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Computer Aided Engineering (MSc)

Course Description

Computer Aided Engineering (CAE) covers the use of computers in all activities from the design to the manufacture of a product. It is at the forefront of information technology and of crucial importance to economies around the world. It is a vital part of many global industries including those of automotive, aerospace, oil, defence, finance and health.

This specialist option of the MSc Computational and Software Techniques in Engineering (http://www.cranfield.ac.uk/courses/taught/computational-and-software-techniques-in-engineering) has been developed to reflect the wide application of CAE and to deliver qualified engineers of the highest standard into industries operating in the fields of computational and software engineering.

Who is it for?

Suitable for candidates from a broad range of engineering and applied mathematical backgrounds, including aeronautic, automotive, mechanical and electrical engineering, in addition to those with a mathematical and computational sciences training, who wish to both develop and complement their existing skill-set in these important areas.

The specialist taught modules are designed to provide you with the knowledge, programming techniques and practical skills necessary to develop and use core CAE solution software over a wide range of industrial settings.

Why this course?

We are a leader in applied mathematics and computing applications. The CAE option benefits from the knowledge and experience gained by the staff through their strong industrial links, particularly our well-established research collaborations with the petrochemical, automotive, aeronautical and financial sectors.

This course produces well qualified graduates, ready to take on professional roles without additional training on the job. In recent years, key employers have requested a student visit to showcase their graduate roles.

This course is also available on a part-time basis, enabling you to combine studying alongside full-time employment. We are very well located for visiting part-time students from across the UK and Europe.

Informed by Industry

This course is directed by an industrial advisory panel who meet twice a year to ensure that it provides generic hands-on skills and up-to-date knowledge adaptable to the wide variety of applications that this field addresses.

A number of members also attend the annual student thesis presentations which take place at the end of July, a month or so before the end of the course. This provides a good opportunity to meet key employers.

Industry Advisory Panel members include:

- Dr Adam Vile, Excelian
- Mr Darren Baldwin, Excelian
- Prof Chris Greenough, Science and Technologies Facilities Council (STFC)
- Mr Ed Lambourne, Delcam International.
- Mr Matthew Breach, Ultra Electronics Sonar Systems
- Mr Nigel Sedgewick, Selex
- Mr Paul Mulvanny, Ent IT
- Mr Ray Goult, Ent IT
- Dr Sanjiv Sharma, Airbus UK
- Dr Steve King, Rolls Royce
- Dr Julian Turnbull, AV
- Mr Jon Loach, FACTSET

Course details

The course consists of twelve core modules, including a group design project, plus an individual research project. A combination of mathematical, computational and hands-on use of industry standard CAE systems form the basis of the specialist modules, covering the theory and application of CAE based software for the modelling, analysis and simulation, in diverse fields such as automotive, aeronautical, flow related industries, data fitting and visualisation.

Group project

The process of software production is rarely an activity undertaken by an individual developer. In today’s software industry, many different specialists are required to contribute to the creation of software. To ensure a high level of quality in the final product, different roles and responsibilities must be brought together into a single team and therefore clear lines of communication between team members are crucial if the project is to be a success.

The group design project is intended to give you invaluable experience of delivering a project within an industry structured team. The project allows you to develop a range of skills including learning how to establish team member roles and responsibilities, project management, delivering technical presentations and gaining experience of working in teams that include members with a variety of expertise and often with members who are based remotely.

Part-time students are encouraged to participate in a group project as it provides a wealth of learning opportunities. However, an option of an individual dissertation is available if agreed with the Course Director.

Previous Group Projects have included:

- Component Stress Analysis
- Steel Tube Joints Flow Study.

Individual project

The individual research project allows you to delve deeper into an area of specific interest. It is very common for industrial partners to put forward real world problems or areas of development as potential research project topics. For part-time students it is common that their research project is undertaken in collaboration with their place of work.

Previous Individual Research Projects have included:

- Analysis of Aircraft Control Surface
- Comparative Analysis of Parallel Performance and Scalability of Incompressible CFD Solvers
- Automated Workflow for a Car Roof-box Optimisation
- Design Optimisation of Helical Gear Pair in Helicopter Transmission Systems
- Design and Analysis of an Adjustable Rear View Car Spoiler
- Surfboard Modelling Using CFD
- Displacement Mapping Using Splines.
- Aircraft Fuel System Failure Detection.


Taught modules 45%, Group project 5%, Individual research project 50%

Your career

The Computer Aided Engineering option is designed to equip you with the skills required to pursue a successful career working both in the UK and overseas. This course attracts enquiries from companies in rapidly expanding engineering IT industry sector across the EU and beyond who wish to recruit high quality graduates.

There is considerable demand for students with expertise in engineering software development and for those who have strong technical programming skills in industry standard languages and tools.

