• The Experimental Aerodynamics Laboratory was founded by Milton J. Thompson in the Defense Research Laboratory to perform research on supersonic boundary layers at speeds five times faster than sound.


  • The Department of Engineering Mechanics granted its first doctoral degree to Robert Felgar.
  • William H. Shutts joined the department faculty.


  • Dr. Eugene Ripperger joined the department faculty.


  • Sigma Gamma Tau, the honor society for aerospace engineering students, started a chapter at the University of Texas at Austin.
  • The Container Research Laboratory (later the Structural Mechanics Research Laboratory) was established under the leadership of J. Neils Thompson.
  • Joseph Dalley and Raymond Staley joined the department faculty.


  • NASA astronaut Alan Bean graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Aeronautical Engineering. He later became the fourth man to walk on the moon as lunar module pilot on Apollo 12, man’s second lunar landing.
  • Joseph Dalley, Raymond Staley, and Dr. Vance Moyer joined the department faculty.


  • The Engineering Laboratories Building (later the W.R. Woolrich Laboratories) was constructed.


  • The Department of Aeronautical Engineering was renamed the Department of Aerospace Engineering.
  • Kenneth Rathbun and Drs. Phil Ferguson, Byron Short, and Shao Yuan joined the department faculty.


Explore Our History

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