Aerospace Engineer

Position TitleAerospace Engineer
Alternate Title(s)Aeronautical Engineer
Education & Training LevelAdvanced, Bachelor’s required, prefer graduate degree
Education & Training Level DescriptionAerospace engineers must have a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering or another field of engineering or science related to aerospace systems. 
Brief job description Aerospace Engineers are responsible for development and design of structures and systems from concept through to production throughout the company. In the wind industry, aerospace engineers are also involved in layout and energy production estimates of wind plants.
Preferred Level of EducationGraduate degree – MS or Ph.D.
Preferred Level of ExperienceSee the Bureau of Labor Statistics for more information.
Estimated/Expected SalarySee the Bureau of Labor Statistics for more information.
Job Profile

Aerospace engineers design, test, and supervise the manufacture of turbine blades and rotors, and conduct aerodynamics assessments. They are frequently involved in site selection and working closely with meteorologists to determine the optimal configuration of turbines at a wind farm site. Some tasks they may be responsible for include:

  • Lead the development of the next generation of wind turbine systems
  • Take ownership of turbine design projects
  • Help optimally layout wind farms and estimate project energy capture
  • Develop own technical solutions, coming up with new concepts
  • Use full aerodynamic toolset to bring concepts to maturity
  • Initiate and manage tasks within technical design group to guide design process and explore technical results to understand physics and optimize performance
  • Specify requirements and targets for wind tunnel tests or field testing
  • Maintain strong collaboration with other teams (e.g., loads analysis, operations)
  • Develop and create technical guidance on tools and methods.
Job Skills

Aerospace engineers in the wind industry have exposure to the following:

  • Aerodynamics and basic principles of atmospheric science
  • Structural mechanics including composite materials
  • Control systems design and implementation
  • Composite manufacturing
  • 6-Sigma and DFSS methodologies
  • Wind turbine design and optimization
  • Wind plant layout and optimization.

Aerospace engineers typically possess the following skills:

  • Analytical skills. Aerospace engineers must be able to identify design elements that may not be meeting requirements in particular operating environments and then formulate alternatives to improve their performance.
  • Business skills. Much of the work done by aerospace engineers involves meeting international design standards and local regulations. Meeting these standards and regulations often requires knowledge of standard business practices, as well as knowledge of commercial law.
  • Critical-thinking skills. Aerospace engineers must be able to translate a set of issues into requirements and to figure out why a particular design does not work. They must be able to ask the right questions and to find an applicable answer.
  • Math skills. Aerospace engineers use the principals of calculus, trigonometry, and other advanced topics in mathematics for analysis, design, and troubleshooting in their work.
  • Teamwork. Aerospace engineers must work with other professionals involved in designing and building wind turbines and plants. They must be able to communicate well, divide work into manageable tasks, and work with others toward a common goal.
  • Writing skills. Aerospace engineers work with many other professionals, often other kinds of engineers. They must be able to write reports that explain their designs clearly and create documentation for future reference.
Resources

Bureau of Labor Statistics: Aerospace Engineer

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