Aerospace Engineer Job Description
An aerospace engineer is an engineer who is concerned with the design and manufacture of aircraft, spacecraft and missiles. Aerospace engineers apply scientific knowledge and engineering principles to design, develop and maintain airplanes, helicopters, missiles, satellites and spacecraft.
There are two main types of aerospace engineers: astronautical engineers and aeronautical engineers. Astronautical engineers deal with the design and manufacture of spacecraft, craft that leave the earth’s atmosphere. Aeronautical engineers deal with the design and manufacture of aircraft, craft that stay inside the earth’s atmosphere.
An aerospace engineer should be enthusiastic, quick-thinking, creative and analytical, and have the ability to work well under pressure and function in a team. They should also be meticulous and safety-conscious, as error in design and production could lead to lose of lives.
Famous aerospace engineers include Boris Pavlovich Lisunov (soviet aerospace engineer), Adolf Buseman (originated the concept of swept winged aircraft), Alan Arnold Griffith (metal fatigue), Albert Tissandier (first electric powered flight), Alexander Arkhengelsky (aircraft designer), wernher von Braun (rocket engineer and designer).
Pursue a career in aerospace engineering if you have aptitude for mathematics and science, and interest in the design and production of air and space vehicles.
What does an Aerospace Engineer do?
Aerospace engineers may do some or all of the following:
- conduct research to improve flying machine components and systems
- collaborate with astronomers, physicists, ,mechanical engineers and other engineers
- use computer-aided design (CAD) software to design systems
- design, develop and test aircraft, spacecraft and other flying machines
- write proposals to clients or colleagues
- write technical manuals for engineers and customers
- supervise the assembly and fitting of aircraft, spacecraft and other flying machines
- repair malfunctioning or damaged aircraft, spacecraft and other flying machines
- keep up to date with developments in the field
- teach at colleges and universities
Where does an Aerospace Engineer work?
Aerospace engineers usually work normal office hours, but may be required to work evenings and weekends to meet deadlines. They work in offices, research laboratories and workshops. They may travel to attend conferences or visit manufacturing and testing facilities.
What is Required to Become an Aerospace Engineer ?
To become an aerospace engineer, you will need to have a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering or a related discipline.
Secondary school students interested in studying aerospace engineering should take preparatory subjects such as chemistry, physics, computer, and mathematics, including algebra, trigonometry, and calculus.
Just to give you an idea, some of the classes that you’ll be taking in college may include:
- Differential equations
- Applied linear algebra
- Engineering statistics
- Computer-Aided Design
- Numerical methods
- Material science
- Dynamics and engineering mechanics
- Aerospace structure
- Aerospace control engineering
- Risk and reliability
- Noise control
Knowledge, Skills and Attributes
Aerospace engineers need to have:
- scientific aptitude
- mechanical aptitude
- creativity and innovation
- diligence and persistence
- manual dexterity
- physical and mental stamina
- good memory
- good eyesight
- good attention to detail
- good hand-eye coordination
- good listening and communication skills
- analytical and problem solving skills
- good judgment and decision making skills
- time management and organizational skills
- leadership skills
- math, computer and programming skills
- technical drawing skills
- the ability to work well independently and in a team
- the ability to design and conduct experiments
- the ability to work well under pressure
- the ability to learn new skills and stay up-to-date with new developments in the field
- the ability to identify real world problems that can be solved by engineering principles and techniques
- the ability to apply the knowledge of science, mathematics and engineering to solve real word problems
- knowledge of scientific rules and methods
- knowledge of accounting and economics
- knowledge of electronics/electrical systems
- knowledge of mechanical processes
- knowledge of metals and alloys used in building air and space vehicles
- knowledge of aerodynamics and thermodynamics
- knowledge of civil aviation laws and regulations
- knowledge of aircraft, spacecraft and missile safety
- knowledge of computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing software
- knowledge of software used in aerospace engineering such as ANSYS, Pro/E and CATIA
Should I be an Aerospace Engineer ?
Take our career test to find out if this career is ideal for you!
- Mechanical Engineer
- Electrical Engineer
- Aircraft Mechanic
If this is your profession and you would like to add to or amend any of the information on this page, then please get in touch with us at mail[at]careersome[dot]com