Offbeat... aerospace engineering Education

Take off

A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, Ram Narain Agarwal, S. Srinivasan, and Kalpana Chawla all have something in common apart from being Indians who have brought glory to the country. In addition to serving as the President of India, Directors of DRDO, and an astronaut respectively, they are renowned aerospace engineers.

Aerospace engineering is a challenging and coveted branch, that includes the design, construction, testing, and maintenance of air and space crafts. The development of new technology in aeronautical and astronautical fields is also under the aegis of aerospace engineering.

Aerospace engineers work in teams to design, assemble, and test the performance of air crafts and space crafts.

Some duties of an aerospace engineer include:

  • Modify design to incorporate safety features and new functions.
  • Perform ground and in-flight tests on prototypes.
  • Estimate the feasibility and production time of civil and military aircraft and missiles.
  • Conduct reliability studies, operations research, and cost analysis.
  • Study impact of atmospheric stress and behaviour of loads and weights under different atmospheric conditions.
  • Assess the quality of materials used for the manufacture of aircrafts.
  • Collaborate with clients and technical team to ensure the right product specification and performance.

If you are interested and driven towards building a career in this discipline, you can start working towards it right after you pass class XII. There are Bachelor’s, Masters, and Ph.D. programmes in aerospace engineering that you can enrol in. Having a strong interest and grasp over physics and maths is an advantage as both subjects have significant applications in this field.

The academic aspect of aerospace engineering covers in-depth study of modules like fluid mathematics, thermodynamics, design optimisation, and flight testing.

Mushrooming opportunities

Some significant developments within this sector have taken place in India with the ground-breaking work of DRDO, HAL, and ISRO along with private initiatives by Airbus and Boeing, putting India in the league of global aeronautical greats. These notable achievements aside, aerospace is a still growing sector in India offering vast potential to budding engineers to build dynamic careers in this industry.

The government has supplemented this progress by implementing a number of liberal economic reforms which have sky-rocketed the scope of aerospace engineering in India. With an increase in foreign direct investment resulting in greater interest by multinationals, more engineers have the opportunity to work in collaboration with them on joint projects. The government is also investing in research and development of indigenous aerospace products thereby attracting leading companies from across the world.

The demand for aerospace engineers is high in both government and private sectors. These engineers are required in a number of roles in the air force, airlines, corporate research companies, defence ministry, aviation companies, aeronautical laboratories, aircraft manufacturers, and government-owned air services among many others. Abundant opportunities also await thermal design engineers, mechanical design engineers, aerospace technologists, aircraft production managers, consultants, assistant technical officers, and aerospace design checker.

Top recruiters in the aerospace industry include Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), Defence Research and Development Laboratories (DRDO), Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), Civil Aviation Department, and Air India.

Large private and government-controlled companies are dedicating resources to develop new technologies to improve the quality of human life. Such initiatives along with the rising popularity of air travel and space exploration which require aeronautical expertise, are fuelling the demand for aerospace engineers making this the best time to launch your dream career.

The writer is Chancellor, Alliance University, Bengaluru.

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Printable version | Nov 24, 2021 4:13:28 PM |

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