90th Anniversary Celebration

The Next Giant Leap - 50-90-200 event logo

On August 29, 30 and 31, 2019, the Department of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics is hosting a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the first lunar landing, the 90th anniversary of the department and the bicentennial of the University of Cincinnati. Register for the event now.

We will be exploring the incredible history of the department, looking at “What’s Next” in aerospace, and celebrating the life and legacy of former UC Professor Neil A. Armstrong.

Historical Timeline of Department

1927

Decision made to create Aeronatical Engineering department. Search for chair begins.

1929

Bradley Jones in military uniform

Bradley Jones in 1918

The Aeronautics Engineering program at the University of Cincinnati begins, chaired by Bradley Jones.

Jones had already invented the instruments to navigate in flight without view of the ground - an aviation sextant and Earth Inductor Compass, as well as a flight indicator.

Jones developed the initial curriculum with consulation by Orville Wright. 

1932

First Aeronautical Engineering class graduates.

1940

Bradley Jones, department chair, serves on the Civil Aeronautics Bureau, preparing for expanded civilian pilot program as tensions that led to World War II increased.

1940

Ray Bisplinghoff and another person work on an airplane.

Ray Bisplinghoff (left), Class of ‘40 and a faculty member during World War II; later Dean of Engineering at MIT

Ray Bisplinghoff graduates from department. He will go on to serve in the Bureau of Aeronautics, as a professor at MIT, an assistant administrator at NASA, helped plan the Apollo 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12 Missions, and as the dean of engineering at MIT.

1941-45

“Goodyear Girls” ca. 1943: two UC co-ops at the Goodyear Aircraft Factory

“Goodyear Girls” ca. 1943: two UC co-ops at the Goodyear Aircraft Factory

Department began "Goodyear Girls" training program for women undergraduates to be airplane factory supervisors.

1957

Department changes name to Aerospace Engineering after the launch of Sputnik and subsequent space race.

1959

Graduate programs begin with M.S. and Ph.D. programs in department's newly formed Institute of Space Science.

1966

First GE-AE/UC graduates, 1969. L to R: David Amos; George Grant; Stav Perdumo, AC Supervisor; Bud Thomas; Bob Kraft; John Blanton, GE AE Program Manager; unknown.

First GE-AE/UC graduates, 1969. L to R: David Amos; George Grant; Stav Perdumo, AC Supervisor; Bud Thomas; Bob Kraft; John Blanton, GE AE Program Manager; unknown.

Graduate program partnership with General Electric (GE) begins that continues today, combining work at GE with thesis research at UC.

1968

Dr. Tabakoff with graduate students at the jet engine test facility

Dr. Tabakoff with graduate students at the jet engine test facility

The Center of Excellence in Propulsion established with Widen Tabakoff as the director.

1971

Neil Armstrong lectures with diagrams on a chalkboard

Neil Armstrong during his time at the University of Cincinnati

Neil Armstrong joins department faculty. He will teach UC aerospace engineering students for nine years.

1972

Dr. Hamed with a new LDV system, ca. 1994

Dr. Hamed with a new LDV system, ca. 1994

Awatef Hamed becomes first woman to join aerospace engineering faculty. She will become department head in 2001.

1980

The department establishes a NASA Center in Computational Fluid Dynamics in 1980, one of only seven NASA-funded centers nationwide.

1997

The Gulfstream V receives the Robert J. Collier Trophy for outstanding achievement in U.S. aviation. Richard Johnson, a 1973 graduate of the department, oversaw its design and certification.