Ex­plore air­craft main­te­nance

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - Education Guide -

ARE you in­trigued by the mech­a­nisms of an air­craft? Do you feel awed and mes­merised when you watch a plane take off?

“To be­come a li­censed air­craft main­te­nance en­gi­neer, stu­dents should be well­versed in tech­ni­cal knowl­edge and be aware of the hu­man fac­tors.

“Hu­man Fac­tors is a core course in the Diploma of Air­craft Main­te­nance En­gi­neer­ing. We teach the im­pacts of en­vi­ron­men­tal stim­u­lants on the hu­man work­force,” said Ni­lai Univer­sity Depart­ment of Air­craft Main­te­nance pro­gramme co-or­di­na­tor, Dr Louie Lon­gasa Ti­majo.

“Hu­man fac­tors are closely mon­i­tored and man­aged in the air­lines. Our body tem­per­a­ture is at its low­est in the wee hours of 4am to 6am. Con­cen­tra­tion is also at its low­est.

“As such, lighter tasks will be as­signed,” said se­nior in­struc­tor Sel­vara­jah Chel­liah, quot­ing the Cir­ca­dian The­ory.

“The hu­man body has its lim­its. We teach stu­dents to recog­nise fa­tigue and stress, and to dis­cretely take nec­es­sary pre­cau­tions at work,” added Ra­manathan Meyyap­pan, a lec­turer at the univer­sity.

“There are nine top­ics cov­ered un­der the Hu­man Fac­tors course, in­clud­ing so­cial psy­chol­ogy, the phys­i­cal en­vi­ron­ment and com­mu­ni­ca­tion,” ex­plained Suresh Ku­mar Subra­ma­niam, another lec­turer.

Ac­cord­ing to Dr Louie, the Diploma in Air­craft Main­te­nance En­gi­neer­ing in­cor­po­rates the syl­labus of the Eu­ro­pean Aviation Safety Agency (Easa).

Stu­dents will have the op­tion of spe­cial­is­ing in Cat­e­gory B1.1 (Aero­plane Tur­bine) or B2 (Avion­ics). Un­der the B1.1 cat­e­gory of the Easa syl­labus, there are 13 mod­ules for stu­dents to com­plete and an ad­di­tional five mod­ules for the B2 cat­e­gory ba­sic li­cence.

Five core tech­ni­cal cour­ses

The five fun­da­men­tal tech­ni­cal cour­ses which form the ba­sis for the over­all pro­gramme are:

1) Ba­sic Aero­dy­nam­ics

2) Math­e­mat­ics

3) Physics

4) Elec­tron­ics and Elec­tri­cal Fun­da­men­tals

5) Main­te­nance Prac­tices Stu­dents from both science and non­science back­grounds can en­rol in the Diploma of Air­craft Main­te­nance En­gi­neer­ing pro­gramme. In the first se­mes­ter of their first year, they will learn ba­sic con­cepts and the­o­ries of aero­dy­nam­ics.

Ba­sic Aero­dy­nam­ics

In this course, stu­dents will learn about the four forces of flight and sev­eral types of drags.

Ac­cord­ing to Ra­manathan, stu­dents who are able to com­pre­hend these con­cepts and meth­ods will be aware of the causes and con­se­quences.

Math­e­mat­ics and Physics

The sec­ond and third cour­ses in the Diploma of Air­craft Main­te­nance En­gi­neer­ing are Math­e­mat­ics and Physics.

Ac­cord­ing to Suresh, these two cour­ses are ba­sic, so stu­dents with­out a science back­ground will be able to cope eas­ily with the syl­labus. The Math­e­mat­ics cur­ricu­lum will cover nec­es­sary con­ver­sion cal­cu­la­tions such as kilo­me­tres to me­tres and pounds to litres.

Elec­tron­ics and Elec­tri­cal Fun­da­men­tals

Stu­dents pur­su­ing the Diploma in Air­craft Main­te­nance En­gi­neer­ing will also learn about Elec­tron­ics and Elec­tri­cal Fun­da­men­tals.

These skills and knowl­edge in elec­tron­ics and elec­tri­cal fun­da­men­tals are es­sen­tial as air­craft are pow­ered by bat­ter­ies, in­vert­ers, ground power unit and gen­er­a­tors. In the fu­ture, stu­dents will ap­ply this knowl­edge when they un­dergo a spec­i­fied man­u­fac­turer’s course to be­come a qual­i­fied type-rated en­gi­neer.

Main­te­nance Prac­tices

Un­der this course, the syl­labus will in­clude the ba­sic tools: hand and machine tools. In the work­shops at Ni­lai Univer­sity, stu­dents will have hands-on ex­pe­ri­ence in us­ing these tools.

In the fi­nal year, stu­dents will also un­dergo on-the-job train­ing with AirAsia and AirAsia X for six months. Upon re­ceiv­ing the Diploma in Air­craft Main­te­nance En­gi­neer­ing, stu­dents will have the op­tion to work as an air­craft main­te­nance tech­ni­cian or progress to the Advanced Diploma in Air­craft En­gi­neer­ing Tech­nol­ogy and BEng (Hons) in Air­craft En­gi­neer­ing awarded by Kingston Univer­sity in the UK.

The Advanced Diploma and Honours De­gree can be com­pleted in just one year.

Ni­lai Univer­sity of­fers seven types of par­tial and full schol­ar­ships to well-de­serv­ing stu­dents. Ni­lai Univer­sity’s ed­u­ca­tion coun­sel­lors and ex­pe­ri­enced lec­tur­ers will guide you in ap­ply­ing for a schol­ar­ship.

Ni­lai Univer­sity is open daily ex­cept on pub­lic hol­i­days. For an ap­point­ment, call 06-850 2308, log on to www.ni­lai.edu.my or visit the cam­pus in Ni­lai.

(From left) Ni­lai univer­sity lec­tur­ers ra­manathan, sel­vara­jah Chel­liah and suresh.

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