This Is Engineering Day 2020: Aditi, Senior Systems Engineer

Yesterday we celebrated This Is Engineering Day 2020, part of The Royal Academy of Engineering’s campaign to celebrate the engineers and engineering shaping the world around us. As part of a nationwide initiative to challenge misconceptions around careers in engineering, we've dedicated this week to sharing stories from our own inspirational engineers.  

One of the main barriers to young people pursuing a career in Engineering is the deeply rooted cultural perception of the profession being too mechanical, too technical, and too boring. Aditi, one of our Senior Engineers at our Bristol site, tells us about her experience working with Team Tempest on the UK’s future combat air system, and how summers spent pursuing work experience in the aerospace industry led to being an engineer on the once in a generation programme.

“The reason I wanted to be involved in the Tempest programme was to work on something that to me feels as though it has endless opportunity and potential. It’s the chance to apply the best technologies from both within and outside the defence industry to create something truly cutting edge.

I initially became interested in Engineering in my early teens after coming back from a trip to a theme park and deciding that I wanted to work on things that were ‘cool and fast’, and in my opinion at the time that constituted Fighter Aircraft. For me, fighter jets were the epitome of designing something that could operate at the limit of both machines and human capability, and I think watching Top Gun a lot with my brother reinforced that!

As a Systems Engineer, I work across multiple engineering domains, bringing all the information back together in order to ensure we’re asking, and importantly, answering the right technical questions. Working in this area of engineering, you get to see the full breadth of the field. Engineering is not just about using tools to fix things. It isn’t always mechanical or manufacturing, there is design, software, electronics, aerodynamics and much more. Engineering is about taking the creativity, passion and problem solving potential that everyone has and combining that to create new and exciting ideas.

The breath of topics that I see as a System Engineer, means that no week is the same as the last.  This variety means you get to experience things and meet people from almost everywhere within the field. For me, a highlight of this has been getting to talk to pilots about how they interact with an aircraft, which has helped to satisfy a lot of curiosity I had as a teenager!

It is well known that engineering lacks diversity, which is why campaigns like This is Engineering are important. Without diversity engineering is limiting its own potential, and it would remain a career choice that enables people to refer to it as ‘so male dominated’.

I wasn’t deterred by this, and urge others not to be too. Following university, and summers spent doing work experience in aerospace businesses, I’m now an engineer on a once in a generation programme like Tempest. It has so many different areas that engineering touches on, from equipment to machine learning to virtual reality. All of which can be realised through pursuing STEM subjects at school, college or university. This provides the opportunity to bring things we’ve seen in movies and video games into reality! That opportunity alone should excite the next generation about engineering.”

This month the virtual PERSONNEL TODAY Awards 2020 are taking place, and we're so proud to have been shortlisted for Graduate Scheme of the Year and Apprenticeship Employer of the Year! In a year that none of us could have predicted or prepared for, our teams have worked tirelessly to ensure our new graduates and apprentices would join MBDA feeling welcomed, supported, and inspired (albeit virtually!).

We're still open for our 2021 Early Careers opportunities, and welcome applicants from Engineering, Operations, and Business disciplines. Join us and YOU can make a difference, make history and make the future.

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