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The sky’s not the limit: how engineering is taking us above and beyond

Posted by: Mark Jones 12 May 15 - 12:03PM  | Aerospace

The Telegraph reports that on average, being a flight engineer is one of the best paid jobs in the UK during 2014. The £100 million investment in aerospace research and new Master’s courses and apprenticeships promised pre-election by Vince Cable, now appears to be secured after the Conservatives election win which provides welcome news to the aerospace sector.

What does it mean for the future of aerospace engineering jobs?

Futuristic Technology

Flying Cars (no, seriously)

Flying Cars ... we’re not talking The Jetsons. Slovakian company Aero Mobil is pioneering a car-plane hybrid that has already been in real testing since 2014. With a land top speed of 100mph, flight speed of up to 124mph and a range of 435 miles, the statistics are mighty considering it’s one of the first of its kind. Electric cars are starting to look outdated already.

In a nascent industry, engineering firms are only going to raise their interest in developing car-plane hybrids. The prospect of realising childhood dreams and developing incredibly exciting technology is a motivating factor for many engineers and one the aerospace sector promises to deliver. What’s more, those with traditional aerospace or automotive engineering experience will already find themselves qualified, alongside both software and design engineer

Ground-breaking jet engines 

Of the £100 million being injected into aerospace research to help deliver growth and innovation in key areas of technology £14 million is funding a team of pioneering technology companies, including Formula 1 outfit McLaren Technology Group. Led by Rolls-Royce, the task is to find superior means to power future jet engines, taking advantage of innovative Formula 1 development.

 

Manufacturing engineers will have an exciting future in aerospace technology as the sector strives to reach new heights.

Cutting-Edge Technology

Up scaling microwaves to replace autoclaves

The Engineer, the oldest engineering brand in the world, report we’re on the edge of a manufacturing revolution. Currently, the process of metal joining for aerospace parts – from wings to fuselage – requires enormous autoclaves. It’s a costly, time-consuming process but that’s about to change: microwave cavities will replace autoclaves, providing a sizeable difference in cycle time and using 90% less energy – an enormous reduction that will slash metal joining costs. 

What new positions will be created as a consequence?

3D printing

Also referred to as additive manufacturing (AM), 3D printing is shaking up the manufacturing industry. It has even been claimed it will account for another industrial revolution. In the past few years, additive manufacturing has developed from an expensive prototyping tool to a palpable industry.

The world’s first printed plane has already been created and, while small, it took just one week to design and print – a staggering turnaround. Aerospace manufacturing companies are already beginning to invest in additive manufacturing and for people looking to involve themselves in a truly radical engineering sector; 3D printing could just be the one.

Will all this actually happen

In short, yes. All the technology mentioned above is already being used or is in extensive development. It’s clear that the manufacturing industry, and particularly manufacturing within aerospace, is set for a period of strong, exciting growth. Not only that, but 25% of current aerospace engineers are over 55, meaning there will be a large spike in opportunities for people to re-train or move laterally across the manufacturing sectors.

At Jonathan Lee, we are working hard to support clients meet their talent acquisition plans particularly with the current shortfall of skilled engineers. Many of our specialist consultants have extensive experience within engineering, giving them the necessary knowledge and appreciation of what is needed for candidates to excel in any given role. We encourage you to get In-touch with us with any requirements or questions – you can do so here.

 

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