Kevin’s Aerospace Engineering degree constantly challenges him.
An important part of his degree is not only to solve complex problems but also explain what they are and how they can be resolved in a simple way.
Kevin, in his future career, will be required to inform his clients and help them make the best engineering decisions that are the most financially viable.
Engineering technology is also constantly changing and Kevin needs to make sure that is up to date with all the latest innovations.
What are the top attributes you’ve developed through your degree?
I do Aerospace Engineering and the first thing is good judgement. I think it’s always impressed upon you that the work you’re doing does impact somebody whether it’s a bridge, a house, an aeroplane – not only are these things extremely expensive but lives are depending on what you’re doing so you have to be careful, precise, measured and also mindful that someone’s life depends on your work.
Acquire and apply knowledge in a rigorous way:
You might go out and do a survey of not just clients, just get data, being able to see what data is relevant for what so, as Engineers, we see masses and masses of data information, being able to pick the right pieces of data for the right people.
Research for purely academic sense is something we could all aspire to but there’s always an audience – someone will read your report, somebody will read your dissertation, someone will read your paper. This person will not always be your professor, someone who knows something about us. We often have to produce reports for local councils or the Government and these are people who don’t have the time to read through every single page, and the expertise to understand the technical term. We need to be able to present what are very complex problems in very simple language.
What are the top attributes you’ve developed through a chosen module?
Grasp the principles and practices of my field of study:
The module is Low Speed Aerodynamics, which is how to understand the behaviour of fluid as it travels around an object. One of the things we find, especially in a university like Queen Mary, is that we draw from lecturers and students from all across the world. As a result you have different approaches to different scientific principles. One of the key things is being able to understand the principle at heart so no matter which way it’s packaged – no matter which way, for example, a Chinese counterpart has approached it – you understand the core principles.
Explain and argue clearly and concisely:
Again, these are very complex and very technical topics; you have to always present them in a very, very simple way. There’s lots of data to go through, there’s lots of information to read, and you need to condense all that into a 500 word report.
Use technologies to access and interpret information effectively:
Almost every term there’s been an upgrade on some technology we use whether it’s a new form of wind tunnels – whether it’s a new form of laser technology or even a programming language. These change every 3 to 4 months, so you need to be able to adapt to that very quickly. For example, the emergence of smart phones and the internet means that people round the world are almost every day coming up with a new tool to analyse, to examine, to understand, and you have to be on top of that almost on a week-to-week basis.