Jeannie Flynn-LeavittAfter her graduation from the University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelors of Science in Aerospace Engineering in 1990, 2nd Lt. Jeannie Flynn-Leavitt joined the United States Air Force. At the time, women were not allowed to serve during flying combat missions or aboard most Navy warships. On April 28, 1993, Defense Secretary Les Aspin ordered service chiefs to drop these restrictions.

Following the repeal, the U.S. Air Force named the first seven women to fly combat aircraft in the USAF. 2nd Lt. Jeannie Flynn-Leavitt was among these women and later became the first woman to actually enter fighter lead-in training.

Flynn completed training in 1994 in an F-15E Eagle and went on to log more than 2,000 hours in the F-15E by 2003.  This included 200 hours of combat time in Operation Allied Force. She was the first female fighter pilot to graduate from the USAF Weapons School at Nellis AFB, Nevada, and was an F-15E instructor at the school, making her, once again, the first woman to hold this post.

ASE Alumni Jeannie Leavitt Becomes First Female Wing Commander

UT Aerospace alumna Col. Jeannie Leavitt (BS ASE ’90) has made history by becoming the first woman to take command of an Air Force combat fighter wing in North Carolina. Read the Fox News story.

After Col. Leavitt graduated from The University of Texas at Austin in 1990, she joined the United States Air Force. At the time, women were not allowed to serve during flying combat missions or aboard most Navy warships. On April 28, 1993, Defense Secretary Les Aspin ordered service chiefs to drop these restrictions.

Following the repeal, the U.S. Air Force named the first seven women to fly combat aircraft in the USAF. Col. Jeannie Flynn-Leavitt was among these women and later became the first woman to actually enter fighter lead-in training. Now, she has made history once again by becoming the first female wing commander.

Watch the Huffington Post video interview with Jeannie here.


srinivas bettadpur

Faculty News

Srinivas Bettadpur Named Director of Center for Space Research

Dr. Srinivas Bettadpur has been named director of the Center for Space Research at the Cockrell School of Engineering.

Read More

moriba jah

Faculty Op-Ed

Space is the Next Frontier for Environmentalism

Dr. Moriba Jah authored this op-ed piece in the Dallas Morning News on the growing number of space objects orbiting Earth.

Read More

faculty recruiting image

Faculty Positions

Join Our Faculty

Learn more about our faculty openings for tenured faculty and non tenure-track positions.

Read More

Department News

March 5, 2018

2018 SXSW Speakers

ASE/EM associate professor Luis Sentis and visiting researcher Pulin Wang who is working with associate professor Nanshu Lu, will be speaking at SXSW this year.

February 21, 2018

Students Design Propulsion System for Manned Mission to Mars

Texas ASE/EM students qualified for NASA's RASC-AL competition and are designing a novel propulsion system for a manned mission to Mars.

Upcoming Seminar

March 22, 2018

Responsive Surfaces for Reversible Adhesion, Tunable Wetting and Light Manipulation

Dr. Seok Kim

Location: WRW 102
Time: 3:30 pm - 12:00 am

Image Gallery

  • Soft Tissue Biomechanics Lab
    Soft Tissue Biomechanics Lab
    Dr. Manuel Rausch (right) and his students are researching the mechanical properties of blood clots and chordae tendineae—heartstrings—with the goal of improving treatment for medical issues like heart disease and pregnancy complications.
  • Chaotic Flames
    Chaotic Flames
    This chaotic flame, which is burning jet fuel in the Flowfield Imaging Laboratory, helps to assess the sooting characteristics of new types of fuels, like those derived from natural gas. (Clemens Research Group)
  • Flexible Rotor Blade
    Flexible Rotor Blade
    Dr. Jayant Sirohi and his research team are using this flexible rotor stand to conduct experiments that could improve helicopter blade design and increase efficiency during natural disasters, emergency situations and military missions.
  • Stretchable Electronics
    Stretchable Electronics
    A researcher is handling a 1um thick semi-transparent polyimide film as a substrate for stretchable electronics inside a glove box because polyimide is sensitive to moisture during the curing process. -Mechanics of Bio-Integrated Electronics Lab (Lu Research Group)
  • Ground Communication System
    Ground Communication System
    Student members of the Texas Spacecraft Lab with the ground communication system that will be used to communicate with the ARMADILLO satellite
  • RACE Satellite
    RACE Satellite
    The RACE (Radiometer Atmospherc Cubesat Experiment) satellite uses reflected radiation from the Earth to measure atmospheric water vapor. UT is partnering with NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory on the RACE mission. -Texas Satellite Lab
  • Computational Fluid Physics Laboratory
    Computational Fluid Physics Laboratory
    Computational layer transitioning from laminar-to-turbulent behind a roughness element. -Computational Fluid Physics Laboratory (Goldstein Research Group)
  • Pluto and Charon
    Pluto and Charon
    As Pluto's upper atmosphere escapes into space, a portion is attracted toward its largest moon, Charon, which captures a thin atmosphere of its own. Charon's gravity draws particles onto its leading face while focusing them into a high density (orange) region in its wake. -Computational Fluid Physics Lab (Goldstein/Varghese)

