The coveted engineering discipline. Just when you think there’s an end to its specialisations, another one branches out and stares you right in the face. Frankly, engineering is one field which you can see all around you. Think about the chair you’re sitting on or the mobile/laptop on which you’re reading this blog – they have multiple engineering concepts embedded in their existence.
Students from all over the world want to study abroad at the best universities and get the best education possible. Aeronautical and Aerospace engineering is one of the most sought-after professions at the moment, and with good cause. It’s an opportunity to work on “otherworldly” technology and craft and help discover the unchartered territory. Without further ado, let’s explore the vast expanse that is Aeronautical and Aerospace engineering.
What is Aeronautical Engineering?
Aeronautical engineering deals with the designing, manufacturing, testing, and maintenance of different aircraft such as satellites, missiles, space shuttles, etc. Aeronautical engineers are also responsible for the research and development of new aircraft technology.
Let’s take a simple example of an aeroplane. Every single component that goes into the design of an aeroplane needs to be meticulously examined and tested before it can be approved. Its wings need to be the appropriate size and weight with respect to the overall size, its engine needs to be placed where the aircraft suffers a minimal aerodynamic loss, safety protocols need to be rock solid in case of any emergencies, etc.
What is Aerospace Engineering?
The basic definition of Aerospace engineering is the same as Aeronautical Engineering, where it deals with the design, testing, manufacturing, and maintenance of aircraft. However, it has a branch of Astronautical engineering, which further explores the science of spacecraft and launch vehicles, commonly referred to as “Rocket Science”. The difference is that spacecraft are created for a completely different atmosphere than the Earth, so it involves another set of methods and techniques which go into designing them. It is a very vast field with numerous applications and endless possibilities.
Difference between Aeronautical and Aerospace Engineering
You might’ve heard these terms used interchangeably, and it’s not wrong to do so. Both disciplines overlap in most areas, with just a few distinctive attributes that could prove useful if one ever decides to opt for this branch of engineering.
There is one key difference that changes the outlook of both aeronautical and aerospace engineering. While the former deals with the study of aircraft operating within the earth’s atmosphere, the latter also incorporates the study of aircraft operating outside the atmosphere. Pretty simple, right? Well, we did say the key difference, so it isn’t. Aerospace engineering accounts for an entirely different spectrum of study that is not a part of Aeronautical engineering. One could say, in a nutshell, Aeronautical engineering is a specialisation within Aerospace Engineering.
|Aeronautical Engineering||Aerospace Engineering|
|Analytical Skills||Computer Skills|
|Attention to Detail||Logic and Reasoning|
Having established the similarity between the two fields, one would assume the jobs are also not that different. However, they can be different, as aerospace engineering can also incorporate amacro level of study. Below are some of the tasks that Aeronautical and Aerospace engineers have to perform in their jobs (for the purpose of differentiation, mutual tasks were omitted):
- Designing, creating, and testing different aircraft
- Developing advanced techniques and technologies
- Improving air travelling safety
- Addressing the environmental impact of air travel.
- Assisting in investigating aircraft accidents and project management
- Designing, manufacturing, and testing aerospace products.
- Checking technical and financial feasibility projects.
- Checking safety measurements.
- Developing design methods, and quality standards.
- Improving sustainability
Scope of Aeronautical and Aerospace Engineering
Talking about aerospace engineering scope abroad, there are immense opportunities available in countries like the USA, UK, Germany, and more. These foreign countries understand the importance of these types of engineers, and the technological progress they have made has naturally created a market for many local and foreign aerospace engineers, growing every year. Organisations like NASA hire a significant number of foreign engineers to work for them. These are the top 10 organisations for aerospace and aeronautical engineering, according to revenue and profit earned in 2021:
|Company||Sales ($)||Operating Profit ($ )|
|6||Rostec State Corporation||27,956||–|
|7||General Electric (GE Aviation)||21,310||2,882|
Arriving towards the subject of salaries, both Aeronautical and Aerospace Engineers make about the same amount. According to Glassdoor, an Aeronautical engineer earns $85,506 per year, whereas an Aerospace engineer makes around $86,296 per year. So, you can rest assured, that any of the two disciplines will pay the bills, and then some.
Top Universities for Aeronautical and Aerospace Engineering
If you’re looking to study abroad in any of these fields, you might want to check out these institutes, ranked by QS as the top 10 universities for Aeronautical and Aerospace engineering:
|University||QS Subject Ranking||QS Overall Ranking|
|University of Cambridge||3||2|
|Delft University of Technology||5||61|
|Nanyang Technological University||7||19|
|National University of Singapore||9||11|
|Imperial College London||10||6|
As far as the broad strokes are concerned, both Aerospace engineering and Aeronautical engineering have more similarities than differences. However, certain specialisations in these disciplines can facilitate a unique and different knowledge base for students. Doing your own research is important as you never know when you might find a course or degree that seems right for you. One thing is for sure, though: you can’t go wrong no matter which engineering you choose.