What's it like to work as an engineer for a global pioneer in the aerospace industry, you ask? Well, meet Satwinder, Systems Engineer at Airbus who stumbled into his tech career by chance and hasn't looked back since. With almost 30 years in the aerospace industry, he's a veteran who's seen it all - from radar to body scanners to commercial satellite antennas (and more!). But for Satwinder, the real thrill lies in pushing technology to its limits and working with a team who shares his passion for innovation.
What motivated you to stay in the aerospace industry for almost 30 years, and how has your work evolved over the years?
What has motivated me is the challenge and interest in pushing technology to its limits. It's also about working with people across different companies and groups who push the boundaries of what we do. Airbus is a company that takes care of its employees. For example, I’ve experienced periods where things did not go well, such as family members falling ill, but my colleagues and management provided me with tremendous support.
Can you tell us about a particularly innovative project you've worked on at Airbus, and how it pushed the boundaries of what was previously thought possible?
One of the most innovative projects I've worked on with SKYNET 5 involved an active antenna system. This project was ahead of its time, pushing boundaries in an industry that was once risk-averse. It showed me just how much Airbus keeps up with tech.
Working with a multidisciplinary team across multiple sites, we took on the challenge and succeeded. Our approach, once considered risky, is now the norm. We collaborated with engineers from software and hardware engineering to write requirements, and our efforts paid off – even 15-20 years later.
How do you see satellite systems changing in the future, and what role do you think Airbus can play in shaping that future?
Musk and Bezos are shaking up the space industry in the best way possible. They've disrupted the game and changed the way we do business. Optical links and global internet coverage are taking over, and Airbus is central to incorporating all of these new ideas in the sector. We work with SMES, industry partners, academia and government to harness this new innovation and bring it to market, leading to more disruption and innovation. While AI might be up in the air, there's no denying that these disruptors have revolutionized the industry. It's out with the old and in with the new!
What do you think are the most important skills for someone in your field to possess?
Technology is just a tiny piece of the puzzle. The real challenge comes when we bring a bunch of complex systems together and work with people with different skills and approaches. It's like trying to put together a puzzle without a picture to guide you. So, if you can't see the big picture, you're going to have a tough time stitching up a complex system. That's why you need more than just technical expertise, you need people skills too.
How does Airbus facilitate career growth, innovation, and development for its employees?
It's been fantastic to watch the career development support grow for our younger engineers who now have access to structured career plans. A top-notch training program has been implemented, emphasizing the importance of a diverse workforce, inclusive of gender, ethnicity, and beliefs. This is a positive step. At Airbus, we empower engineers to evolve their careers through knowledge sharing and expert advice. Sharing knowledge is key to career development.
Interested in joining the team?
If you’d like to join the team at Airbus, then create a profile on the hackajob platform, where they’re currently hiring for a variety of roles or log in to your profile here. You can also keep updated with Airbus on LinkedIn.