STEM Spotlight on the Department of Aerospace & Mechanical Engineering

October 6th & 12th, 2017

What is Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering?

Aerospace and mechanical engineers at USC Viterbi design and build unique, complex mechanical-optical-electronic (mechoptronic) systems, ranging in scale from the International Space Station (102 m) to microscale electric generators and pumping systems (< 10-3 m).
During the last half-century the capabilities of mechoptronic systems have expanded to near-Earth, planetary, and interplanetary space. There has been a parallel inward extension to the ocean depths, far underground, and deep inside the intricacies of human bodies. A broad range of engineering science research is critical to developing novel, complex mechoptronic systems. As a consequence, aerospace and mechanical engineers conduct extensive basic and applied research within and crossing their usual disciplinary boundaries, while also synthesizing research from many other disciplines such as biology and computer science. The STEM Spotlight opens many of those labs to students on October 10 so they can see firsthand what this research looks like and the types of problems it solves for society’s benefit. Use the pulldown options (right) to learn more about the types of research conducted at USC Viterbi. Follow links to read more about Prof. Eva, Prof. Alejandra and Prof. Mitul.

Spotlight Lab Tours

Available to school groups for free, however advance registration required.

October, 6th

The University of Southern California has established a new center focused on Advanced Manufacturing. The center supports a comprehensive program in advanced manufacturing.
Follow this link to learn more about Spotlight on the Center for Advanced Manufacturing:

October, 12th

In the search for better human-designed micro-air vehicles, we study the aerodynamics of birds and bats. We study fish locomotion as a possible template for efficient underwater transport systems. We study chemical and cellular transport in the blood and in human eye. In each of these systems we search for fundamental organizing principles — those that generalize to different length scales or different degrees of complexity.
Participating Professors:
Kanso, Spedding, Luhar, Uranga, McArthur, Bermejo-Moreno
Over 80% of the world’s energy production and use is based on the combustion of fossil fuels. Combustion is ubiquitous in traditional energy conversion systems such as automotive engines, stationary and aircraft gas turbines, rocket and space propulsion, electrical power generation, industrial furnaces, and home and institutional space heating. The world’s dependence on combustion processes has led to many technological challenges including air quality, energy efficiency, global warming, and fire/explosion safety.
Participating Professors:
These USC Viterbi alumni offered advice to students attending the STEM Spotlight and shared details about their pathway from high school through college and now careers in aerospace. Click to know more.
* Ian McCullough – Buyer, SpaceX
* Rachel Morford – Senior Project Engineer, The Aerospace Corporation
* Robyn Ringuette – Sr. Director of Liquid Propulsion, Virgin Orbit
Julia Scheibmeir – Director, USC Viterbi Advancement
High school students from STEM Academy of Hollywood, STEM Academy of Boyle Heights and Manual Arts High School participated in the paper airplane competition at STEM Spotlight on AME on October 12th at USC. The competition began at 11:30 AM and continued until 1:30 PM.
Click here to know more
We have put together a document for testing your understanding of Kinematics. Click here to try.
Stay tuned for answers!
Resources: Aircraft Dynamics