Exploring engineering

14 May 2019

For budding mechanical engineers, nothing beats getting out to real world working environments, seeing what happens in industry and discovering the many different pathways available for those who want to pursue a career in engineering.

On Tuesday 7 May, Year 13 Mechanical Engineering students went to the Air New Zealand Aviation Institute School of Engineering to find out what it takes to become an aircraft maintenance engineer. “First we had a look at the facilities, including the hangar they use as a workshop, then had a closer look at some of the planes they use for training purposes,” says student Tim Bassett. “We saw some of the different things the students do and examples of various aircraft engines. It was quite cool to see what’s involved in aircraft engineering.”

Tim, who grew up on a farm, says he has always had access to a workshop full of tools and has been creating and building things since he was little. He is frank about the practical appeal of engineering. “It’s fascinating … just the fact you can turn random materials into products people want to use every day and the processes you go through to make a product.”

In class, Tim is working with fellow student Jack Elvy to design and build a go-kart, enjoying the challenge and the long hours it takes to put it together. “It’s a big project, with lots of different processes involved to build it, but we’re looking forward to getting it done and trying it out.”

Mechanical Engineering teacher Gavin Love says the trip to the Air New Zealand School of Engineering is just one of a number of planned visits to different sites, to allow students to experience as many engineering career options as possible. In addition to aircraft engineering, in Terms 2 and 3 the boys will visit companies involved in manufacturing engineering, light fabrication and heavy fabrication engineering, and heavy diesel, automotive, marine and agricultural equipment engineering.

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