|Type||Public research university|
|University of Alabama System|
|Endowment||$79.5 million (2015)|
|619 (Fall 2019)|
|Students||9,988 (Fall 2019)|
|Undergraduates||7,989 (Fall 2019)|
|Postgraduates||1,999 (Fall 2019)|
505 acres (2.04 km2))
|Colors||Royal blue and white|
|Athletics||NCAA Division II – Gulf South NCAA Division 1-Western Collegiate Hockey Association|
The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) is a public research university in Huntsville, Alabama. The university is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award baccalaureate, master's, and doctoral degrees, and comprises nine colleges: arts, humanities & social sciences; business; education; engineering; honors; nursing; professional & continuing studies; science; and graduate. The university's enrollment is approximately 10,000. It is classified among "R2: Doctoral Universities – High research activity".
UAH is one of three members of the University of Alabama System, which includes the University of Alabama at Birmingham and the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. All three institutions operate independently, with only the president of each university reporting to the Board of Trustees of the system.
The genesis for a publicly funded institution of higher education in Huntsville was years in the making. Beginning in January 1950 as an extension of the University of Alabama and known as the University of Alabama Huntsville Center, classes were first taught at West Huntsville High School.
However, the university's direction changed in 1961, when Wernher von Braun, a German rocket scientist brought to the United States under Operation Paperclip after working for the Nazi regime, helped create a research institute to provide advanced engineering and science curricula to NASA scientists and engineers.This institute was built right off of US 72 which was renamed to University Drive quickly after. Throughout the years, the campus expanded south along Sparkman Drive to reach Interstate 565.
UAH's first undergraduate degrees were awarded in May 1968 as part of the spring commencement ceremony at The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, (although a "cap and gown" ceremony was held in Huntsville). One year later, the University of Alabama System Board of Trustees voted to make UAH an independent and autonomous campus. Dr. Benjamin Graves, a 1942 graduate of the University of Mississippi and president of Millsaps College in Jackson, Mississippi, was tapped as UAH's first president in 1970. He returned to faculty status in 1979 and retired in 1989. The first degree awarded for work completed entirely on the UAH campus was awarded to Julian Palmore in 1964. Mr. Palmore was at the time a United States Navy ensign assigned to NASA's Research Projects Division. The first official on-campus graduation ceremony at UAH was in June 1970. The first woman to earn a Ph.D. from UAH was Virginia Kobler in 1979, in Industrial Engineering.
UAH's second president, Dr. John Wright, former Vice Chancellor of the West Virginia University, served from 1979 to 1988. UAH's third president was Dr. Louis Padulo, former Stanford professor and dean of engineering of Boston University. Huntsville leader Joseph Moquin took over the UAH presidency on an interim basis in 1990. Dr. Frank Franz, who was then provost at West Virginia University, was chosen as UAH's fourth president. His wife, Dr. Judy Franz, accompanied him and was granted full professorship in the physics faculty. Her renown in the scientific community was reaffirmed when she was named executive officer of the American Physical Society in 1994. At the beginning of the 2006–2007 academic year, Dr. Franz announced his plan to step down as president after that year.On July 1, 2007, Dr. David B. Williams, formerly a professor of materials science and engineering and the vice provost for research at Lehigh University, began serving as UAH's fifth president. He left in 2011 to join Ohio State University as dean of engineering.
The university briefly gained national attention in February 2010 when a professor killed three people and wounded three others during a faculty meeting.
Dr. Robert Altenkirch was hired as the university's sixth president in September 2011. Dr. Altenkirch served as president of the New Jersey Institute of Technology for nine years before joining UAH. In 2019, Dr. Darren Dawson, former dean of the College of Engineering at Kansas State University, became UAH's seventh president.
|Applicants||Admits||% Admitted||Enrolled||Avg GPA|
UAH offers 89 degree-granting programs, including 44 bachelor's degree programs, 30 master's degree programs, and 15 PhD programs through its nine colleges: arts, humanities & social sciences; business; education; engineering; honors; nursing; professional & continuing studies; science; and graduate. Nursing is UAH's largest single major, although Engineering is the largest college. There is also an Honors College that offers an enriched academic and community experience for undergraduates in all disciplines.
Not surprisingly given Huntsville's technology-based economy, UAH is known for engineering and science programs, including astrophysics, atmospheric science, aerospace engineering, cybersecurity, and digital animation. The first "commercial" non-rocketry programs (Consort and Joust) in the U.S. were managed by UAH scientists, the first "high-temperature" superconductor was discovered at UAH, and the first U.S. experiment flown aboard the Soviet Mir Space Station was from UAH. UAH is a Space Grant university and has a history of cooperation with NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center and the U.S. Army Aviation and Missile Command at Redstone Arsenal. In conjunction with helping NASA reach its goals, UAH makes NASA's research and technology available to all of Alabama's colleges and universities. The National Space Science and Technology Center is one of 17 high-tech research centers on UAH 505-acre campus.
