Explore: Engineering

Spacecraft Designer
Airbus Defence

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icould and Inspiring the Future
Dervish, Mechanical Ground Support and Tooling Engineer
Airbus Defence

Time Code Audio
00:00:07 My name is Dervish. I’m a spacecraft designer and I’m responsible for designing spacecraft parts, such as boosters, rockets, nozzles and frames.
00:00:17 My job involves creating designs and 2D drawings of aeroplanes, helicopters and spacecraft parts, using 3D CAD, which is a type of computer software.
00:00:28 One example is that I’ve designed parts for the Mars Rover, which is a robotic motor vehicle that travels across the surface of the planet Mars and collects information for us.
00:00:41 I left school with only 2 GCSEs, that was Maths and Geography. I went on to be a chef for 2 years but decided that wasn’t for me. I spoke to my father, who was an engineer in the Royal Engineers and decided to try engineering myself. So I studied a BTEC First Diploma in Engineering.
00:00:57 So I went to Kingston University and studied aerospace engineering.
00:01:01 My first job out of university was airport engineer at Farnborough Airport. I then went on to a graduate scheme at BAe Systems.
00:01:12 I then moved on and became a quality engineer at Solidworks, a 3D CAD software company. From here I went to work for Ford Motor Company and then after leaving Ford, I’ve been at Airbus Defence and Space for the last 13 years.
00:01:33 In my job it’s beneficial to have strong communication skills because I collaborate with lots of different teams across the company and create user manuals for the team that create the spacecraft parts. It is really important to have a strong level of knowledge in Maths, English and Science to carry out my role.
00:01:51 The softer skills needed are a candid attitude and an ability to react and listen to what’s going on in the office. Some teams need information really quickly, so it’s an important skill to have in the role.
00:02:07 Advice I would give my younger self at the start of my career, I would say, go with your instincts, never take no as a defining no, stay in touch with people and keep your CVs up to date.


Dervish has designed parts for the Mars Rover, a robotic motor vehicle that travels across the surface of the planet Mars collecting information. He left school with two GCSEs and went on to become a chef, before deciding to study engineering.

More information about Engineering professionals n.e.c.

average salary

The UK average salary is £29,813

average weekly hours

There are 37.5 hours in the average working week

89%  male 
11%  female 

The UK workforce is 47% female and 53% male

Future employment

Future employment?

? Workers in this unit group perform a variety of professional engineering functions not elsewhere classified in MINOR GROUP 212: Engineering Professionals.
Chartered engineers possess an accredited university degree. After qualifying, periods of appropriate training and experience are required before membership of a chartered engineering institution is attainable. Incorporated engineers possess an accredited university degree, BTEC/SQA award or an apprenticeship leading to an NVQ/SVQ at Level 4. All routes are followed by periods of appropriate training and relevant experience.
  • Researches into problem areas to advance basic knowledge, evaluate new theories and techniques and to solve specific problems;
  • Establishes principles and techniques to improve the quality, durability and performance of materials such as textiles, glass, rubber, plastics, ceramics, metals and alloys;
  • Designs new systems and equipment with regard to cost, market requirements and feasibility of manufacture;
  • Devises and implements control systems to monitor operational efficiency and performance of system and materials;
  • Prepare sketches, drawings and specifications showing materials to be used, construction and finishing methods and other details;
  • Examines and advises on patent applications;
  • Provides technical consultancy services.
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