The research of Smead Aerospace is wide in breadth, peering down into the deepest depths of the oceans and traveling up, beyond our planet, to interstellar space.

Public institutions and private companies nearby and across the country partner with us to enhance their work and break new ground in aeronautics and astronautics. Colorado is a national leader in aerospace and CU Boulder plays an important role in growing both research and industry.

According to the Colorado Space Coalition:

  • Colorado ranks first in the nation for per-capita private aerospace workers.
  • Colorado has the second largest aerospace economy.
  • Colorado has more than 400 aerospace companies providing space-related products and services.
  • Colorado employs more than 190,000 individuals in space-related jobs.

Industry partnerships play a key role in Smead Aerospace’s research and education programs. We work with industry to develop new technologies and enhance our educational programs, ensuring students graduate ready for careers in the commercial, academic, civil, and government realms.

As a partner, we can help you achieve your research and mission needs, which in turn provide crucial real-world experience for our students as they prepare to join the workforce. Opportunities for collaboration exist across the department:





  • Fundamental and Applied
  • Joint research
  • Technology transfer
  • SBIR/STTR partnerships
  • Student projects
  • Guest lectures
  • Interns, co-ops
  • Future employees
  • Distance professional development
  • Facilities use
  • Special tests
  • Contract work
  • Target acquisitions through eSpace
  • Scholarships
  • Advisory boards
  • Endowed chairs
  • Endowed programs

In addition, Colorado is home to some of the nation's foremost research centers for atmospheric and space science, including NOAA and the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR).

Cumulatively, these stakeholders shape the dynamic and expanding aerospace community in which CU Boulder thrives. Check out the categories below to explore the impact of our partnerships: