Aeronautics was first taught at Imperial College in 1909, with the first chair established in 1920. Since then we have gone from strength to strength, with many notable staff and alumni passing through the department.

Our research covers a very broad spectrum of topics, with a strong partnership between computation and experiment, and strong links with industry.

Teaching excellence

Our teaching programmes continue to attract the best students from all over the world - and we are responding to calls from industry and opportunities to offer specialisms in exciting growth areas.

Research highlights

Our staff have been successful in securing RAEng and EPSRC Fellowships and two large individual European Research Council Grants.

Imperial Aeronautics has played a central role in two major UK events in aerodynamics and fluid mechanics in recent years: one of only two EPSRC Centres for Doctoral Training in the UK in the broad area of Fluid Mechanics has been awarded to Imperial, while the National Wind Tunnel Facility was inaugurated in early 2014. Both are led by the Department of Aeronautics and involve collaborations with many industrial partners.

A £1.25 million arena for flying the next generation of aerial robots has been constructed in our new home in the City and Guilds Building at South Kensington, thanks to a generous donation. The Brahmal Vasudevan Aerial Robotics Lab showcases Imperial’s outstanding abilities and inspire future aeronautical engineers. Mr Brahmal Vasudevan graduated from the Department of Aeronautics at Imperial College London in 1990, where he gained a Bachelor of Engineering degree.

On 30 May 2022, the Department launched the Brahmal Vasudevan Institute for Sustainable Aviation that will pioneer the breakthroughs and technologies needed to support the aviation industry’s transition to zero pollution. The institute is supported by a £25 million philanthropic donation from Aeronautical Engineering alumnus Brahmal Vasudevan, Founder and CEO of private equity firm Creador, and his wife Shanthi Kandiah, founder of legal firm SK Chambers.

More information on our teaching and research is available throughout this site. Please contact us to find out more.