Train­ing air­craft main­te­nance en­gi­neers

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - Higher Education -

TO­DAY, more peo­ple are trav­el­ling, be it for work or leisure and many of us dream of a globe-trot­ting life­style. Have you ever thought about the air­wor­thi­ness of each flight you board? Has flight safety ever been at the fore­front of your mind?

Besides the pi­lots, stew­ards, stew­ardess and tick­et­ing per­sonal whom we en­counter, there are also many those who re­main in the back­ground.

Yes, these are the men and women known as air­craft main­te­nance tech­ni­cians in the avi­a­tion in­dus­try.

Many of them go through rig­or­ous phys­i­cal and men­tal train­ing. Each step un­der­taken re­quires mind­ful­ness, even un­der ex­treme weather.

Gain­ing the right per­spec­tive

“Many stu­dents think a ca­reer with an air­line is a bed of roses. How­ever, I classify this pro­fes­sion as AWO – All Weather Op­er­a­tions En­gi­neers.

“If you are work­ing in Europe, then it’s very likely that you will work un­der frigid weather,” said Ni­lai Univer­sity se­nior in­struc­tor Sel­vara­jah Chel­liah.

Baskaran Chi­trav­el­loo, an­other Ni­lai Univer­sity se­nior in­struc­tor added, “It is al­ways eas­ier to learn when one has pas­sion. Stu­dents who have pas­sion are more re­cep­tive and are al­ways hun­gry for knowl­edge.”

In to­tal, grad­u­ates will take at least six to eight years to be­come a li­censed air­craft en­gi­neer. Ba­si­cally, stu­dents should com­plete a Diploma in Air­craft Main­te­nance En­gi­neer in two and a half years which in­cludes a six-month on-the­job train­ing with Ni­lai Univer­sity’s in­dus­try part­ners.

Af­ter grad­u­at­ing, they are yet to qual­ify. Stu­dents will need to ac­cu­mu­late an­other five years of work ex­pe­ri­ence be­fore ap­ply­ing for EASA Part 66 Ba­sic Licence.

“The De­part­ment of Air­craft Main­te­nance at Ni­lai Univer­sity in­cor­po­rates in­dus­try-re­lated knowl­edge, code of ethics and prac­ti­cal skills into the pro­grammes.

“The school will keep tab on tech­nol­ogy trends be­cause air­craft sys­tems and com­po­nents are con­stantly up­graded,” shared Dr Louie Lon­gasa Ti­majo, Ni­lai Univer­sity’s Fac­ulty Engi­neer­ing, Sci­ence and Tech­nol­ogy De­part­ment of Air­craft Main­te­nance prin­ci­pal lec­turer.

“The ad­vance­ment of air­craft sys­tems – the en­gine and com­po­nent sys­tems have pro­gressed from me­chan­i­cal, hy­dro-me­chan­i­cal, electro­mechan­i­cal and now fly-by­wire with 60% to 70% of the sys­tem re­ly­ing on au­to­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy,” said Ni­lai Univer­sity se­nior lec­turer Mohd Zo­hdi Mat Zali.

Em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties

“Other em­ploy­ment op­tions for grad­u­ates may in­clude qual­ity en­gi­neer, qual­ity inspector, project en­gi­neer, plan­ning en­gi­neer and gas tur­bine me­chan­ics in the oil pump in­dus­try too,” said Dr Louie.

“The Malaysia Avi­a­tion In­dus­try is rapidly chang­ing. Malaysian Aero­space In­dus­try Blue­print (2015) fore­casted by 2030, the in­dus­try will gen­er­ate an es­ti­mated an­nual rev­enue of US$14.3bil (RM59.1bil). Hence, there will be good ca­reer prospects in Malaysia too. Glob­ally, air­lines may re­quire 24,000 air­craft. Thus, there will be de­mand for skilled pro­fes­sion­als to main­tain the air­wor­thi­ness of these air­craft. China it­self, will re­quire 210,000 air­craft main­te­nance pro­fes­sion­als and by 2030, Malaysia’s aero­space in­dus­try will re­quire 20,000 pro­fes­sion­als in­clud­ing air­craft main­te­nance en­gi­neers,” ex­plained Dr Louie.

Ba­sic en­try re­quire­ment

The Diploma in Air­craft Main­te­nance Engi­neer­ing at Ni­lai Univer­sity is open to both Sci­ence stream and non-Sci­ence stream stu­dents who achieve the fol­low­ing scores in their SPM re­sults:

1) Three cred­its in English, Math­e­mat­ics, and Physics or Sci­ence

2) Passed Ba­hasa Malaysia 3) Passed Se­jarah Stu­dents should be med­i­cally fit and have ex­cel­lent eye­sight and hear­ing with no colour blind­ness or hear­ing im­pair­ment.

Ni­lai Univer­sity of­fers up to 100% schol­ar­ship to stu­dents.

■ Visit Ni­lai Univer­sity on July 13 and 14 to find out more about schol­ar­ships avail­able. The univer­sity is open daily ex­cept on public hol­i­days. To make an ap­point­ment, call 06-850 2308 or log on to www.ni­lai.edu.my.

air­craft Man­tainance pro­gramme lec­tur­ers and in­struc­tors (from left) suresh Ku­mar subra­ma­niam, Juha Markko r.Buan, J. James Joseph, dr louie, Baskaran, sel­vara­jah, laxa­m­anan Ku­rappa and Mohd Zo­hdi.

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