The Ann and H.J. Smead Department of Aerospace Engineering Sciences at the University of Colorado Boulder had another big year for research funding, bringing in nearly $48 million in awards.
The fiscal year 2022 number totals $47,834,766. It is the second highest year ever for funding in the department, behind only FY 2021, which topped $53 million.
“We have excellent faculty in our department who are being recognized for their expertise and it shows,” said Hanspeter Schaub, aerospace professor and department chair. “Space is a topic of interest again and the Air Force and Space Force are beginning to invest heavily into related research. Bioastronautics is also growing, with more access for humans to visit and work in space. Finally, remote sensing of and from space has been a strongly funded research area and fits out department expertise well.”
Over the last five years, the department’s research revenue has more than tripled, with significant growth in traditional aeronautics and aerospace fields and a push into newer areas like hypersonics.
The largest single grant during the most recent fiscal year was $15 million for the establishment of a new NASA hypersonics research center. The department also saw grants of over $1 million each in radio frequency research, orbital medicine, space domain awareness, virtual reality for space mission training, and artificial intelligence for drones.
Schaub expects the strong research funding totals to continue into the future.
“This is not a bubble in funding. There are several developments in progress that should keep this momentum going and it appears that this roughly $50 million a year funding level is here to stay,” Schaub said.
Research funding from FY 2022 spans 229 unique grants from organizations and government agencies including NASA, the National Science Foundation, private businesses, and other universities.
U.S. News and World Report ranks Smead Aerospace as the #6 public undergraduate program and #5 public graduate program among all universities.