Alumni

Alumni profile - Shaylaan Auzine

My degree has helped me to fulfil my ambition to be an aeronautical engineer and gain a wealth of knowledge about various scientific contributions to the aircraft industry through modules such aerodynamics, fluid mechanics and propulsion.

(Aerospace Engineering MEng, 2014)

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Why did you study MEng Aerospace Engineering at Queen Mary? Did you have a particular career path in mind?

For as long as I can remember, I always saw myself working within the aviation industry and I was determined to join a reputable university to make this dream a reality. I attended an open day at Queen Mary whilst I was still at college and I was overwhelmed by the facilities and infrastructures for students’ learning experience. I also had the opportunity to talk to dedicated lecturers who are leaders and experts in their fields. The Aerospace Engineering Programme is accredited by the Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS) and the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE). I made up my mind to join Queen Mary as it is one of the best universities for Aerospace Engineering in London and I am proud to be a graduate from a university which is among the prestigious Russell Group of Universities.

What did you enjoy most about studying Aerospace Engineering at Queen Mary? 

Aerodynamics Lectures! I had always wanted to learn about the principles of flight. Questions such as ‘how come an assembly of metals can stay up in the sky and travel around 900 km/h?’ used to fascinate me. Lectures on Aspects of Aerospace Engineering, Applied Aerodynamics, Advanced Aircraft Design, and Fluid Mechanics were something that I used to look forward to and I never missed any of those lectures. The problem-based learning components gave me an opportunity to deal with other team members to gain extra skills in terms of design analysis and project management and I believe these skills have helped to shape my confidence and personality. Weekly meetings with my personal tutor were always meaningful. I had a great time in the Whitehead Aeronautical Laboratory where I was inspired by the ongoing research within the aerospace industry. A one day flying course was part of the third year of my degree to assess the drag, performance and the static and dynamic stability margins of an aircraft - it was a remarkable, once in a lifetime kind of experience!

Were there any academics that had a strong influence on shaping your time and studies here?

Professor Henri Huijberts, who is currently the Deputy Dean for Education, Faculty of Science and Engineering was always helpful and guided me throughout my degree. He was continuously involved in student support and readily available for individual meetings.

Dr Fariborz Motallebi, who is currently the Aerospace Programme Director and Senior Lecturer in Aerodynamics. He has a great teaching style and always gave students a platform to be inspired. While writing this I can recall how he got us engaged in the lectures ‘Mach Number’, ‘Choked Flows’ and ‘Supersonic Waves’. I try to deliver lectures based on his guidance and tips.

Can you describe your career path to date?

It has been a challenging journey so far with a lot of learning and personal development. Practical experience is important for an aspiring engineer during study or after graduation before actually getting involved as a professional within the engineering sector. I embarked on internship journeys with RPS group as a trainee PRV engineer and Airbus UK where I got the opportunity to gain experience from senior engineers in structural design optimisation. Virgin Atlantic gave me the role of support engineer for airframe and powerplant and after seven months I switched to flight performance analyst. Working in an airport environment was something I had always longed for and the workplace became home for me. Walking around aircrafts and going through flight logs were part of my routine led by passion. Then in 2017 I moved to Mauritius and joined Rushmore Business School where I am a lecturer in aircraft engineering. I have since completed another masters in engineering management from London to gain extra knowledge and skills in the sector and to ensure that my teaching expertise is up to date.

How does your current job as a lecturer in Aircraft Engineering at Rushmore Business School allow you to explore what you feel passionate about?

Being a lecturer, I keep in touch with research going on in aviation and also learn more about the science of aircrafts from various modules. I have some brilliant students working on interesting projects in aircraft engineering and this motivates me to do further research myself. I am presently working through a PhD in Aviation with a vision to do something for the industry and to help aspiring students within the field.

A one day flying course was part of the third year of my degree to assess the drag, performance and the static and dynamic stability margins of an aircraft - it was a remarkable, once in a lifetime kind of experience!

How has your degree helped you in your career and life so far?

I believe a degree is an influential step in staying competitive and enhancing your skills. My degree has helped me to fulfil my ambition to be an aeronautical engineer and gain a wealth of knowledge about various scientific contributions to the aircraft industry through modules such aerodynamics, fluid mechanics and propulsion. Moreover, a degree is not only about sitting in lectures and passing exams. You get the opportunity to enhance your soft skills which are as essential as a person's knowledge and occupational skills in any workplace. I was assigned to different groups across the years for various projects and this helped me to learn more about teamwork and how to demonstrate a strong work ethic. My time at Queen Mary played a big role in boosting my confidence for success and it has led me to grasp the importance of establishing good working relationships within a team in order to accomplish a common goal.

What was special about your time at Queen Mary?

I had a great time at Queen Mary. The SEMS building was like home to me, especially the Whitehead Aeronautical Lab where I used to run experiments in the wind tunnel as part of a group project to design a UAV. I really enjoyed those days when we were designing and assembling our proposed design and I remain grateful to the workshop technicians who made our lives easier. Another special moment was when we were using the state of art flight simulator with a cockpit and fully moving-base platform. Last but not the least, the time spent with friends at Queen Mary will always be remembered. Staying together till late in the library, running between lectures and labs, and revision sessions were among those special moments.

What advice would you give to a prospective student considering studying Aerospace Engineering at Queen Mary?

Studying is one of the most difficult and intense stages of a person’s life. A whole new horizon opens in front of you, and the lessons that you learn do not only come from the books that you read. I keep on reminding my students that intelligence and academic background will lead them somewhere, but passion will take them a step further. At some point during your degree, you are probably not going to have a clue what is going on and that is ok. You just need to carry on and plan your work properly. Work in teams as much as you can, whether that is for a project, or when participating in a sport, or writing a research paper - get involved as much as possible so that you can produce great results. Throughout your career, you will inevitably have to work in teams, and the skills you develop at university will help prepare you to lead these teams when you graduate. Another important skill to develop is independent learning. Lastly, enjoy your uni time as no other time in your life will be quite like it!

This profile was conducted by Alumni Engagement Officer, Nicole Brownfield. If you would like to get in touch with Shaylaan or engage him in your work, please contact Nicole at n.brownfield@qmul.ac.uk.