Specialisation in Aeronautics

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This specialisation will be offered from Sept. 2020
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Applying mechanical engineering to aeronautics 

Aeronautical engineering is at the leading edge of the development of new high-tech applications in which aerodynamics interacts with acoustics, structures, and propulsion. Aeronautical developments are in the areas of theoretical formulations, analysis by computer simulations, design methodology, testing methods, production methods, safety and maintenance standards, materials, and products developed in the aeronautical sector. The resulting knowledge and capabilities are often used later, possibly in adapted form, in other engineering applications e.g. in wind turbine design, in the maritime sector, and the automotive sector. Aeronautics and developed technologies have inspired many generations of engineers.

The increasingly strict regulations on environmental impact, fuel consumption, emissions, and noise are a major challenge for the aeronautical sector particularly as the demand for air travel in the next decade(s) is still foreseen to increase by several percentage points per annum.  In addition, the nature of the required air mobility is rapidly changing in line with urban mobility demands. This drives the development of a wide range of air transport vehicles with large aeroplanes carrying hundreds of passengers to single- or few- passenger urban mobility vehicles and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles for many different purposes. Each vehicle requires optimisation for functionality, efficiency, and environmental impact, with specific challenges to structural design, maintenance, propulsion, aerodynamics and flight control, (aero)acoustics, and noise minimization, which often involves cutting edge scientific knowledge translated into the new technology such as light-weight multifunctional meta-materials.  

The aeronautical sector faces a major challenge to become more sustainable, e.g. in reducing CO2 emissions. At the same time, it can contribute significantly to future sustainability. For example, it has provided the basis of today's global communication, information, and GPS/navigation technology which allows detailed earth observation data nowadays to be available. This data has yielded essential information in case of natural disasters aiding relief missions, as well as a wealth of information on developments in the atmospheric conditions, e.g. multiyear insight in the distribution and changes in greenhouse gases, detailed and stunning insight in the magnitude of processes of desertification, deforestation, and glacier retreat, and other climate change-related phenomena. This information has significantly contributed to the awareness of the need for urgent global collaborative agreements of mitigation, such as the 2015 Paris Agreement. Aeronautical technologies will also be indispensable in the future for earth observation solutions, and can in many ways contribute to the UN sustainable development goals.

Why choose this specialisation at UT?

The Aeronautics specialisation at UT aims to educate versatile mechanical engineers, well-equipped to contribute to new fundamental knowledge of aerodynamics. Aspects of the specialisation are:

The key point of the specialisation is that it is embedded in a mechanical engineering environment with internationally recognised specialists in a wide range of relevant disciplines. The specialisation offers a challenging course program addressing physics and engineering fundamentals as well as up to date applied and interdisciplinary fields and developments at the frontiers of existing knowledge and technology. 


The specialisation offers the possibility to complete an internship at a wide range of companies and institutes in the aeronautical and wind turbine sector. MSc assignments can be done in the research groups and departments related to:

The assignments can be done internally at the University of Twente, with access to the excellent experimental and computational facilities of the faculty, as well as externally at institutional and industrial partners through our excellent national and international network of collaborations. Examples include:

For a select number of students, the specialisation also offers the possibility of a double degree in Mechanical Engineering and Aeronautical Engineering with the renowned Brazilian Instituto Tecnológico de Aeronáutica (ITA).

Examples of MSc. assignments

Career prospects

The specialisation prepares students for a career in industry and institutes, as well as to specialise in a specific area preparing for a PhD degree in applied physics or engineering, preparing for a career in one of the aeronautical institutes or at universities.

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