The UAH Propulsion Research Center (PRC) promotes interdisciplinary research opportunities for graduate and undergraduate students. The PRC was founded by Dr. Clark W. Hawk in 1991 and has since provided support for NASA, the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), and the U.S. Department of Energy. Research topics include air-breathing and electric propulsion; solid, liquid & hybrid propellant combustion; magnetoinertial fusion; high-temperature materials; and space and terrestrial power systems.
Research in nanotechnology and microfabrication is conducted by the Nano and Micro Devices Center.
Atmospheric Sciences and related research areas are headquartered in the NSSTC and SWIRLL buildings.
At least nine departments or programs also hold accreditation from professional associations, including the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, the American Assembly of Collegiate Schools of Business, the American Chemical Society, the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, the Computing Sciences Accreditation Board, The National Association of Schools of Art and Design, and the National Association of Schools of Music.
|U.S. News & World Report||263|
|U.S. News & World Report||819|
UAH ranks 263rd among "National Universities" and No. 128 for "Top Public Schools" in the 2020 U.S. News & World Report "Best Colleges" report.
UAH sponsors eight men's and eight women's varsity athletics programs. In 2016, UAH added men's and women's lacrosse to its varsity athletic programs.UAH is a member of the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA), competing in Division II in 15 sports and Division I in men's ice hockey. UAH is a member of the Gulf South Conference in all sports except hockey, which plays in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, and men's lacrosse (Peach Belt Conference).
The UAH Student Government Association is the primary recipient of student-activity funding from UAH's Office of Student Life; the Space Hardware Club, a registered student organization in the College of Engineering is the secondary recipient. The SGA holds an advisory role with campus administrators on activities involving students. The SGA hosts a number of events including Week of Welcome, a bi-annual event welcoming students back to campus that begins the weekend they arrive on campus and runs through the first week of each semester.
UAH has five residence halls: Central Campus Residence Hall (CCH), Frank Franz Hall (FFH), North Campus Residence Hall (NCH), Southeast Campus Housing (SCH), Charger Village (CVG). Central Campus is reserved for first-time freshmen. Frank Franz Hall is reserved for Honors College students. Charger Village is reserved for sophomores, whereas upperclass students have the option of living at the other residence halls.
Campus housing originated with the construction of Southeast Campus Housing. These suites were originally built under the auspices of the late Dr. Benjamin Graves, the first President of UAH, with the assistance of the late Alabama Senator John Sparkman.
UAH is home to the following fraternities and sororities. Most Greek organizations rent a fraternity or sorority house from the university. Construction of the original houses was made possible by donations from Mark and Linda Smith and Jim and Susie Hudson.
The Association for Campus Entertainment (ACE) is a student run and operated organization that hosts weekly events throughout the academic year as well as standing programs such as Friday Night Flicks, Sunday Cinema, Late-Night Breakfast, and ACE Wednesday. Notable guests include Daniel Tosh and Recycled Percussion.
UAH has more than 185 student-run organizations on campus. Team UAH is internationally renowned for its award-winning concrete canoe construction competition team and is the current record holder with five national titles in 1993, 1994, 1996, 1998, and 2001. The National Concrete Canoe Competition is sponsored annually by the American Society of Civil Engineers.
The UAH American Society of Mechanical Engineers student chapter also competes in the annual NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge. It currently holds two championship titles.
The UAH Space Hardware Club conceptualizes, designs, builds, tests, and flies hardware for high-altitude balloons, satellites (ChargerSat Program), the CanSat competition, and high-powered rocketry. Members must maintain a GPA of 3.0 to participate.
The Student Success Center (SSC) offers tutoring for nearly all freshman- and sophomore-level courses offered at UAH. Additional tutoring is available for math courses online and in person.
The SSC recruits university students for its PASS (Peer Assisted Study Sessions) program, in which students sit in on courses that they have already succeeded in, and offers class-specific study sessions outside of class, usually 3 hours per week. Historically difficult freshman courses are targeted for PASS, including calculus, chemistry, and economics.
The College of Science houses the Alabama High Field Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) Center, which is dedicated to providing modern high field NMR capabilities to academic and corporate researchers in the state of Alabama and surrounding areas.
UAH's Earth System Science Center is dedicated to the interdisciplinary study of the Earth as an integrated system with an emphasis on space- and ground-based remote sensing data.
