The funding primarily will go toward work on the supersonic and subsonic wind tunnels, which can simulate airflow for aerodynamic testing. Through a partnership with the Air Force, the college received the equipment on a long-term loan for academic projects and research. In addition, the wind tunnels are available for companies in the aerospace industry and other universities for research as well as for tours to K-12 students to promote science, technology, engineering and mathematics education.
Over the last six years, the grant has also allowed the aerospace engineering program to expand its research in unmanned aerial vehicles, aerospace structures and structural dynamics, and spacecraft and rocket development.
“As we train future engineers for the workforce, providing hands-on experiences is incredibly valuable,” says College of Engineering Dean Ed Hohmann. “These are the opportunities for students to work as real engineers, discover creative solutions, produce fresh ideas and collaborate with others.”
U.S. Rep. Grace Napolitano (D-Santa Fe Springs) was instrumental in securing federal funding for the campus. From 2005-07, the university received $3 million and $800,000 last year. Although the awards are focused on the aerospace engineering program, other departments have benefited from the improved labs and equipment, among them including the chemical & materials engineering and mechanical engineering.
Cal Poly Pomona has long provided well-trained engineers to meet the needs of the aerospace industry and government laboratories. Since its founding in the fall of 1957, the Aerospace Engineering department has awarded more than 1,300 bachelors and masters degrees. Demand for the Aerospace Engineering program has been on the rise, with enrollment more than doubling over the last five years to about 400 students.