A degree in aerospace engineering typically includes modules in mechanical engineering, materials science, systems engineering and electronics, which makes it a great choice if you'd like to explore a wide range of engineering disciplines.
Aerospace engineering is concerned with the science behind planes and other aerospace technology but its multidisciplinary approach means what you'll learn will apply to a wide range of different industries, including manufacturing, transport and defence.
Katherine graduated with a degree in aerospace engineering and now works at BAE Systems as part of the company's Sigma Leadership Programme.
Tiago graduated in 2012 with an MEng in Aerospace Engineering and now works for Rolls-Royce as as a Development Engineer, working on the Trent XWB jet engine.
My main responsibilities can be divided into two parts. The first is creating the compliance reports for certification of the Trent XWB, the engine on the Airbus A350. These reports are fundamental to prove to the aviation authorities that the engine is safe to operate and meets all the regulations (such as noise, pollution, etc.).
The second part is to ensure the engine’s in-service maturity, i.e., to come up with a full range of tests and other validation strategies to prove that the XWB does what Rolls-Royce promised to the customers, that is a reliable and durable product, and a profitable engine, both for us and for our customers worldwide. This involves not only working with several different Rolls-Royce teams on my site and in other sites, but also with Airbus.
Fortunately, because of the nature of the programme, there is not a typical day in the office! Some days, it is all about getting your head down and writing as much of the reports as you possibly can. There are also quite a lot of meetings, some of them with the whole Development Team, which are usually great to understand the large scale opportunities and issues. But by far the best days are the ones I get to create my own experiments to prove in-service maturity.
This involves getting in touch with a lot of our specialists (and thus getting a lot of new knowledge), being really creative and innovative not only with the experiment itself but with the cost and time, and finally seeing it being tested. These can range from a simple notch test to a full engine run, giving me an excellent overview of the entire project.
Working in aviation has been my first choice since a very early age, so making that dream a reality is an incredibly satisfying and rewarding feeling.