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Aeronautics engineer

  1. Mar 28, 2009 #1
    Simply, what is the future of aviation? I have wanted to become an aircraft engineer for a long time now. But since fuel prices are going up, global warming knocks on the door, and due to the current state of the economy in the world, there will hardly be any job opportunities in this field. I am applying to universities this year.

    For a couple of months I've considered CFD (Computational fluid dynamics) as a good alternative to flight mechanics (you have to major in one of those, if you intend to study aviation). CFD has a couple of advantages. I would be able to work in the aviation industry, but in case that doesn't work out there are other places to work.

  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 28, 2009 #2
    Future will always be there, but like most other industries, it is subject to some hiring cycles.

    Some of the keypoints that will probably be of priority in the near/far future:

    possible movement towards Very Light Jets
    Emphasis on more fuel efficient/better emission turbofans

    Are you interested at all in the space side of Aerospace?
  4. Mar 28, 2009 #3
    The space side is actually very appealing now that you mention it. That industry will propably have many working opportunities with the Mars exploration and privatization of space travel.

    But aerodynamics and space engineering are hardly close to each other. Is it possible for somebody studying CFD or flight mechanics to convert into a space engineer?

    Also, as you mentioned, the emphasis on more fuel efficient aircraft will surely bring working opportunities for brilliant and inspired engineers :)
  5. Mar 28, 2009 #4

    Are you dead set on doing CFD? I guess some of the big subjects to pursue with the space route is spacecraft dynamics/attitude control/GNC, orbital mechanics, systems, propulsion, etc.

    I'm sure there are instances of using CFD for space related projects. Especially for those "space planes" in concept- need an aerodynamic design to sustain hypersonic flight through high altitude/low earth orbit trajectories.
  6. Mar 28, 2009 #5
    No, I am not that set on doing CFD. I am pretty flexible when it comes to engineering. CFD is interesting because it can be applied on various fields. But if it's true that CFD can be applied in space, it surely gains a couple points on my list.

    I am just a bit scared that if I chose to pursue flight mechanics or something similar I will find myself homeless and without work opportunities.
  7. Mar 28, 2009 #6
    Right now is wayyyyyyyyyy too early for you to pick anything. You don't even know what CFD is, how can you pick it?
  8. Mar 28, 2009 #7
    Yeh I understand what you are saying. I think that everybody studies the same things during the first 2 years, so I am not really in any hurry to make any decisions. I am just trying to figure out if there is any point in applying to the aerodynamics department (mechanics department) at all. Just trying to scout a bit, that's all.

    + I've read a bit about CFD and it seems interesting. I don't claim to understand it, just that it sounds interesting and maybe worth pursuing.
  9. Mar 28, 2009 #8
    My office mate thought the same thing until he started doing it and realized it's not for him.
  10. Mar 29, 2009 #9
    I know that it's a possible outcome. I cannot know how I will feel in the future, and I am pretty sure it's going to take a couple of rough downhills until I find what I like.

    I am just trying to get a picture of the future here. Is there a need for engineers in the aviation industry, is it something worth pursuing? I am not saying that I will pursue this or that, as I stated I am pretty flexible. I just wanted to know your thoughts on the matter. Maybe I posted this thread in the wrong place, since this seems to be more of a "ofey you are too young to know what you will do in the future" and not "This is what I think that the future will be like ofey" kind of thread.
  11. Mar 29, 2009 #10
    First, define what is "worth" pursuing to you.

    Secondly, do you think the aviation industry is going to be around in the future? Chances are it will, unless we have our WWIII and we essentially go back to our caveman format...but anyways...

    The aviation industry will most definitely be around and get bigger, if anything else. Because it is a manufacturing industry it will be prone to cycles of hiring/firing, but that's the same for most other industries.

    If engineers aren't involved in the aviation industry, who would be? Business majors? lol.
  12. Mar 30, 2009 #11
    When I said "worth pursuing", I only meant to ask if there are any working opportunities in that industry. There were no deep thoughts behind that sentece. At the end of the day what you work with has to make enough money to live of.

    I think you have established your thoughts well and I have surely gotten everything from this thread that I have needed. Thank you aerospaceut10. :shy:

    Good point! :biggrin:
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