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Airbus

4.2
  • 1,000 - 50,000 employees

Zummie Sia

What's your job about?

Airbus is a global leader in the aerospace industry.  At Airbus in Australia Pacific, we are mainly focusing on the helicopter capabilities, which we support and maintain military helicopters – Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter (ARH) and Multi Role Helicopter (MRH).  My role, as an Aircraft Structures Design Engineer, supports the development of new capapbilities for the MRH90 Taipan.  The project that I am currently involved in is the FRRES project, which is the enhanced Fast Roping and Rappelling capability that were planned to be installed on all 47 MRH90’s in Australia.

The new solution was designed at our head office in Europe, and our team is focusing on getting qualification and certification approval in Australia, to ensure the new design meets all airwothiness, function and performance requirements.  For this, our team will need to liaise frequently with different stakeholders, such as engineers in Europe and our customer.  My task is to prepare the artefacts that we will require to support qualification and certification activities.  This a challenging role as is it a complex structured process of certifying a new product on aircraft, so it took me some time to understand the process (still learning…).  I am really enjoying my time here, especially knowing more about the industry that I wouldn’t get a chance to learn in University.

What's your background?

I was born and grew up in Hong Kong, it is a great place but I wanted to explore more.  So in Year 9, I decided to start studying in Melbourne.  I stayed in Melbourne for the next 10 years to get my bachelor’s and master’s degree.  I have struggled a bit to find a job in the aerospace industry straight after University, and I was lucky enough to find this job after almost 2 years of searching.  I relocated to Brisbane for this job 4 months ago and have enjoyed every moment of it.

Could someone with a different background do your job?

Yes!  Not just people with an aerospace engineering qualification can do this job.  Our team is formed by members with different backgrounds and experiences.  For my position, you must have some level of understanding about aircraft structures and mechanism, however, since the MRH90 is a fly by wire helicopter, people with software and electrical engineering background can apply for other positions at Airbus.

What's the coolest thing about your job?

For me, the most exciting thing about this job is to be involved in big projects that could be beneficial to the Australian Defence Force and helping to protect our country.  It is always a good feeling knowing that your work is contributing to a significant development, and having a sence of achievement when you see the progress.  Plus, the hanger is just right next to you, where you can visit those aircraft as much as you want.

What are the limitations of your job?

Personally, I still haven’t found any limitations for my position.  However, I know for some members in my team they have difficulties communicating with the engineers in Europe.  For instance, time differences between Australia and Europe does make it hard to organise meetings, which we may need to stay back a bit attend.

3 pieces of advice for yourself when you were a student...

  • Talk to different people – get familiar with the talking to new people as you will meet a lot when you start working
  • Apply for exchange programs – a special experience that you got a chance to learn in a different environment and communicate with students in a different country.
  • Enjoy Uni life – this wil be the most care-free period in your life.