Daniel Guggenheim School of Aerospace Engineering

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The Daniel Guggenheim School of Aerospace Engineering at Georgia Tech is one of the largest and oldest programs of aerospace engineering in the country. The school offers degree programs in aerospace engineering that are accredited by the ABET (Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology). The school ranks 2nd in undergraduate aerospace engineering, and 4th in graduate aerospace engineering, according to US News & World Report 2011.

AE model rocket


Degrees Offered

The school offers one undergraduate degree, two graduate degrees, and three post-graduate degrees.

  • BS: Aerospace Engineering
  • MS: Aerospace Engineering
  • MS: Computational Science and Engineering
  • PhD: with a Major in Aerospace Engineering
  • PhD: with a Major in Computational Science and Engineering
  • PhD: with a Major in Robotics[citation needed]


Montgomery Knight building

The Daniel Guggenheim School of Aerospace Engineering is housed in four buildings located in the southwest corner of the Georgia Tech campus.

  • Montgomery Knight
    • School Offices
    • Faculty Offices
    • Computer Lab
    • Research and Instructional Labs
    • Machine Shop
    • Instrument Lab
  • Guggenheim
    • Faculty offices
    • Classrooms
    • AE Library
    • Harper Wind Tunnel
  • SSTC(Weber) 2nd & 3rd floors
    • Faculty
    • Research Labs
    • Aerospace Systems Design Lab
    • Space Systems Design Lab
    • Georgia Space Grant Consortium
  • ESM Building
    • Graduate Student Offices and Research Labs
  • Combustion Lab


As early as 1917 Georgia Tech was asked to instruct U.S. Army personnel in aviation matters. Finally, in 1930, a separate department was formed after the receiving the last grant from the Daniel Guggenheim Fund for the Promotion of Aeronautics Inc. for the amount of $300,000. Six other grants were awarded across the country to establish centers for aeronautical research. The six other centers were established at:

On March 3, 1930 the School of Aerospace Engineering was established as "The Daniel Guggenheim School of Aeronautics". The grant was used toward construction of the building, equipment, apparatus, general maintenance, and endowment bonds in the following breakdown:

  • Building: $91,088
  • Equipment, apparatus, and general maintenance: $41,829
  • Endowment Bonds: $150,213

The equipment that was purchased and installed included a nine-foot wind tunnel complete with a six-component balance, a 2 1/2 foot instruction wind tunnel complete with a six-component balance, a wood and machine shop for construction of models, and other special research tools. In addition, a PCA-2 300-HP autogiro was donated to the School for flight research.

Classes began in September 1931 with eighteen students, two faculty members, and a budget of $10,000. During the first two years the undergraduate curriculum mirrored the Mechanical Engineering curriculum, thereafter, six basic aeronautical courses were offered during Junior and Senior years. The policy of the School was to maintain a fundamental engineering background while at the same time giving students a well-defined aeronautical training.

The School's official name was changed to the School of Aerospace Engineering effective July 1, 1962 to reflect the School's growing and expanding interests beyond the field of aeronautics. Several other universities across the country also renamed their college of aeronautical engineering for the same purposes.[citation needed]

Guggenheim Building

Guggenheim building, the first building of the School.

The building, which was completed in 1931, has a area of 12,900 square feet in use as classrooms, offices, and laboratories. It was dedicated on June 8, 1931. In 1948 a 5,000 square feet temporary building was built to house the model shop and to provide extra laboratory space. In 1957, a 3,200 square feet, two-story, gas dynamics laboratory was constructed at a cost of around $40,000. The model shop was torn down in 1967 to make way for the Space Sciences and Technology Center Building No. 2 which joined the Guggenheim Building and the gas dynamics laboratory into a new larger facility. The new building was dedicated in 1968 as the Montgomery Knight Building.[citation needed]

Vision of the School

The vision of the School of Aerospace Engineering at Georgia Tech is one of a close knit community of scholars, excellent faculty and supporting staff and dedicated students, acting in a partnership with the faculty and students of other Georgia Tech schools, administration of the university, industry and government leaders so as to best carry out their mission. The school sees itself:

  • Constituting a School dedicated to excellence,
  • Preeminent in aerospace engineering education,
  • Instilling in their students a sense of responsibility for ethical practice and concern for the environment,
  • Leading the wider aerospace community with advances in the sub-disciplines in which they concentrate,
  • Adapting to changes in societal needs so that the education they provide advances in knowledge.[citation needed]

Mission of the School

The mission of the School of Aerospace Engineering has three key missions:

  • To provide capable, motivated, and well-prepared students with an aerospace engineering education of the excellent quality, that will enable them to reach their maximum potential in a technological world, and the work place,
  • To significantly advance knowledge, its applications and integration in aerospace, and aeronautical related disciplines, and
  • To serve the larger community of aerospace community of which we are a part, the nation, and the State of Georgia where our abilities can be uniquely useful to the common good.[citation needed]


The School of Aerospace Engineering has many important objectives, some of which are listed below:

  • Making a educational aerospace program inspirational, creative, and such that best and talented students aspiring to contribute to the aerospace engineering enterprise and to rise to higher leadership positions in industry, government, or the academic fields, will seek to study in out School.
  • Perform chosen instructional, research and service tasks so as to strengthen Georgia Tech, both by their contributions as an individual school and through their support of and collaboration with other components of the Georgia Tech family.
  • Making the activities of their School and the way they conduct them such that colleagues from other universities and their counterparts in industry and government laboratories will routinely come to interact with them, to discuss the aerospace field's:
    • Opportunities
    • Problems, and solution for those problems
    • Research that is at the cutting edge and is applicable to completing societal needs.[citation needed]

Notable Alumni

John Young while on the moon.
  • John Young: NASA Astronaut
    • Class of 1952
    • Graduated with highest honors in Aeronautical Engineering
    • Gemini Missions
      • Pilot of Gemini 3 mission with Virgil Grissom
      • Commander of Gemini 10 which performed the first dual rendezvous with two Agena Target Vehicles
    • Apollo Missions
      • Apollo 10: First person to fly the command module solo
      • Apollo 16: Commander, one to 12 men to who landed on the moon
    • Space Shuttle
      • STS-1: Commander of first shuttle flight
      • STS-9: Used Spacelab for the first time
  • William S. McArthur: NASA Astronaut
    • Space Shuttle
      • STS-58, 74, 92
    • International Space Station


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