  • Longhorn Rocketry Association
    Longhorn Rocketry Association
    Members of the Longhorn Rocketry Association, a student organization dedicated to allowing rocketry enthusiasts to design, build, and launch high powered rockets, work on their rockets in the Air Systems Lab.
  • Hurricane Harvey Storm Surge Model
    Hurricane Harvey Storm Surge Model
    Maximum water levels predicted by the Advanced Circulation Surge Guidance System during Hurricane Harvey. Color contours represent feet of water above sea level. Shown here is the coastal bend region of Texas where the hurricane made landfall. Credit: Dr. Clint Dawson, UT Austin Computational Hydraulics Research Group
  • Controlling Autonomous Systems with Brainwaves
    Controlling Autonomous Systems with Brainwaves
    While wearing a helmet like the one shown here that reads EEG waves and communicates to a computer, humans could control robotic technology with their minds. Practical uses might include flying a drone and controlling a wheelchair. (Ufuk Topcu research)
  • GRACE Follow-on Satellites
    GRACE Follow-on Satellites
    Dr. Srinivas Bettadpur is leading the launch of the GRACE Follow-On Mission, replacing the twin GRACE satellites that have been measuring Earth's water and mass movement for 15 years. The new satellites will take more accurate measurements and provide important data on the rate of melting ice, rising ocean levels and depleted aquifers.
  • Plasma Torch Testing
    Plasma Torch Testing
    A graphite test article is being tested in the hot plume of an inductively coupled plasma torch to study the effects of high temperature air on spacecraft heat-shield materials. The air temperature is about 7000 K and the flow is left to right. Credit: Dr. Noel Clemens and Dr. Philip Varghese
  • Plasma Streams
    Plasma Streams
    Pulsed plasma jets are used to control separation in a shock wave/boundary layer interacion. The photo was captured in a mach 3 wind tunnel at the JJ pickle Research Campus. The flow is from left to right and the shock is induced by the compression ramp at right. -Flowfield Imaging Lab (Clemens Research Group)
  • Simulation of Boiling and Condensation
    Simulation of Boiling and Condensation
    Vapor bubbles are generated at discrete sites of the heated bottom surface. The vapor flows are condensed to liquid droplets on the top cooled boundary. Density isosurfaces and velocity streamlines are depicted. -ICES Computational Mechanics Group (Liu and Hughes)

  • Texas Aerial Robotics Quadcopter
    Texas Aerial Robotics Quadcopter
    Our Texas Aerial Robotics team practices flying this quadcopter (drone) on the roof of the WRW building. The team was established to compete in the International Aerial Robotics Competition (IARC).
  • Humanoid Robotics Research
    Humanoid Robotics Research
    Dr. Luis Sentis presents the HCRL/Apptronik Draco Leg, a joint effort between UT Austin and Apptronik Systems, at the Office of Naval Research Science and Technology Expo.
  • Deepwater Horizon Spill
    Deepwater Horizon Spill
    This Landsat 5 image of the Mississippi Delta was collected in May 2010 and used to observe and forecast the movement of surface oil slicks during the Bp Deepwater Horizon spill. -Center for Space Research (Dawson and Wells Research Groups)
  • Materials Research: Graphene Transfer
    Materials Research: Graphene Transfer
    Dr. Kenneth Liechti and his research teamhave found that graphene can be transferred to new materials by peeling, a technique that has potential to break a bottleneck that’s limiting the use of this versatile material in the next generation of electronics. 
  • Two Point Alignment
    Two Point Alignment
    Experimental laser set up used to make Raman scattering measurements in flames. The laser beam is bounced back and forth between highly reflective mirrors while maintaining a tight focus at two points so as to make measurements with high spatial resolution (within a very small volume). -Laser Sensors Lab (Varghese Research Group)

8th Aerospace Engineering Graduate Program

U.S. News & World Report

8th Aerospace Engineering Undergraduate Program

U.S. News & World Report

4th Most Influential Research Institution in Aerospace

Thomson Reuters State of Innovation Report

9th Aerospace Engineering Program

Center for World University Rankings