MSE Master of Science in Engineering

The Swiss engineering master's degree

Each module contains 3 ECTS. You choose a total of 10 modules/30 ECTS in the following module categories: 

  • 12-15 ECTS in technical scientific modules (TSM)
    TSM modules teach profile-specific specialist skills and supplement the decentralised specialisation modules.
  • 9-12 ECTS in fundamental theoretical principles modules (FTP)
    FTP modules deal with theoretical fundamentals such as higher mathematics, physics, information theory, chemistry, etc. They will teach more detailed, abstract scientific knowledge and help you to bridge the gap between abstraction and application that is so important for innovation.
  • 6-9 ECTS in context modules (CM)
    CM modules will impart additional skills in areas such as technology management, business administration, communication, project management, patent law, contract law, etc.

In the module description (download pdf) you find the entire language information per module divided into the following categories:

  • instruction
  • documentation
  • examination 
Advanced aircraft system design (TSM_AdvAirDes)

The course will focus on the design of advanced aircraft systems, aiming towards more electric types of aircraft for a new generation beyond the Airbus A380 and Boeing 787.

Today, aircraft design is more than just aerodynamics, flight dynamics, propulsion, structures,and equipment. The new technologies require a systems engineering approach, which guides the way towards a sustainable aircraft.

The whole design process will be discussed and the students will learn to do a conceptual and preliminary design.

In this module, the whole design process of a complex system such as an aircraft will be discussed and the students will learn how to do a conceptual and preliminary design. The course is structured in lectures as well as with small case studies (practise), which will be done in groups.

3 lectures will take place at FFA Altenrhein Museum with practical visit at Jet & Prop Heritage.


The students are expected to have knowledge of the basics of Fluid Dynamics / Aerodynamics, Structural Mechanics, Thermodynamics (Gas Turbines), and Systems Engineering.

An interest in Aircraft Systems is important. 

The knowledge of simulation tools (Matlab, Simulink, Modelica, Comsol, etc.) and performance calculations or optimization calculations is an advantage.

Learning Objectives

The students will learn how the design process of a complex system such as an aircraft is done, with a focus on the early stages between concept and the preliminary design stage.

All important disciplines, which play a key role in aircraft design, will be addressed: weight distribution estimation, performance, propulsion, on the basis of systems engineering.

The students will be able to understand the architecture of modern aircraft, focussing on the advancing system integration with the trend towards electric and more environmentally sustainable aircraft. 

The students can apply the current design standards and analyze the design of new aircraft for the efficiency and performance of the operation.

Learning experience working in a design team to define an aircraft concept.

Contents of Module

The course will start with an introduction to aircraft conceptual design.

The aerodynamics for wing design, propulsion technology, and engine integration and the electrical, hydraulic and pneumatic systems will be discussed to provide an aircraft architecture from the system point of view.

The available methods of aircraft design optimization will be discussed in the light of perfect design or an illusion of the existence of such.

The concept of increasingly electrical aircraft and the concept of hybrid propulsion for new aircraft layouts will be discussed at the end of the course.

The course will deliver the knowledge to the design of new aircraft generations to meet the reduction of CO2 and noise footprint towards greener aviation.

Teaching and Learning Methods

  • Lectures with focus on practical cases for commercial airplanes
  • Self study and performance of literature research
  • Performance of small case studies for an aircraft design working together with teams which cover different design aspects


  • Aircraft Design: A Conceptual Approach, Daniel P. Raymer, AIAA Education Series
  • Fundamental of Aerodynamics, John D. Anderson Jr., McGraw-Hill Series in Aeronautical and Aerospace Engineering
  • Airframe Structural Design, Practical Design Information and Data on Aircraft Structures, Michael C. Y. Niu, Hong Kong Conmilit Pres Ltd.

Download full module description