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Aerospace Engineering BSc(Hons): Placement case study

Arshemah Kiani, student engineer at Wozair Ltd

    Arshemah Kiani
  • Name: Arshemah Kiani
  • Course: Aerospace Engineering BSc(Hons)
  • Placement role: Student engineer
  • Placement company: Research and Development Department, Wozair Ltd
  • Year: 2014/15

Why did you decide to do an industrial placement as part of your degree?

The main reason I applied for a placement was to have a practical engineering experience by applying the theory that I learnt at university on a real-life engineering projects and solving engineering problems. Also, I wanted to examine where I stand in terms of my strengths and weakness and what areas I need to work on to be a successful engineer.

Another reason of taking a placement year was to have a clear vision of what aerospace engineering offers upon successful completion of my degree and to have a definite mindset of what I am planning to specialise in within this field.

What was the process for getting a placement and what support did you get from the University?

The process was lengthy but was made easier by the strong support from the Placements Team. I started thinking about the placement year as soon as my first year ended and attended a CV workshop in June to get started. My CV and cover letter was completed and checked by the Placements Team beforehand. I was ready to apply as soon as the jobs were listed on the job board. Every job had different criteria; some were straight forward where only the CV and cover letter were required and for others long assessment questions were answered. All the documents were checked by the Placements Team and mock interviews were held by them to help me prepare for my interviews.

What does your placement role involve?

My work mainly comprises of:

  • structural calculations;
  • bending of beams, shear force and centre of gravity calculations;
  • equipment testing;
  • reading and understanding engineering drawings;
  • udating and maintaining damper schedules;
  • using LaTeX for producing reports;
  • working on safety analysis reports; and
  • coding in Visual Basic.

How is your typical day – any specific projects were you involved with?

My typical day is spent working on any document returned for revision, working on any new project given by my line manager, replying to emails and making sure to complete the task given to me on time.

I have been involved with two projects recently;

  • Damper cold climate testing – this involved research, making test approval and procedure, testing and handing in results with conclusion.
  • Fire trigger improvement – involved thorough research, project approval, presentation and conclusion.

What key elements of your job will involve what you had learned from your course?

Calculations, testing, report making, reading and analysing engineering drawings and using engineering programmes are the key elements of my job which were learned from my course.

From your experience working at your placement employer is there anything that you will utilise when you go back to your study (if this is applicable)?

I think structural calculations and reading and analysing engineering drawings would be very beneficial for my course.

Coding in Visual Basic would help me learn how to structure algorithms which would be a good skill for the final year.

Testing procedures, carrying out testing and producing a report for the results and conclusion is pretty much what we do at university, and having the opportunity of doing them for real life projects would strengthen my report writing and testing skills.

How do you feel that your placement has benefited your course?

It has improved my engineering problem-solving skills. Now I can do better analysis on engineering problems and come up with a solution. My report writing skills has also improved. I can read and understand engineering drawings better now.

Engineering is all about calculations and my role involves a lot of calculations which is very useful. The placement year has given me dissertation ideas and has helped me decide the topic for my final-year project.

Are there any other benefits of doing a placement?

You get a professional life experience, you learn the etiquettes of working life and you enjoy the professional life comfort. It's a good year off from university deadlines, coursework and exams and the best opportunity to explore yourself academically and professionally and think of your future with a broader prospective. It boosts your confidence level. You also make good professional contacts which are very important and if you perform well whilst on your placement and make the most out of it; you have a good chance to secure a place in the company too.

What job will you be seeking when you graduate?

I enjoyed working in research and development and would like to do something similar to it.

What advice would you give to the students who are thinking of applying for placement?

I would highly recommend a placement year for students who want to finish their degree with a practical experience and a much broader career prospective. Placement year is a golden opportunity to prepare yourself for the real world.

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This course is taught at Roehampton Vale

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*5p per minute from a BT landline. Call charges from other providers may vary.


This course is taught at Roehampton Vale

View Roehampton Vale on our Google Maps
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