Published on 15 Jan 2018. Written by Vasanth Vidyakar
Who would have thought that we can reuse a rocket or have rockets as a commercial automobile?
The thought as such will alone give you shivering. But now it is no more a fantasy.
SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket became the first reusable rocket in the world. Unlike the traditional way of launching where the rockets will fall into the ocean, SpaceX rockets use a thruster controlled launching and it is also powered by more liquid-oxygen propellant for increased thrust.
This event had opened up the doors to an entirely new industry in aerospace engineering. Where even colonizing in other planets is now possible.
Such rapid innovations happening in the aerospace/ aeronautical industry have opened up new opportunities for engineering students pursuing them. The need for good and skilled aerospace/ aeronautical engineers is on the rise and all the industries will be craving to recruit them in the near future.
So from an engineering college perspective, how can you improve your student’s skills to work on these industries?
It is very obvious, you have to help your students to learn and develop aerospace/ aeronautical projects on latest technologies. But for this to happen, your faculties should be skilled in latest aeromodelling technologies to help your students effectively.
So you need to invest resources first to improve your faculty department. Conducting faculty development programs in aerospace/ aeronautical engineering on latest technologies is one of the effective ways to achieve this.
If you are looking to conduct a faculty development program in aerospace/ aeronautical engineering, here are the most obvious things you should look into before organising,
1. Whether hands-on experience is provided or not?
As aerospace/ aeronautical engineering has very complicated concepts and principles, it will be very difficult to learn them by just theoretical explanations. Practical experience is needed to learn the concepts effectively. So make sure that the training program that you are going to organize comes with a very good hands-on experience.
2. Whether the topic chosen is relevant to you or not?
You should consider the scope of the training program to be beyond the training session and should have an impact on the future activities happening in the department. So proper care should be taken while selecting the project topic. The topic that you choose should be more relevant to the activities that is happening within your department. And also it should be based on any latest technologies, not on any old or outdated topics.
3. Is the company experienced in conducting such programs or not?
Credibility of the company is one of the important factor to be considered, as faculty development programs are not same as the workshops that we see in colleges. It requires a lot of technical expertise and the faculties delivering such training programs should be well experienced in carrying out such sessions. So thoroughly check the background of the company and go through the reviews given at Google/ Facebook to understand more about them.
4. Will your student’s community gets benefited or not?
Whenever such skill development programs are carried out, you should also consider the effectiveness that they will have on student’s community not only on the faculties. The main objective for any college is to make their students learn and gain sufficient knowledge that will help them land in their first job. Such faculty development programs will help the faculties to learn latest technologies and in turn they will help their students to learn them.
5. Sufficient industrial exposure is given or not?
Faculty development programs should be organized with a prime motive to make your faculties get exposed to latest technologies and get a good industrial projects exposure. So the faculty development program you are planning to organize should involve any of the latest technologies which will give them a sufficient industrial exposure.
The topic for your faculty training program should be selected keeping the above points in mind. So, here I am suggesting some of the great topics in which you can conduct your faculty development program,
With the advent of faster processing microcontrollers and easier availability of advanced sensors, drones technology is being researched aggressively all across the globe. As drones are proven to be an effective means of transport to carryout logistics and other operational activities, a lot of industries are spending a great deal of time in researching and developing them. So there are a lot of opportunities available for the aerospace/ aeronautical engineers to work on this field.
But knowing the theoretical concepts alone is not enough, good practical knowledge is required to work on this technology effectively. Faculty development program on drone’s technology will help your faculties to learn the latest aeromodelling concepts and use that to build great drones. The experience that they get through this training program will make them help your students better in developing drones for their own.
You can arrange faculty development programs in various UAV’s like RC Aircraft, Quadcopter, Sphere Drones, Tricopter design etc.
3D printing is an additive manufacturing technique which is being widely used by a lot of hobbyists and enthusiasts to create a physical 3D object from a CAD model. The objects are printed by depositing layers of materials. The technique used in 3D printers is similar to that of the working principle of an inkjet printer. This particular technology is becoming extremely popular among all the industries where they can implement it to increase the efficiency of machines and also can achieve a significant cost reduction.
With the recent advancements in the drones technology, it became extremely difficult to design and manufacture the parts used in them. Such kind of complicated parts can be easily manufactured with the 3D printing technology. So a lot of research has been going on in the 3D printing technology to make the integration of it in drones technology.
By attending this faculty development program, your faculties will not only learn the concepts behind 3D printing, but also design a 3D printer, learn programming and generation of CAD models also.
Mechatronics is a latest engineering concept that infuses both electronics and mechanical engineering concepts. As this is an upcoming field, not proper materials or sources available to learn the concepts. So providing faculty development program on this topic to your faculties will help them learn and develop hands-on skills on mechatronics technology from core.
By doing this training program they will not only learn the concepts behind the mechatronics technology but also use the learnings to develop two different mechatronics project hands-on. Also they can explore the possibility of integrating it with the aero projects to make them more efficient and productive.
As this is a multi-disciplinary field, faculties from varied departments who are interested can participate in this training program. Also the mechanical engineering faculties who assist final year students in developing projects should undergo this training so that they can provide better guidance for them in building projects on latest technologies.
Skyfi Labs is an edu-tech company started by IIT Kanpur alumnus people with a vision to infuse latest technologies on Indian engineering system and make it easy for anyone to learn latest technologies by building projects hands-on. With the courses developed with highest quality through continuous R&D and interaction with industrial experts, the faculty development program offered in aerospace/ aeronautical engineering will prove to be one of its kind and will definitely help your faculty members to bring in a change themselves and also with their interaction with the students community.
All the best. Hope you will all have a great aerospace/ aeronautical engineering faculty development program in your college soon!