Skip to Content

McNAIR Center

  • McNair Center graduate student office space

About the Center

The McNAIR Center is a university center focused on aerospace-related education, research, K-12 STEM support, workforce development, and industry engagement. The McNAIR Center research team includes over 30 faculty from mechanical, chemical, civil and electrical engineering. 

Named in honor of scientist and explorer Ronald E. McNair, a South Carolina native, the McNair Center was established in 2011 through generous endowments from Darla Moore and Anita Zucker, and has been further enhanced with support from alumna Marva Smalls.

A dedicated team of professionals now guides our research, education and partnership efforts. We invite you to contact us and find out how the McNair Center can work for you.

Mission and Focus Areas

The mission the McNAIR Center is to advance South Carolina's knowledge-based economy through innovative aerospace research, interdisciplinary education, economic development, outreach and collaboration with the aerospace and allied industries and related government agencies. To achieve this mission, the center focuses on five areas:

About List Academics


USC offers South Carolina's only master's degrees in aerospace engineering and engineering management. The university also offers an undergraduate minor in aerospace engineering.

About List Research


Based on industry needs, the McNAIR Center supports research involving a wide range of topics such as composites, thermoplastics, predictive analytics, combustion, 3D-printing, unmanned vehicles and digital transformation.

About List Workforce

Workforce Development

We strive to conduct objective, verifiable and comprehensive analysis based on industry workforce requirements. 

About List STEM

STEM Support

By partnering with organizations to promote programs, curriculums, camps and activities, we excite and ignite a passion in young people for STEM education.

About List Economic

Economic Activities

We are committed to creating innovation and technology transfer opportunities to increase South Carolina's industrial base.


Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.