Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics
Unified Engineering is the beginning of your education as an Aerospace Engineer. At MIT,
aerospace engineering is taught within the context of the CDIO (Conceive-Design-
Implement-Operate) framework. Briefly, that means that we want you to graduate as
engineers who can contribute to the development of new products in a modern, team-
So in Unified, you will learn skills that will enable you to become an
effective aerospace engineer. Of course, you will learn plenty of disciplinary material as well.
As you will see, the structure of Unified reflects the dual goals of teaching disciplinary
material and the other skills required of an aerospace engineer.
2. Course Objectives
The basic objective of Unified is to give a solid understanding of the fundamental disciplines
of aerospace engineering, as well as their interrelationships and applications. These
Material and Structures (M); Computers and Programming (C); Fluid
Mechanics (F); Thermodynamics and Propulsion (T);
Signals and Systems (S)
choosing to teach these subjects in a unified manner, we seek to explain the common
intellectual threads in these disciplines, as well as their combined application to solve
Systems Problems (SP)
. Throughout the year we will endeavor to point out
the connections among the disciplines.
A second objective of Unified is to guide you to an understanding of the fundamental skills,
knowledge and sensitivities that are the traits of a successful engineer. These include the
skills necessary to work successfully in a group (including technical and graphical
communication) and those of self-education (reading, research, and experimentation).
Professional engineers have the knowledge and confidence to make estimates of poorly
known parameters, create conceptual models of systems, and design new solutions to
meet technical challenges. Engineers in positions
of leadership are sensitive to the
interaction of technical solutions with the economic, political, social and environmental needs,
and constraints of society.
The third objective of the faculty and teaching staff is to ensure that you have a positive
learning experience. As in most teaching-learning experiences, the effectiveness and
efficiency of what we accomplish will depend on the combined efforts of both the faculty
and the student. For our part, we will try to make the experience of Unified Engineering
stimulating, rewarding, and on occasion, fun.
September 8, 2003