Pratham - aerospace engineering projects

November 6 2022
Image of a red toy aeroplane

Hello everyone! I'm Pratham, currently a second year BEng Aerospace Engineering with Space Technology student here at Herts.

Today, I would like to give an insight into the projects we do in the first year.

All the modules for BEng Aerospace are the same in the first year as students tend to be unclear about the field that they want to work in. It's then possible to specialise at the end of the first year based on what you learned and liked throughout the year.

Conceive Develop Implement and Operate (CDIO)

The first CDIO project that I came across in my first semester was in the Projects and Design module. The aim of the module was to get students familiar with Computer Aided Design (CAD), Project Timeline and Management and Aeromodelling. The task was simple: to make a long-range glider with foam and balsa wood. The challenge was justifying every design aspect and maintaining a dynamic engineering project timeline as all engineers must do in the industry.

At the end of the semester, there was a glider competition judged by industry professionals as well as a justification presentation graded by the faculty members based on your justification, delivery and design. Aeromodelling is the most common prototyping method still being used in aviation as it is cheap and gives a great idea about actual aircraft performance. Of course, there are more advanced tools used such as 3D printing and CNC in the industry, but you get to use these in your second year.

Robotics and microcontrollers

The second semester project we had was for Robotics and Microcontrollers: this module takes the CAD skills of students to a higher level by asking them to use CATIA V5, a standard industry software developed by Dassault Systems (a leading aviation and defence manufacturer). Students develop an ultrasonic sensor rover that can change direction when encountering an obstacle. Coding was an important aspect for this module, with tutorial help sessions available to students. At the end of the module, there is an obstacle track for the rover competition. This assignment tests the capability of students to work simultaneously on various parts of a standard engineering project such as CAD, programming, planning, management and testing.

So, this was a look at the first-year projects I did at the University! Do keep in mind that projects change every year, so you always have something fresh to make from your engineering skills.

Hope to see you all soon at School of SPECS!