Ever dreamed of becoming a rocket scientist, responsible for developing the technologies, structures and control systems that propel astronauts into outer space and enable them to walk on the moon? Do you have your heart set on creating and improving modern defense systems and advancements in the field of aviation? Perhaps a career in aerospace engineering is the perfect fit for you.
From commercial and military aircraft to spacecraft, satellites to military missiles and rockets, aerospace engineers ensure that technologies, systems and vessels they hatch are structurally sound and can be safely used for guidance, communication, navigation and propulsion. The following are five top qualities that every aspiring aerospace engineer must possess:
- Critical thinking and analytical skills
Aerospace engineers must be able to use logic and reasoning to translate given issues into a set of requirements. From there, they must identify elements of the design that don’t meet the determined safety or development requirements. Improved approaches or solutions must then be formulated, with the aerospace engineer weighing the alternatives’ strengths and weaknesses before coming to a conclusion and establishing a course of action.
- Complex problem-solving skills
Great aerospace engineers must possess the ability to solve complex problems through simple solutions. Namely, they must first identify the problem and its source before reviewing all related or relevant information in order to efficiently assess and develop solutions to be implemented by the entire team.
- Active listening and learning skills
As a member of a large team of scientists and engineers, an aerospace engineer must be able to fully attune themselves to messages, instructions, suggestions and methods communicated to them while on the job. They must take sufficient time to internalize what other team members are concerned about, raising points and asking questions as necessary. It is critical that the aerospace engineer thoroughly and fully comprehend all possible implications of every situation, as imminent actions could drastically affect present and future problem-solving and decision-making measures.
- Project management skills
A stellar aerospace engineer must have the ability to manage projects, personnel and resources. They also must be able to maintain team motivation, offering direction and assistance as necessary throughout the development process. Budgeting skills also come into play, as an aerospace engineer must constantly take into account the financial resources available to them and their team when conceiving designs, ordering parts and scheduling production timelines.
- IT skills
Aerospace engineers work with the latest technological developments. Therefore, expertise in IT and software, including in computer aided design (CAD) or manufacturing (CAM) for design, development and product testing is an absolute must.
While becoming a rocket scientist is perhaps less romantic than it sounds, aerospace engineering is an exciting, challenging and invigorating field of constant development and innovation. If you have an analytical mind, are a good listener, a fast learner and a team player, a career in aerospace engineering may be right up your alley.