Engineers: The Aerospace Industry’s Flesh and Blood
Aerospace engineers play an important role when it comes to the advancement and development of spacecraft, aircraft, missiles and satellites. They also focus on how to improve flight safety and fuel efficiency while minimizing environmental impact and operational costs.
Before anything else, let’s check out the different qualities that people need to possess to become an outstanding aerospace engineer.
The Qualities of a Good Aerospace Engineer
- Critical-Thinking and Analytical Skills – Aerospace engineers need to create designs that will meet the different standards set by the government. Should there be flaws in the design, they need to be able to quickly identify the issues.
- Problem-Solving Skills – A good aerospace engineer will be able to formulate different alternatives that will tackle any issues found in the project. He should also be able to use all the data available to meet the demands for development like better fuel efficiency in aircrafts.
- Mathematical Skills – Advanced topics like calculus, trigonometry and physics form the core of aerospace engineering so any aspiring aerospace engineers need to have good mathematical skills.
- Writing Skills – Aside from designing, aerospace engineers must be able to able to adequately describe their designs and projects in papers and documentations.
Becoming an Aerospace Engineer
Aspiring aerospace engineers need to take high school courses in topics like chemistry, physics, calculus and computer programming. On the other hand, a bachelor’s degree is enough to get an entry-level job in the industry. However, a master’s degree and continuous training will give an aerospace engineer a better position.
Aerospace can also choose whether they want to specialize in aeronautical or astronautical engineering.
- Aeronautical Engineering – The focus of this branch is aircraft. Aeronautical engineers will have to design aircraft and propulsion systems. They’re also involved with the aerodynamics and construction materials of the aircraft.
- Astronautical Engineering – If aeronautical engineers work on the different areas of flight within the Earth’s atmosphere, astronautical engineers work on spacecraft and their performance both inside and outside the atmosphere of the earth.
Tasks and Responsibilities
The tasks and responsibilities of an aerospace engineer can differ depending on their specialization. However, their duties can include the following.
- Aerospace engineers design aircraft and spacecraft as well as things like satellites and missiles.
- They are also involved in the testing of the prototypes.
- Some aerospace engineers work on the various components, parts and materials that comprise aircraft and spacecraft.
- They might be tasked with the supervision of the assembly of the design and the installation of its components.
- It is also their duty to resolve any flaws that might be found with the design.
- Some aerospace engineers are responsible for the maintenance and regular inspection of aircraft and spacecraft.
- They might also be tasked with the investigation of any accidents that might occur.
- It is the duty of an aerospace engineer to upgrade existing aircraft and spacecraft to make them more environment-friendly and fuel efficient.
The Work Environment
Just as with the tasks and responsibilities, an aerospace engineer’s workplace can vary depending on their specialization. In general, their workplace is the usual office setting with occasional trips to the manufacturing and testing facilities. However, a select few may work in the International Space Station.
Famous Aerospace Engineers
Finally, let’s check out some famous aerospace engineers.
- Neil Armstrong – The first person to ever walk on the moon, Neil Armstrong is a well-known American astronaut and aeronautical engineer.
- Henri Coandă – Henri Coandă is notable for his invention of the jet engine.
- Frank Frederick Borman II – Frank Frederick Borman II, along with his crew, is one of the first humans to fly around the moon.