I spent Thursday afternoon and Friday morning on the prowl around Queen's Building, looking for Aerospace Engineering undergraduates going about their business. The results are rather less polished than you'll find in our prospectus, but here's a collection of genuine "aeros" just caught in the act.
Down in the wind tunnel labs, a group of first years are performing a fluids lab. They're using a manometer to measure pressure distributions on an aerofoil, including the effect of changing the angle of attack.
Over in the student workshops, second years are working on their wings, as part of the design-build-test project. These aluminium wings are designed and built by student groups. Later, they'll be tested both in the wind tunnels, for aerodynamic behaviour, and in the structures labs, where they'll be loaded to destruction to test deflections and strength.
Down on the dynamics lab mezzanine, third years are working on their control coursework. They're designing control laws for the helicopter-like model on the blue arm. Reversing the sign of the feedback led to some interesting moments (not shown) but the end result is stably hovering and responding to commands.
Back down in the wind tunnel lab, another third year student is performing some experiments in the low turbulence tunnel for his individual project. He's using the Laser Doppler Velocimeter (LDV) to measure the flow around a perforated disc.
Upstairs in the avionics corridor, two fourth years are working on their individual research projects. Lucy is working on feature detection for aerodynamic shapes, to predict where vortices could form. Alex is working on task allocation and route planning for unmanned aircraft teams. I think they were rather embarrassed to be photographed - that or they're finding their projects for too enjoyable.
In the composites lab clean room, fourth years Phil and Karim are making composite coupons for their research projects.
And, of course, there are lots of lectures going on all around the building. Here are my third years (or at least a rather thin selection of them) fresh from the delights of control compensator design using frequency methods.
Thanks to all of the students for agreeing to be photographed.