BEng (Hons) Aerospace Engineering with Space Technology
Pratham - A day in the life on my aerospace engineering course
My name is Pratham Dharu and I am currently a Level 5 BEng Aerospace Engineering with Space Technology student at Herts.
I will be taking you through my average daily schedule on the most productive day of the week which would be Monday this semester 😀
A typical Monday
I usually start my day around 6am and wake up and start preparing all meals for the day. Once I am done cooking, I brew myself a cup of coffee and start walking towards The Oval for my morning gym session. After a sweaty session I go back to my room for a shower. After finishing my breakfast, I leave my flat at around 8.45am and go for my 9am Aerodynamics lecture. Aerodynamics is the study of objects under fluid flow - this module mainly covers fluid dynamics and mechanics. At Herts, we use multiple wind tunnels for aerodynamic testing such as CRM, Subsonic and Supersonic, also using industry-grade software such as CATIA and XFLR5 for computational simulations.
I always carry my charger and iPad with me so I can take notes and charge my phone anywhere on campus. After finishing the three-hour lecture, we get a one-hour break, after which I have my weekly appointment with my research mentor to discuss my progress in the research I am doing this year under the University’s undergraduate pathway research programme. After a great discussion with my mentor, I head back to my flat as it is already 1pm and I am hungry by this point in time 😋
After lunch, I clean my room and do my laundry then head to my 3pm practical session for Materials Science module - it's easy for me to get to the classes as it is just a five-minute walk from my flat. Materials is one of the most important topics for aerospace, as it deals with strength and testing different types of material for aircrafts and spacecrafts.
The University has various active student sessions suitable for both freshers and pro league players. The reason I go for active student sessions is not just the fitness, but the free merch you get for just participating in sports such as shirts and hoodies! After practice on my way back to College Lane on my bike, I stop at Aldi which is a two-minute walk from de Havilland Campus, pick up my weekly groceries and head back to my flat. I head to the LRC, which again is just a five-minute walk from my flat.
I finish my homework and work emails on the silent floor as I am the ‘do not disturb’ kind of person when it comes to work or academics. I complete all my work by 10pm and head back home.
This was a productive day in my weekly schedule but usually it is not this busy!
I enjoy going out with my friends to The Forum for Friday lights or karaoke nights on campus. I participate in a lot of active student and society events and am currently a committee member for four societies at Herts SU. I do occasionally spend my time on the Cessna 172 full scale flight simulators, especially a few days before when I must go for my flying classes so I can complete my 20 hours of flying before I graduate.
This was a typical day in the life of an average aerospace engineer 👨🎓
Pratham - About the aerospace learning facilities and how I use them on my course
Hello everyone! My name is Pratham and I’m currently studying BEng Aerospace Engineering with Space Technology at Herts.
I have already talked about the theory-based learning in a separate blog, but the real joy of engineering comes from making things happen and bringing things to the real world. I'm going to talk here about the engineering facilities I have benefited from at the University of Hertfordshire so far during my 18 months of studies.
The most important facility for any aerospace engineer would be simulators, both for pilot studies and engineering students. Herts has a variety of simulators such as the four-axis merlin simulator that is used for engineering model simulation in the final year projects, but students are trained on all the simulators in the first year. The University has two types of pilot studies simulators running on industry grade X plane software for training pilot studies students on navigations, communications and control systems. These labs are open access which means after appropriate training is done, students can book them to get their hours on the simulator.
Let’s talk about the facilities I used in my second year during the Materials module: the structural and materials lab that has various tensile testing machines. A particular highlight would be the SEM (Scanning Electron Microscope) which is one of the most amazing machines available to engineering students, for final year projects only.
The next lab I use a lot is the electronics and circuit fabrication labs which have thousands of different types of resistors, wires, circuits and so on. There is a soldering and fabrication room in the lab that students can use for both academic and personal projects (after approval).
So now it's time to talk about my favourite: the 3D printing and fabrication workshop! This lab has five different types of 3D printers, laser cutters and all the power and hand tools you could think of. My personal choice is 3D printing - it’s like giving candy to an engineer 😊
There are many students who like making the parts by themselves by using powered machines such as the lathe, grinder and CNC.
The primary tool of an aerodynamicist! The University has a total of four different wind tunnels - sub-sonic, transonic, closed return and supersonic which are helpful in your second and third years.
So, these are just a few facilities that engineering students at Herts are able to use on a day-to-day basis.
I hope to see all of you at Herts soon 👋
Godson - Things you should know
Things to know before studying Aerospace Engineering at Herts
Progressing from sixth form college, or the equivalent in their country, into university can cause a lot of students to worry about how easy it is to adjust to their new course at university. I also had these worries when I was getting ready to come to university, so here is my guide on what to know before coming to study Aerospace Engineering at Herts.
The school of Engineering has a lot of facilities on-site to help students get the best of their time studying at Herts. The academic staff are also highly qualified and knowledgeable in the various fields of engineering taught at the university. There are also non-academic staff (lab technicians, admin team) that work to help students at the university.
Lectures, tutorials, and labs
There are typically between 15 to 20 hours of contact time each week, which include lectures, labs, and tutorials where applicable.
