Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Leap into Aerospace career

  1. Feb 6, 2012 #1
    Hi everybody,

    I'm an Instrument&Controls Engineer working in oil&gas industry.I'm thinking of getting Ph.D in the field which after graduation would gimme a possibility to work in Aerospace industry 'cause I find it exciting and interesting for myself to be related to spacecraft systems design,space flights and the space in whole,working on cutting edge space technologies...and who knows (it's my dream) maybe one day to become an astronaut(even if I have to pay my own money for this).So I wanna be as close to aerospace and flights as my skills,background and interests will let me do.

    Well,I realize that my current education is closer to Electrical&Electronics Engineering than to Aerospace Engineering itself,'cause I didn't have classes in aerodynamics,fluid mechanics,propulsion and all this stuff,but instead I had analog&digital electronics,control theory,measurements,etc.So,perhaps in future I would be able to participate,for instance, in design of spacecraft onboard electronics control equiplement or sth. like that.What do you say? I need to find the optimal way into aerospace for myself.

    So,which way would you advice me,the man who wants to find some path to the aerospace?Perhaps,there are exist some interdisciplinary programs combining EE and AE or sth. like that?Or should I just focus on,say,getting Ph.D in EE and then start seeking some electronics position in the aerospace field?

    Any help is appreciated.Thank you!
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 7, 2012 #2

    Could anybody advice me sth. on that?
  4. Feb 11, 2012 #3
    First off, I should say that I'm not an engineer, so I have no direct experience with any of this and everything I know about it is through reading sites like this and talking to professors or professionals in the field (in fact I'm a student who used to want to be an aerospace engineer, who is now considering it for graduate school like you are, except from a specific background).

    You mention building spacecraft. You must realize that there are many types of engineers that work on these systems, including your own discipline. A degree in aerospace engineering wouldn't help you if you want to build the avionics systems, for example, or reduce acoustical noise and vibrations that may threaten structural integrity. Actually, that isn't entirely true. Both avionics and acoustics/vibrations are concentrations in the aerospace field, but there are specialized engineers who also do this work (acoustical, structural, electrical/computer). It's helpful to remember how aerospace came about as its own field (branched off from mechanical).

    I don't know how easy it would be to get into the aerospace field because you're unsure of what your concentration would be. I'm considering possibly doing a Ph.D in aerospace engineering, specifically aerodynamics simulations, mostly because I have experience doing research in astrophysics and quantum gases, which both involve numerically solving differential equations (which is, conveniently, what people working in aerodynamics do). So you would have to find some way to make the jump by making it related to what you already know. For example, it might be easiest to do avionics, from your background.

    You should read this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aerospace_engineering

    Check out the concentrations within the aerospace field and email some professors, they'll know the answers to your questions (and will be willing to answer, as long as you're informed, so read up!).
  5. Feb 12, 2012 #4
    An aerospace engineer should launch a carreer.
    An acrobat would leap into one.
  6. Feb 12, 2012 #5


    User Avatar

    Please don't take offense, but I think you have some very unrealistic expectations (astronaut, really?).

    You're already an engineer, what do you need more classes and degrees for? Go learn on your own what you think you're interested in, nothing's stopping you.

    Also, are you aware of what's currently going on in the space industries?
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook