Aeronautical Engineering student interning at DRDL, the Nation's premier defence organization

Experiences of an Aeronautical Engineering student on the course and internship at Defense Research and Development Laboratory

My Story
Aeronautical engineering

Excerpt from Aeronautical Engineering Department of BIHER: Twenty first century is poised to become a century of space explorations and manned missions to other planets. It will be a time of space stations and robotic probes. The world will continue to need aerospace scientists, engineers, technologists and technicians to accomplish these highly exciting and challenging missions. Keeping this in mind the Department of Aeronautical Engineering was started in Bharath University in the year 2012.

Certain limitlessness and mystique are associated with anything connected to defence technology, space, skies and horizons. I am here to share my internship experience at DRDL... this does require consciously moderating my excitement of having spent a month at DRDL in Hyderabad working alongside the very best. Do you want to know how I got to the prestigious Defense Research and Development Laboratory, Hyderabad and what I did there? Sure, let me share as much as I can, about it.

I am Sravan Kumar pursuing my Bachelor’s Degree in Aeronautical Engineering at Bharath Institute of Higher Education & Research (BIHER), Chennai. Currently, I am in the third year and my specialization is in Rockets and Missiles. Designing of Rockets and Missiles has been my area of interest since childhood. And that is the reason why I chose to pursue a course on Aeronautical Engineering. 

What is Aeronautical Engineering program all about?

As per what I have learned, Aeronautical Engineering is about the Designing and Maintenance of Aircrafts, Rockets & Missiles. The Designing covers the external and internal designing of an aircraft and Maintenance means preservation of the aircraft that have been designed. I was so fascinated about Rockets as I was inspired by Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam’s works and devotion towards our country. So, I have always looked up to him and wanted to become like him. Aeronautical Engineering seemed the right way for that. 

Admissions in my Institute... starting point

Our college offers admission in 2 ways, either on the basis of  Merit based on marks in Intermediate / 12th class or on the basis of an Entrance Examination, both online and offline held by BIHER. I qualified for the online entrance examination, so I was given a fee concession of 25,000/-. Those who rank at the top of this entrance examination get a full fee relaxation.

There are only a few colleges in India such as Hindustan University, Madras Institute of Technology, RUCE - Bengaluru, etc., that offer this course. Even many IITs and NITs do not offer Aeronautical Engineering at the undergraduate level. Our University, Bharath (BIHER), is equipped with the necessary infrastructure and lab equipments to make the learning process interesting and effortless for the students. Incidentally, our college is one of the very few colleges (if not the only one!) that offers both the courses Genetic Engineering and Aeronautical Engineering. This is a proof that Bharath is all about futuristic and for imparting knowledge and skills to make us future-ready. Also, the campus life is vibrantly diverse... lots of people from whom one can learn new languages, as students from different parts of the globe come here to study. 

What do they teach in Aeronautical Engineering?

Jet Setup at Bharath Institute of Higher Education and Research
Source: www.bharathuniv.ac.in

Like most of the branches of undergraduate courses, the first year of aeronautical engineering covers all the basic engineering subjects. After completion of the first year,  the course is divided into two parts. One is Aeronautical Engineering and the other is Aerospace Engineering. Aeronautical Engineering mainly deals with airplanes and missiles but it also covers the rockets in brief. Whereas, Aerospace engineering deals with rockets, space shuttles, and satellites. In 3rd year, the courses are further divided into Design and Maintenance. Designing involves creativity while maintenance is a job-oriented stream. I understood this difference when I attended an internship on rockets and missiles at DRDL Hyderabad.  

Interning with Defense Research and Development Authority......

During Internship at DRDL (Sravan at left in the picture)

DRDL, Hyderabad is a Missile System Laboratory under the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), with a thrust on design, development, and flight evaluation of various types of Missile Systems for the Indian armed forces 

I feel very fortunate to have been selected for a one-month internship at DRDL. This internship on rockets and missiles at DRDL Hyderabad was a whole new experience. It gave me a lot of exposure to the practical use of Aeronautical Engineering. I visited every test facility at DRDL Campus and acquired a lot of knowledge from Senior Scientists there. Through this internship, I was able to know a lot about designing and missiles. I applied for this internship through an online portal.

One of the best memories about the internship was the testing of a Supersonic Rocket Engine, the shock waves from the engine were so strong that pushed everyone back even from a distance of 200 meters. I can never forget such an experience. I got so much appreciation from my university faculty and got a certificate from such a prestigious organization that, I believe, will help me a lot in the future.

Looking ahead

After the completion of the Bachelor course, we can either go for further studies in a particular specialization or we can work with government organizations like ISRO and DRDO. I am aiming for the same.  

I wish all the best to aspiring Aeronautical Engineers and hope this piece of information has helped you to know some stuff about the course.

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 Mridhula has assisted in drafting/editing this article
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