Air University Catalog
The Graduate School of Engineering and Management offers advanced scientific, engineering, and management education to qualified Air Force officers and civilians. Graduates are assigned a wide range of positions in a rapidly changing technological environment. They become not only practicing engineers and managers, but also broadly educated leaders capable of directing Air Force research, support, and development programs. The school is comprised of the Departments of Mathematics and Statistics, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Engineering Physics, Systems and Engineering Management, Operational Sciences, and Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering.
Resident Degree Programs
AFIT's Graduate School of Engineering and Management offers resident graduate degree programs in which students can earn the master's or doctorate degree. The resident master's degree program is 18 months in length, while the PhD program requires three years. These programs prepare Air Force officers primarily for specially designated advanced assignments in areas of science, engineering, and management. In addition to providing quality academic instruction in a relevant discipline, the Institute customizes degree programs to specific needs of the Air Force and the DOD, as suggested by users and technological advancements.
The Graduate School of Engineering and Management currently offers master's degree programs in aeronautical engineering, applied mathematics, astronautical engineering, computer engineering, electrical engineering, electrooptics, engineering and environmental management, nuclear engineering, military meteorology, operational analysis, operations research, space operations, and systems engineering. Other master's degree areas include programs in logistics, acquisition, and information resource management. Programs leading to the PhD degree offer areas of specialization in applied mathematics, aeronautical engineering, astronautical engineering, electrical engineering, computer engineering, engineering physics, nuclear engineering, and operations research. All programs meet educational requirements common to a wide range of Air Force assignments.
Since 1960 the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA) has accredited the institute's graduate degree program. The NCA Commission List of Higher Education has accredited AFIT's resident pro-grams through the PhD level. Since 1955, the Engineering Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, Inc. (ABET), has accredited appropriate AFIT engineering programs.
The Graduate School of Engineering and Management is located at Wright-Patterson AFB, near the headquarters of the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) and five of its directorates--the largest aerospace research facility in the Air Force. The academic programs offered at the school take advantage of the facilities and expertise available at these AFRL facilities. Students are able to interact directly with researchers and engineers working on Air Force projects. The full spectra of research, development, and acquisition facilities at Wright-Patterson AFB are used by a cadre of Air Force scientists, engineers, and management specialists, who assist AFIT as adjunct professors and lecturers through their association and aid to course work, development, and instruction.
The school includes extensive laboratories in the Departments of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Engineering Physics. The Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics laboratories include facilities for the study of internal and external aero-dynamics, system dynamics and control, propulsion, combustion, heat transfer, fatigue, fracture, experimental stress analysis, task automation, teleoperation, and space systems.
The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering operates facilities for the design and test of flight control and avionics concepts, integrated circuit fabrication and testing, low observables and electronic warfare support, and a full range of computer systems. The Department of Engineering Physics laboratories support research in laser spectroscopy, nonlinear optics, solid-state physics, nuclear radiation detection, nuclear effects, and environmental monitoring.
A mixture of workstations and personal computers networked throughout the facility supports education and research. The Department of Operational Sciences operates the AFIT Center for Modeling, Simulation, and Analysis. This center provides computing and technological capability for research that applies state-of-the-art mathematical and computing technologies to the solution of operational problems to support better decision making, planning, and scheduling in complex command, control, and war-fighting systems.
The faculty of the Graduate School of Engineering and Management consists of 100 members; one-half are military officers. Nearly all faculty members hold PhD degrees in their areas of specialty. Faculty members teach approximately 440 graduate-level courses per year and are heavily involved in research. In FY 1998, AFIT graduate faculty produced 119 refereed journal articles, 146 other publications, and 212 contributions to proceedings at national and international symposia. Faculty members were involved in over 100 funded research projects during this period.
Research and Consulting
Research and consultation activities are integral elements of the work of any university. AFIT requires a dissertation or a thesis in all resident graduate degree programs. Air Force organizations sponsor research performed by students who complete thesis requirements on topics of interest to the Air Force and DOD. AFIT's consultation services offer DOD organizations and other government agencies the expertise of the faculty in their professional disciplines. Consulting activities also provide the faculty an opportunity for professional development and growth and exposure to the latest in defense-related concepts and concerns, which are incorporated into instruction.
Recent research and consultation activities by faculty and students have included studies in such diversified areas as simulation of C-17 wingtip vortices for the airdrop environment, high-energy lasers, microelectromechanical devices, battle damage repair of composites, and war-gaming simulation. AFIT research has also developed chemically sensitive microelectronics; a heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning controls handbook; and computers to design versatile, highly integrated silicon microchips for specific Air Force needs.
In FY 1998, AFIT graduate students completed 224 master's theses and 33 PhD dissertations. Of these, over 90 percent contributed to an Air Force or DOD project. Almost 50 percent of AFIT theses were in direct support of Air Force Materiel Command, headquartered at Wright-Patterson AFB. AFIT graduate student research efforts in FY1998 resulted in approximately $27 million in cost avoidance savings for sponsors, and faculty research efforts produced $3.4 million in research grants.
The school's collocation with the Air Force Research Laboratories, the Air Force's largest center of research, development, and materiel activity, produces a synergistic relationship resulting in an operational atmosphere that balances the theoretical and practical aspects of research and instruc-tion. Close association with engineers and scientists actively engaged in Air Force research and development keeps research focused on Air Force technology needs.
The School of Systems and Logistics develops, maintains, and delivers professional continuing education (PCE) courses to meet the technical and managerial needs of the logistics, acquisition, and software engineering workforce. The school offers resident courses in two locations. The principal location is at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio. The second location is the Systems Acquisition School, located at Brooks AFB, Texas. The Wright-Patterson campus provides PCE courses for the Air Force and other Department of Defense services and agencies. The Brooks campus specializes in meeting the needs of the Air Force Materiel Command acquisition workforce. A multiservice faculty teaches approximately 400 offerings of 56 courses, varying in length from three days to four weeks. Some 6,200 students are taught in residence, while an additional 4,400 students are taught in classes conducted at various locations in the continental United States and overseas or through distance learning.
Professional Continuing Education
The PCE program has three important goals:
The school's courses provide managers and practitioners with the tools, skills, and abilities to solve difficult, multidimensional problems by expanding their analytical skills and reasoning abilities. Emphasis is placed on building a foundation that will benefit students over their entire careers. Course curricula focus on the education needed to manage complex programs covering the entire spectrum of a system's life cycle--from establishing system requirements to providing operational support. Courses are offered at all levels of professional development from the introductory level to advanced managerial and technical applications. Simulations, case problems, and exercises are used extensively to ensure that students learn how to apply theory and concepts to real-world situations.
The ability to broadcast courses via satellite over the Air Technology Network to multiple locations and to deliver web-based courses over the Internet enables AFIT to reach more people closer to where they live. Most students can take these courses without having to travel from their work-place. Distance learning provides access to education that might not otherwise be available, reduces travel costs, and often allows the individual to integrate their work schedule with course requirements. Courses delivered by distance learning meet the same high standards of quality as resident course offerings.
The expertise developed by the school's faculty in their respective disciplines represents a valuable resource to the Air Force and the DOD. Faculty consultations give the customer access to knowledgeable individuals that bring an outside perspective to the problem. These faculty consultants possess a broad base of experience dealing with similar problems and can advise customers on how such problems have been addressed successfully, and not so successfully. Faculty consultations provide customers with better solutions and the experience results in a better faculty and better courses for the students.