Typically our graduates are employed by software houses and consultancies, or by CAD/CAM and other engineering companies in software development roles and industrial research.

A selection of companies that have recruited our graduates include:

- Design Manager, Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd
- Financial Software Developer, Bloomberg
- Research Engineer, Moodstocks SAS
- PLM Consultant, PCO Innovation
- Software Developer, CAE Engineering
- Computer Science Engineer, Sopra Group
- IT Archietecture Consultant, Solucom
- Asset Management Engineering, EON UK
- Mathematical Software Engineer, Arithmetica Ltd
- Analyst, Morgan Stanley.

Visit the Computer Aided Engineering (MSc) page on the Cranfield University website for more details!

(Student Profile)

Jenny Cham

“Cranfield was a really good choice; I went to Vienna for my project due to Cranfield’s partnerships with other European University’s. I also got the opportunity to attend conferences across Europe, write reviews and contribute to my very first peer-reviewed scientific paper - which was well received!
The staff were very supportive, in particular a lady from the Careers Service gave up her time to help prepare me for job interviews, which I found really helpful.
Overall it’s a great environment in terms of access to other really intelligent interesting people. I think that’s a really nice part of being a student at Cranfield.”

(Student Profile)

Lauren Carter

"I believe my MSc was invaluable in preparing me for my current role – covering a broad range of subjects has been extremely useful when liaising with different departments.
I got my job through the links Cranfield had with the company I’m currently working for, who were really impressed by the range of subjects covered as well as the detail and professionalism of my project.”

(Student Profile)

Nsisong Ukut

After researching online and looking at the Cranfield University website, I thought this was the right choice for me. It is the only stand-alone postgraduate university in the UK that specialises in aerospace and engineering and has a great heritage. I had also observed my colleagues in Nigeria who had studied at Cranfield and watched the meteoric rise in their careers. I saw the functions they could handle and how they had launched into global careers.
I found my studies at Cranfield very rewarding – the lecturers give you comprehensive support to help you fully wrap your mind around your subject. Project supervisors are quite amazing too – they connect you into a group project and then with an industrial partner so that you can transform your theoretical knowledge into practical solutions to find the best outcome. This really prepares you for your future career.
Cranfield is a place where you can do a lot! I got involved with the Cranfield Students Association (CSA) in the role of School Representative. This gave me an opportunity to see across the entire school and to see how teaching and non-teaching staff impact the student experience. The support the CSA offers is tremendous – everything to make a good social life and to balance out your academic work. There is an ultra-modern sports centre to keep you fit whilst studying and plenty of clubs and societies that you can get involved in.
Cranfield is the right place to meet the right people in the right environment with the right contacts. The atmosphere is mature and professional and an ideal base to launch your global career.
My advice to anyone who chooses Cranfield is to make use of all the opportunities it offers – embrace it all and make the most of it.
You don’t just get a certificate when you graduate at Cranfield, you get a rewarding experience that will improve the quality of your life.


Cranfield Postgraduate Loan Scheme (CPLS) - 20+ Awards

Cranfield University is now able to offer you a more affordable way to study an MSc with loans managed by Prodigy Finance.With a Cranfield Postgraduate Loan it is possible for you to take up your MSc studies with no repayments while you study. This will leave you free to concentrate on your course and enhance your career prospects.Launched in February 2014, the scheme is designed to support UK and EU students entering postgraduate study and is intended to attract those who may not otherwise progress to this level because of financial constraints.Loans of up to £15,000 are available (dependent on the tuition fees for your chosen course).
If you are a UK student, loans are available for tuition fees and maintenance. EU students can apply for a loan covering only tuition fees.Loans are repaid over a seven year period and repayments start six months after you complete your degree. As a not-for-profit scheme, funded by Cranfield and HEFCE, the loans are competitively priced (6.92% APR representative) and considerably more affordable than a standard career development loan.

Value of Scholarship(s)

Loans of up to £15,000 total


You can apply for a loan if you:• are domiciled in the UK or EU and qualify for ‘Home/EU’ fees and
• have an admissions offer to a Cranfield full-time, taught MSc course in a STEM (Science, Technology Engineering or Mathematics) subject

Application Procedure

If you already have an applicable course offer you can apply online through Prodigy Finance. You will need to provide Prodigy Finance with details of your offer from Cranfield. Your loan application will be considered and responded to within a few days.If you are yet to secure an offer of a place you can register your interest in the scheme and we will keep you up-to-date.

Further Information


Entry Requirements

Applicants are required to either have a minimum of a UK second class Honours degree or its equivalent in aeronautical, mechanical or electrical engineering or computer science or be applying as part of a recognised double-degree programme with their home EU institution.

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