Supplement your knowledge of Aerospace Engineering with Economics
For any engineering project to be successful, economic feasibility remains a fundamental factor. Aerospace engineers can therefore benefit from adding another ‘E’ to their skillset and gain a comprehensive understanding of the economics behind the space marvels
When India’s ‘Mangalyaan’ satellite entered the Mars orbit on September 24, 2014, it made headlines across the world. The Mars Orbiter Mission was a remarkable feat for two reasons: First, India’s space program of sending an operational mission to Mars had succeeded at the first attempt where others had failed; second, the mission budgeted at $74 million was the cheapest so far by any nation. The economics behind ‘Mangalyaan’ was a significant contributor to the mission’s success.
A case study in strategic thinking and planning of India’s space enterprise revealed that since the inception of the space program till the fiscal year ending on March 31, 2006, the accumulated space expenditures amounted to US$ 7 billion. Category-wise, 39% investment was on launch vehicles, 36% on satellite communications and meteorology, 14% on earth observations, 6% on space sciences, and the remaining on other areas. The space expenditure of India as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) at that time stood at 0.09%. Today, this figure, in absolute terms, has almost tripled.
The intersection between space and economics is an opportunity that can open unexplored avenues for young professionals. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), USA, too, recognised the diversity of new opportunities for commercial development and called for economic research studies to examine investments in space.
Economics as a companion to Aerospace Engineering can help professionals focus on space technology from the perspective of economic development. Such engineers can identify technology gaps and provide solutions that are beneficial as well as commercial-friendly.
How can a student pursue both engineering and economics?
Students of the 21st century should not have to choose between subjects of their interest, no matter how different they are from each other. Education must be learner-centric and industry-focused. Keeping the meta-learning needs of this age in perspective, UPES has enhanced its curriculum to make it more flexible and forward-thinking.
The unique framework at UPES enables students to build their own academic journey such that it aligns with their educational, professional, as well as personal goals.
Along with their core subject, students have the option to choose from focused subject specialisations. Simultaneously to allow for the intellectual breadth and depth of their education, minor/exploratory subject options from other schools at UPES will be a part of the students’ learning curve.
Hence, a B.Tech. aspirant can study Aerospace Engineering, choose from specialisations such as Avionics and Space Technology as well as study Economics as a choice-based elective minor.
Also, based on the multifaceted needs of the global workplace and evolving lifestyles, the curriculum offers Signature and Life-Skills courses through its newly-instituted School for Life. To round off this learning experience, students are also required to do mandatory internships in the social sector, government/public sector, and the industry.