Our People Make AE Great

Pen ink drawing of the Guggenheim School of Aerospace Engineering as seen from the corner of North Avenue and Cherry Street.

The Daniel Guggenheim School of Aerospace Engineering has quietly resided among the top 5 aerospace engineering schools in the country for more than a decade - attracting the best minds to study on our Atlanta campus. With a faculty of more than 40 tenure-track professors and enrollment of more than 1,300, the School brings both breadth and depth to its research, scholarship, and instruction that few institutions can match.

The AE School is currently ranked #2 in the nation for undergraduate programs and #4 in the nation for graduate programs

Source: US News & World Reports, 2017 & 2018 surveys

100 Years of Teaching the World to Soar

The School of Aerospace Engineering has its roots in waning days of World War I when the Georgia School of Technology helped to train U.S. Army pilots for a brief time. Our name and our legacy truly flourished in 1930, when philanthropist Daniel Guggenheim donated $300,000 to establish a center for aeronautical research -- one of seven such grants that he made at various institutions across the country.

That money immediately went to work: $91,088 for the Guggenheim Building;  $41,829 for equipment and maintenance; and $150,213 for an endowment. Under the provisions of a prior agreement with the State of Georgia, Fulton County, and the City of Atlanta, an additional $9,000, per year was furnished to operate a School of Aeronautics. About $6,000 in annual endowment funds were then committed to aeronautical research. Eighteen students attended the first classes, which were held in the newly constructed Guggenheim Building in 1931. Freshmen and sophomores took mechanical engineering courses; it was only during junior and senior years that they had access to the six basic aeronautical courses offered.

A lot has changed since then. In 1962, our name was officially changed to the School of Aerospace Engineering - a move that better reflected our growing influence in areas beyond aeronautics. But one thing remains the same: the Daniel Guggenheim School continues to stress both fundamental engineering and ground-breaking research.

AE because...

A master's degree was always in the big picture for Christine Gebara. But, in 2017, when she graduated from Tech with her BSAE, a dream job at NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab was also in that picture.

"There is no place that does the sort of work we do at JPL," says Gebara, who jumped at the chance to work as a mechanical engineer at JPL. "The motivation to pursue a Distance Learning MS degree really kicked in when I saw that all of the really smart people at JPL -- colleagues who could think through complex problems in a comprehensive fashion - had master's and Ph.Ds. I wanted to do what they do, so I made the commitment."

Gebara describes her DLP graduate school experience as very similar to its bricks-and-mortar counterpart: every day, after work, she goes home to do her graduate work.

"Except one thing," she says, with a laugh. "Some of my graduate work actually overlaps with my job. And, in addition to working with my AE faculty advisor on my degree, I'm collaborating with him on some research that he and JPL are both interested in."

Christine Gebara
BSAE '17, PROJECTED: MSAE '20