Aeronautical engineering concerns the science around the study, design, and manufacturing of flight-capable machines and operating aircrafts that are Earth-bound. It is a branch of engineering that is grouped under the primary field of aerospace engineering. Furthermore, it has many overlapping elements with astronautical engineering, which covers space-related matters such as space crafts and rocket propulsion.
What Do Aeronautical Engineers Do?
Generally, aeronautical engineers are responsible for designing, constructing, analysing and testing commercial or military aircrafts, missiles, and fighter planes. They also work on the production of aerospace equipment and satellites. In addition, aeronautical engineers research and create new technologies in commercial aviation and defense systems. Supersonic jets and helicopters are also made possible by aeronautical engineers. They are also responsible for things like express shipping! Aeronautical engineers also carry out routine maintenance work and keep a record of all repair work and respond to difficulties faced by flights during take-off and landing for commercial airplanes.
Subjects in an Aeronautical Engineering Course
A typical undergraduate degree in aeronautical engineering takes four years to complete. The programme is rooted in a strong foundation of science, mathematics and the fundamentals of engineering. Some of the engineering-related subjects students can expect to learn are Engineering Physics, Engineering Chemistry, Control Engineering, Computer Programming, Environmental Science and Engineering, Engineering Graphics and Computer Aided Simulation. On the other hand, some of the more technical subjects are Aircraft Structures Laboratory, Aircraft Structures, Aero Engineering Thermodynamics, Aircraft Materials and Processes, Fluid Mechanics and Machinery, Aero Engine and Airframe, Solid Mechanics, Aircraft Design Project and Elements of Aeronautics.
To become a professional engineer, individuals need to be registered as a Graduate Engineer with the Board of Engineers, obtain the necessary work experience, professional training, and pass the Professional Assessment Examination conducted by the Board. For information on how to become a professional engineer in Malaysia, visit their website at www.bem.org.my
The Skills You Need
Those interested in pursuing aeronautical engineering as a career should have a strong background in mathematics and physics subjects in school. Aeronautical engineers also need to carry out their tasks with speed and accuracy, especially when it comes to servicing and maintaining aircrafts. Other useful skills include a high aptitude in manual, technical and mechanical areas as well as analytical thinking. Soft skills aeronautical engineers should have are a strong sense of responsibility, alertness, the ability to work in a team and leadership skills. In addition, ideal physical traits of an aeronautical engineer include normal colour vision, good physical fitness and decent height.
There are several career pathways aeronautical engineering students can consider after graduation. The most straightforward career choice would be aeronautical engineers who are trained to design aircrafts. Other job titles include aeronautical mechanical engineers — who are responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of aircraft engines, aeronautical electronic engineers — who are in charge of the maintenance of electrical and electronic equipment used for navigation and flight engineers — who are responsible for smooth performance of the aircraft during the flight.
Aeronautical engineers work behind-the-scenes to ensure flight travel is safe, efficient and cost-effective. They are also the ones driving new technologies and pushing the boundaries of the aviation and space industries.