Industries in the Aeronautical sector have experienced a steady and rapid rise in amongst several engineering branches owing to specialized yet lucrative career opportunities. With the induction of computer-aided design, advanced instrumentation and control engineering as well as exploration in space and beyond, Aeronautical Engineering offers something for everyone. Commercial aviation, defense systems, aircraft crash investigation and airport management are just a few of the sub-disciplines individuals can choose to venture into. In this blog, we will shed light on some key aspects pertaining to starting a career in this field but first, let us understand what this discipline entails.
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What is Aeronautical Engineering?
Concerning flying vehicles that do not cross the earth’s atmosphere, Aeronautical Engineering includes huge air carriers, lightweight helicopters, vehicles such as drones, missiles, airplanes (commercial and noncommercial), weapons systems and a host of diverse flying vehicles. This branch of engineering is concerned with designing, building, internal computing systems, aircraft maintenance engineering, navigation, safety measures, etc. Students pursuing it learn the mechanics of how an aircraft works through theoretical and practical training in topics such as heat and combustion, propulsion, aircraft structure, aerodynamics, flight mechanics and so forth.
Aeronautical Engineering vs Aerospace Engineering
Used interchangeably, Aeronautical Engineering and Aerospace Engineering have slight differences when looked deeply. The latter is a broader discipline that includes both Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering signifying earth and space. While aerospace itself can be said to be part of Mechanical Engineering, it currently draws inspiration from robotics, computer science, and system design amongst others. As discussed, the field of Aeronautics deals with aircraft that fly within Earth’s atmosphere while Astronautical Engineering limits itself to aircraft structures in space and involves advanced study of spacecraft mechanics, spacecraft design, jet propulsion, orbital materials, etc. However, a considerable number of topics overlap with both disciplines in equal parts.
Also Read: Aerospace Engineering Colleges
Why Pursue Aeronautical Engineering?
Aeronautical Engineering, contrary to popularly held belief is not just limited to technical disciplines of aircraft design maintenance but is also currently being connected with areas such as aviation law and regulations, supply chain, human resource management, behavioral psychology, and even environment and journalism. It offers ample opportunities for individuals to experience the workings of a seemingly ever-growing industry. Extending from the aircraft-making companies like Boeing and Airbus, options can also be explored in the automobile, defense, and consulting sectors. Thus making it a versatile yet lucrative career pathway.
Skills and Competencies
To excel in the Aeronautical Engineering industry, one needs a healthy mix of both technical expertise along with an introductory knowledge or learning appetite to manage various aspects of business such as strategy, growth, operations as well as marketing and cost. Further, internships, projects, assistantships, programming languages, etc are highly valued and show the person’s commitment and desire. Here are a few career skills you must build to land your dream job.
- Problem Solving
- Quick Decision Making
- Critical Analysis
- Expert Mathematical Aptitude
- Time Management
- Computer Tools
- Verbal & Written Communication Skills
- Multiple Languages [preferred]
Aeronautical Engineering Courses
Coming to the degree programs, the course offerings range from bachelor to doctorate level along with a host of short term courses such as certificate, diploma and an advanced diploma in specific niches like Diploma in Aeronautical Engineering. Read on to know more about the course pathways you can explore in this domain:
- Undergraduate Courses [3-4 years]: A bachelor’s program is typically offered as B Tech Degree, BSc Aeronautics or BEng in Aeronautical Engineering. These courses aim to build a solid foundation of basic engineering theories as well as introducing students to concepts of aircraft design, its internal systems and maintenance, amongst others.
Eligibility Criteria: Candidates must have studied science-related subjects such as physics, chemistry, mathematics, computer science, etc at the higher secondary level from a recognized institute.
- Postgraduate Courses: Delving deeper into advanced concepts related to the field such as fluid mechanics, programming, green aviation, applied aerodynamics, aircraft performance, compressive flow, the Aeronautical Engineering subjects at master’s level impart a mix of theoretical, practical and professional elements. Students are encouraged to pursue research projects under professors, industrial trainings, seminars, work placements, etc.
Eligibility Criteria: For entry into master’s STEM courses, in general, individuals are required to possess an undergraduate degree in aeronautics-related field or science background. However, institutes also value a few years of experience at research or professional levels.
- Doctoral Courses: Extending into core research and inquiry of contemporary Aeronautical Engineering issues, doctoral courses provide individuals the opportunity to dive into great detail. Usually carried out under a professor/supervisor, an MPhil, PhD or Postdoctoral courses pave the way for a bright career in research.
