How is it possible that a machine made of sheet metal and steel lifts off the ground and – defying all laws of gravity – does not fall? When looking at an airplane, such thoughts have probably occurred to everyone. And humans have not only conquered our skies, but have flown into space with rockets and shoot satellites into orbit.
Aerospace engineers are responsible for the development of airplanes, satellites, spacecraft and helicopters . They ensure that these vehicles are becoming lighter and safer. They fine-tune the aerodynamics of the wings or develop alternative drive systems – also with a view to factors such as sustainability and environmental protection .
Course content in aerospace engineering
The aerospace engineering course provides the necessary knowledge for all of these activities. The course belongs to the large field of engineering and is assigned to the field of mechanical engineering .
According to TOP-ENGINEERING-SCHOOLS, aerospace engineering is offered as an independent course at many universities. In some cases, the subject can also be selected as a specialization in a general mechanical engineering course . In both cases, a keen interest in science, mathematics and technology is an advantage. Using a PC shouldn’t be a problem for budding aerospace engineers either.
As in all engineering courses, mathematics , physics or chemistry are first on the curriculum in the basic course . Basic technical knowledge is imparted by subjects such as mechatronics or electrical engineering . Using special programs, the students learn to create designs on the computer and to deal with different materials.
In the higher semesters they then devote themselves to their specialist area: For example, they learn to build vehicles or engines and how the electronics work in an aircraft or spacecraft. In subjects such as aerodynamics, fluid dynamics or flight mechanics, students acquire advanced knowledge that is important for the construction of aircraft and space vehicles. At most universities, towards the end of their studies, students can concentrate on one focus, for example aircraft construction or space technology.
If you are aiming for a scientific career or a management position in business, it is best to add a master’s degree to your bachelor’s degree. Master’s courses in aerospace engineering offer the opportunity to deepen what you have learned. As a rule, students specialize in one of the sub-areas of aerospace engineering . However, graduates of a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering have the option of adding a master’s degree in a related area, for example ship technology or vehicle technology .
Career prospects as an aerospace engineer
The job market for aerospace engineers is international. Most of the graduates work in the aerospace industry. They develop new aircraft and individual machine parts , supervise the construction and are responsible for quality assurance.
Among the employers concerned, the engineers of aerospace engineering include:
- Aircraft or spacecraft manufacturers
- Companies in the supplier industry
- Companies like Deutsche Luftsicherung
- Authorities such as the Federal Aviation Office or the European Space Agency
Even outside of the aerospace industry, graduates are welcome because of their great technical know-how. There are jobs, for example, in the automotive industry , in energy companies or in the medical technology sector . Masters graduates can also pursue a career in science and research.
Internationality in the course
Many of the employers mentioned are located abroad or at least produce there . Foreign language skills and intercultural skills are essential for aerospace engineers. A good command of English is required during the degree program – most of the research literature is in English .
In order to be optimally prepared for these requirements, one or more semesters abroad are recommended. They promote the necessary language skills, but also prepare students for later working abroad and in international teams.