American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) at CSU

What is


The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) is the world’s largest technical society dedicated to the global aerospace profession, with over 30,000 members worldwide. AIAA commits itself to shaping the future of aerospace, providing resources and experiences to assist in personal and professional development. Involvement with AIAA provides growth opportunities, education, and access to a global network of fellow engineers and others in the industry.


AIAA at CSU is an organization that is dedicated to introducing students to aerospace industry connections, as well as providing opportunities for students to gain experience in the fields of aeronautics and astronautics. Our organization is a registered student branch of AIAA dedicated to providing real world, hands-on experience to our student members through a collection of lectures, seminars, and competitions centered on the aerospace industry. AIAA welcomes students from all degrees at CSU – anyone with a passion for aerospace or aeronautics is encouraged to join! Being involved in AIAA is a great networking tool and a whole lot of fun!

Within the organization, you can choose between two paths of interest: aeronautics and astronautics.

Aeronautics is the study of the science of flight, and the method of designing an airplane or other flying machine.


AIAA Design, Build, Fly (DBF) Competition

The AIAA Design, Build, Fly (DBF) annual competition is a partnership between the AIAA Foundation, Cessna Aircraft Company, and Raytheon Missile Systems. This competition provides students an opportunity to design and build a radio-controlled aircraft to perform specific missions, and is available for teams across the world to compete in. Students who participate gain valuable team building skills while getting real world experience in aircraft design.

If you are interested in joining, please email aiaa.coloradostate@gmail.com

Astronautics is the science of the construction and operation of vehicles for travel in space beyond the earth’s atmosphere.


National Association of Rocketry (NAR) Competition

Join Ram Rocketry, CSU’s NAR club, in this model rocket competition. Born in 1959, the competition has evolved into a proven method for challenging students to improve craftsmanship and flying skills, and to pursue a “personal best” in performance with each flight. NAR is the only rocket organization in the US that has a structured program of rocketry competition, that recognizes national champions each year, and that sponsors a US team in world championships competition.


The CSU Rocket Team formed in 2014 as a senior design team. Since then, the group has grown from four to fourteen students, and innovations to the Aries rocket have record-breaking wins in intercollegiate competitions. If you are interested in joining, please contact Johhny Buck.

Follow CSU Ram Rocketry on Instagram!

CSU AIAA Participates in 2023 Design Build Fly Competition

Six students representing the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics CSU student chapter traveled to Tucson, Arizona to participate in the 2023 Design Build Fly competition. The chapter placed the highest out of all Colorado universities in attendance. 


CSU AIAA Chapter Meetings:

Meeting Dates: Every Tuesday

Time:    5 – 6 PM

Place: Titan Classroom or Engineering Research Center 


Design Build Fly Meetings:

Meeting Dates: Every Tuesday and Thursday

Time:   2 – 5 PM

Place: Magellan 6 or Engineering Research Center

AIAA’s Rocky Mountain Section serves the professional aerospace community, and strongly encourages collegiate chapters to attend their programs and network with those already in the field.

Follow this link for more information on upcoming events, resources, and opportunities to connect.


Aerospace Technology Innovation Talks

Upcoming Event:  April 28th, 2023 |  4 – 5:30 pm |  Engineering 100

Presenters: Nathan Henry and Melissa Bergin

Topic: Ursa Major 

Melissa Bergin is a senior propulsion engineer at Ursa Major. She led the engine development for Ripley, a 50,000 lbf ox-rich staged combustion engine, from conceptual design through hotfire. In her four years at Ursa, she has held many roles including system modeling, engine test, and customer integration. Prior to Ursa, she worked at Boeing for three years in Huntsville, Alabama on Space Launch System (SLS) focusing on structural testing and propulsion design for the upper stage reaction control system. Melissa earned her bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering from Georgia Tech in 2015.


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AIAA Student Memberships have unique benefits. Explore everything a membership has to offer here. To join the CSU chapter, start by filling out this form, and we will follow up. Annual fees are $15.

High school students interested in joining AIAA before coming to CSU can sign up for free! Join here


AIAA Faculty Advisor – Ben Grier

If you’re not sure who to contact or have general questions, you can send an email to the general AIAA account: aiaa.coloradostate@gmail.com


Our sponsors are an important part of our organization, and their gifts help support our events. If you are a company interested in sponsoring AIAA at CSU, please email aiaa.coloradostate@gmail.com.

Current Sponsors

Platinum Sponsors:
Gold Sponsors:
Silver Sponsors:
Bronze Sponsors: