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USU adds first doctorate program in aerospace engineering

USU College of Engineering

USU adds first doctorate program in aerospace engineering

By Spencer Ricks | Posted - May 18, 2015 at 8:02 p.m.


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LOGAN — Utah’s first doctorate program in aerospace will start welcoming students at Utah State University this fall.

The Ph.D. program in aerospace engineering was approved by the Utah System of Higher Education Board of Regents on May 15. The College of Engineering at USU will start offering the program for the fall semester.

The program will focus on the design, development and testing of rockets, spacecraft, airplanes and missiles.

USU has previously only offered a master’s degree in aerospace engineering.

“The new degree program will establish a separate degree path for existing aerospace engineering graduate students and attract new students who are looking specifically for a Ph.D. in aerospace engineering,” said David Geller, associate professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering. “Offering this Ph.D. better positions USU to capture regional talent that would otherwise leave the state.”

Geller said Utah is one of the top 10 states in the nation with the highest concentration of jobs in the aerospace industries.

“Given the large concentration of aerospace industries in Utah, USU graduates with a Ph.D. in aerospace engineering will clearly be first in line to fill these available high-paying positions, keeping home-grown talent close to home,” Geller said.

Faculty at USU will not have to develop any new courses because the existing courses in aerospace engineering are already adequate for the Ph.D. program, said Robert Spall, head of the department of mechanical aerospace engineering.

Spall said one of the most attractive aspects of the new program will be its small size.

“We will start the new program with only a handful of students,” Spall said. “This will give our students a unique chance to work closely with their professors and get the attention they need.” Spencer Ricks is a KSL.com news writing intern and student at Dixie State University from Snoqualmie, Washington. Contact him at newsintern@deseretdigital.com.

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Spencer Ricks

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