The MSSE Program

Aims and Scope

The MSSE Graduate Program offers advanced study and research leading to the Master of Science degree in Space Engineering (Laurea Magistrale in Ingegneria Aerospaziale – Curriculum Spaziale). According to the standardized European System of higher education (Bologna process), this higher level degree is a 2-year graduate program involving a mandatory basis of 120 ECTS credits including a 24 credits research thesis. The program is offered in English to both national and international students.

The program has been established and is specifically intended to train specialized professionals able to effectively carry out the design and management of complex space systems, as well as to prepare students for further studies in the space engineering field. These objectives are pursued by providing a thorough education in the foundations of the space engineering sciences, with emphasis on research and the experimental methods.

Entering students should have a sound background in undergraduate mathematics, physics, and engineering science. The theoretical and scientific aspects of space engineering are treated in detail, with the aim of developing the capabilities necessary for the effective design and management of space vehicles and systems. The combination of knowledge and skills characterizing the graduate program in space engineering are:

  • a thorough knowledge of the theoretical and scientific aspects of the physical and mathematical disciplines and of the other fundamental sciences, together with the capability to use this knowledge to understand complex problems, or problems requiring an interdisciplinary approach;
  • a thorough knowledge of the theoretical and scientific aspects of engineering in general, and in more detail, space and astronautical engineering;
  • the capability to conceive, plan, design and manage complex and/or innovative systems, processes and services;
  • the capability of designing and managing complex experiments.

Research and course work in space engineering at the University of Pisa cover a very broad range of subjects. In working for their degree, space engineering students may pursue a major study in one of the following areas: space systems, space propulsion, space structures, aerothermodynamics, space flight dynamics and control. The choice of one of the these fields allows students to focus their activities, while taking advantage of the flexibility offered by the breadth of interests of the space group at Pisa.

The MSSE program opens the way to further academic work as well as to professional activities in the aerospace industry, in public and private research institutions in the aerospace field, in the armed forces, and in industrial companies for the production of machinery and equipment where the application of space-derived technologies is especially relevant. Finally, as a consequence of the multidisciplinary nature of the educational program, the space engineering graduates will also easily find employment in the mechanical industry, with specific reference to structural and fluid mechanic design work.