About this online course


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Course video

How do you design an aircraft or spacecraft? And in doing so, how do you keep the risk of failure minimal while bearing in mind that they will eventually fail?

In this course you will be taken on a journey through the structural and material design of aircraft. You will see and understand how aircraft and spacecraft are manufactured, and learn how safety is enshrined at every stage.

Experts from the Aerospace Structures and Materials Department of Delft University of Technology will help you explore and analyze the mechanical properties of materials; learning about manufacturing techniques, fatigue, loads and stresses, design considerations and more – all the scientific and engineering principles that structural and materials engineers face on a daily basis. By the end of the course, you will have learned to think like they do!

Join us for an exciting learning experience that includes experiments; some of which you can do by yourself at home, online lectures, quizzes, and design assignments.

What you'll learn:

  • How aerospace structures are designed and why particular choices are made
  • Which materials are used and the reasons for using them
  • How to explain loads and stresses aerospace structures have to withstand
  • How aircraft and spacecraft are manufactured
  • The safety philosophies that are used in aerospace structural design and how they affect design choices
  • How to create preliminary design solutions for structural design problems


Course Syllabus:

Week 1
Mechanical Properties of Materials
Temperature and Environmental Effects

Week 2
Aerospace Materials

Manufacturing Techniques in Aerospace

Week 3
Aerospace Structures

Week 4
Aircraft Loads
Aircraft Stresses

Week 5
Selection of Materials & Structures

Week 6
Design & Certification
Fatigue & Durability

Week 7
Joining of Structures


This is a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) that runs on edX.


  • Basic knowledge of Physics (concepts of forces and moments, springs and temperature) and some familiarity with aircraft and spacecraft terminology: (e.g. wing, fuselage, tail plane, rocket, launcher).

  • Start date
    Aug 28, 2018
  • Admission Deadline
  • Cost
  • Course length
    7 weeks
  • Estimated effort
    4 - 6 hours per week
  • Course code

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