Aerospace engineering is a branch of engineering that deals with the designing, manufacturing, and maintenance of spacecraft, satellites, rocket-propulsion systems, aircraft, and missiles. Aerospace engineers specialize in areas such as aerodynamic fluid flow; structural design; guidance, navigation and control; instrumentation and communication; robotics; and propulsion and combustion. They are responsible for the management and development of all branches of aerospace engineering: air operations, consultancy, design, certification, manufacture, and maintenance of aircraft and engines, space development, as well as air navigation and the construction and management of airports.

Aptitude Required

Students who are interested in aerospace, defence or aviation fields can opt for this discipline. An analytical mindset, as well as the ability to solve complicated problems strategically, is an important trait. Aspirants should have a sound knowledge of math, physics, hydronomics, thermodynamics and drafting skills, including numerical method skills and developing spatial abilities.

Current trends

Virtual Reality Interiors: Aviation training is more effective and cheaper in the virtual world than in the real world. With the Virtual Reality (VR) technology, training engineers can practice on any aircraft model and study the details minutely, making the training process quicker and cost-effective. It provides a wide set of emergency scenarios moulding the cabin crew to learn the skills necessary during those situations. Airlines have also started using virtual reality to keep the passengers entertained with head-mounted displays on which they can watch movies or play games.

Electric Propulsion: Electric Propulsion (EP) is a class of space propulsion that makes use of electrical power to accelerate a propellant by different electrical and/or magnetic means. Unlike chemical systems, electric propulsion requires very little mass to accelerate a spacecraft. It can achieve high speeds over long periods and thus, is ideal for some deep space missions. Considering the increasing costs of fossil fuels and the strict regulations concerning environmental and safety issues, commercial vessels in the near future will include this propulsion system and the associated technologies.

Urban Air Mobility: Defined as a safe and efficient system for air passenger and cargo transportation within an urban area. Urban Air Mobility (UAM) offers a sustainable alternative to ground transportation. With increasing urbanization and worsening bane of road congestion, UAM provides seamless, safe and rapid transportation to mitigate existing and future challenges faced by urban areas.

What can you do after Aerospace Engineering

You can do an M.E. (Master of Engineering)/M. Tech (Master of Technology) in:

  • Aerodynamics
  • Dynamics and Control
  • Aerospace Propulsion
  • Aerospace Structure
  • Navigational guidance and control systems

You can also go for research and do a Ph.D (Doctor of Philosophy)

Top Leaders in the field of Aerospace Engineering

Satish Dhawan: Widely regarded as the father of experimental fluid dynamics research in India, Satish Dhawan was an Indian mathematician and aerospace engineer. He carried out pioneering experiments in remote sensing and satellite communications.  He also served as the chairman of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) for 12 years.

G. Madhavan Nair: A leading technologist in the field of rocket systems, Madhavan Nair has made a significant contribution to the development of multi-stage satellite launch vehicles. He also played a central role in the design and development of the crucial cryogenic engine for Geo-synchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV).

Tessy Thomas: Known as the “Missile Woman” of India, Tessy Thomas is a scientist at the Defence Research and Developmental Organisation (DRDO). She served as the Project Director for the Agni IV and V missiles, making her the first woman to lead the missile teams in India.

Vishnu Madhav Ghatage: V. M. Ghatage was an Indian aeronautical engineer, known for his pioneering conceptual and engineering contributions to Indian aeronautics. He led the team which designed and developed HAL HT-2, the first Indian-designed and built aircraft.

Kailasavadivoo Sivan: Popularly known as the “Rocket Man” for his significant contribution to the development of cryogenic engines for India’s space programme, K. Sivan is the chief architect of 6D trajectory simulation software, SITARA, which is the backbone of the real-time and non-real-time trajectory simulations of all ISRO launch vehicles.

These are the firms that hire Aerospace Engineers

  • Boeing
  • Lockheed Martin
  • Airbus
  • General Dynamics
  • Northrop Grumman
  • SpaceX
  • Rolls Royce
  • Blue Origin
  • Reaction Engines
  • Dassault Aviation
  • FlightSafety International
  • Raytheon
  • Leonardo S.p.A.
  • United Technologies Corporation
  • Indian Space Research Organisation
  • Goodrich Corporation
  • Eaton Corporation
  • Honeywell Aerospace
  • Hindustan Aeronautics Limited