ME 49601 – Boeing AerosPACE | Tech Elective (Fall 2019) & Senior Design (Spring 2020) Credit

What is Boeing Aerospace Partner for the Advancement of Collaborative Engineering (AerosPACE)?

It is a Boeing-sponsored, two (2) semester, six (6) credit award winning sequence, where senior students from multiple engineering disciplines and multiple universities work collaboratively to design, analyze, build and test innovative UAVs. Students work as an integrated team with team members from universities such as Brigham Young University, Georgia Institute of Technology, Clemson University, Tuskegee University, Iowa State, and University of Washington.

Participating students are taught the NASA Systems Engineering method and workflow as they execute the conceptual, preliminary, and detailed design phases.  Purdue’s School of Aeronautics and Astronautics was an inaugural AerosPACE school, having participated each year for the past seven (7) years. Today, we (Purdue’s School of Mechanical Engineering) have been invited to identify six (6) ME seniors interested in joining the 2019-2020 AerosPACE experience. In Fall 2019, the selected ME students will enroll in ME 496xx and in Spring 2020 they will enroll in ME 463xx.

Fall 2019, students will focus on the conceptual, preliminary, and detailed design of aircraft (with an emphasis on UAVs) to satisfy the requirements of the design challenge. Towards the end of 2019, students will begin transitioning to the prototype phase. In spring semester 2020, students will complete construction and flight tests of their vehicles, qualifying them for the fly-off competition.

Collaboration between students at different universities is a major theme of the project. It is expected each design will address technical areas of aerodynamics, materials, propulsion, manufacturing, structures, and controls, among others. The design process will be modeled after the NASA systems engineering workflow and include conceptual design, preliminary design, and detailed design. Prototyping and design for manufacturing will also be milestones of the project.

At the beginning of the course in fall 2019, and at the end of the course in spring 2020, all students will travel for team building activities and demonstration flights of their aircraft, respectively. Occasional travel to participating institutions to meet with other students may also be required.

In addition to interacting directly with industry personnel, participating students will have access to a dedicated application for future employment (internships or full-time positions) with Boeing, should they choose to do so; however, no interviews or positions are guaranteed.


The course consists of a lecture period Monday and Wednesday (ARMS 3118), from 11:00am to 11:50 am, and a lab period Friday (ARMS 3118) from 9:30am to 12:20pm.

Application Process

Please note: only six (6) ME students may enroll in this sequence. Students wishing to enroll must submit a current resume, and a statement-of-purpose no more than 1 page in length to Professor

Jensen (contact information listed below) no later than Friday, April 19th. In their statements-of-purpose, students should describe (1) their passion for aviation, (2) why they wish to take this course sequence, (3) how they envision themselves positively contributing to the team, and (4) their skills and knowledge of CAD modeling tools, CAE (finite element) and CFD tools, manual and CNC machine tools, and their knowledge of composite fabrication processes.

Students will be notified whether they have been accepted into the course around Friday, May 3rd to alter their schedule if necessary before the start of the fall semester.

Additional Information

Please see the online video available at

Contact: Professor Jensen (

April 23, 2020

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