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Aerospace Engineering at KTH

The master’s programme in Aerospace Engineering offers students a broad, challenging and internationally acknowledged education. It provides skills for aerospace modelling and design, for solving complex engineering tasks, for collaboration with others on projects, and for communicating results and findings in a professional manner. The programme at KTH is highly international with contacts and students from all over the world. The programme director, Christer Fuglesang, is an astronaut and a KTH alumnus.

Aerospace Engineering

During the first term, all students read one fundamental mandatory course in each of four tracks: Aeronautics, Space, Lightweight Structures and Systems Engineerin. In addition, there is a course mandatory four all Master Students at KTH: Theory and Methodology of Science . Towards the end of the first term students choose one of the four available tracks. Each track has a few compulsory courses, but most are optional. A set of recommended courses are also provided, but students chose optional courses based on their own interests and wish to advance. There are also many possibilities to combine courses between the tracks. The first term contains one basic course in each track, which enhances basic skills and offers an introduction to various aspects of aerospace engineering. A course in theory and methodology in science is also included. The specialisation tracks start the second term and all offer different compulsory and recommended elective courses.

The final term is spent on a five-month degree project where students get the opportunity to work in depth with a larger problem. The project is performed either in the industry or at a university, in Sweden or abroad. The degree project is presented at a seminar where the conducted work and results are presented and discussed.

Aeronautics

The Aeronautics track focuses on modelling, analysis and design of aircraft. The overall objectives are that students should learn to design and estimate the performance of an aircraft, compute its aerodynamic properties, simulate its motion in flight, and analyse how the aerodynamic and structural properties influence stability and control. The track is characterised by a strong interaction between theory and practice. Students will, for example, plan, perform and evaluate wind tunnel tests during their education.

Space

Space technology plays a key role in modern society, enabling telecommunication and navigation services, weather forecasting, Earth observation and much more. The space track focuses on applications related to rocket and satellite technology, with particular emphasis on propulsion, trajectory analysis, spacecraft dynamics and systems perspective. The space environment and its impact on the design and instrumentation of satellites is another central theme in the education. Wider perspective is offered by courses in human spacecraft, space research, etc. The space track can conveniently be combined with (parts of) the other tracks in the programme to create an attractive competence profile.

Lightweight Structures

The Lightweight Structures track focuses on analysis and development of lightweight materials and structures for more efficient mechanical solutions and products. Functionality per weight is a simple, but repeatedly relevant measure of efficiency since reduced weight can enable improved structural performance, more cost-effective production and reduced environmental impact. The track has a clear emphasis on fibre composites, including non-metallic materials and sandwich structures, since such materials are often used in applications with extreme requirements. Students following the track develop knowledge and skills in analysis, design, optimisation, materials, manufacturing and testing of lightweight structures.

Systems Engineering

Aircraft, trains and satellites are examples of complex systems that have to be designed with reliable control systems and efficient maintenance plans to be competitive in today’s global market. The overall objective with the systems track is that you should be able to develop mathematical models of systems in order to analyse and optimise their performance. Control theory has a crucial role in the development of rockets as well as for robustness and performance of modern airplanes.

This is a two year programme (120 ECTS credits) given in English. Graduates are awarded the degree of Master of Science. The programme is given mainly at KTH Campus in Stockholm by the School of Engineering Sciences (at KTH).

Topics covered

Flight mechanics, aerodynamics, aeroelasticity, space physics, spacecraft dynamics, mechanics and manufacturing of composite materials, lightweight design, control theory, numerical optimisation.

Specific requirements for the master’s programme in Aerospace Engineering

A Bachelor’s degree, or equivalent, corresponding to 180 ECTS credits, with courses in

  • Mathematics: must include (i) calculus in several variables, (ii) algebra, (iii) numerical methods, (iv) differential equations and transforms, and (v) basic control theory, equivalent to at least 25 ECTS credits in total.
  • Applied mechanics: must include (i) rigid body mechanics, (ii) solid mechanics, (iii) fluid mechanics and (iv) thermodynamics, equivalent to at least 20 ECTS credits in total.

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