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(Department of Defense -- Aerospace Education, Research and Innovation Center)


The Tuskegee University (TU) DOD-AERIC is designed to provide a unique, exciting, and engaging environment for the training/education of future DOD aerospace engineers, as well as engineers from aerospace-related areas. U.S. citizens from underrepresented populations are sought particularly, and highly encouraged to apply for the various opportunities of the center.

The Center will build on the strong research capabilities and track record of the TU College of Engineering to tackle basic and applied research relevant to the DOD and aerospace industry. Partnerships will be developed and leveraged among DOD laboratories, aerospace industries, and academic engineering programs to enrich the DOD-AERIC’s activities. These partnerships will provide research projects, teaming on joint proposals, student internships and employment opportunities, joint advising of student research projects, and involvement in seminars and workshops. The development of the DOD AERIC will be enhanced through the efforts of an External Advisory Committee, the research mentors, the staff support, and all other facets of DOD AERIC. Explore this site to see what we are doing and what we are planning.


Students in a classroom


A student working on a mechanical testing machine


Two students and a military visitor demonstrating their work in the makerspace lab

FASTREC Summer Program students group picture

Education      Research      Innovation      Outreach

The Education component of the Center is focused on the development of an interdisciplinary MS degree in aerospace and mechanical engineering. The curriculum is under development and will be submitted to the Tuskegee University administration for approval.

Part of this curriculum will be newly developed courses. If you are interested in the MS program, go to the Learn More link for further information.

Modules related to the research of the DOD AERIC program will be used by both undergraduate and graduate students to supplement their preparation for careers in the aerospace industry and government laboratories, as well as to further their education in an aerospace engineering or related program.

The Research component is designed to enhance basic and applied research in areas related to aerospace engineering.

Currently research teams are focused on 1) platform design for a drone placed on a moving vehicle, 2) fracture behavior and damage tolerance of ceramic matrix composites, and 3) additive manufacturing of metals.

New opportunities for research utilizing Tuskegee University’s capabilities are constantly being sought.

Transmission of the results from the current research has been in the form of technical reports and posters; this effort will be expanded to graduate theses, publications in primary journals, presentations at meetings, etc. Go to the Learn More link for further information.

The Innovation component centers on a makerspace laboratory for use by students. The makerspace laboratory provides students with an environment and resources (materials, faculty, guest speakers, inventors/role models, etc.) for exploration. 

Various industries have contributed to the development of the makerspace laboratory. Students are currently using the makerspace laboratory.

The products of this environment will be documentation of the development of pathways to commercialization and entrepreneurship.

Go to the Learn More link for further information.

The Outreach component of the Center will expose high and middle school students, mostly from underrepresented populations, and their teachers to the research and educational elements of the DOD AERIC activities. 

A summer program (Mentoring Introduction to Aviation Science, MITAS) and a Saturday program (Aviation Career Exploration, ACE) will connect the students and teachers to an awareness, interest, excitement, and confidence in the potential of a career in DOD, aerospace, and related engineering disciplines. 

The well-established MITE (Mentoring In To Engineering) and FASTREC (Freshman Accelerated Start-up and Training for Retention in Engineering Curricula) programs will part of the Outreach component as well. Go to the Learn More link for further information.

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News & Announcements

Please explore all of the recent news and announcements that DOD AERIC has below!


                  New Scholarship Opportunities                      

 Deadline for scholarship applications JULY 1, 2024


For Engineering Students:

  1. Future Innovators internship program sponsored by FirePoint at Wichita State University
  2. OUSD(R&E)’s DOD HBCU/MI Summer Internship Program

For Graduate Students:

  1. Click here for additional information

Research Collaborations:

Army Research Laboratory (ARL)

Collaboration with DEVCOM Army Research Laboratory (ARL) to design, characterize and conduct experimentation
of platforms for Next Generation Combat Vehicles.

DevCom-Army Research Lab image

Aviation and Missile Center (AvMC)

Collaboration with DEVCOM Aviation and Missile Center (AvMC).

DevCom-Aviation and Missle Center image


Collaboration and synergy between the DOD-AERIC and the existing Tuskegee-Nucor Education and Research
Center (NERC). The Nucor Center focuses on applied research on steels and their alloys.

Nucor image


Partnership and product support with Snap-on to furnish the Innovation, and Mechanical Dissection labs,
as well as outreach activities, and scholarships.

Snap-On image


Collaboration with Dynetics on research projects related to environmental aging of adhesively bonded joints,
fracture, and fatigue behavior of selected additively manufactured materials, and designing environmental
exposure testing procedures and measuring environmental effects on selected alloys.

Dynetics image


Collaboration and support with Boeing for student research projects and outreach programs.


Material Sciences LLC (MSC) / University of Pittsburgh

Collaboration on funded research with Materials Sciences, LLC (MSC) / the University of Pittsburgh on the
characterization of additively manufactured metals.

Material Sciences LLC thumbnail


Collaboration and Synergy between the DOD-AERIC and the existing Tuskegee-Chevron Additive Manufacturing
Lab.  The Chevron Lab at the Tuskegee University College of Engineering focuses on 3D printing of polymeric 
and fiber reinforced components, as well as 3D scanning and reverse engineering.

Chevron image

Wichita State University (NIAR)

Collaboration with Wichita State University - National Institute for Aviation Research (NAIR) on funded research
on the mechanical and fracture characterization of ceramic matrix composites.

Wichita State University - NAIR image


Relevant Capabilities at TU

Fracture and failure analysis, corrosion and erosion studies, high temperature polymeric materials and coatings, additive manufacturing, degradation of materials under extreme conditions, processing and characterization of fiber reinforced composites, welding and steel repair, nondestructive evaluation, characterization of ceramic and carbon/carbon composites - biomaterials, experimental aerodynamics, computational mechanics, multiresolution signal/image analysis, micro and nanofabrication, portable sensors, etc.


Heshmat Aglan, Dean
  Principal Investigator: DOD-AERIC 

Johnny L. Baker, Program Manager
200 Luther Foster Hall
1200 W Montgomery Road
Tuskegee, AL 36088
Office: 334.724.4644
Cell: 334.720.9998

Lisa Pitts, Business Manager

College of Engineering
  Tuskegee University
200 Luther Foster Hall
1200 W. Montgomery Road
Tuskegee, Alabama 36088