Career opportunities for Aerospace Engineers
Graduates of this program will be qualified to work in two major fields of Aerospace Engineering which can be grouped as either “in-sector job opportunities” or “peripheral sectors’ job opportunities”. Within the “in-sector”, we can name some of the job opportunities as follows:
- Aerospace Manufacturing and Design Engineering: Job opportunities in Universities, R&D centers or in institutions specialized in the design and manufacturing of aircraft and spacecraft systems.
- Aerospace Repair and Maintenance Engineering: job opportunities in civil aviation maintenance and repair companies or in the military maintenance and repair centers
- Civil Aviation sector: Managerial job opportunities in the civil aviation companies
Aerospace engineering is a very broad and inter-disciplinary field of science comprised of many disciplines of study. Therefore, aerospace engineering education provides students with a variety of courses that build up their understanding of flight dynamics, flight propulsion, structural mechanics, aerospace design, flight and system controls, system test and evaluation, space technologies and many other related topics. Possessing such a broad and thorough educational background and equipped with the necessary technical skills and knowledge required in the field, aerospace engineering graduates are certified to work in a variety of peripheral (side) disciplines such as:
- Energy sector
- Automotive sector
- White household goods sector
A general overall view of the available job market for aerospace engineers in Turkey is given below.
- TAI, Tusaş Aerospace Industries, is the most important and the most significant Turkish industrial company among the very few aerospace companies in Turkey. As a matter of fact, TAI is one of the 6 companies taking place within the Turkish Armed Forces Development Foundation. Today, with more than 4000 employees, TAI is contributing significantly to the development of aeronautical and space programmes of Turkey. TAI, besides taking place particularly within the aircraft and helicopter development programmes, contributes significantly to the satellite development programmes of Turkey. Together with Tubitak Space Institute, TAI was one of the manufacturers of the Turkish Satellite, GOKTURK II, which was recently put into orbit in February 2013. TAI is developing currently the first Turkish MALE (Medium Altitude Long Endurance) Unmanned Air System (UAS), ANKA. ANKA is undergoing extensive flight testing before being delivered to the Turkish Armed Forces. TAI is also developing a completely new indigenous Turbo Jet Trainer Aircraft, Hürkuş, for the Turkish Air Force. Hurkuş will start its flight tests this year. TAI is also working on a completely new attack helicopter programme with its Italian partner, Augusta-Westland. This attack helicopter is already manufactured and is currently undergoing flight test program. Besides these indigenous development programmes, TAI is also involved in developing some new aircraft. Among these new projects one can name the newly start indigenous Flighter and Trainer aircraft (FX-TX project) and the helicopter development projects. TAI is also working on the development of a small size, very high speed, jet engine powered target drone system.
- ASELSAN AŞ located in Ankara is one of the leading defense industires in Turkey specialized in militray electronics and is also one of the companies associated with the Turkish Armed Forces Development Foundation. Aselsan is conducting mainly electronic and avionic moderinization and integration projects for the defense and civil aviation sector. Modernization of cockpits of existing aircraft (helicopters and aircraft), integration of Self Defense Counter Measure systems onto the helicopters maintained within the inventory of the Turkish Land Forces, modification of some aircraft for SIGINT (Signal Intelligence) and ELINT (Electronic Intelligence) applications are some of the aeronautical projects realized by ASELSAN. Recently, ASELSAN has started to employ a significant number of aerospace engineers for its aeronautical projects.
- ROKETSAN is one the leading national defense company of Turkey. Since its establishment, Roketsan has designed and manufactured many different types of missile systems for the Turkish Armed Forces. Some of these missile systems has been unique and indigenous designs of Roketsan, and aerospace engineers have been the major contributors in their design and realization. Roketsan is by far the leading industry in Turkey employing the largest number of aerospace engineers.
- TÜBİTAK SAGE – Defense Industries Research and Development Institute is one of the Research and Development institutes of TÜBİTAK and is dedicated particularly to the defense research. TUBİTAK SAGE is also one of the institutes that employ a large number of Aerospace Engineers for their defense research projects. One of the recent achievements of Tubitak Sage is their successful project, “SOM, Stand of Missile”. This is the first Turkish designed, long range cruise missile developed for the Turkish Armed Forces. It is fired from an aircraft (or a helicopter) and is equipped with an autonomous guidance and control system and is powered by a small turbo jet engine.
- TEI, Turkish Engine Industries, is located in Eskişehir and was first established to manufacture the turbo jet engines for the F-16 fighter aircraft for the Turkish Air Force. GE is the major share holder of this industry. At first the company manufactured the F16 engines but afterwards the company made its world wide fame by manufacturing various turbo jet engine parts to other countries. Lately, TEI got involved with the development of novel indigenous turbo jet engines, that are designed by their aerospace engineers. For this purpose, TEI has established a Research and Devlopment Department composed mainly by aerospace engineers.
- HAVELSAN, is another important defense oriented company of the Turkish Armed Forces Development Foundation. This company has started as an electronic company related to aircraft electronics (avionics) company. However, today they are involved with many different projects other that avionics. The major achievements of this company can be shown as the MELTEM projects. MELTEM projects have started with Meltem I, continued with MELTEM II and III phases. During these different phases of the project, HAVELSAN, modified a medium range cargo air craft, CN235 CASA aircraft, to be used as a “Maritime Patrol Aircraft”. CN235 was used during the MELTEM I and II phases but during the MELTEM III phase ATR-82 aircraft of Alenia Aeronautica was used. Besides, Havelsan has developed the most sophisticated and the most advanced aircraft and helicopter simulator having a moveable (motion based) platform. This simulator is by far the first moving platform simulator that Turkey has ever built. This simulator was also exported to South Korea.
- SSM – (Savunma Sanayii Müsteşarlığı) Under Secretariat for Defense Industries: SSM is a government agency which was established as a procurement and acquisition agency to acquire the equipment and weapon systems for the defense needs of the Turkish Armed Forces. SSM handles all the acquisiton procedures, either through direct purchasing from national defense companies or import from international companies. Therefore support the national defense industries by funding national research and development projects. Most of the engineers employed by SSM who are supporting and managing these acquisition and/or research and development projects are aerospace engineers.
- STM is a consultancy company supporting SSM for its acquisition and Research and Development projects supported and managed by SSM. That is to say, STM serves as a consultant for these big defense projects. Most of the engineers employed by STM to manage these big projects are also aerospace engineers.
- Another sector, where it is possible to see aerospace engineers employed, is the automotive industry. Aerospace engineering programme is very similar to the mechanical engineering programme. Therefore, most of the graduates of the aerospace engineering program are also employed in the automotive industry. In particular, it is possible to see aerospace engineers working in the top level managerial positions for Research and Development departments of the Turkish automative industry. These engineers are heavily involved in the aerodynamics design, air conditioning, determination of performance and road handing qualities of these automotive vehicles.
- Another sector, where graduates of the aerospace engineering program are employed is the white house hold goods industry. White house hold goods such as the refrigerators, washing machines or dish washers are some of the machines where the basic principles of fluid mechanics, thermodynamics and turbomachinery are implemented. In the design and development processes of these machines aerospace engineers are employed to large extend.