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Murray July 26, 2012 05:43

CFD engineer career musings

I have a few questions for members if you are interested in discussing them:
1) In aerospace, automotive and pipeline analysis CFD is well established and new software and research projects are cutting edge. Given that in some cases industries do not have time or even a role for graduates/junior CFD engineers. Do you think a skills gap will form?

2) In light of the previous point, how do expect the increasing integration of CFD software into one engineering software package (CAD, multi-physics and optimisation) will effect your career path/the roles you take? - Do you think you will become more specialised or generalist?

As a physics graduate with some basic CFD modelling experience I am looking to develop general engineering competencies and knowledge while I develop my CFD skills in the meantime. I have identified what seems to me to be the most tangible path to a CFD role.

The need for more detailed thermal and airflow analysis in building design owing to the Green Deal and building regulations (part L) in the UK will supposedly create an increased need for modellers in the next few years. I have outlined a career path to try take advantage of this:

A rough flow chart to a CFD role.
... > HVAC eng (install etc) > Ductwork drafter > HVAC designer > CFD modeller/building physicist

Personally I am working into an energy analyst/auditor role and seeing where I can go from there.

To get to the point...
1) Should graduates or otherwise gain extensive experience or go straight for CFD eng roles?
- Evidently experience is a must. However my interpretation is if you don't go straight for a role you can end up being sidelined...I am not letting that stop me but I do worry.
- Is vertical career progression in engineering dead?

Thanks in advance.

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