I am applying to colleges. What are schools that have good programs in UAVs, aerospace and/or aviation. I am taking flying lessons now. Looking for hands-on involvement, cutting edge design/development/implementation. Thank you very much for any suggestions. Possibly this forum could have a listing of possible schools and training programs with comments describing what any of us may know about them. Thanks.

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Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU) has a growing UAV curriculum, both in UAV operation and autonomous systems design. The College of Engineering at the Daytona Beach campus is participating in all five of AUVSI's autonomous vehicle competitions this year, including both of the aerial competitions. I know there is work going on towards offering a UAV minor.

(ObDisclosure: I'm currently a student at ERAU, and captain of the IARC team. Go Eagles!)
You might check out New Mexico State University. They have an aerospace program, and at least as of 2007, were the only non-federal entity with a Certificate of Authorization from the Federal Aviation Administration to operate unmanned aircraft in the National Airspace System.
You may want to check out my Unmanned Aircraft Systems Summit in Washington this coming May. The event will put you right in front of speakers such as: Major General Frederick F. Roggero, USAF, Commander, Air Force Flight Safety Center, US Air Force and Brigadier General Charles K. Shugg, USAF, Commander, Joint Unmanned Aircraft Systems Center of Excellence, US Air Force just to name a few. You will get to network with senior-level technology specialists from government agencies, research laboratories, and equipment suppliers. Contact me for secure-express registration and for the final agenda, you can download it here: http://www.slideshare.net/SherrylJacobs/UAS-2009
Good luck on your search. I'm working on some similar research for another project. Places you definitely want to check out- Embry Riddle for the aviation side. Lots of schools are playing in the UAV world- Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech, Stanford, Cal Tech, Purdue, Carnegie Mellon, Univ of Florida, Univ of Kansas, . There are also lots of small schools that have strong engineering departments and UAVs have become an easy project foundation for multiple levels of students. The IARC website is an exciting competition with some history on the website http://iarc.angel-strike.com/past_teams.php.
Also check out the flight departments as other schools of interest. Although they may not focus on aviation or aerospace in their engineering programs, they may have connections to local airports for flight training and maintaining hours.

Good luck!
To know what you're getting into, take a look at



It's not the same as DIYDrones, RCGroups, or spaceflightnow.com. Most of the university stuff doesn't really help with the hands-on involvement & cutting edge design/development/implementation. It's mainly to get a job in the industry. Personally taking differential equations, linear algebra, & linear systems courses didn't really help understand the latest control theories or Kalman filtering.

Wayne Hale actually said he wished he took more accounting & people management courses.
My daughter just reported that her college - Montana Tech (part of University of Montana system) - is offering a UAV course next semester. I look forward to hearing more about this.
Besides class room , you will also want to consider some experience with radio control aircraft. The 2nd R/C Flight School has trained UAV pilots for manufactures as well as the armed services. They are located at http://www.2ndrcflightschool.com or http://www.uavflightschool.org
If you have the grades and the bones*, I'd say MIT, thats where I'm trying to get in.
The Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering department at the University of Washington has an excellent program. The final project for all seniors is an aircraft design/build. Because of time constraints, it usually ends up as some sort of RPV/UAV. The graduate-level controls courses have heavy emphasis on automatic controls.
University of North Dakota has the first BS/MS degree program entirely focused on UAS, UAS flight operations, UAS Safety and UAS Manegment. They are a first rate aviation training school and are recognized by the DOD for direct commisioning, they have a UAS airfield and FAA CoA.

Cochise College in Douglas/Sierra Vista AZ also has a AS programs in UAS Operations and UAS Tech, They also have a FAA CoA and have had it since the mid 1990's. They are also involved in training US Customs Service, Border Patrol and military UAS students from the Army Intelligence Center at Ft Huachuca AZ

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