Andrea Cristoloveanu reviews a field trip to the London Eye and describes life as an Aeronautical Engineering student at City University London.
Time flies – and I am not saying this just because I am an Aeronautical Engineering student whose whole learning experience revolves around the idea of flying! It seems like yesterday that I joined City University London on what was going
to be a life-changing journey. The last four years have definitely passed quicker than a Concorde jet above the Atlantic.
My journey started with an Induction week. The Vice-Chancellor’s talk, Fresher’s Fair, registration, timetable, university tour and, last but not least, the most awaited event of the week: the field trip to London Eye. It seemed like all the forces of nature conspired to make this day one to remember…clear skies, warm weather – perfect time to enjoy the most spectacular views of the city. This trip was an excellent introduction to the world of engineering – each personal tutor took the time to explain how this incredible 135-metres tall structure is capable to perform over 8,000 revolutions per year at a steady pace of 0.26 metres per second. I was now more eager than ever to dive deep into my Engineering course.
The Induction week was quickly over and I was immersed into the world of lectures, tutorials and laboratory sessions. I could quickly realise that the course equips students with a very good mix of practical and theoretical knowledge, offering us the opportunity to work both as part of a team and on our own initiative. For example, during the first Reading Week of the first year, my colleagues and I were given the opportunity to compete in the Wind Turbine Challenge – an event sponsored by Mott MacDonald where groups of 6-7 students were tasked with designing and building a wind turbine – using Spaghetti as the raw material for the tower!
Other highlights of my first years at City include the field trips to the Royal Air Force Museum in London and the Jaguar – Land Rover Factory near Birmingham, as well as the flight test course at Cambridge Gliding Centre. What could be more exciting for an aeronautical engineering student than experiencing hands-on gliding manoeuvres?
Every student will agree that the relationship between the students and the lecturers here at City is very special. The teaching staff are very passionate about their work, the lecturers don’t just transfer their knowledge to us, but actually give us an insight into what we may be expected to deal with after graduating in real industry. This played a key role in my decision to go on a Placement Year at the end of my third year of studies. I was very fortunate to have the opportunity to work on a multi-million pound project within the Engineering Department at British Airways. It would be worth mentioning that my studies at City equipped me with a strong aircraft design technical knowledge, as well as with very good planning and communication skills, which helped me very much when constructing, running and leading my own little projects. In addition, learning from industry leaders, being exposed to world-class management practice, approach and culture at BA, I developed skills which have definitely rounded off my student experience.
And now…landing back to the present and the realities of my final year of studies - have I mentioned yet that I am going to miss City A LOT? Yes I will! However, the time will come for me to move on to a new chapter of my life. I will be soon throwing my graduation hat into the sky then joining the “Leaders for Business” Graduate Scheme at British Airways - a general management programme that will give me exposure to the breadth and depth of challenge across departments such as Engineering, Customer Service and Operations, Commercial and Strategy and Business Units. Future is often unpredictable, but one thing is certain: I will never forget the time I spent at City and all the knowledge and help that I received from my lecturers.
It is now your time to embark on the journey of a lifetime at City University London!