UAH's Department of Biological Sciences partners with the Dauphin Island Sea Lab to offer research opportunities to UAH students through the Marine Environmental Sciences Consortium.
UAH's Psychology Department has eight research labs: Lifelong Learning, Memory and Cognition, Personality Testing and Assessment, Privacy in Cyberspace, Psychobiology, Teamwork and Social Cognition, Employee Engagement and Productivity, and Leadership and Organizational Behavior.
UAH's Propulsion Research Center connects the academic research community and the propulsion community through interdisciplinary collaboration in the following areas: aerospace materials and structures, computational modeling, energy and power systems, fusion propulsion and power, plasmas and combustion, propellants and energetics, and propulsion systems integration.
UAH's College of Engineering is home to the following labs:
UAH's Kinesiology Research Lab, located in the College of Education, has an underwater treadmill that enables students to conduct aquatic exercise research on adults with type 2 diabetes and lower-limb amputation.
SWIRLL (Severe Weather Institute – Radar and Lightning Laboratories) is a core research facility dedicated to research on severe and hazardous weather, radar meteorology, lightning meteorology, lightning physics, and air quality. It comprises a research operations center with multiple workstations, a high bay used for the maintenance and fabrication of comprehensive mobile platforms and other instruments, a sounding preparation lab, and five roof platforms to support instrument testing and data collection.
UAH's Learning and Technology Resource Center, located in the College of Nursing, offers high-tech, hands-on clinical experience thanks to its high-fidelity simulators, telehealth robots, and laboratory spaces.
UAH's Early Learning Center, an outreach and service unit of the College of Education, provides inclusive early childhood education for children in developmentally appropriate classrooms.
|Werner J. A. Dahm||1978||Emeritus Professor of Aerospace Engineering at The University of Michigan, Professor at Arizona State University, former Chief Scientist of the U.S. Air Force|
|Jan Davis||1983, 1985||Astronaut (STS-47, STS-60, STS-85)|
|Marta Grande||2009||Italian Parliament Representative and from June 2018 President of the Foreign Committee of Chamber of Deputies of the Italian Parliament|
|Jeffrey S. Harper||1993||Executive Director of Graduate Programs in the Scott College of Business at Indiana State University|
|John Hendricks||1974||Founder and chairman of Discovery Communications|
|Steve Hettinger||1974||Alabama State Representative (1982–1988), Mayor of Huntsville (1988–1996)|
|Phil Ligrani||Eminent Scholar in Propulsion and Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at the University of Alabama in Huntsville|
|Josh Magette||2012||National Basketball Association Point Guard (Atlanta Hawks, Orlando Magic)|
|Scott Munroe||2006||Professional ice hockey player|
|James Record||Former chairman Madison County Commission and Alabama State Senator|
|Jared Ross||2005||Professional ice hockey player|
|Travis S. Taylor||Researcher and science fiction author|
|Cameron Talbot||2010||National Hockey League goaltender (New York Rangers, Edmonton Oilers, Calgary Flames, Minnesota Wild)|
|Destin Sandlin||2003, present||American YouTube personality|
|Mustafa A.G. Abushagur||Electrical and Computer Engineering||Founding president of RIT Dubai and the interim Deputy Prime Minister of Libya||,|
|John Christy||Atmospheric Science||Distinguished Professor of Atmospheric Science and director of the Earth System Science Center|
|Lawrence J. DeLucas||Materials Science||STS-50|
|H. E. Francis||English||Fulbright professor|
|Michael D. Griffin||Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering||11th Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, eminent scholar and professor|
|Owen Garriott||Biological Sciences||Skylab 3, STS-9, and adjunct professor in the Laboratory for Structural Biology after his NASA career|
|Roy Spencer||Atmospheric Science||Winner of American Meteorological Society Special Award and NASA Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal (both with John Christy)||,|
The Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) is a federally funded research and development center and NASA field center in the city of Pasadena in California, United States.
The University of Alabama System is a public university system in Alabama that coordinates and oversees three research universities: The University of Alabama, University of Alabama at Birmingham, and University of Alabama in Huntsville. These universities enroll more than 70,000 students. The system employs more than 45,000 employees at its three campuses and health system making it one of the largest employers in the state.
The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) is a public research university in Birmingham, Alabama. Developed from an academic extension center established in 1936, the institution became a four-year campus in 1966 and a fully autonomous university in the University of Alabama System in 1969.
Nancy Jan Davis is a former American astronaut. A veteran of three space flights, Davis logged over 673 hours in space. She is now retired from NASA.
Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University is a public historically black land-grant university in Normal, Alabama. Founded in the 1875 as a normal school, it took its present name in 1969. AAMU is a member-school of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund and is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University Historic District, also known as Normal Hill College Historic District, has 28 buildings and four structures listed in the United States National Register of Historic Places.
Michael Douglas Griffin is an American physicist and aerospace engineer who served as the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering from 2018 to 2020. He previously served as Administrator of NASA, the U.S. space agency, from April 13, 2005, to January 20, 2009. As NASA Administrator Griffin oversaw such areas as the future of human spaceflight, the fate of the Hubble telescope and NASA's role in understanding climate change. In April 2009 Griffin, who has an academic background, was named eminent scholar and a professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at the University of Alabama in Huntsville.
The University of Tennessee Space Institute, also known as UTSI, is a satellite campus of the University of Tennessee located near Tullahoma, Tennessee.
Virgil I. Grissom High School, more commonly referred to as Grissom High School, is a public high school in Huntsville, Alabama, United States with approximately 2000 students in grades 9–12 from Southeast Huntsville. The school was named a 2007 Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education. In the Newsweek ranking of schools throughout the nation for 2015, Grissom High School was ranked second best in the state and 390th nationally. Grissom was the only high school in Huntsville to make the 2015 list.
Cummings Research Park, located primarily in the city of Huntsville, Alabama is the second largest research park in the country and the fourth largest in the world. It is one of the world’s leading science and technology business parks, with a mixture of Fortune 500 companies, local and international high-tech enterprises, U.S. space and defense agencies, thriving business incubators and competitive higher-education institutions. CRP is the home of 300 companies, more than 26,000 employees and 13,500 students. The Park's major industries are aerospace, defense, engineering, biotechnology, advanced manufacturing, software development, information technology and cyber security.
Ernst Stuhlinger was a German-American atomic, electrical, and rocket scientist. After being brought to the United States as part of Operation Paperclip, he developed guidance systems with Wernher von Braun's team for the US Army, and later was a scientist with NASA. He was also instrumental in the development of the ion engine for long-endurance space flight, and a wide variety of scientific experiments.
James Robert Thompson Jr., known as J.R. Thompson, was the fifth director of the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center located in Huntsville, Alabama. He served as director from September 29, 1986, to July 6, 1989. Thompson also served as NASA's deputy director from July 6, 1989, to November 8, 1991.
Dr. Jerrol Wayne Littles was the eighth director of the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center located in Huntsville, Alabama. He served as director from February 3, 1996, to January 3, 1998.
The FAMU-FSU College of Engineering is the joint college of engineering of Florida A&M University and Florida State University. The College of Engineering was established as a joint program serving two universities in Tallahassee, Florida: The Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, which received recognition from the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in 2010 for ranking number one as the institution of origin for African Americans earning Doctorates in Natural Science and Engineering; and, Florida State University which has gained worldwide recognition for its extensive graduate and research programs. The college is located less than three miles from either university.
The National Institute of Aerospace (NIA) is a non-profit research and graduate education institute headquartered in Hampton, Virginia, near NASA's Langley Research Center.
The Rocket City Space Pioneers (RCSP) was one of 29 teams from 17 different countries officially registered and in the competition for the Google Lunar X PRIZE (GLXP) during 2010–2012.
J. F. Drake State Community and Technical College is a combination community college and technical trade college in Huntsville, Alabama. As of the Fall 2013 semester, Drake State has an enrollment of 1,384 students.
Milton Kyser Cummings had a noteworthy career in two highly diverse fields: cotton broker and space-defense industry executive. Sometimes called the "Number One Citizen of Huntsville" and a "Symbol of the New South," he was recognized as a humanitarian, leader in opportunities for minorities and the handicapped, and advisor to government officials and congressmen. The Cummings Research Park, the second largest park of this type in America, was named to honor him.
Shelia Nash-Stevenson is an integration engineer for the Planetary Programs Missions Office at Marshall Space Flight Center. She was the first African-American woman to earn a PhD in physics at the Alabama A&M University.
The Ann and H.J. Smead Department of Aerospace Engineering Sciences is a department within the College of Engineering & Applied Science at the University of Colorado Boulder, providing aerospace education and research. Housed primarily in the Aerospace Engineering Sciences building on the university's East Campus in Boulder, it awards baccalaureate, masters, and PhD degrees, as well as certificates, graduating approximately 225 students annually.
Charles A. Lundquist was an early NASA scientist and program director. He managed research on satellites and rockets at the Army Ballistic Missile Agency, Marshall Space Flight Center, and Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory. After retirement, Lundquist devoted his time to collecting and documenting early space program history, particularly that surrrounding German rocket scientists in Huntsville, Alabama.
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