The Technion’s department of Aerospace Engineering opened its gates in 1954. The department grew and expanded rapidly, hand-in-hand with the development of Israel’s aeronautical and high-tech industry. The department’s expansion in teaching and research was significantly accelerated after the Six-Day War, following the considerable increase in aeronautical engineering related activities and the development and manufacturing of airborne systems at Israel Aircraft Industries, Rafael and the defense industries, and as IAI began developing and manufacturing Israeli aircraft, which increased the demand for aerospace engineers as well as the requirements for conducting research and infrastructure development.
Israel’s aerospace engineers are involved in the development, design, manufacturing, operation, flight control and maintenance of airborne systems in the atmosphere and in space, including: airplanes and helicopters, unmanned aircraft, missiles and missile launch systems, jet and rocket propulsion systems, airborne weapon systems and satellites, as well as in the development of infrastructure for flight and space sciences as part of engineering sciences.
The extensiveness of aerospace activities and their variety enables aerospace engineers to choose a field where their personal tendencies can be expressed. Today, some aerospace engineers do experimental work in laboratories; others develop computer software for aeronautical purposes, some do theoretical and mathematical work in the field of aerospace and flight sciences, and yet others design systems or manage projects in one of the aerospace engineering fields. It is important to note that the extensive knowledge acquired by the department graduates provides them with the tools and the ability to get integrated in many fields of science, technology and engineering. Their command of different fields of activities enables our graduates to also work as systems engineers in fields that are not a specific part of aerospace.
The department’s graduates have different and diverse employment possibilities. Some are employed by large organizations such as IAI and all of its subsidiaries, Elbit Elop, Rafael and the defense infrastructure (the Israeli Air Force, IMI). In recent years, many aerospace engineers are also employed at different high-tech companies, both private and public, in the development of in-atmosphere and space-borne flight vehicles, and for the development of new technologies. Many of our graduates work as systems engineers at different industries and in senior management roles that require multidisciplinary understanding and know-how.
In order to train engineers to handle the variety of tasks and deal with the challenges presented by this profession, the department’s curriculum was designed to provide the students with the most extensive theoretical and experimental background possible, including economic and management knowledge, in order to enable them to develop and advance, and at some stage in their career become systems engineers who lead the development of complex projects, and managers in aerospace industries. The curriculum is built on the acquisition of knowledge and skills in the basic and engineering sciences, as well as in the basics of all fields of aerospace: aerodynamics, structures, propulsion, control, principles of space engineering and design, and aircraft manufacture. Towards the final stages of studies, there is an option to expand one’s knowledge in selected fields according to the student’s choice, and knowledge is imparted in general system-centered subjects. In their last year of studies, the students conduct a project of their choice, in which they develop a complex system from the field of aeronautics or space.
The department’s four-year program yields the “B.Sc. in Aerospace Engineering” degree. Those interested in expanding their knowledge, particularly their scientific knowledge, are encouraged by the department to study for a master’s degree – with or without a thesis – and for a Ph.D. degree in all aerospace disciplines.