Recent aeronautical graduate lands role at Airbus
Goshe Khan is the latest BEng (Hons) Aeronautical Engineering graduate from the university to land an impressive graduate role at Airbus.
Read on to find out about her university experience and what she’s been up to since graduating in July this year.
What inspired you to study aeronautical engineering?
My interest in aeronautics peaked when I had some time out of academia after finishing my A-Levels. During that two-year period, I focused on building an eBay business selling TV and computer hardware. My mind was always geared towards engineering (even if I didn’t realise it), though my eBay business required a more vocational approach than academic, as I would test and fix parts ready for sale.
It was during my research of these parts that I fell down the rabbit hole of engineering and would read scientific journals and studies about technological advances. Eventually, I stumbled upon the aviation sector in my late-night reading leading to my interest in aircraft accidents and failures. I had always been fond of academics, so I made the decision to pursue a degree in aerospace engineering.
What attracted you to the University of Salford?
I was on the fence about the entire thing because it is such a male dominated field, but my key motivator was being interested in the aeronautics field and I rationalised that this would purely be for educational purposes. I decided to study at the University of Salford just a week before my course started, and I found it to be so diverse and supportive.
I got to appreciate the culture and immersed myself with people from all around the world with different perspectives, so my opinions and thoughts were always questioned, making me think deeper to understand everyone around me. The lecturers were so interpersonal and down-to-earth as I felt I could talk to them about any issues or if I needed advice. I’ve made lifelong links and still have a great relationship with my peers and lecturers alike, and I know I can go to them for any kind of professional advice. I believe this is what transformed my general interest in the field of engineering into a passion.
MOST ENJOYABLE PART OF THE COURSE
Part of the course’s accreditation is taking part in a flight test course at National Flying Laboratory Centre at Cranfield Airport which was very fun. I really enjoyed the fact that we got to put our theory into practice on a real plane, and we experienced the pilot perform the manoeuvres and then analysed the data collected according to our flight dynamics and flight control lectures. The highlight of the whole flight were the views of Blackpool - it was so picturesque!
FINAL YEAR DISSERTATION TOPIC
My final year project (FYP) focused on the Design, Development, and Analysis of a Flapping Wing type Vehicle. I proposed the idea to my supervisor, and he really believed in me and was extremely supportive. This was very important as my final year project was a huge undertaking.
My literature review looked at natural fliers such as bats and birds to see how I could take inspiration from their geometry and structure and apply it to my vehicle. I completed a 3D design of my flapping ‘bird’ using Fusion 360 which was free to access throughout my time at university. I also performed a flow analysis using ANSYS Fluent to study the behaviour of the flow around an oscillating aerofoil which represented the flapping frequency and dimensions.
THINKING DEEPER ABOUT THE DEVELOPMENT OF MY VECHILE
Furthermore, I investigated the development of the device looking into what materials would be used and why, and explored the costs, sustainability, and usefulness of the product. There were many more aspects that would be easier explained by my final report. All this work eventually paid off as my FYP got a first-class grade!
GOSHE'S ROLE AT AIRBUS
Where do you currently work and how did you find out about the role?
I found out through a friend who saw multiple vacancies on Gradcracker. My interest in the finance side of engineering and aeronautics came from a conference I attended in London during my studies. As a Student Associate for the Royal Aeronautical Society, I was able to network with other engineers in the field at events, and this exposed me to the industry in ways I never would’ve imagined. Whilst there, I spoke to an Airbus Apprentice who revealed that there was a great demand for engineers in finance which was synonymous with the other professionals present at the conference. So, I interviewed for the Graduate Cost Engineer role and was successful.
Tell us a little bit about your current role and your day-today responsibilities.
As a graduate, I have a vast variety of responsibilities that encompass all areas of the business as a whole. But focussing on just the Costing aspect, the main duty is to provide estimates for business cases on any kind of project that Airbus works on. A Cost engineer’s job is to produce an estimate that can be used to present a business case to the executive board before a proposal is accepted. This means the project can either get approved or rejected after the concept has been identified, and once a decision is made, the estimate will be reviewed.
Can you tell us about any exciting projects you’ve worked on? And what do you enjoy most about your role?
Since I only started in September, I have not had a lot of time to fully immerse myself in everything. Despite this, I have been involved with many exciting projects. The most exciting thing right now is our ZEROe project which involves creating an aircraft that works towards a more sustainable Aeronautical industry. From day one at Salford, my first ever research piece was to investigate the use of more efficient and sustainable aviation fuel to reduce the impact on the environment, and to now be involved in making this a reality is a dream come true.
I really enjoy the flexibility of it all. I didn’t want to work on one specific domain for my entire career. With costing, every project is completely new, sometimes I’m working on the wing, other times I’m working on the landing gear, the scope is endless. It’s just so varied, and it allows me to get complete exposure to the entire lifecycle of an aircraft which is exactly what I was looking for.
REFLECTIONS AND FUTURE PLANS
How do you feel your course prepared you for your future employment?
My course prepared me for future employment as it gave me the perfect overview of the industry. My modules gave me the building blocks I needed for my work in the industry, it may not be a direct link, but it allows me to keep up with my colleagues and ask the right questions. There are also many skills I have gained from the course that are vital to my work now; for instance, I worked on spreadsheets a lot during my studies, and I am using them now for many of my calculations and analysis’.
My graduate scheme lasts for two years, and I am hoping to continue my journey with them for the foreseeable future. I think the development here is insane; the skills I am developing, and the work environment is perfect to grow my personal and professional competencies. Not to mention the incredible opportunities I am exposed to now; I cannot be grateful enough.
What advice would you give to prospective students or those seeking a career in this area?
I’d say to get involved with industry as much as you can by joining institutions and societies outside of university. I’ve already mentioned the Royal Aeronautical Society, but there’s IMECHE and others. Take advantage of the free memberships you can make use of as a student and attend events to build a network, especially if you come from a minority background where you may not have any exposure to engineers etc. I’d also say get involved with Salford Racing and make a good group of friends. It’s so important to have friends who are supportive but also competitive, in a healthy manner of course. I think you really need that solid support network because I was often motivated by the determination of my peers.