The Vanderbilt Aerospace Design Laboratory was started as the Vanderbilt Aerospace Club in 2007 by Professor Amrutur Anilkumar to meet the emerging needs of Vanderbilt engineering students to pursue careers and advanced studies in aerospace engineering. Its membership consists of engineering upperclassmen who participate in the School of Engineering's Senior Design Project, engineering graduate students whose research is allied to aerospace engineering, and some engineering lowerclassmen with a demonstrated interest in aerospace engineering. Its agenda is to design unique rocket-flyable payload systems that highlight major challenges in Space Exploration and Energy Conversion as applicable to the Aerospace Sector, and conduct advanced studies and analyses on said designs. It also has a robust outreach program that works to build STEM enthusiasm in aerospace engineering among middle and high school students in Tennessee. The Aerospace Design Laboratory traditionally competes in the NASA Student Launch Competition, and project results are presented at AIAA Conferences, and in select AIAA Journals. The design laboratory also hosts the AIAA Student Chapter at Vanderbilt University
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