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Engineering careers

Simulations Engineering

Why do we need simulations engineering?

As a simulations engineer, you’ll be using your technical understanding and scientific knowledge to anticipate the future performance of complex machinery, equipment, structures and systems. If you become a specialist simulations engineer, you could be working on absolutely anything, from spacecrafts and submarines, to tanks and offshore wind farms.

Using your engineering and scientific expertise, you will be conducting tests and experiments on mechanical products in simulated environments (some physical, some virtual) in order to test their functionality. With the results of these experiments, you’ll make ‘predictions’ which will allow designs to be modified, refined and optimised.

This process is conducted to make sure that the expensive pieces of equipment that you’re working on will operate effectively and survive in potentially hazardous environments.

Essentially, you’ll be putting the structure or system through its paces. This may also involve working closely with safety engineers and quality assurance engineers to make sure everything is shipshape.

What skills would I be utilizing as a simulations engineer?

You’ll need excellent problem-solving skills and the creative ability to come up with new and innovative ways of testing the equipment and engineering virtual simulations. For some roles, you might need an in-depth knowledge and understanding of highly complex mathematics and physics principles. This will allow you to conduct advanced computer programming in accordance with complicated algorithms.

This area of work is open to all engineering graduates, or to those with a scientific degree, especially physics.

What are some examples of simulations engineering projects?

Your role might involve using ‘human factors engineering’, which means putting the product under all the strains it would be submitted to through human use. For example, you could work for Good Year and put their new range of tires to the test. How long do they last? What factors contribute to their wear and tear?

Sometimes you’ll be using high-tech computer technologies to create sophisticated virtual simulations. Most of these guys use incredibly complex software programming methods to create 2D and 3D modelling tools and applications. These allow simulations engineers to meticulously analyse and monitor factors which may have a detrimental impact on the structural composition and performance of structures and equipment.

Much of your time will also be spent interpreting the results from your experiments and feeding back to your clients and colleagues. If you’re a hardcore tinkerer, want to optimise the performance of, well, just about anything, and make it last longer (after all, people moan enough about wind farms as it is, even without them not working properly!), then browse through our graduate engineering roles to figure out if this might be the career path for you!