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McNAIR Center

  • McNAIR Research

Research Leadership

Our research is focused on key areas in advanced composite materials, combustion, digital transformation, predictive maintenance, and unmanned vehicles  and how they can be applied to meet the ever-changing needs of the aerospace industry. 

The core research at the McNair Aerospace Center is in the following four areas: Composites, Combustion, Predictive Maintenance, and Unmanned Vehicles. Collaboration is also done with many of the centers and labs in the College of Engineering.


Our research into advanced composite materials doesn't stop with the design of composites themselves. We also explore the processes needed to manufacture and produce the materials, examine how the parts can be assembled and search for ways to optimize entire systems.

Predictive Maintenance

The Center for Predictive Maintenance is involved in the area of predictive maintenance and digital transformation. This interdisciplinary program encapsulates the best practices of engineering fundamentals:component testing, advanced signal processing, data collection, processing and analysis, return on investment, statistics,  smart sensing, design techniques, and manufacturing methodologies.


Research areas include fuels, energy conversion, and propulsion technologies.  Approaches devleoped are for real fuel combustion dynamics and real fuel combustion chemistry. Products of this research include rapid fuel property characterization tools and high-fidelity kinetic and physical models.

Unmanned Vehicles

Research focus is on aerial, ground and marine unmanned vehicles navigation and control. Design and development of aerial drones, customization with a variety of sensors to address applications such as inspection, aerial imaging and mapping. The lab has a fleet of several types of drones and an indoor flying arena is currently under development.


Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.