Raad is a third year student studying Aeronautical Engineering, who likes programming and is taking an online computer science course to learn a new programming language during lockdown.
The most important skill for engineering is a good understanding of maths.
Engineering is basically about using maths to solve real world problems so if you don’t like maths at all you won’t enjoy engineering.
Good teamwork and communication skills are also important as you will be working with others on projects and if you can work well together with other people it’ll make things a lot easier.
Working on a dissertation topic of my choice has been interesting
Recently, I had to do my report on a topic that I chose. For my dissertation I wanted to find out if we can make flights less harmful to the environment by changing the shape of the aircraft and having all the passengers inside a wing so it’s more aerodynamic. So, by making the aircraft produce less drag and making it use less fuel.
To do this I had to make a 3D model of a new aircraft on a computer and run fluid simulations on it to see how fast the air will flow around parts of the aircraft when it’s flying and how much lift and drag it creates.
How many days a week do I attend university?
For the majority of my studies I had university 4 days a week, but it did reduce to 3 days a week halfway through my third year. The first and second year tend to have more lectures but there’s a lot more independent working in as you go through your course.
This might be more days of university than most people, but engineering and similar courses typically have more contact hours. Some days can be more intense than others, and I like to use the days where I only have a one or two lectures do more work, usually at university where I can be more productive.
To commute or not to commute?
I live at home with my family and commute to the university as needed from East London. Deciding whether to commute or to live in student accommodation is definitely an important decision since each has its advantages and disadvantages.
As a student you want to find the option that is the least disruptive to your studies, and this changes from student to student so its important to find out which one suits you the most.
The main advantage of living in student accommodation over commuting is that you can get to your in-person lectures and tutorials in a matter of minutes and you’re less likely to miss important things because of problems with transport. But on the other hand, living in student accommodation is also usually more expensive, so if you have to work more because of that then the time you saved from not commuting is pointless.
I chose to commute because I live in London and the public transport is pretty good, so my commute isn’t too long even though the time spent on the tube does add up over time.
Here are some of the key terms Raad mentions in his post:
- Fluid simulations – Where a computer calculates how air or water moves
- Contact hours – Any lesson where there’s a lecturer there to help you
Find out more about Aeronautical and related degrees on the National Careers Service.
If like Raad you find it easier to study on campus, you can book study spaces in the university library. Here’s what City’s library offers.