NewSpace – University of Michigan Climate/Space Science & Engineering

As NewSpace has become common parlance in scientific, commercial and technical circles, I receive numerous inquiries just about every week from prospective students interested in Space Science & Engineering, and the associated connections to fields such as DeepTech, data science/analytics, climate and space science & engineering, risk, aerospace, Earth observation, energy and the suite of associated life sciences.  As I have been out of graduate school for many years now, these requests have prompted me to take a closer look at some of the current work taking place at undergraduate and graduate programs in related fields.  Without looking at (meaningless) ‘rankings’ and just focusing on the availability and scope of research opportunities, coursework offerings, external relationships, and placement preparation for a fluid and ever-changing career in DeepTech, I find myself routinely recommending these students to explore the University of Michigan’s Climate and Space Science & Engineering Department.

The CSSE has options for those solely focused on climate and space science, traditional meteorology, planetary atmospheres and evolution, satellite or systems engineering, space and environmental economics and policy, or an interdisciplinary combination of these interests with many other related fields.  As a result, the CSSE program at Michigan provides a fantastic option for undergraduates through PhD students.  Further, if students want to study these topics while in school, but then choose to embark on a more traditional career in technology or finance, they will be well prepared to do so.  Many programs house these related yet diverse offerings in separate traditional academic departments, minimizing cross-fertilization of ideas.  It appears that those responsible for creating this forward thinking and highly relevant department at Michigan have intentionally set out to bring these areas together under one roof, increasing the chances for new and interesting ideas to emerge.

The template at CSSE is one which I would love to see more research universities emulate.

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