Day one: Structural and thermal engineers welcomed
In workshops set up by Airbus and Astrium, speakers aimed to bridge the gap between theory and practice.
Marco de Luca, Senior Fatigue and Damage tolerance Engineer A350XWB Wing and David Hatts, Lead Stress Engineer A350XWB, presented the concept of structural analysis to their audience, handing round samples of aircraft parts damaged by fatigue defects. Later, Katie Hassel and Alex Jacobs, Spacecraft Thermal Engineers at Astrium, explained the multi-layer insulation used to protect spacecraft by involving the participants in a set of experiments.
The main message of both workshops: the next generation is being called to continually push the boundaries of EADS product design.
Day two: The realities of the industry
Day two started with a workshop on Design engineering hosted by Jackie Castle. EADS CEO Tom Enders later made an appearance at the EADS Careers booth. Enders took questions from students at Cranfield and Stuttgart universities covering such topics as the Airbus Final Assembly Line in Alabama, US, open rotor and composite technology and human spaceflight. As well as describing his own varied career trajectory, the CEO explained that EADS is looking for new recruits with a love of high-tech and the international environment.
Internationality was much in evidence at the Cassidian workshop on systems engineering for UAVs and fighter aircraft, led by Development Engineer Heiko Lantermann. Here, two groups came up with creative answers to two issues involving risk analysis before a UAV first flight test.
The day was rounded off by an Astrium workshop on propulsion, in which attendees were asked to design a spacecraft that could deliver a camera to the moon. It was a good introduction to the challenges of the space industry, and how to apply ‘rocket science’ theory to the real world.
Day three: Open for all ages
Wednesday’s workshops continued with an element of interactivity, drawing potential candidates from a wide range of backgrounds with the emphasis on professionals as much as students. CHRO of EADS and Airbus, Thierry Baril, encouraged energetic and committed professionals to join and support the EADS Group to manage company growth. He also underlined the challenge of integrating an extremely fast growing workforce as well as the importance of engagement.
The afternoon featured workshops about Airbus and the future of air travel as well as the cyber security challenge, both of which called for attendees to use input from their own backgrounds to inform the sessions. In the Airbus workshop, participants were asked to explain their varied backgrounds —including participants from US to the Czech Republic, holding degrees from PhDs to MBAs, and employed by a variety of industries, including writing software programmes and working in alternative energy. The presenters in turn explained what Airbus offers in terms of roles, company culture and training. During Cassidian’s cyber security workshop, presenters discussed the company’s portfolio and new entity, and asked the audience to consider and present on strategic questions regarding this new business sector.
Additional workshops included one from Cassidian regarding challenges for Eurofighter exports, while Astrium posed their own challenge in the form of building a honeycomb panel for a satellite using paper, scissors and sticky tape. The friendly competition to see whose panel could hold the most weight highlighted the attractiveness of space materials to a mostly young audience.
Day four: Drumming up diversity
Diversity was the name of the game for Thursday’s workshops. Gender diversity, in particular, was in the spotlight as Thierry Baril, Chief HR Officer at EADS and Airbus, got the day started by meeting with a group of female students from schools in the Bristol area, stressing that people, competence and passion are what make the difference.
The young women took part in the day’s first workshop: Engineering – it’s not just for boys. Three female Airbus engineers involved the students in small workgroups, asking them about themselves and prompting them to come up with ideas in an interactive exercise that focused on why an actuator had failed. The final conclusion: female employees bring key skills to the workplace and getting the right mix is what’s important. This was enforced by workshops later in the day, such as Cassidian’s ‘Challenging the status quo: females within the security and technology industry’ and Eurocopter’s ‘A typical day for a mechanical design engineer’.
The day cumulated in the impressive ‘Flashdrum’ event that saw hundreds of EADS employees take to drums, tambourines and bells to converge on the A380 area and perform a vibrant drum ensemble that ended with the words “Join us!”. The idea behind the event, alongside highlighting how well EADS works as a team, is to promote recruitment efforts across the Group, which is looking to make 5,000 recruitments and welcome 4,000 interns in 2012.
Furthermore, EADS and its four Divisions signed the CEO Charter of the UK Resource Centre (UKRC) for women in Science, Engineering and Technology to demonstrate their commitment to equal career chances and diversity. By signing the charter, EADS commits to supporting the aim of increasing the participation of women in science, engineering and technology, to develop gender equality and communicate about it, as well as to promote best practice.
Day five: High-flying ideas
Friday’s workshops began with Airbus inviting participants to ‘Fly Your Ideas’, asking them to come up with concepts for more sustainable aviation in the future. Astrium’s Engineering Challenge saw four groups of three build ‘satellites’ using materials including – unbeknownst to the participants – actual satellite insulation, that should protect a 'payload' of butter against a 'sun' in the form of a hairdryer. The last session was dedicated to EADS’ Graduate Programmes. Members of PROGRESS, the Airbus DEG and the Astrium Graduate Programme came to present their experience and portray more concretely the career opportunities that the attendees have within the Group.
Day six: Professionals day
The last day of Farnborough for EADS Careers was dedicated to experienced professionals. Peter Smith, Engineering Program Manager of the Neo-wing Programme, and Andrew Dunn, Head of Design Series Aircraft Wings and Pylon, presented the A320 Neo Programme in a workshop called “The best keeps on getting better”. “We start from a fantastic position of having the best aircraft in the market place already. To be able to offer a 50% reduction in fuel burn, huge environmental savings and noise reduction, all while Airbus maintains such a huge market share, is really a fantastic place to be.”
The day continued with a workshop on ASV System Integration held by Andy Hide, Head of Future Programmes within Astrium Services. Divided in two groups, participants tried to anticipate the future of satellite investigation on one hand and what the world would miss without satellite investigation on the other.
All in all, 380 candidates attended our 19 workshops during the week, and more than 1000 seized this opportunity to come and meet our team and get career advice: a great success for EADS Careers at the Farnborough International Airshow!