- More Options: Apart from the above mentioned Aeronautical Engineering study programs, individuals can also explore dual and joint degree combinations of bachelor, masters and PhD degrees. While joint degrees are offered with multiple universities, dual degrees, on the other hand, integrate two or more disciplines such as a BTech in engineering and management. Further options of Integrated PhD, PhD after BTech are always open.
Aeronautical Engineering colleges in the USA have established themselves as the gold standard not only in terms of career prospects but also when it comes to curriculum, renowned faculty and so forth. However, emerging options in locations like the UK, Australia, and Canada have also been recognized for their efforts by the Times Higher Education and other rating agencies. Given below are some of the names you must consider:
|Name of University||Location||THE Rankings 2020||Courses|
|California Institute of Technology [CalTech]||USA||2nd||1. PhD in Aeronautics|
2. MSc in Aeronautics
|Stanford University||USA||4th||1. BSc in Aeronautics & Astronautics|
2. MSc in Aeronautics & Astronautics
3. PhD in Aeronautics & Astronautics
|Massachusetts Institute of Technology [MIT]||USA||5th||1. BSc in Aerospace Engineering|
2. Doctor of Science in Aeronautics & Astronautics
3. PhD in Aeronautics & Astronautics
|Princeton University||USA||6th||1. Bachelor of Science in Engineering in Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering|
2. Master of Science in Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering
3. PhD in Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering
|Imperial College London||UK||9th||1. MSc Advanced Aeronautical Engineering|
2. MSc Advanced Computational Methods for Aeronautics, Flow Management & Fluid-Structure Interaction
3. MEng Aeronautical Engineering (Hons)
|University College London||UK||15th||1. PG Certificate Defence Systems Engineering|
2. MSc Space Science & Technology: Space Technology
|University of Toronto||Canada||18th||1. Master of Applied Science in Aerospace Science & Engineering|
2. MEng in Aerospace Science & Engineering
3. PhD in Aerospace Science & Engineering
|University of Michigan||USA||21st||1. BSE in Aerospace Engineering|
2. MSE in Aerospace Engineering
3. PhD in Aerospace Engineering
|The University of Melbourne||Australia||32nd||Master of Engineering [MEchanical with Aerospace]|
|Georgia Institute of Technology||USA||38th||1. BSc in Aerospace Engineering|
2. MSc in Aerospace Engineering
3. PhD in Aerospace Engineering
|The University of Sydney||Australia||60th||1. Bachelor of Engineering [Aeronautical]-Hons|
2. Master of Professional Engineering [Aerospace]
|Delft University of Technology||Netherlands||67th||1. BSc in Aerospace Engineering|
2. MSc in Aerospace Engineering
Related Articles: Aeronautical Engineering in Canada
In order to study Aeronautical Engineering at these universities, candidates are required to submit an online application within the deadlines of the cycle of admission. Further, the application procedure may include proof of completion of prior degrees like official transcripts and degree, scores of GRE/GMAT and IELTS/TOEFL, statement of purpose [SOP], two or three letters of recommendation [LOR] and CV. Institutions may add other requirements for instance, Research Proposal depending on the structure and build of the program.
As mentioned above, a degree in Aeronautical Engineering gears you up for a career in an array of industries across various levels. While a bachelor’s or master’s level course is considered apt for professional as well as research oriented-pathways, short term courses aid in fast-track career development in a particular subdivision and is largely skill-based. Glance over the few options mentioned below that you can explore:
- Research Assistant
- Aircraft Technician
- Aerospace Medicine Expert
- Aircrash Investigation Expert
- Aircraft Maintenance Engineer
- Technical Officer
- Aircraft Design Engineer
- Quality Assurance Engineer
- Airworthiness Engineer
- Structures and Materials Engineer
- Acoustic Experts
- Stress Analyst
Individuals can later choose to pursue a degree in management, for instance, an MBA or Master of Engineering Management to open up opportunities into senior-level executive roles.
We hope this blog has proved successful in putting out, in a clear and concise manner, the important as well as lesser-known elements related to Aeronautical Engineering. Needless to say, choosing a field based on your strong points is an extremely vital part of career-making. At Leverage Edu, through our AI tool as well as a team of experienced counsellors and mentors, we aim to provide you with all the necessary information, support and guidance so that you can take an important step towards a rewarding career.