Shannon, Republic of Ireland – October 5th 2017: Students graduating from the Aerospace & Aviation programmes at the University of Limerick are now employed at some of the top aerospace companies around the world and as the University prepares to host the Shannon International Leasing Conference (SILC 2017), School of Engineering Professor and chair of aeronautical engineering, Michael McCarthy explains that we will soon “see a growing presence of IT graduates in aerospace companies, as the effects of Big Data, machine-learning and increasingly sophisticated robot-controlled productions, take root.”

Rolls Royce, Boeing, Airbus, GECAS, Aero Inspection International, IATA, Embraer and Qatar Airways are just a handful of blue-chip companies that employ more than 700 UL graduates in senior management positions: Vice Presidents, Senior Directors and Chief Commercial Officers. Over the last 6-7 years, the University has seen a rise in students applying for the aviation and aerospace degree programmes, due to the development of five new courses; the B.Sc. Aircraft Maintenance & Airworthiness Engineering, the M.Sc. Aeronautical Engineering, the Executive MBA in Aviation Management and two part-time programmes – the Specialist Diploma in Aviation Leasing & Finance, and the Specialist Diploma in Continued Airworthiness & Maintenance Management.

Although UL is clearly seeing an increase in graduate jobs, the ratio still appears to be male-dominated, with their undergraduate programme being 85-90% males. The University is consistently promoting women in engineering and highlighting the female graduate profiles, however the number of women on many engineering courses has scarcely changed in recent years.

Being a preferred partner for leading aerospace companies like Airbus, Boeing, Bombardier and Eurocopter, as well as the European Space Agency, UL has been awarded more than Euro 50 million in aerospace research funding, published over 1,000 papers and generated 25+ patents, so it is clear to see why they will be hosting the second annual Shannon International Leasing Conference this year on November 10th. UL plan to showcase their recent developments in composite materials research designed to contribute to the ‘greening’ of the industry with lighter materials and improved fuel efficiency, engine thermodynamics and advanced manufacturing.

Research funding also covers safety and security, air traffic management, aircraft health monitoring and predictive maintenance.

Professor McCarthy describes the University of Limerick’s global reputation, “the future is extremely bright for aerospace and aviation graduates. The industry is virtually guaranteed to grow faster than global GDP over the next 20-25 years. The job opportunities are vast and varied, from design of composite aircraft structures, to optimisation of aircraft maintenance operations, to financial modelling of the aircraft leasing industry. The need for bright, intelligent, articulate individuals has never been greater.”

He adds “We will be very pleased to meet with the technical strategists and engineering directors of leading aircraft leasing companies and airlines at the SILC 2017 conference and to working with primary sponsors - Magellan Aviation Group and Shannon IASC (the Shannon Group’s International Aviation Services Centre). Together, we have combined forces with other aviation sector specialists located in Shannon to highlight the significant benefits that the region can offer in terms of skilled resources, commercial cost benefits and global networking opportunities.”