International Engineering Ambassadors
Insight into the life & course of international students.

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

1st Year of Aerospace Engineering!

Written by: Haider A Janjua

During the first year, there are 7 modules to study consisting total of 120 credits. Good thing is that you don’t have many exams in January but the bad thing is that you will have 6 exams in June and a whole year worth of revision. It gives you time to settle in and catch up.
 For every module there are 2 lectures and 1 tutorial every week. Teaching varies for different modules. For some modules, there are labs and for others there isn’t anything except the lectures and the final exam. Infact during the first year, there are labs almost every week, sometimes even 3 times a week. We usually had classes from 9 am to 5 pm from Monday to Friday.

The modules that we studied in our 1st year were:
1.FCE 120 (Introduction to Aerospace Design)
2.MAS 156 (Mathematics Electrical)
3.MEC 192 (Solids, Liquids and Gases)
4.MEC 194 (Statics and Dynamics)
5.ACS 1241 (Introduction to Automatic Control and System)
6.MAT 1730 (Introduction to Materials for Aerospace)
7. EEE 123 (Introduction to Electric and Electronic Circuits)

For ACS 1241 (Introduction to Automatic Control and Systems Engineering) we were required to watch videos and then there were quizzes. But for other modules like MEC 192(Solids, Liquids and Gasses) and MEC 194(Statics and Dynamics) there were only labs and the final exam in June. My favourite module was FCE 120 (Introduction to Aerospace Design) which is the only module in which you study about aeroplanes! Ironic! It is mostly equations about lift and drag. We were given two aircraft related questions and had to write a program using MATLAB and then write a report on it during the first semester. And during our second semester we had to make a group poster on an aerospace related topic and then there was a question answer session. Our group made the poster on Saturn V rocket and even after many days I was thinking, “One step for man, a huge leap for mankind: J The hardest and the only module in which I struggled and you should pay special attention to is MEC 192 (Solids, Liquids and Gasses).

In first year, there are no lab reports for the labs. You are required to do pre lab questions. Work with your group which is assigned at the start of the semester. Write the after lab questions and get them checked from lab demonstrators who then give you the marks. Some of my favourite labs were soldering for EEE123(Intro to Electronic Circuits) and Engineering Applications lab where we made a small helipad using different machines and at the end even tried landing toy helicopters on it. Somehow none of our group members were able to land it, I blame it on helicopters.

During the January exam period we only had exams for 2 modules one of which was an examination condition quiz; they took place during the 1st week. In the 2nd week, we had Global Engineering week where all the engineering students were divided into different groups and had to work on a real world engineering problem. It is a great thing, not only you work with different students but also you are team building and presentation skill.  And the 3rd and last week of examination period we had the drawing and CAD week. We were taught the use of Solidworks and made things like stool and an Aeroplane wing. We also had drawing sessions where we learned how to make engineering drawings. I found it quite hard especially the 3D drawings. I just couldn’t think at all and spent ages on it.

Everybody is assigned a personal tutor who helps the students in everything and writes references. We had a personal tutor session every week till week 6 in first semester and then after every two weeks. In first semester we had to write a report on any Aerospace related topic and during the second semester give a presentation. It was a good thing as we got feedback individually.

First year marks are not included in the usual end of degree grades. The only requirement is getting pass in all modules. This year is more like training for the upcoming years. And if you attend the classes and the tutorials, you won’t have any problems with the exams.

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