AAAdmissions Blog

This blog is maintained by the Undergraduate Admissions Tutors in the Department of Aerospace Engineering at the University of Bristol. Here you will find FAQ answers and news updates on our admissions process. For more information, visit the Department home page or the undergraduate admissions home page.

Friday, 24 June 2016

UoB fees position on EU referendum

With the referendum result to leave the EU, please read the University of Bristol's statement here. I hope this will reassure you, as it applies to all future years of your programme. Bristol is, and always will be, a wonderful and welcoming city for anyone from the EU or elsewhere to come to study.

University of Bristol has no plans to change the tuition fees for EU students that have already been published for 2016/17.

EU students who are registered at the University in 2016/17 (either as a new or continuing student) will continue to be charged the home rate for tuition fees for all subsequent years of their programme. Please be aware that fees may increase annually in line with inflation.

Thursday, 18 February 2016

Awards, bursaries and scholarships

A good question we're often asked relates to funding opportunities. The best place to look in the first instance is here on a UoB maintained search page, and also here on the faculty of engineering pages.

Monday, 22 June 2015

Reading material

We hosted our University open day on the 19th and 20th last week. This was a great event and a fantastic opportunity to meet students thinking about aerospace engineering for next year. I was delighted to meet such a diverse crowd of talented students!

I was asked a few times about relevant reading material.

This is a tricky subject, and when going to university, you can have confidence that your library will be well stocked on the textbooks your need, so there is no need to set off on a buying spree.

However, if you enjoy a couple of solid texts you can return to in times of need I have a few suggestions:

1) I'd recommend Fundamentals of Aerodynamics by JD Anderson. This gives a good background for aerodynamics, and supports the yr 1 and 2 teaching in this area quite well. It is designed to be accessible to post A-level students, but some of the topics may be a bit advanced initially.

2) Any reasonable engineering maths text would be useful too - Mathematical Methods for Science Students by G Stephenson is good (I bought this during my degree, and have used it a lot since), or Engineering Mathematics by Stroud (this has strong reviews, but is not on my shelf).

Slide Rule by Nevile Shute is not a textbook, and contains no maths, but a good read anyway, and fun.

Understanding Flight by Eberhardt and Anderson is also good, but aimed at a general audience and not suitable for degree study beyond yr 1.

There is also an excellent blog written by one of our PhD students in aerospace - this has the advantage of being free.

In a nutshell - our library is well stocked, so you don't need to buy any textbooks, but one maths text and one aerodynamics text would be useful. That's what I bought at uni and I felt it was about right.

Thursday, 12 March 2015

Aerospace Industry in Bristol

Something we're often asked is what makes Bristol a special place to study aerospace. Many high quality universities teach the subject, so why pick one over another? One answer to this is our location.

Bristol has a long history of association with the aerospace industry, which places us in a geographically excellent position; only 6km away from the main university precinct is the Filton site. This proximity translates in to benefits for both our teaching and research. Airbus UK, AugustaWestland and Astrium are partners on our group design project, which means their technical staff provide supporting lectures and supervision for the design project groups.

In later years, these connections benefit undergraduate research projects, as our academic staff collaborate closely with industry and research topics for undergraduates follow those of the supervising staff.

The presence of the industry in Bristol, or its proximity to the university, is not necessarily obvious, so I've created a map with some key locations. Collaboration over a few kilometres is an easier task - our department really sits in the heart of UK aerospace.

Friday, 27 February 2015

Second year team wing build

Engineering is the science of compromise. For an aircraft, this entails not only the right balance between aerodynamic and structural performance, but also includes maintenance and cost of purchase for an airline. Studying engineering involves not only a great deal of mathematical study, but also practice at striking the right compromises in the real world.

One of the projects we have been developing at Bristol that is aimed at giving our students experience of these compromises is our second year wing build exercise. Teams of 20 students design, build and test a 1.5m semi-span aluminium wing of riveted construction. The objectives are complicated - the wing must be light, strong enough to withstand a set tip load and yet still produce good lift to drag ratios as measured in our wind tunnels.

Engineering is not just theoretical; it certainly involves maths and physics, but it also involves working as a team, making mistakes - then correcting these mistakes - and improving your understanding and design solution. It is the day-to-day story of evolving ideas and the people those ideas came from.

To put this in perspective I've uploaded a movie one of our teams made during the exercise last year. Keep in mind that although this covers perhaps thousands of rivets, it also covers two terms, and the work of a group of 20!

If you'd like to know more, please visit us on one of our Wednesday UCAS afternoons and we'll be happy to show you the details of this work and the wing featured here.

(Note: although the original featured a fabulous soundtrack, for copyright reasons I've removed this).


Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Aerospace in Bristol

Having hosted two Wednesday afternoon admissions sessions, it is overdue for us to introduce ourselves as the Bristol Aerospace admissions tutors taking over from Arthur.

With the Clifton suspension bridge celebrating its 150th anniversary through a beautiful firework display, now is an opportune moment to consider why you might choose to study in Bristol. The UK is fortunate to have many high calibre aerospace departments, and choosing which to attend for three or four years as a student is no easy task.

This is a question often asked on Wednesday afternoons by students and parents alike; the key point we make in answer is that you should choose somewhere you feel you will be happy studying. Four years is a long time, and throughout you will need access to a comfortable environment for learning, the support of your friends and teachers, and the opportunity to engage in activities beyond your studies. The City of Bristol, with its small city charms, easy access to outdoor pursuits and convenient location, is a fabulous place to live, and one we recommend from years of personal experience.

Academically our department boasts not only an excellent record in teaching and research, but also deep industrial links fostered at an early stage through our design and research projects, with benefits to your future employability. Our proximity to the aerospace industry in north Bristol at Filton is what makes this possible.

Most importantly of all, after your offer is received, make sure come and visit us on a Wednesday. This will give you the opportunity to hear first hand not only from us - the staff - also from our current students. They are conveniently identified by their blue t-shirts, and will be delighted to provide you with insights you might otherwise miss.

We look forward to meeting you soon, and happy Christmas!

(The festive image below is a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulation of some seasonal characters. CFD is a technique used to model aerodynamic problems through computer simulation, and one of the many techniques you will be taught during your degree. The simulation here represents flow at four times the speed of sound).

Dr Tom Rendall
Dr Steve Burrow
Dr Pia Sartor

Saturday, 16 August 2014

FAQ: What sort of laptop should I buy?

It's not essential to have a laptop or PC: we provide all the software you'll need in student computer rooms.  There are large computer rooms dedicated to Engineering both in Queens Building and in the Merchant Venturers' Building.  You also have access to many other computer rooms around the University.  We do our best to keep these open as much as possible, including one with 24-hour access.

Meanwhile, many of you will want to bring your own computers, often laptops, and I'm often asked what sort of laptop would be suitable.  We do not recommend (or advise against) any particular brand of laptop, nor do we have any recommended specification.

One caveat: to support your first year course in CAD, you can get a free student-licensed version of the Autodesk Inventor software we use, and that only works on Windows.  (It can be made to work on a Mac, but it sounds like a pain: you need to run it with an emulator, and there are rumours of file compatibility issues if you bring work back to a Windows PC.  No-one's ever asked me if it'd run on Linux and I don't fancy the odds.)  Of course, you can still use the same software in our computer rooms.

The university runs a walk-in student laptop and mobile clinic that can assist with both Windows and Mac software problems.  As well as general issues, they'd be able to help you connect to University services such as campus WiFi, student filestores and remote desktop access.  They can also help with smartphones as well as laptops.