Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering (or Aerospace engineering as it can be alternatively called) is a very new field in Nigeria. It is concerned with the engineering science and technology associated with air, space, ground and water transportation including fluid dynamics; orbital mechanics; control and dynamics of vehicles and systems; energy conversion and use; materials; and structural analysis.
It may then be a point of discussion that it is an abstract field that is better left in the domain of the developed countries.
How exactly will Nigerians be able to build and maintain machines as complex as aircrafts on Nigerian soil? When will Nigerians be able to build, launch and operate their own space satellites with little or no foreign help? Why exactly will that contribute to any uplifting of the standard of living of the common Nigerian? These, amongst others which may have frequented your mind about this interesting field of study, are questions to which the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, KWASU offer solutions to.
Through a careful planning of the curriculum; proper administration of courses; and thorough assessment methods, the department hopes to graduate Aeronautical and Astronautical engineers who will not only be capable of devising solutions to our local questions but also be very relevant on the world stage. The B.Sc. Aeronautical and Astronautical engineering draws on courses in the underlying fundamental sciences and mathematics during the first year and introductory engineering science courses during the second year. Right from the second year, introductory courses such as Introduction to Aerospace engineering and Flight mechanics are offered to set the stage for the upper year courses.
To accommodate the breadth of interest in the Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering field, the third year provides the student with a solid base in Aerodynamics, Astrodynamics, Aerospace Structures, Thermo-Fluid Dynamics, Mechanical Engineering design, Numerical methods and Controls systems amongst other courses. Accordingly, the third year is the most demanding in terms of the required registered courses.The preliminary design courses on aircrafts and spacecrafts administered before the students’ industrial experience along with the laboratory courses in the first semester of the fourth year are meant to consolidate the acquired knowledge at this stage gearing it towards creative applications. Additionally in this semester, the students are introduced to Avionic systems and Aerospace Propulsion and Power Systems. The detailed design courses on aircrafts and spacecrafts administered alongside general engineering courses like Engineering Design Optimization, Engineering Management and Engineering Law in the final year help the students culminate the five year long experience into the production of an Engineering product in their final year Project. All along the five year programme, students offer general studies and entrepreneurship courses to help the students develop a social and entrepreneurial perspective of the engineering field.
It is a point of recognition in the department that the students may have varied interests and career objectives. Some students may intend to proCVEd to piloting schools while others may wish to enter the Aviation industry directly in an engineering capacity, or establish small and medium scale engineering firms, or continue studies in the hope to join the academics, or join the Nigerian Air Force. Others may have careers in business, law, medicine or forensics in mind and wish to acquire sufficient engineering skills and the associated problem solving capabilities before proCVEding. Therefore and as much as possible, enough flexibility is provided and entertained within the programme to permit meeting these and other varied objectives.
Under the umbrella of the University, the department has forged collaborations with the International Aviation College, Ilorin; the Nigerian Air Force; and the School of Aerospace engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, United States of America.
The general philosophy of the programme is in line with the philosophy of National Universities Commission on engineering programmes in the country. The philosophy is to produce graduates with high academic standard and adequate practical background for self-employment as well as being of immediate value to industry and the community in general.
To achieve the goals and objectives of the National Policy on Industrialisation and Self-Reliance in the area of Aeronautics and Astronautics, the programme is geared towards:
The development of a thorough practice in Aerospace engineering and technology training;
Broad–based training in general Engineering and Technology at the early stages of the programme;
Practical application of Engineering, Technology and Manufacturing Processes;
Adequate training in human and organisational behaviour and management;
Introduction to entrepreneurial education and training in the Aerospace engineering field; and
Close association of the programme with institutions and industries in the country and abroad.
GOALS AND OBJECTIVES
According to the National University Commission, ‘the general goals and objectives of Engineering and Technology training should be in consonance with the realisation of national needs and aspirations vis-à-vis industrial development and technological emancipation’. Therefore, the goal of the programme is to graduate Aerospace engineers who will be resourceful, creative, knowledgeable and able to perform the following functions:
To design Aerospace engineering projects and supervise their implementation.
To design and implement Aerospace components, machines, equipment and systems.
To design and develop new products and production techniques in the Aerospace and Aviation industries.
To maintain Aircrafts and Aircraft systems so that they can perform optimally in our environment.
To adapt and adopt exogenous technology in order to solve local engineering problems.
To be able to exercise original thought, have good professional judgment and be able to take responsibility for the direction of important tasks.
To be able to manage people, fund, materials and equipment.
To improve on indigenous technology to enhance local problems solving capability
HISTORY OF THE PROGRAM
The department of Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering, KWASU is the first of its kind in any university in Nigeria. It was established in 2011 then as the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (along with the Department of Mechanical Engineering). For strategic reasons and in consonance with dictates of the ever dynamic world, the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering was split in 2012into the Department of Mechanical Engineering and the Department of Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering. The founding Head of the Department is Professor Christopher Odetunde, a Professor of Aeronautical and Astronautical engineering.
The department relies on the services of its very capable members of staff resident in the department. It also relies on the interdisciplinary use of some other members of staff of the College of Engineering and Technology domiciled in other departments.
The Head of department is Professor Sulaiman Owolabi Talabi. Other administrative roles are assigned and can be varied from time to time as announced by the Head of department and as the needs of the department may dictate from time to time.
The department also relies on the use of the internet for clerical and office keeping activities and responsibilities. The following tables provide the list of staff of the department.