) and Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE). Interested students can go through the online list of available projects for the next summer.
See what projects are available
The U-M Solar Drones UAV Team (formerly known as Solar Bubbles) provides the hands-on experience of designing, building and testing unmanned-aerial vehicles to students at the U-M. The team allows an opportunity for the practical development of leadership, teamwork and technical skills outside of the classroom for dedicated and intelligent students.The team’s primary short-term goal is to design, build and test a solar-powered unmanned aerial vehicle capable of 36+ hours of flight, of carrying a small camera payload and with less than a 15 foot wingspan. The team’s long-term goal is to investigate, design, build and test creative and unique unmanned aerial vehicles.
Aero Faculty Advisors
M-Fly competed in the 2016 SAE Aero Design East competition March 11-13, 2016 in Fort Worth, Texas. The team completed in both the Regular and Advanced class categories of the competition. This is the first year the team competed in the Advanced class competition and it also won the oral design presentation and finished 5th overall out of 19 teams! The Regular class aircraft finished 8th overall out of 35 teams beating previous year’s records!
M-Fly is a Society of Automotive Engineers Aero Design team, dedicated to promoting opportunities for students to practice applying their knowledge to projects outside the classroom.
“The Aero Design® Competition challenges engineering students to conceive, design, fabricate and test a radio controlled aircraft that can take off and land while carrying the maximum cargo. This gives students the opportunity to apply the knowledge learned in the classroom on a practical problem.”
– SAE Aero Design
Aero Faculty Advisor
Human-Powered Helicopter Team was created in 1991 to design, build, and fly the world’s first human-powered helicopter. The manager of each of the team’s task groups together with the team’s project manager, technical manager and advisor make up the management committee, which coordinates the various elements of the team. A program written by the computer group, which calculated the power required to meet various parameters, confirmed that the project is feasible. Because the team is made up entirely of full-time students, turnover is high from semester to semester. The team is always in need of creative, hard-working people.
The Mars Rover program is an ongoing research project in which a student team designs, builds and tests prototypes of manned rovers foruse in a human mission to Mars. A Michigan Engineering team designed and built one of the world’s first prototypes, called “Everest,” basing it on an Army FMTV cargo truck. If a crew of four were to reach the Martian surface, Everest would be able to carry them up to 1000 kilometers. The team has tested Everest at the Mars Desert Research Station in Utah and at a Michigan rock quarry.
Faculty Advisor (AOSS)
The Michigan Aeronautical Science Association is a student organization created specifically to design and fabricate rockets. MREA focuses in projects involving new hybrid propulsion technologies and composite structures. These projects culminate in rocket launches, which have been conducted since 2004. MREA’s rockets are technologically demonstrative and more than able to launch payloads such as GPS telemetry devices, cameras and Cansat satellite simulators.
The Michigan Autonomous Aerial Vehicles (MAAV) team is a student competition team at the University of Michigan founded in September 2009. The goal of the team is to enter and win the 2011 International Aerial Robotics Competition (IARC). The team consists of students ranging from freshman to graduate students with a few Ph.D. candidate advisors. The team is a highly interdisciplinary team with students from Aerospace Engineering, Computer Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and the Business School. The team is divided into sub-teams to delegate tasks vital to the project. These sub-teams include: Electrical Hardware, Navigation, Structures, Controls and Simulation, Imaging, Testing and Business. Each of the members on the team is involved in at least two of the sub-teams.
At the end of the first year, MAAV successfully built two quadrotor vehicles capable of manual flight. Many of the autonomous aspects of the project made significant progress, but have not been implemented on the vehicle.
The purpose of this group is to provide University of Michigan Students with a hands-on jet engine experience and help them better understand the inner workings of a turbine engine. Our organizations sponsors jet engine experiments. These experiments are put together by three subcommittees which meet weekly to work on the project. Initial experiments will be basic engine runs and in the future we will test the engine performance with different fuels and in varying altitudes.
The purpose of this group is to educate students at the University through the construction of manned, powered aircraft and to create an opportunity for students to gain real-world experience in the aircraft design process. Our goal is to research, design, and construct a manned aircraft using composite materials similar to work done in the aerospace industry.