An RMIT engineering student has had the time of his life and received recognition for his contribution during an internship at one of the world's most prestigious engineering companies.
Alain Haddad was in his third year of a Bachelor of Aerospace Engineering when he spent six months at Rolls-Royce in Singapore as part of the RMIT International Industry Experience and Research Program (RIIERP).
Haddad said the opportunity to work with a team of professional engineers who were willing to share their experience and expertise, helped him develop as a student engineer.
“Working at Rolls-Royce was a dream come true and living and working in Singapore was truly life-changing – the feeling of adapting and settling in a new country was wonderful,” he said.
“The work I conducted over the course of the internship allowed me to develop a technical skill set that is hard to acquire in a classroom environment.
“My role was primarily an inter-functional one where I participated in various projects that involved finding the limits of feasibility for manufacturing while still meeting the intent of the design."
Haddad worked on the gas turbine supply chain within the producibility engineering department where he and his team contributed to a significant improvement in engine functionality.
“As a result of our achievement, my team and I were awarded the Rolls-Royce Silver Excellence Award for our success in addressing design-for-manufacture issues on compressor rotor blades for the Trent 1000-TEN engine," he said.
“The experience gave me a powerful insight into the design and manufacturing of components across a number of engine programs.”
Professor Sylvester Abanteriba, Founding Director, RIIERP said Haddad’s performance at Rolls-Royce in Singapore was impressive.
“For an undergraduate student to make such a significant contribution to this technology is an extraordinary achievement,” he said.
Abanteriba said it was no longer enough for graduates to simply be proficient in their discipline.
“In an increasingly globalised economy and society, it is incumbent upon educational institutions to provide their graduates with the skills that will make them competent professionals,” he said.
“RIIERP provides students with the opportunity to work for multinational companies for long periods of time, enabling them to learn the work ethic in a different cultural environment; thereby making them globally employable.”
The Rolls-Royce group has provided internships for over 85 RMIT students since 2000, and RIIERP sends over 100 students overseas each year to carry out vocational training and research projects at world-class businesses and institutions including Airbus, BMW, Continental and Siemens.
“RMIT University has the unique advantage of being connected to a network of world-renowned companies, which makes it stick out from the crowd of other universities,” Haddad said.
“This is beneficial because it exposes you to fantastic work opportunities and international experience which then helps you to develop a global network.
“In addition to this, RMIT’s Bachelor of Aerospace Engineering enables students to gain practical experience through hands-on projects like building a micro aerial vehicle capable of sustaining straight and level flight, or inventing a conceptual design for an aerospace system such as a fixed-wing aircraft.
“These projects coupled with international opportunities help students to develop skills that will put them in good stead when applying for jobs in the industry.”
When he finishes his degree, Haddad will apply for the Rolls-Royce engineering graduate scheme where he intends to make further contributions to the field.
“In terms of technology, I think engines of the future will feature more advanced core architecture,” he said.
“For example, Rolls-Royce is gearing up to start testing its new Advance 3 engine core, designed to form the basis of its future large civil engines.
“This is huge for Rolls-Royce because they don’t make changes to their core architecture that often.
“So I am very much looking forward to joining the workforce again and being part of a company with a future as exciting as its past.”
Story: Rebecca McGillivray