Engineering is one of the hottest fields of the 21st century. With more and more knowledge being added to humankind’s library many new fields of study have come up which didn’t even exist a hundred years ago. One such field is that of aeronautical engineering. With space-age and more and more exploration and innovation in-flight technology, aeronautical engineering has come up as a lucrative field and an excellent choice of career. That brings about an important question, “What does it take to become an aeronautical engineer?” Let us try to answer that question here and explore its excellence as a field of career.
What is Aeronautical Engineering?
Aeronautical engineering is the field of study which deals with understanding, designing, and developing flight machines and other peripherals around it. In other words, an aeronautical engineer works around aircraft and spacecraft. It is very different from automobile engineering. Ground vehicles run only on the surface and as such is subject to a completely different set of problems than what aeroplanes and space shuttles face. In some ways, aeronautics is very much ‘rocket science’ and hence attracts a lot of respect from society too.
What Will I Learn in Aeronautics Engineering?
An aeronautics engineering student learns about flight mechanics, engines (both conventional and turbojets), design and implementation of efficient flight designs, structure and strength of planes and spacecraft etc. An aeronautical engineer is easily able to discern what parameters affect what aerial vehicle and all the technical know-how that revolves around it. The sheer scope is too large and interesting, to sum up in a small paragraph. You can learn more about the syllabus here.
Educational Background Required for Aeronautical Engineering
The first and foremost requirement to learn aeronautics is to have knowledge of science. Understanding of physics and the maths involved to calculate the tiny nuances need a base. So, if students want to get into a degree course, they need to have studied science with PCM at least during their 10+2. Once you obtain a degree, you can always opt for a master’s degree in aeronautics or a specialization thereof, should you want to study further.
Grit & Motivation
As said earlier, aeronautics is also popularly dubbed as ‘rocket science’ and is considered a tough course. While most people have blown the stigma out of proportion, there is some truth to it. Understanding the tiny nuances of flight design and a wide plethora of parameters and subjects does take some effort. However, unlike popular notions, it is not as difficult as it is made out to be. Just the right amount of dedication and sincere efforts pave the way for a bright career.
The most obvious answer is one should know physics, chemistry, and mathematics. However, it goes deeper than that. While knowledge of physics is a given, motion, mechanics, and in particular knowledge of flight mechanics are necessary subjects one needs to make themselves comfortable with. Another example is that of engines. Engines, both Jets and conventional ones need fuel to run. That brings in chemistry. Thermodynamics, solid, liquid, and gaseous fuels and their behaviour comes into the picture. Moreover, when it comes to large-scale aerial vehicles, tiny fluctuations stack up pretty fast and hence require accuracy. That brings in precise calculations and as a result, mathematics into the picture.
In short, aeronautical engineering involves studying very specialised sub-topics of the core branches of scientific studies. Students and aspirants are required to develop a knack for these subjects.
Knowledge of Computers and Soft Skills
Most of the world’s knowledge and information is in digital format. Naturally, computers have become an important part of the research, study, development, and innovation for aeronautics as well. Computer literacy becomes of paramount importance in such cases. Knowing the usage of computers makes learning a great deal easier.
Aeronautics is an excellent career choice with a wide scope for building careers with either great space agencies such as ISRO and NASA, but also with top aviation companies in the world such as Rolls-Royce, Boeing, Airbus, etc. Get good marks and score well in the entrance examinations and you can land in an excellent institute such as MLRIT, Secunderabad.
With determination, dedication, motivation, and a quest for knowledge combined with hard work, everyone can become a great engineer.