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College of Engineering and Computing

Aerospace Engineering

Our People

USC is advancing innovation in education and workforce development by offering the state's first master's degree in aerospace engineering as well as a master's degree in engineering management and undergraduate minor in aerospace engineering. Our faculty are experts in the areas of aerospace systems design and structures, computer aided design, hybrid structures, joining technologies, composites materials and manufacturing.

Aerospace Faculty

Zafer Gurdal

Dr. Zafer Gürdal

Zafer Gürdal is the inaugural holder of the Ronald E. McNair Chair at University of South Carolina. Prof. Gürdal’s research interests are in structural and multidisciplinary design and optimization, design and optimization of composite materials and structures, and computational methods for design with manufacturing emphasis.


Dr. Michel van Tooren

Michel van Tooren is Professor of Aerospace Systems Design and Structures at CEC and deputy director of the Ronald E. McNAIR Center for Aerospace Innovation and Research. Michel has a BSc, MSc and PhD in Aerospace Engineering and joined CEC in September 2013. His research focuses on design and manufacture of composites structures. In addition he serves as the Chair of the Aerospace Engineering Studies Committee for CEC.


Dr. Ramy Harik

Ramy Harik is Assistant Professor of Aerospace Computer Aided Design and Manufacturing. Dr. Harik’s research interest include automated tool path planning for fiber placement, automation of process planning for aircraft structural parts, mechanical feature shape recognition based on persistent heat signature, 5-axis flank milling optimization and obtaining an optimal part build orientation efficiently in additive manufacturing.


Dr. Joshua Tarbutton

Assistant Professor Tarbutton’s research interests are in advanced manufacturing, automated machining, tool path planning, parallel hardware acceleration, optimization, mechatronics, control systems, system identification, and signal processing.


Dr. Michael Sutton

Professor Sutton's research and interests include coherent and incoherent optics applications, experimental mechanics, digital image processing, Computer Vision, applications of integral methods and experimental mechanics, boundary valve problems, plastic fracture mechanics, finite elements modeling of cracked bodies.


Dr. Tony Reynolds

Professor Reynolds' research and interests include friction stir welding, fatigue and fracture, experimental micro-mechanics, quantitative fractographic analysis.


Dr. Addis Kidane

 Assistant Professor Kidane's research interest include fracture, shock & impact mechanics, and multifunctional materials.


Dr. Sourav Banerjee

Assistant Professor Banerjee's expertise and fundamental research interests are in the general areas of Acousto-Ultrasonic Multi-scale Imaging and Physics based Multi-scale Predictive Model for Engineering and Biological materials.


Dr. Tanvir Farouk

 Assistant Professor Farouk's expertise is in the general area of Reacting Thermal Fluid Sciences involving plasma, combustion multiphase reacting flow, chemical-kinetics-turbulence interaction and energy systems. His research interests are in multi-scale, multi-physics computational model development for studying complex phenomena e.g. plasma discharge, micro-nano scale systems.


Dr. Victor Giurgiutiu

  Professor Giurgiutiu's research interests span active materials, smart structures, structural health monitoring, mechatronics, and other multi-physics applied mechanics topics. Dr. Giurgiutiu has published several books and book chapters and many journal articles and conference papers. He is Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS) and of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). He is Associate Editor of the Aeronautical Journal of RAeS.


Dr. Prasun Majumdar

Assistant Professor Majumdar's expertise and interest encompass the broad areas of engineered heterogeneous materials such as ceramics, polymers, and their composites in different applications (aerospace, mechanical, civil infrastructure, nuclear and biomaterials etc).


Dr. Lingyu "Lucy" Yu

Assistant Professor Lucy Yu’s research interests include structural health monitoring (SHM) and nondestructive evaluation (NDE) using ultrasonic guided waves supported by active sensor technology, theoretical modeling, advanced signal processing and data analysis; damage diagnosis in complicated structures; scanning laser vibrometry for guided wave propagation; and mechatronics.


Dr. Paul Ziehl

Dr. Paul Ziehl is a Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.  Professor Ziehl oversees and maintains an active research program in the areas of structural prognostics, nondestructive evaluation, in-situ load testing, repair and strengthening, composite materials, and prestressed/reinforced concrete structures.


Dr. Jamil Khan

Dr. Khan is Chair of the Department of Mechanical Engineering. Professor Khan's research interest include modeling of manufacturing processes, temperature distribution during machining, heat transfer and fluid flow with phase change (solidification/melting in casting, welding), computational and experimental fluid dynamics related to contaminants transport in rooms, heat transfer in porous media, micro-channel heat transfer, thermodynamic analysis of IC Engines, CFD analysis of combustion processes etc.


Dr. David Rocheleau

Professor Rocheleau’s group has interest in machine design and machine component design. His group has done work in optimizing the design of epicyclic gear trains to ensure long life and reduced noise.


Dr. Xiaomin Deng

Professor Deng's research and interests include nanomechanics/atomistic simulation, fracture mechanics/crack-growth simulation, manufacturing process modeling/simulation (friction stir welding, metal cutting, GMA welding).




Adrianne Beasley

Adrianne Beasley is the McNAIR Center Program Manager. She oversees the development, coordination and implementation of educational, research-related, STEM, economic and business development programs, special events and initiatives. Prior to joining McNAIR in 2013, Ms. Beasley was Marketing Manager for an aerospace aftermarket parts manufacturer.

Burton Rhodes, Jr.

Burton Rhodes, Jr. is the McNAIR Center Lab Manager.  In this role, Mr. Rhodes manages all lab activities for the McNAIR Center for Aerospace Innovation and Research, including responsibility for the successful execution of management, operational use and maintenance of equipment, supporting project design, planning and execution, adhering to contractual and safety requirements, maintaining customer satisfaction, cost forecasting and control, scheduling, quality and performance of all equipment and labs.