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School of Mechanical Engineering
SA 5005

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What Does an Aerospace Engineer Do?

Aerospace engineers address problems specific to the aerospace industry. These problems relate to how a vehicle moves, how high and fast it can go, how it holds together under the forces it experiences and how it is kept on course.

Aerospace engineers analyse and solve these prob-lems using their knowledge of mechanics and dynamics, materials and welds, thermodynamics, vibrations, guidance, control and modelling techniques. The three main areas that aerospace engineers may work in are design and manufacture, research and development and airworthiness operations.

Within these areas aerospace engineers may use their skills to:

  • Investigate faulty engines or other components
  • Test new materials, engines, body shapes and structures that may improve the performance of vehicles Design
  • Develop guidance and control systems
  • Develop repair systems
  • Develop improved air conditioning or fuel systems
  • Estimate performance of entire vehicles (analyse and reduce test flight data)
  • Prepare technical or commercial information