Internal Factors

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Internal Factors

As an academic department in a research university the activities of the department naturally divides into research, education, and service. Service is both internal and external to the university. Some service has a strategic element as it builds the relationships and foundation for future activities.

An important internal factor for AOSS is the housing of the department in the College of Engineering and the tradition of engineering to support space-based observations. AOSS is, predominantly, a science department in an engineering school. There are a number of issues that follow directly from this:

  • contrast between the cultures of science research and of engineering research
  • role of undergraduate and graduate education in engineering and in science
    • stress on undergraduate curriculum
  • interaction of AOSS science culture with the College business model
  • cost of AOSS science proposals relative to external competitors
  • need for significant instrumentation to maintain the engineering capabilities in the department


The department has commited and recommited itself to maintaining the mix of science and engineering. (This places it in a similar position to a NASA center. Need more of a comparative analysis with Colorado? SWRI?)