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BEng (Hons) Aerospace Engineering
Due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, examinations may be replaced by an alternative form of assessment during the academic year 2020/2021. Please refer to the Programme Specification on these pages for further details.
This course includes the sandwich year options of:
*No fees are charged for this year
Why choose this course?
- This BEng Honours degree in Aerospace Engineering has an excellent, long-established reputation with the aerospace industry
- Experienced aerospace staff with a wealth of industrial know-how will teach you. We have an applied approach to teaching and our contacts prove invaluable to graduates seeking employment
- Our BEng Aerospace Engineering students have previously completed work placement years at companies including Airbus, Virgin Atlantic Engineering, and BAE Systems
- Excellent facilities at the School of Engineering include the best equipment: flight simulator, wind tunnels, specialist laboratories and CAE software
- Recent Aerospace Engineering graduates have gone on to work at organisations including The Royal Air Force, Jaguar Land Rover, and BAE Systems
What's the course about?
This course specialises in aircraft design, especially aircraft structures, materials and aerodynamics. You’ll learn CATIA, a computer-aided design package, as well as finite element analysis and computational fluid dynamics. Once you have developed key skills, you’ll work with other students to design a complete aircraft. Modules along the way include aerospace technology and industry, engineering mathematics, materials and electrical science, mechanical science, fluid mechanics and thermodynamics, computer-aided engineering, structural mechanics, control systems, project management and product development. You’ll also have the exciting opportunity to study abroad or spend a year in industry, either of which will enhance your career prospects.
What will I study?
The School has a reputation for innovation in teaching and learning with most modules delivered through a combination of traditional face-to-face teaching and distance learning through the university's StudyNet web based facility.
StudyNet gives you access to electronic learning resources and electronic discussion with staff and other students and allows you to submit your coursework. StudyNet is available from anywhere in the world 24/7.
With a heavy emphasis on Computer Aided Engineering, the School has a policy of using industrial standard software wherever possible and operates an open-access laboratory policy for students doing experiments in their own time.
What you will learn
In your first year, you will study the fundamental skills and knowledge required by a modern engineer including principles of flight and aircraft operations. In particular, you will be introduced to computer packages commonly used in aerospace industry.
In your second year, the first year core themes are developed for application in aerospace engineering. You will learn about the design process through both group design and detail design work, and expand your knowledge of aerodynamics, with wind tunnel experiments. You will also have the opportunity to fly at a local flying school.
You may take a placement year if you wish, where you will gain excellent work experience, and this will be followed by your fourth year where for many, the Aerospace Design group project is the climax of your course where they can use your engineering skills and ingenuity to design a complete aircraft in a competitive environment. For others the self-confidence developed during the Individual Major Project that challenges them to research an aerospace relevant topic entirely by themselves using either the University or industrial facilities is the most rewarding part of your degree and can lead to future employment. There is also a further opportunity for flying lessons.
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.
|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.'
BEng Aerospace Engineering, 2000
Chief Flying Instructor Helicopters, Bliss Aviation
Working as a pilot
Becoming a pilot was an aspiration for Jim as long as he could remember. At the age of 18, his passion led him to his first flight at the controls of a Cessna 152, a 2-seated aircraft primarily used for training and personal purposes.
While studying at the University he had a subsidised trial lesson in a PA28 warrior followed by a short flight in an R22 at Elstree. 'This first flight in a helicopter was like a lightning strike for me and changed what I wanted to do for the rest of my life' he says. 'I got my Private Pilots Licence PPL(H) in 2006 while working as a Project Engineer for an aerospace company.'
After saving for 3 years, Jim went to the USA to achieve a Commercial Pilot License (CLP (H)) and also managed to gain an American instructor rating. 'When I returned to the UK, I was sponsored to convert my US instructor rating to a European instructor rating. I then travelled the country looking for work as an instructor and was finally taken on by Airways Aviation in April 2012.'
As a Chief Flying Instructor, some of Jim's daily responsibilities include helping students to obtain their PPL(H), ensuring all training given is to standard and writing and amending operations and training manuals. 'My day-to-day activities vary depending on bookings and the weather. Every day is different and you have to come to work ready for anything. My responsibilities don't change but the amount of work I do does.'
Some of the companies he has worked for are AmSafe Bridport as Project Engineer, Centrax as CNC Operator and at West Hoe Fun Park (family business). 'During my placement year, I was working with British Airways at the component overhaul centre at Heathrow which gave me an idea of what an engineering base looked like.'
Advice and future plans
It's clear that Jim's determination over the years has paid off, from his initial training to his current position as Chief Flying Instructor, both in Bournemouth. His degree still contributes to his current job role on a daily basis. 'It gives me a deeper understanding of the principles of flight and general aircraft knowledge. It also made gaining my license easier as I felt I already knew some parts of the course.'
For those who are looking to get into a similar career, Jim stresses the importance of having a strong love for aviation as the sacrifices are not often reflected in the pay scale. 'Should you achieve your goals, the view from the office is much better! Having a good backup career is also a fine plan if you lose your medical.' Future plans for Jim include branching out into other areas of commercial helicopter flying, possibly in other countries.
'I would like to take on pleasure flights, sling work and VIP Charter. It's also been an ambition of mine to start a flying school of my own one day.' We wish him the very best of luck with everything.
Please note that some of the images and videos on our course pages may have been taken before social distancing rules in the UK came into force.