Student Success - Chris

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Aerospace Engineering and Space Technology Student: Chris Sykes

Ambitious UTC graduate Chris has just started his placement year whilst studying Aerospace Engineering with Space Technology (MEng) at the University of Hertfordshire. We recently caught up with him to see how he has been getting on…   

“I attended the UTC from 2014 to 2018 and studied the STEM based GCSE curriculum followed by A Levels in Mathematics, Computer Science, Physics and Engineering, which provided me with a solid ground for further education. Aerospace engineering involves studying standard mathematics and physics to apply this knowledge into the design and analysis of aerospace systems. Most of the content within my first year was familiar from four years of prior engineering study at the UTC, and skills like CAD (Computer Aided Design) placed me ahead of my peers in terms of knowledge.   

Work experience is crucial in the competitive engineering field and whilst at the UTC I completed four placements. This experience was extremely valuable when searching for a placement to facilitate my year in industry, a requirement of my degree. Due to the varied experiences I have already had in the aerospace industry, I challenged myself to complete a project management placement with BAE Systems to diversify my skillset, which I am thoroughly enjoying.     

I hope to complete an engineering summer placement at BAE between my 3rd and 4th year, which would meet the requirements for the EngTech certification so that I can add this to my CV. I also recently went solo with my flying and would like to achieve my full licence, as it has been a great aid in understanding aircraft concepts as an engineer from the pilot perspective. The plan is to be absolutely loaded with specialist and varied experience when I graduate.   

My aspirations for the future probably involve some difficult choices. I’d like to remain within BAE throughout and after my degree, but I am also considering joining the RAF as an engineering officer. I fully intend on completing a master’s degree and aspire to continue my study to doctorate level one day at Cranfield University.”