• Question: what is it like building aircrafts

    Asked by biggy to Olivia, Joe on 16 Mar 2015.
    • Photo: Olivia Stodieck

      Olivia Stodieck answered on 16 Mar 2015:

      Hi biggy,
      to be honest, I don’t really build aircraft, but I try to design aircraft for the future that are safe to fly and use as little fuel as possible, so that they are cheaper to operate and pollute less. I guess the computer models I work with are a bit like building virtual aircraft; we use them to do a lot of calculations and design studies to find out what the best aircraft wings for the future would be.
      My work can be very challenging, because setting-up the models and optimisations can involve a lot of mathematics and different disciplines like aerodynamics and structures. Sometimes the models are so big, that I have to use a Super-Computer (many computers in a network) to run them. I also get frustrated sometimes, when I spend days trying to debug the models. But it’s all worth it in the end generally, when I get useful results out of the models, which increase our understanding of wing design and can even be used by other engineers in their work. I enjoy working in teams, where we all contribute to solving a bigger problem. Do you think that sounds interesting?