Andra Selaru graduated from the MEng Aeronautical Engineering and worked as a Quality Control Engineer Intern for GE Aviation, before starting her latest job as a Asset Integrator Analyst at Gatwick Airport.
“I have always been into science and growing up in an engineering family unknowingly influenced me to continue my studies in this area. Why aeronautical engineering? I wanted something different and little did I know it would be one of my best choices in life.
My university course offered me a “STEM Excellence Award” scholarship for three years, which motivated me to apply for it. Also, reviews showed me that the University of South Wales had plenty of engineering excellence, which turned out to be true – there’s a great Aerospace Centre on campus, plus valuable opportunities to attend Royal Aeronautical Society conferences and talks.
The on-campus Aerospace Centre hosts a Jetstream 31 Twin Turboprop aircraft, where lectures can be attended and where I gained my knowledge on aircraft legislation. Other facilities, such as the labs, helped me with my third and fourth year dissertations, as I was able to use the ovens to heat treat Al-alloy specimens and use the foam cutter for modelling wings.
The technical investigations and research behind my dissertations were useful for my job at GE Aviation, where I was involved with customer complaints, which required initial investigations and the ability to create reports. I worked in the Quality Department where the legislation knowledge I gained at the University was very beneficial.
The highlight of my degree was my final year project, which was in collaboration with the University of Twente, Holland. This project concept – “Development, Design and Test of a Self-navigating POD of an Unmanned Cargo Aircraft” – utilised my extensive mathematical ability in technical modelling and SolidWorks. Dr Alex Chong supervised this project and the team worked to a tight schedule and budget, and delivered on time. In February 2014, we presented the results to an international forum in Holland.
GE Aviation Wales appealed to me due to the fact that being a repair site I would have the opportunity to get more insight into the technical details of engines. I believe that my MEng degree was advantageous in getting this job and set me apart from other candidates.
I am now working at Gatwick Airport as an Asset Integrator Analyst. It's a new role that I've recently accepted and it's in the Engineering Department. The role involves liaising with project managers, field engineers, and a variety of contractors, in order to ensure that prior to handover, the projects are safe and all the assets are recorded for future maintenance. I’m really enjoying working in the airport and am looking forward to everything I have to learn here!”