FLY HIGH WITH AERONAUTICS
Q I’m interested in doing an aeronautical engineering course. What are the steps I need to take and what should I look out for? A Aeronautical engineering and astronautical engineering are among the most competitive of courses requiring advanced maths, physics and numerical method skills. At high school, students wanting to pursue this discipline should take courses in chemistry, physics and maths, including algebra, trigonometry and calculus.
You need a scientific and mathematical aptitude and it is advisable for you to do a psychometric test to ensure your talent and passion match the skill sets required for the job.
In addition to stringent academic requirements in maths and physics, personal attributes required include strong analytical skills, design skills and computer literacy. Very often you will be faced with multiple options, requiring the use of sound judgement, along with inductive, deductive and mathematical reasoning skills.
At undergraduate level, the first two years will provide broad-based education in sciences and engineering while the last two or three years will focus on aerospace engineering, theory and design. The subject involves the study of the science of flight, design, testing, construction and maintenance of aircraft and spacecraft.
While in college, it is advisable to apply for an internship, which will provide the canvas to practise what you have learnt and offer an opportunity to engage with professionals and expand your network. It’s important that the course selected be recognised by Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET).
Aeronautical engineers need to collaborate on initial design and propulsion systems of aeroplanes. You also need to study the aerodynamic performance of aircraft and construction material. Once planes are built, you review and prepare performance reports, identify and fix snags and inspect damaged or malfunctioning planes to locate and solve problems.
The job description will include improving flight safety, fuel efficiency and use of cutting-edge technology to meet client needs and to reduce costs without sacrificing safety. Some of the leading universities offering this course are MIT, Caltech, Stanford, Cambridge, Oxford, NUS, IITs, Imperial and Berkeley.
SANJEEV VERMA is an international education counsellor