Time flies and we are now a couple of weeks into our first rotations. I have been assigned to the engineering department of aerodynamics and become a computational engineer on my first rotation, which I think is a nice first challenge. The department works with fluid dynamics and thermodynamics which are subjects I am familiar with as I have a relevant background. I mean it is a pretty good feeling to know what you are doing and working with on your first assignment.
Shortly after I entered the department I got an introduction to the project I am to help out with. I have been placed in a project working with the SWAN nozzle where I am to study the cooling process of the nozzle in operation. For you who are unfamiliar with the SWAN nozzle, it is GKNs patented space nozzle which will be placed on the new Ariane 6 rocket. Below you see a picture of the nozzle:
My work has so far involved CFD simulations of the channel cooling using ANSYS CFX, which is a tool I have almost zero experience of as I have previously mostly used FLUENT. But with a little bit of help from my supervisor it is going well. To all of you who has used CFD, you know that there are always new stuff to learn. But in my experience here at GKN, you get the support you need which makes the transition from university to work not that demanding. I also believe that you have use of what you learned at university and I often experience those: “Ahaa, I know that” feelings when discussing the how and why of the procedures.
I also know that a lot of you are now looking for masters’ thesis. I would strongly recommend you to apply for a thesis here at GKN, which is something that I did. Together with a friend, we performed a preliminary design study of a new engine concept with the potential to reduce airplane emissions. What we did was to understand the concept and implement it in an aircraft of our choosing. The work had a lot of degrees of freedom which gave us free hands to do our own choices and assumptions, and depending on our choices we had to model different parameters ourselves. The thesis was extremely rewarding and interesting!
If this got you all fired up about doing a thesis at GKN in Trollhättan, I most definitely think you should check out the tab “thesis”. Many of the available thesis are posted there. But I can tell you that there are alternative channels to go through for the interested student. I got my thesis directly via a professor from a course I had as he had connections to GKN and my thesis supervisor, and for this reasons I would strongly encourage you to search among your academic contacts for interesting topics!
If you have any questions you can always send me an email. Otherwise we might see each other on some fair event and please drop by and ask us some questions!
All the best!