About MAE

Message from the Chair

Princeton's Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering has played a leading role in propulsion, combustion, aerospace dynamics, and fluid dynamics over the past half century. In recent decades the Department has extended its reach as a leading presence in dynamics and control, applied physics, and materials science. By exploiting its multi-disciplinary character and stressing engineering fundamentals, the Department seeks to educate the very best students – undergraduate and graduate - for future positions of leadership in areas of rapidly evolving technology. Intellectual independence and creativity are fostered among undergraduate students through participation in research, design and other project opportunities. Graduate students explore the frontiers of science and technology through a wide range of scholarly activities, which include in-depth thesis level research, formal research presentations, and teaching.

The Department is a part of the School of Engineering and Applied Science and is located in the Engineering Quadrangle (E-Quad) at the northeast corner of the Princeton campus. Research laboratories are in the D, G and J-Wings, and in the Von Neumann Building, all of which are interconnected portions of the E-Quad complex. Larger facilities, principally associated with gas dynamics, as well as some of the computational and modeling facilities, are located in the Gas Dynamics Laboratory at the James Forrestal Campus, a short distance from the main campus.

The Department maintains close ties with the Program in Applied and Computational Mathematics (PACM), the Princeton Institute for Computational Science and Engineering (PICSciE), the Princeton Institute for the Science and Technology of Materials (PRISM), the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment (ACEE), the Princeton Plasma Physics Lab (PPPL), the Princeton Neuroscience Institute (PNI), and the Princeton Environmental Institute (PEI). All are just a short walk away.

The Department has a long history of leadership in its core research areas of Applied Physics, Dynamics and Controls, Fluid Mechanics, Materials Science, and Propulsion and Energy Sciences. Our strengths extend to cross-disciplinary efforts impacting areas such as astronautics, bio-inspired design, bioengineering, medical applications, combustion and energy conversion, computational engineering, the environment and energy technologies, laser-matter interactions, security, and vehicle sciences and applications. We have long-standing interests in all manners of problems across Mechanical and Aerospace Science and Engineering: for example, in space exploration, satellite technology, pollution and alternative fuels, energy usage, battery technology, novel optical systems, propulsion systems, mechanics of fluids and solids, stability and control of vehicles, aircraft performance, and instrumentation.

The Department will continue to play a leading role in the technical challenges that face our society. By maintaining strength in our core disciplines and creativity in problem selection, we have shown flexibility in evolving our research directions to meet the newest challenges. We look forward to the new research and technology problems brought about by a shrinking world where food production, biotechnology, energy production, efficiency and management, sustainability, transportation, communication, and health, safety and security will become even more crucial issues than they are today. We look forward to these challenges.