- Lectures are taught to the whole class in person by the lecturers on-site, the notes presented in lectures are usually uploaded on Canvas/Studynet and are available to read and print if needed. They usually last between one and two hours and timings are shown in student timetables.
- Tutorials are held in smaller groups, usually, in hour-long sessions, where you will be able to ask more questions you may have been unable to ask in the big lecture.
- Labs are held for modules that need them and give students a hands-on experience on topics being studied in class, examples of which are the flight simulation labs, materials labs etc.
Outside of these times, students are always welcome to email lecturers with any questions they have with lecturers also having visiting hours where students can go to their offices with any questions.
Students have access to lecture notes through Canvas. In addition to this, the College Lane Learning Resource Centre (LRC) has hardcopy materials for students’ reference. The university also offers online resources to students, so you will also be able to access books recommended by your lecturers online, in the absence of physical copies.
Outside of lectures, labs and tutorials, engineering students can engage in extracurricular activities offered by the school. Some of them include Rocketry club, Formula Student and Royal aeronautical society. There are also activities outside of the school of engineering which students can take part in which are run by the Herts Students’ Union.
I have enjoyed studying Aerospace Engineering at the University of Hertfordshire, thanks to the academic and non-academic staff here.
Meet Temitayo Adedipe who has followed her passion for aviation at Leonardo in the helicopters divisionRead more stories Find out more about this course
|Current job role||Mechanical Engineering Graduate at Leonardo|
|Year of graduation||2020|
|Course of study||BEng (Hons) Aerospace Engineering|
Temitayo graduated in 2020 and was able to secure a graduate role soon afterwards. She takes up the story,
‘I am a Mechanical Engineering Graduate at Leonardo in the helicopters division. My passion for the aviation sector has existed for as long as I can remember. My role is particularly exciting as I have the opportunity to explore many aspects of the business through a variety of placements which means I am able to encounter different challenges. It always leaves me thinking, what's next, and with the sector being so vast, there is always more to learn.’
It wasn’t a straightforward path for Temitayo as she felt that gaps in her learning would mean she would find it hard to realise her dreams of working in the aviation industry. However with the support of her lecturers she flourished academically.
‘When I received my A-Level results, I didn't think that any university would accept me. I naturally excelled in humanities subjects including English and Sociology but in Maths and Physics, both of which were crucial for my the path I had chosen, my performance was lacking.
Herts accepted me however and after completing my foundation year, my grades reflected a new person entirely and continued to do so over the years that followed.
I found the subjects challenging, but I was consistently supported by lecturers who were not only endowed with a wealth of knowledge and experience but also with a capacity to communicate and, where necessary, translate that knowledge in a way that I could not only understand but also apply to real world problems.’
The key to success
Temitayo feels that the different aspects of the course were key to her success and says,‘My course connected me with lecturers and gave me the resources that helped me get where I am today. I was able to develop and enhance my problem solving skills and teamwork efforts. Herts was also important in helping build my confidence in asking questions and viewing problems from different angles to arrive at the best possible solution.’
'I would love to say I chose Herts but instead I am honoured to be able to say that Herts chose me and looking back on the years I spent at the University and the years that have followed, where and who I am now, the opportunities and experiences, the friendships and connections, there is no place I would have rather spent those years.'
Temitayo has clear ambitions and is very keen to remain in the industry she enjoys so much. 'I am excited for the future and I intend to remain curious. In doing so, I hope to take on key roles in helping achieve a greener, more sustainable aviation sector.'
Meet Kennedy Ameh who has explored his passion for the aviation industry since graduating. He currently works as the Head of Operations Strategy at Collins Aerospace.Read more stories Find out more about this course
|Current job role||Head of Operations Strategy|
|Year of graduation||2010|
|Course of study||BEng (Hons) Aerospace Engineering|
Since graduating, Kennedy has gone on to work for Collins Aerospace, a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp. He currently holds the role Head of Operations Strategy within the organisations Mechanical Systems Business Unit. 'I joined through the graduate development programme, and I have held roles of increasing responsibility throughout my career here. In my role, I am responsible for creating, developing and executing manufacturing strategy across six global sites in Asia and Europe.' Kennedy credits being ‘results driven’ and always rising to the challenge as the driving factors that have gotten him to where he is today.
University experience and opportunities
Kennedy recognises the impact the University made on his career, having been exposed to many fantastic opportunities during his time as a student. He says, 'During my time at the University, I was exposed to a faculty of experts that drew from industry experience and transferred this knowledge to the classroom. I also acquired a plethora of information through the Learning Resources Centre during my placement year in the industry. During my studies, I was challenged to think differently, identifying solutions before problems. I was taught to use my initiative and leverage on teamwork.'
A key factor that made Kennedy choose the University was the diverse community. He says, 'As an international student, the vibrant international community at the University was important to me. However, the real attraction was the rich aviation heritage of the University of Hertfordshire.' Kennedy took advantage of the University’s industry connections to propel himself forward in the sector.
Aspirations for the future
Looking forward, Kennedy intends to stay at Collins Aerospace yet still remains ambitious. He says, 'I want to run an aviation business in the future and I am very conscious of the opportunities emerging in markets like Africa. I hope to be an employer on the continent to enhance, enable and empower young minds like mine to operate globally.'