Available Graduate Positions



The Department of Aerospace Engineering at Auburn University currently has several open MS and PhD positions and we are actively recruiting outstanding students.  These opportunities span several different areas of research including materials and structures, space sciences, fluid dynamics and propulsion with brief descriptions found below.  All applicants to our graduate program are automatically considered for GTA & GRA funding. Please note that priority for funding is given to students who apply directly to our PhD program.  You do not need an MS degree to enter our PhD program.  Rather, it is quite common for our PhD students to earn an MS degree along the way.


Specific labs that currently have GRA openings are:


Materials and Structures

Mechanics of Materials (Dr. Vinamra Agrawal) - This laboratory focuses on understanding material response in dynamic environments, designing advanced materials by engineering at the microscale, developing multifunctional materials with desired properties targeted towards damage mitigation and energy harvesting. Positions are available for students with interest and background in solid mechanics and materials science.


Multifunctional Materials Lab (MML) (Dr. Asha-Dee Celestine) - Research in MML focuses on the development and characterization of novel multifunctional materials for a wide range of structural applications including aerospace, marine, energy, and biomedicine. We employ both experimental and computational techniques to create the next generation of intelligent materials. Positions are available for graduate students, with a background in experimental solid mechanics, interested in the development and characterization of multifunctional materials.


Polymer Mechanics Research Lab (Dr. Russell Mailen) – This lab conducts basic and applied research related to polymers and polymer composites, including shape memory polymers and multifunctional materials. Computational and experimental research opportunities are available for students with an interest in finite element analysis, composite fabrication, and polymer characterization.


Space Sciences

Space Technology Application Research Lab (STAR) (Dr. Toshi Hirabayashi) – This laboratory explores engineering and scientific problems in space to propose innovative technologies for space exploration missions, conducting interdisciplinary research.  

Immersive, Interactive, Intelligent Space DynamicsDr. Davide Guzzetti) - This laboratory will focus on rethinking astrodynamics and space systems through the technology of the information age. Integrating virtual reality, large computational capabilities, and machine learning techniques with advanced mathematical and dynamical understanding may create new options for spacecraft mission design and inspire new ideas for autonomous space exploration. Opportunities are available for students with an interest in astrodynamics, and related machine learning, neural networks, and computer visualization applications.

Aero-Astro Computational and Experimental Lab (Dr. Ehsan Taheri) – The ACE Lab focuses on applying optimal control principles for solving control problems related to non-linear dynamical systems. The emphasis of our research is on closure of theory, computation and experimental aspects of Aerospace systems while developing rapid, dependable algorithms. We solve problems in the fields of 1) astrodynamics including low-thrust and impulsive orbital maneuvers and space trajectory design, and 2) atmospheric flight including trajectory design and control of unmanned aerial vehicles, launch vehicles, and planetary landing vehicles.


Fluid Dynamics and Propulsion

Advanced Flow Diagnostics Laboratory (Dr. Brian Thurow) – This laboratory focuses on the development and application of high-speed, 3D flow diagnostics for applications involving unsteady, 3D flow fields including flapping wing flight, shock boundary layer interactions and combustion.  Opportunities are available for students with an interest in optical diagnostics, 3D tomography and experimental fluid dynamics.


Aero-propulsion related systems modeling, simulation and optimization (Dr. Roy Hartfield) -  This laboratory focuses on the development of models for aerodynamics, propulsion systems, and vehicle properties with the aim of producing models of systems which are of sufficient fidelity to be useful in trade and performance studies while maintaining sufficient computational efficiencies to be of practical use for large numbers of simulations.


Applied Fluids Research Group (Dr. Vrishank Raghav) – This laboratory focuses on the application of fluid dynamics and experimental techniques to solve challenges in aerospace and biomedical engineering. In aerospace engineering we are interested understanding - helicopter and wind turbine aeromechanics and rotary UAVs; biomedical engineering applications include cardiovascular and respiratory flows.


Computational Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (Dr. Stephen Nichols– The CFD Lab applies and develops computational methods to predict the unsteady fluid dynamics of internal and external three-dimensional flows.  Current research includes drag reduction strategies for commercial trucking, turbulence and transition modeling, dynamic grid motion, code development for reacting flows using Discontinuous Galerkin and Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics approaches, and optimization methods for computational tools.


Vortex Dynamics and Basic Fluid Flows (Dr. Anwar Ahmed) – Research in the lab utilizes a water tunnel and wind tunnel with emphasis on vortical flows of bluff body wakes, jets and unsteady aerodynamics of delta wings,  synthetic jets and flow control.  Aero-optics of boundary layers in compressible and incompressible flows is also of interest. 


Advanced Propulsion Research Laboratory (Dr. Joseph Majdalani) – This laboratory focuses on the development and application of mathematical modeling and simulation techniques to improve the performance and stability of large combustors and propulsive systems with special emphasis on swirl-driven liquid and hybrid rocket engines.  Other areas include internal flowfield and combustion instability analyses of solid rocket motors. We are presently engaged in modeling wall-bounded cyclonic flowfields, acoustic instability, and upper stage vortex rocket engines.  Opportunities are available for students interested in mathematical and computational modeling of simulated rocket systems.


Please feel free to contact individual faculty members (http://eng.auburn.edu/aero/faculty/) to learn more about opportunities available in their laboratories.


Last Updated: 11/20/20 7:26 PM