Message from the Department Head

Dr. Srinath Ekkad, Department Head

I would like to welcome you to the NC State University’s Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering (MAE) Department. The MAE department has a long history and tradition of educational and research excellence. From the website, you will realize the diversity of our undergraduate and graduate degree programs as well as our externally funded research activities, admission requirements into our programs, details on our faculty and staff, and more.

These are exciting times to be a Mechanical or Aerospace Engineer. There is a significant demand for both professions as our engineers are solving problems in areas such as renewable energy, autonomous transportation, advanced manufacturing, in addition to traditional areas like automobile engineering, propulsion systems, etc. Our department will continue to grow in size as demand for our programs continues and new research challenges arise on the horizon. The NC State MAE program is unique in that both Mechanical and Aerospace Programs have been together since the inception of a separate AE program in the 1960s. Both the programs are experiencing high demand and are growing rapidly with current enrollment for 2021 incoming sophomores at over 450 students. This is the largest class for both ME and AE programs. Both our UG programs show record enrolment. The faculty teach a wide variety of fundamental ME and AE courses as well as a slate of excellent technical electives and graduate courses. The students get a breadth of fundamental knowledge and specialized topical background during their stay in the programs. 

Our students get to experience excellent education that provides them an opportunity to develop, innovate, and design everything from robots to autonomous cars, to satellites, to prosthetic arms, to manufacturing methods, and also to analyze and produce new novel engineering tools. The students are trained to think independently and also to work in teams enabling them to be successful in their future careers as engineers in the real world. As a department, the faculty are committed to the success of our students in all aspects of their educational experience. Our student competition teams regularly place among the top in the nation in both the AE and ME competitions. Our Formula SAE team came in 2nd in two competitions this year. Our Baja and high powered rocketry teams also placed in the top 10.

We have a highly accomplished faculty that are well known in their areas of research. We have a strong emphasis on thermal sciences; energy systems; aerodynamics and fluid mechanics; propulsion and space exploration systems; dynamics, vibrations and controls; structural mechanics and materials; biomechanics; engineering design; and nanoscale systems. The faculty are involved in cross- and inter-disciplinary research with other engineering departments at NC State including the College of Sciences, and also with departments at UNC and Duke in the RTP area. Several of our recent faculty have received NSF CAREER awards and Young Investigator Awards from AFOSR in recent times. We have several faculty members who have authored or co-authored books in their areas. Majority of our faculty have a scholarly H-index of over 20. We have hired 16 new faculty members to the department in the past 4 years with a faculty count of 49 tenure/tenure track faculty and 6 non-tenure track teaching faculty.

The MAE department faculty and staff are also committed to creating a very diverse and satisfying experience for our students and their families, employers of our students, our research partners, and our fabulous alumni. We hope that you will take this opportunity to accept our invitation to visit our EB III building on Centennial campus and learn about the various ongoing activities and our plans for the future. Please browse through our website for more information or contact us if you have any questions. We will continue to update our more recent accomplishments on a regular basis.

Srinath V. Ekkad
MAE Department Head