IT Carlow flying high after opening of €5.5m aerospace research centre

11 Feb 2015

Second-year bachelor of engineering student in aircraft systems Bridget Corry with Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Paschal Donohoe, TD. Image via Pat Moore

IT Carlow has put itself in the cockpit, as far as aerospace engineering is concerned, following the opening of its €5.5m Centre for Aerospace Engineering, becoming the first third-level institution to open such a centre.

The aim of the centre is to provide undergraduates in pilot studies, aerospace and aircraft systems engineering with a simulated live aircraft maintenance environment in which get to grips with the latest in aerospace technology.

According to IT Carlow, graduates of the centre will be able to enjoy careers not just with airlines including Aer Lingus and British Airways, as well as the UK Ministry of Defence, but also with potential astronauts with the European Space Agency.

The Centre for Aerospace Engineering also houses its own avionics workshop with a fleet of aircraft inside its own hangar and will be integrated with IT Carlow’s existing degree courses in aero engineering and pilot studies, as well as its bachelor of engineering in aircraft systems, with the latter graduates having achieved type rating to work on aircraft such as the Boeing 757.

“Aviation is one of the largest and fastest-growing industries in the world and the Centre for Aerospace Engineering was developed to ensure that our graduates are desirable to the leading airlines and specialist aircraft maintenance employers, both in Ireland and internationally.

“Alongside traditional studies in aerodynamics, aircraft design, mathematics, physics and technical communications, our students work on real aircraft inside the hangar,” said Dr Donnacha Lowney, head of the department of aerospace, mechanical and electronic engineering at IT Carlow.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic