- Project Manager Supervisor
Project Manager Supervisor About the role KDC are looking for a strong Project Manager who can come in and put structure in place for a portfolio of projects which are currently being run with nothing in place Essentially, we are looking for someone who can help manage and support the project managers and introduce a strong structure to which they can start working towards - provide an overall programme view of the projects. You will have excellent stakeholder experience and ideally will have some IT Programme Management experience. You will not be accountable for the projects being complete, the business needs someone to come in and look at structuring the programme and putting things together to make it all work. This position would suit someone who is an experienced PM looking for their next step or a Junior Manager who has done this kind of role previously but will still see this as an excellent opportunity to further their career. The role is within Information Management as a supporting project manager. Reporting to the HO Information Management who has the end to end accountability for the information systems delivered across the UK Business. Responsibilities Develop and execute a program level view of all the IM & UK Toolchain projects, agile work package planning, reporting, and risk management, with support from financial controller finance reports, progress and deliveries. Working a SAFe and Agile process. Must be able to bring multiple work packages and building up the overall project. The successful person will be making sure communication between all departments is updated and aligned with each other and overall responsibility of delivering the project. Most of project activity is between 2 sites Key skill's • Project planning and reporting • Customer / stakeholder management • Building multifunctional teams • Project reporting, risk identification and mitigation, financial planning management and reporting • Managing multi company / supplier teams Successful candidate will ideally come from an Engineering or manufacturing background and will have knowledge of Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) Information Systems Degree and/or Project Management Qualification is desirableRead more
- IT Technician
How would you like the opportunity to work for arguably the fastest growing and most successful UK Cyber Security start-up to date? I am currently seeking a Support Engineer to join a rapidly growing team in Cambridge. You will be responsible for providing first line support to their UK and International offices whilst also assisting in shaping their service desk. Your responsibilities would include the following; Address and solve technical issues through various methods of communication Take ownership of end user issues Desktop troubleshooting Liaise with third party software and service providers Aid in other areas of the business when needed This company is currently working with some of the largest organisations around the world to protect their networks and systems against modern day cyber threats. Their cutting-edge Cyber Security software harnesses complex AI Algorithms to learn and understand new Cyber Security threats before they can be effective. The successful candidate will be enthusiastic, confident and have a passion for working within a customer service environment. You do not need to be a Cyber Security expert however, an interest in emerging technologies or experience solving technical issues would be a great advantage. If this could be something of interest to you then please get in touch through the methods shown below!Read more
- Network Technician
KDC are currently working closely with an award winning and arguably the most successful UK Cyber Security start-up to date! I am currently seeking a Network Technician to join their rapidly growing team in Cambridge. You will be responsible for performing Disaster Recovery tests and Lifecycle management to their UK and International offices. Your responsibilities would also include the following; ·Network design and implementation into new offices worldwide ·Server maintenance and patching ·Aid in other areas of the business when needed This company is currently working with some of the largest organisations around the world to protect their networks and systems against modern day cyber threats. Their cutting-edge Cyber Security software harnesses complex AI Algorithms to learn and understand new Cyber Security threats before they can be effective. The successful candidate will be enthusiastic, confident and have a passion for new technology. As part of the role you will have the opportunity to travel every so often to offices around the world. You do not need to be a Cyber Security expert however, an interest in emerging technologies or experience solving technical issues would be a great advantage.Read more
- Design Quality Engineer
DESCRIPTION OF JOB You will be working within the Quality Engineering Airframe Wing organization, primarily in the Development perimeter (QESWD) for Quality Performance activities and will report to the Head of Quality Engineering Wing New Development. You will be interfacing with Engineering teams and suppliers around different locations in Europe, America and Asia. TASKS The successful applicant will be responsible, primarily in the Development perimeter (QESWD) for Quality Performance activities, for: • Support the definition of a set of measurable criteria for the quality of the relevant engineering deliverables • Identify risks and issues related with the quality of the engineering deliverables • Facilitate and support root cause analysis & practical problem solving activities • Establish and drive corrective and preventive action plans in order to support the improvement of engineering performance and its associated costs. • Facilitate and support the identification of product modes of failure. • Drive standardised mitigation plans in order to prevent/mitigate risk linked to the product and its related processes • Support the deployment of Quality standards and apply them within the Engineering organization • Drive and manage improvement projects in order to support the achievement of the Engineering Wing quality targets • Capture lessons learned in order to improve organisation efficiency and product maturity SKILLS As the successful candidate you will be able to demonstrate the following skills: • Relevant Quality and/or Engineering Experience • Project Management knowledge. • Have exceptional communication and English skills, both verbal and written. • Have excellent IT skills as appropriate to the role (Microsoft Office) • Be able to demonstrate appropriate people skills and associated behaviours when interacting with all levels of the management structure. • The ability to learn quickly, and a positive and enthusiastic attitude towards the workload are essential requirements. • Experience in a Design or Manufacturing Engineering Environment would be beneficial.Read more
- Production Planner
Our client based in the Bournemouth area is looking for a Production Planner to join their team on a permanent basis. The prime responsibility is to create and maintain the master planning as required to meet repeatable and robust manufacturing processes to ensure optimum works order and work centre performance. The day to day duties of the role will include: • Provide manufacturing information sheets, route cards, bill of materials, building planning structure and manufacturing specification data in accordance with company standards. • Develop the most cost effective and efficient solutions that satisfy design to cost and design for manufacture best practices. • Specify material requirements, parameters and define suitable methods of manufacture and identity and implement required tooling and equipment. • Develop processes to a production steady state standard that meets specification and design intent. • Support design and customer reviews and other meetings as required. • Support production and quality assurance in resolving production problems and non-conformances. • Utilise Lean principles to improve the product, process flow, build cycle and waste reduction. • You will need to implement best practice engineering, verifying design as appropriate, identifying required tooling and applying sensible quality gates to ensure progressive production. Ideal candidates will have the following skills/experience: • Strong communication skills, be mathematically competent and be capable of using computers, operating various software systems such as MRP, MS office and various CAD viewing. • You will have the ability to read and understand technical drawings, specifications and related documentation and to have enough grasp of manufacturing materials (composites), systems and processes to be able to conduct your duties. • You should be a strong supporter of change driving and applying continuous manufacturing process improvements with a strong problem-solving ability applied through a practical approach. • You should ideally be coming with a background of a similar environment. Fore more information please call 01202596370Read more
- Navigation Satellite Payload Engineer
Are you a Navigation Satellite Payload Engineer with experience RF/Microwave Speciality? Do you want to work closely with spacecraft systems, structural, thermal and AIT engineering teams? KDC are currently working with one of the largest and well know satellite companies in Europe in their quest to find a new potential leader. The position will be based in Bremen, Germany. Your Tasks • Support the development and analysis/trade-off methodology in navigation payloads (Phase B+) • Perform navigation payload sub-systems and systems simulations, trade-offs, and performance analysis. Defend technical assessments internally and to customer • Support the definition and optimization of AIV methodology (from unit to spacecraft level) and perform the associated data analysis/evaluation/reporting as required • Review and assess supplier documentation and participate in review meetings (design, qualification, test-readiness, post-test, acceptance, etc.) as customer • Support test campaigns by analyzing measured payload performance and assessing/troubleshooting anomalies/non-conformances. Analyze any non-conformances for system impact and gain approval from customer • Support the technical interface to Galileo ground/system segments Your Qualifications • Degree in Electrical/Electronic Engineering, Telecommunications Engineering, Physics or comparable qualifications • Intermediate to senior level experience in the development and manufacturing of RF/microwave equipment (Filters, Antennas, etc.) and systems • Knowledge in the analysis and test of high power RF phenomenon (Multipactor, Corona, PIM) • Self-managed and pro-active working style • Fluent in written and spoken English. German or other EU language skills are advantageous If this position is something of interest, please send through your CV and call 01202 596366 to speak to Eugene.Read more
- Senior SAR Engineer
Senior SAR Engineer Are you a Senior SAR Engineer with experience of being responsible for designing and implementing all necessary algorithms, software and hardware to support operations of a fleet of Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) satellites? Are you looking for a progressive role in a satellite start-up company that has received $65m financing to date? Do you want to work with a team of experts from 25 countries across the world in building a large satellite constellation? Our client is looking for this candidate to be based in Finland. • Design and implementation of our clients proprietary SAR processor • Review and design of SAR imaging modes • Definition of SAR data products and implementation of processing algorithms to achieve them • Defining requirements for the spacecraft engineering team to achieve the designed SAR performance • Continuous research on innovative SAR solutions and their implementation • Calibration & validation of SAR instrument performance and data product specifications REQUIREMENTS • Key skills required for this role involve: SAR processing knowledge, aerospace engineering and software engineering. • Proven previous experience with SAR processing (3y+) • General experience with digital signal processing and engineering physics • Engineering or science degree • Aerospace background, education or experience • Proven experience in Leading teams of real-time operations personnel and engineers • Demonstrated ability to work independently, take ownership of all aspects of job and take initiative • Proficiency in programming languages (mostly Python) • Proficient English BENEFITS • Passionate team and exciting working environment • Very flexible working schedule • Frequent travels to conferences and workshops If this position is something of interest, please send through your CV and call 01202 596366 to speak to Eugene.Read more
- Project Manager
Project Manager Are you a Project Manager with experience of managing Engineering teams? Are you looking for a progressive role in a satellite start-up company that has received $65m financing to date? Do you want to work with a team of experts from 25 countries across the world in building a large satellite constellation? Do you want to be part of the Engineering team in a company that is innovative, driven and that strive for excellence in everything that they do? Our client is looking for this candidate to be based in Finland. RESPONSIBILITIES • Assemble bespoke multi-disciplinary teams dedicated to solve the problem at hand • Manage timeline and schedules of multiple on-going projects • Drive the planning, schedule, resources, technical decisions and engineering trades • Create and manage daily/weekly/monthly milestones in a pipeline-like engineering process environment • Create, monitor, and update project plans in sufficient detail which define the required processes / activities while accounting for dependencies across various subsystems • Work with multidisciplinary teams and team leaders - Radio, Mechanical, Electrical, AIT (Assembly Integration & Test), Software (on-board and ground segment) from board design to subsystem integration to full-system integration to enable successful execution of state-of-the-art projects form beginning to end • Prioritize work and give accurate direction by balancing schedule demands across the workload • Evaluate and coordinate continuous improvement across the functional area processes and metrics to ensure engineering rigor in project life cycle • May participate on teams improving processes, training, and tool implementation for all assigned documentation needs REQUIREMENTS • To succeed in this position, you should love satellites. In addition, you should ideally have: • Previous experience in project management or comparable position (2Y+) • Proven ability to manage a cross-functional team (at least 5 members in a team) • Total experience working in space or comparable industry (5Y+) (full time contract) • M.Sc. in Engineering, Sciences, Mathematics, Technology or equivalent area of focus, or B.Sc. with experience Skills that we are looking for: • Strong ability to pro-actively manage, motivate and communicate with engineers • High attention to details • Ability to multi-task and be self-motivated in a highly disparate environment juggling multiple projects • Advanced verbal and written communications skills (technical fluency in English is a must) • Strong people skills / demonstrated interpersonal skills - experience with diverse cultural and technical backgrounds preferred • Ability to lead in a fast-paced environment, make effective and timely decisions, solve problems, facilitate organizational and procedural changes • Demonstrated development and maintenance of strong working relationships with teammates and contractors in a development environment • Willingness to proactively assist engineers across subsystems to facilitate tasks and achieve timely execution of milestones • Familiarity with managing engineering projects • Space environment knowledge • Previous experience in the space industry • Training in Agile, Six Sigma, MBSE, SysML, BPM, or Systems Engineering a plus BENEFITS • A job that matters • Unique experience and opportunity in the new-space industry • Extraordinary possibility for self-development, research time, ability to attend trainings, conferences or certification schemes • International environment • Fully flexible working schedule • Attractive working location in the middle of an inspiring start-up environment • Startup culture related events (sports activities and after work activities) If this position is something of interest, please send through your CV and call 01202 596366 to speak to Eugene.Read more
- Structures Design Engineer
- Manufacturing Engineer
Seeking Manufacturing Engineer for World Leading Manufacturer of Advanced Composite Structures About You Coming from an engineering/manufacturing or chemicals background with specific experience In both composite and polymer materials. You'll be comfortable with 3D model based definition (ideally CATIA V5) and will have strong problem solving capabilities. Degree qualified (or with equivalent training) you'll be able to confidently specify material requirements, define suitable methods of manufacture and implement tooling and equipment. About the Role This is a permanent role. Work takes place in both the factory and the office, travel requirements are minimal. You'll report to the CHIEF ENGINEER but you will be trusted to work autonomously on a range of manufacturing engineering support tasks. Additionally, you will have responsibility for technical communications with customers and vendors. Key requirements of the role include the provision of manufacturing information sheets, route cards, bill of materials and manufacturing specification data. Efficiency and precision are essential as you will also be responsible for developing cost effective and efficient solutions that satisfy stringent design requirements. About the Company The company is a world leading manufacturer of advanced composite structures for the marine defence agency and is successful and visible on the international stage. They are a leading supplier and have experience in supporting the world's most prestigious naval programs The office is nestled in an exquisite coastal town with dramatic coastlines, shopping and other amenities within easy reach. Next Steps I want to hear from you. Click apply now.Read more
- Electrical Technician
How would you like the opportunity to work on and build a futuristic fleet of autonomous vehicles that will shape the future of travel? KDC are currently working with a unique client based in Central Europe that are seeking several forward-thinking Electrical Technicians to join their rapidly growing team.We are looking for motivated and ambitious individuals that thrive within a fast-paced working environment and have a passion for what they do. You will be responsible for the assembly, testing, and repair of electronic components and carrying out prototyping daily. You will be working at the forefront of technology alongside some of the most skilled engineers from around the world. To give you a better understanding, you will be involved with the following activities; • Build up of low/ high voltage systems • Work on circuit board designs • Prototyping and assembling from engineering designs • Carrying out electrical diagnostics and fault finding Preferred Experience • Aerospace/ Defence • F1 In addition to this fantastic opportunity, my client is offering market-leading rates and an exclusive benefits package. If this could be something of interest to you then please get in touch through the methods shown below!Read more
- Static Stress Engineer
Are you a Static Stress Engineer looking for your next contract? Do you have experience using Isami? If so, we may have the right opportunity for you. Our global client based in the South West is looking for a number of engineers to join their A320 team. The A320 family is now undergoing a revolution with major developments of new variants, stress to cost and digitisation of product and process to achieve ramp up. The day to day duties of the role will involve: ·Static structural analysis activities with one of the A320 family Wing project engineering team. ·Creating Preliminary stress sheets in support of Design Reviews,, Justification stress dossiers in support of Certification, Modification or Structural Repair Manual , creating detailed FEMSPre sizing new or modified structure - advising Designers of stress needs ·Checking and validating others calculations (where experience permits) Ideal candidates should have the following skills and experience: ·5 Year's or more experience in an Engineering structural analysis role. ·Producing static stress calculations with minimal leadership or supervision ·Presenting those calculations in a concise and clear manner ·Achieving delivery to Time, Cost and Quality. ·Finding creative solutions to complex problems and low RF resolution ·Experience using the Airbus ISAMI suite of Stress Analysis Tools ·Experience of FEA Linear analysis and be aware of opportunities available with using Non Linear FEA ·Experience in airframe engineering and preferably on Wing structures ·The ability to listen, understand and communicate information ·Desire to work in an open and trusting environment. ·You will integrate and influence technical experts and specialists to achieve optimum technical and business solutions. For more information please call 01202596370Read more
Aerospace and Defence
KDC Resource has been operating in the aerospace and defence sector since 2002. We work with the world’s leading defence and civil aerospace companies to source and place high quality permanent and contract talent. We understand organisations like these need the finest engineering talent in order to help them develop some of the most sophisticated technologies in the world. We are currently engaged in finding leading technical talent for projects – among others – that are linked to the national defence of the United Kingdom. Our specialist team have successfully supported our clients find leading talent for roles across: Part 21 J, Certification, Cabin Interiors, Design, Avionics Design, Structures, Electrical Design, Compliance Verification Engineer (CVE), Head of Design, Airworthiness and EASA. KDC Resource is actively working on similar roles requiring industry leading professionals to fulfil roles at all levels. Scroll down to learn more. Or if you’d like to partner with KDC to support your talent search then click here to learn more.View jobs
The private Space sector is relatively young. The decommissioning of the Space Shuttle Programme was an opportunity for private businesses to support NASA with its operations both in orbit and beyond. Elsewhere in the world organisations are pioneering new satellite technologies, unmanned probes and innovative new ways to combat space junk. KDC Resource are proud to be working with a number of these organisations providing highly skilled technical talent into Flight Dynamics, AOCS, Earth Observation, GNSS, Mission Operations, Ground Segment and Payload. Our specialist recruitment consultants are actively searching for industry leading professionals to fulfil roles at all levels including Systems Engineers, Payload Engineers, AOCS Engineers, Product Assurance Engineers, RF Engineers and Control Engineers. Or if you’d like to partner with KDC to support your talent search then click here to learn more.View jobs
Emerging and Disruptive Technologies
The world is always changing and that brings new opportunities and new innovations. At KDC Resource, our emerging and disruptive technologies team works with organisations that upset the status quo. Whether that’s how we travel or how we use technology to revolutionise mundane tasks. We have recruited for roles across the eVTOL, Urban Mobility, Electric Vehicle, Drone, Energy, Battery Technology, Autonomous Systems and Composite Structure markets. Including roles such as Battery Systems Engineers, Flight Control Law Engineers, AI Software Developers, Prototype Engineers, Autonomous System Engineers, and Safety and Reliability Engineers. Our specialist recruitment consultants are actively searching for industry leading professionals to fulfil roles at all levels. Or if you’d like to partner with KDC to support your talent search then click here to learn more.View jobs
Cybersecurity is one of the fastest growing industries in the world. Cyberattacks are becoming increasingly common and businesses of all sizes are struggling to muster a meaningful defence. There are genuine concerns that critical infrastructure could be targeted by hackers or by enemy states in event of a conflict. Which is why finding the best cyber security and technology specialists takes experts. We are proud to work with some of the market leaders in this vital industry to find top tier candidates to fulfil cybersecurity roles at every level. Roles we recruit for include: Penetration Testers, Ethical Hackers, Security Analysts, Cyber Security Architects, Software Engineers, Technical Project Managers, AI Engineers, Sales Managers and Cyber Account Executives. Our specialist recruitment consultants are actively searching for industry leading professionals to fulfil roles at all levels. Or if you’d like to partner with KDC to support your talent search then click here to learn more.View jobs
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Whether you’re looking for a contract or permanent position, we’re here to support you in your search. Upload your CV today and a member of the team will be in touch.
What we do
We work with industry leaders in aerospace, defence, space, emerging and disruptive technology and cyber security to source the best technical and engineering talent on the market.
Our specialist recruitment consultants are trained to find the right mix of skills, experience and personality to ensure the perfect placement for candidate and client.
Over 150,000 candidates trust us to manage and fulfil their career aspirations.
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How to Prepare Effectively for an Interview
In the modern business world Interviews take many forms and can consist of multiple stages. Phone, Skype, Zoom and even FaceTime (other video calling services are available) are all becoming widely accepted approaches to first – and sometimes second – stage interviews. Especially if the employer and candidate are far enough apart that travelling would be impractical. Indeed, for a first stage interview, these approaches help businesses and candidates to discount one another early on without considerable investment by either side. Regardless of the method, for a candidate preparation is key to a successful interview be it first stage or final stage. It doesn’t matter how qualified or experienced you are, if you don’t come across well then chances are, you’ll get rejected. This may seem a little unfair as not everyone makes a great first impression or is an extrovert. There are some that question the validity of interviews for this very reason. Any hiring manager you care to ask will have at least one story of how they let a great candidate slip through their fingers because they didn’t interview well. But short of a radical shift in hiring best practices you – the candidate – are stuck. Therefore, preparation is everything. Especially if you struggle with anxiety or are naturally introverted. Cover the Basics Most articles about this kind of thing extoll the benefits of researching the company, reading the job description and dressing appropriately. This is the absolute minimum you should be doing. The employer expects you to turn up looking smart and having researched the job you’ve applied for. Anything less is a little insulting and you’re doing yourself a disservice. Similarly, it’s etiquette to arrive in plenty of time for the interview. If you’re running late or if there’s a hold-up, let your recruiter know as soon as you become aware. Delays happen and are sometimes unavoidable. An incident on the road, a delayed flight or an unwell partner or dependent – as examples – are all well outside your sphere of influence. Letting us know rather than trying to achieve the impossible and failing is the better option. Don’t forget, we’re here to help you get the job and it’s much easier for us to smooth any ruffled feathers caused because we manage the relationship. If you really want to make an impression you need to have your research nailed. That means reading the website thoroughly. Not just skimming the About Us page. This company could be your employer, so you need to make sure that they’re culture, ethics and direction matches your own career and life aspirations. It doesn’t matter how great the opportunity is, if the company doesn’t seem like the right fit, you’re far better to establish that before you get too far down the process. But – if the organisation does match your values and you do feel you’d be a good cultural fit then you’ll go into the interview with the level of enthusiasm that the average candidate simple won’t match. Once you’ve finished that you need to start on industry research. What innovations are happening in the space? Who are their main competitors? What are their competitors doing that may give them an edge? Research may seem arduous and irrelevant but be under no illusion – most companies care as much about you being a good fit as your ability to do the job. Knowing exactly who you could be working for is a big part of that. Revise…yourself Interviews are an inexact way for a company to get a measure of a potential employee. That means they need to know if you can do the job just by having a few relatively short conversations with you. The problem is they can only base your competence on your CV and what you tell. Make sure you have thoroughly revised your employment history. It’s not uncommon for a potential employer to ask you to recite your employment history. There could be a few reasons for this (one being they can’t remember your CV after a day of interviews), but you need to be able to talk them through it. Including why you left positions or why there was a gap in your employment history. No one will begrudge you spending 6 months travelling the world, they just need to know. More importantly you should be able to recall and explain in detail a number of examples where you have made a real impact. It can be a specific project, hitting targets, directly contributing to business growth or profit. Equally – what didn’t go so well? What was a learning experience for you? How did that make you a better leader or team member? Whatever it is you need to be able to speak with confidence about each of your examples. And draw on more information if the interviewer has questions. This is your chance to show your future employer your best self. The person who gets things done and delivers results. Because you are that person. Or you wouldn’t be at the interview stage. But go deeper than that. Think about how these examples could translate to your potential new role. Whether it’s leading a team, smashing your targets or solving a technical challenge – consider how this will make you an effective team member. Finally, don’t be afraid to make notes to refer to. The same goes for any research you carry out regarding the business. It won’t count against you. Quite the opposite, as it will demonstrate your commitment. Communication is Key You don’t need to be an extrovert to succeed at interviews, you just need to get the basics of communication right. For one thing, most communication (in the range of 90%) is non-verbal. So making eye contact, smiling, sitting up straight and avoiding things like crossing your arms all help to present a friendlier image. Although it may seem harsh to be penalised for not doing these things, but humans are a social species and we unconsciously pick up on these things. Like it or not these are social norms and if you consider yourself a little awkward on that front then it’s something you’ll need to practice. If you have a learning disability or mental health issue that makes this a challenge for you, let us know and we can manage the interviewer’s expectations. Remember, you can’t be discriminated against on those grounds so it’s far better to be honest about it. If you are concerned that you will struggle it may be worth running through some mock interviews with someone you can trust so you can feel comfortable being asked questions and practising eye contact etc. Keep your trust notebook handy so you can write down questions. It’s easy to lose your train of thought when you’re nervous or if you’re prone to going off at a tangent. Writing the question down will help to solidify it in your mind making it far less likely you’ll forget it. And if you do…you have it to refer to. This will make you more confident when answering and likely result in a better answer. Remember – you’re there because the business sees something in you. They want you as part of their team. Enjoy that idea (without being arrogant or complacent) and enjoy the opportunity meeting with these people represents. You never know, it could be life changing. After the interview, follow up as soon as possible with your recruiter. Let them know how it went – what was good, what could have gone better. Also let them know what your thoughts are around whether you’d take the job. Strong commitment from you only helps your chances or success. No one wants to hire the lukewarm candidate who will treat it like ‘just another job’. Depending on where you are in the world it is etiquette to send a thank you note. It doesn’t need to be poetry, just an (ideally) handwritten note thanking your interviewer for their time and it was nice meet them. If the country you’re potentially working in has a strong culture for this, they will be keeping track of who sends a note and who doesn’t. Equally, if – like in the UK – the practice isn’t established doing something like this distinguishes you from other candidates. Note this only really applies if you’ve had a face to face interview. If – dude to distance – you won’t have a physical face to face interview, then do your best to send an email to the same effect. It makes all the difference. Whatever the role the important thing is that you have a recruiter you can trust to advocate on your behalf and keep you in the loop as you progress. KDC Resource are a leading engineering and technical recruiter operating in the aerospace, defence, space, emerging and disruptive technology and cyber security markets. If you’re looking for a new role register your details. Or, if you have a requirement that needs to be filled, get in touch and a member of the team will be happy to help.
Moonlandings and Slipping the Surly Bonds of Earth
NASA has just announced they need at least $1.6 billion in additional funding in order to meet the 2024 deadline of sending another manned mission to the moon. Dubbed Artemis the programme, was originally slated for a 2028 landing as part of the Space Policy Director 1, signed by President Trump in 2017. Artemis, incdentally is the Greek Goddess of the Hunt and the Moon. However, in March 2019 Vice President Pence announced that the timeline would be moved up to 2024. Although many claim the timetable shift was politically motivated, for NASA it presents a number of technical headaches. For one thing, NASA hates risk. Space travel is fraught with danger as the slightest mishap can cause everything from the mission being scrubbed to the death of the crew. Then there’s the launch. Despite their use of large, powerful rockets, NASA doesn’t like fire very much either. Fire is bad and goes to extraordinary lengths to make sure nothing gets hot, sparks or can burn in the first place. This takes time and money and chopping 4 years off the launch date puts scientists and engineers under a great deal of pressure. The Challenges The end of the Space Shuttle Programme effectively brought to a close NASA making its own hardware. Increasingly the space agency has relied on the Russians and private contractors like SpaceX to ferry personnel, equipment and hardware into space. NASA now have to deliver the Space Launch System in fraction of the time. The multibillion-dollar launcher has been in development since 2011 and has been plagued by setbacks and ballooning costs ever since. Pence’s address, in which he slashed the moon landing deadline, made it clear that the administration would no longer tolerate delays and partners would be shed if needs be. That’s bad news for Boeing. In order to meet the 2024 deadline, the SLS may have to be abandoned – or at least paused – in favour of using commercial rockets. Specifically, SpaceX’s Super Heavy. If NASA were to switch suppliers, it would be a heavy blow to Boeing’s reputation and likely their share prices. Not to mention the end of an 8-year gravy train that many saw as nothing more than an agency wide jobs programme. With the inaugural launch slated for 2018 and now looking more like 2020 it’s questionable whether or not Administrator Jim Bridenstine can continue to back the SLS. Especially considering the truncated time frame. Officially NASA remains confident the SLS can be delivered for 2024. But time pressures and the inherent risks associated with rushing anything to do with space travel may force NASA’s hand. Especially if SpaceX successfully launch their Super Heavy (formally the BFR) in 2020 as planned. Then they have to deliver Orion – the crew capsule that will ferry the astronauts into space. This too has been in development since 2004, when President George W Bush unveiled his Vision for Space Exploration. Built in partnership between Lockheed Martin and Airbus (and backed by the ESA) was originally intended to ferry crew and supplies to the ISS but has since had its operational remit widened to include the moon landing. Although now Amazon has thrown its hat into the ring with the Blue Origin lander that boasts capacity to carry 6.4 tonnes of supplies to the surface, it really could be anyone’s game at this point. Finally, the Gateway needs to be constructed. The Gateway is a secondary space station in orbit around the moon. It will serve as a staging ground for manned and unmanned missions to the lunar surface. It could also be a precursor to lunar colonisation. Regardless, it represents a way to reduce the cost and risks associated with landing objects on the moon. If successful it could also serve as an operational template for manned missions to Mars. But it doesn’t address one of the biggest challenges facing humanity’s ongoing endeavours in space exploration. Lift Off Since the very first attempts to turn us into a space faring species, we have relied on rocketry to get into space. Burning propellant to break free of both the atmosphere and gravity. Then there’s fuel on board the craft for the two-way trip which – if burned too quickly can prevent the success of the mission. And doom the crew to a very cold, unpleasant fate in the void. For the time being its unlikely we can do anything about launching craft or materials into space using a rocket. It’s hardly Star Trek but it works. With SpaceX achieving success with reusable rockets, the cost of launch can in theory decrease over time too. But what about once the module or craft is actually in space? Fuel capacity is low meaning that modules have to essentially line themselves up with their intended target, burn fuel and hope for the best. The margin for error is incredibly slight. In the case of sending a manned mission to the moon, it’s like throwing a dart and hitting the bullseye from the other side of the room. With your off hand. However, alternatives are in development that could make interstellar travel entirely more feasible, avoiding the need for fuel altogether beyond the fuel used by the Reaction Control Systems. The EM Drive The EM Drive was discovered by accident and uses no fuel whatsoever. It works by bouncing microwaves around a cone shape cavity. It defies laws of physics and recent test in Germany question the engine’s ability to function at all. However, if the engine does prove functional then it could represent a means to propel humans through the stars without the need for fuel. As the engine requires relatively little energy it could be powered by solar cells, making space travel incredibly efficient. Currently the future of the EM Drive is in doubt as the recent tests suggest that the thrust created by the drive is being caused by the Earths’ electromagnetic field. Critics claim that the tests weren’t through enough as the outputs tried were so low that interference would have drowned out any positive results. Moreover, without a mu metal shield it’s impossible to determine if the Earth’s electromagnetic field is responsible. The LightSail 2 The idea of solar sails has been toyed with by science fiction writers for years. Star Wars and Star Trek have both depicted craft that harness photons in order to propel ships through space. While light has no mass, it has momentum which can be passed on to other objects. The solar sail effectively captures the light and with it the momentum, driving the ship forward. Again, solar sails to don’t require fuel of any kind. Just a big enough to catch enough rays to push the craft forward. The LightSail 2 built by The Planetary Society will launch in June 2019. The cubesat will deploy its sail – roughly the size of a boxing ring - and attempt to orbit the Earth using nothing but harnessed light particles. If success it’ll be a historic moment and could provide NASA and other organisations, they answer to the long-standing challenge of how to travel the vast distances of space without – effectively – bringing a fuel truck along for the ride. Whether the EM Drive or the LightSail 2 works is almost incidental. The concepts highlight the need and the desire to devise a means of propulsion that doesn’t require carrying vast amounts of fuel. Or requires fire or radiation. We’re still a long way off impulse engines, warp drive or hyperspace but it’s a step in the right direction towards sustain space flight. Which opens huge potential in terms of exploring our solar system and beyond. KDC Resource are expert recruiters for technical and engineering talent for the space sector. If you’re looking for your next opportunity, then register your details. Or if you’d like to work with us on your requirements, get in touch today and a member of the team will help.
Blown-Air Tech could Revolutionise Flight
When the Wright Brothers first took to the sky (well, a few feet off the ground) in 1903 they unwittingly created an entirely new form of engineering. One that would become one of the most significant in the world, creating offshoots that would ultimately see humans travel in to outer space. Aerospace engineering and its countless innovations have shaped the world in ways that few can full imagine. The complexity of a modern aircraft is staggering. Since Orville and Wilbur’s three axis control system, aerospace engineers have busied themselves trying to make aircraft more reliable, more efficient and as manoeuvrable as possible. The evolution of the Wright Brothers original design has enabled aircraft to become bigger and bigger as well as manoeuvre at supersonic (and soon hypersonic) speeds. However, this has resulted in complex control surfaces that are difficult and expensive to maintain. Not to mention very noisy. The other issue being that failure of any critical component within a control surface could put lives at risk. When incidents have occurred due to control failure, it has usually been down to the hydraulics or flight control systems. The causes for this can range from human error – such as poor maintenance – to weather conditions. Essentially, the current design of aircraft was designed to fly under very specific conditions and when pushed beyond tolerances things can end poorly. The Answer is Blowing the Wind The MAGMA UAV, developed by engineers from the University of Manchester and BAE Systems has made history by being the first aircraft to be manoeuvred using supersonically blown air, eliminating the need for all control surfaces. During a series of test flights in Wales, the team successfully flew trialled ‘flap free’ technologies that could, one day, replace the traditional control surfaces seen on every form of aircraft in the world. It works by simply replacing those control surfaces with a system that channels air from the engines and blows it through narrow slots around specially shaped wings. If successful it could make aircraft lighter, more reliable, simpler to manufacture and therefore cheaper. In theory it could also make stealth technology more reliable as the absence of control surfaces would make stealth aircraft harder to detect. If trials continue to prove successful, the technology could be applied to a Future Combat Air System. Making aircraft lighter without compromising manoeuvrability could represent a major breakthrough. Lighter aircraft make for faster, more fuel-efficient aircraft. Or they can carry a heavier payload. In terms of civil aviation – the removal of complex hydraulics from the aircraft could transform the design of aircraft altogether. Companies like Airbus have been patenting revolutionary concepts for commercial aircraft of the future for years. But current technology has prevented many of them from being anything close to feasible. If blown air technology replaces the traditional control surfaces, then the implications are significant. Obviously, there’s a lot more testing to be done, not least of all with a full-sized aircraft, but the early results are encouraging. All Directional Flying Object The University of Manchester aren’t the only ones testing an alternative design to traditional aircraft. More akin to the flying saucers from the sci-fi movie Independence Day, the aircraft is like nothing seen in modern skies. An engineering duo based in Romania is behind the All Directional Flying Object and believe it could be the next evolution in sustained flight. Similar to the systems developed for the MAGMA UAV, the ADIFO, is able to use thrusters in order make turns. However, with integrated fans into a single wing design means it is both capable of VTOL and multidirectional flight. Moreover, the mono-wing design can reach supersonic speeds far quicker than convention designs by avoiding a sonic boom. The drag co-efficient for traditionally designed aircraft increases 7-8 times during transonic flight. The ADIFO only experiences 1-2 times. So, the ADIFO can reach super sonic speeds much faster than normal and without the complications associated with sonic booms. The issue that plagued Concorde’s time in the skies. A boomless supersonic aircraft, capable of vertical take off and landing and hyper manoeuvrability has tremendous practical applications. At present the creators of the ADIFO see the aircraft performing as a military vehicle, combat drone or private aircraft. Manned test flights are expected once they can build a large enough prototype. The cliché UFO design may be aerodynamically ingenious but it’s unlikely to work for commercial flight. At least not without making the aircraft significantly bigger than current airliners. However, the aircraft is theoretically capable of supersonic flight, without any of the drawbacks of any current design. This could mean that airlines would require fewer craft to meet the same demand. Which would also mean lower emissions. Both technologies represent exciting leaps in aerospace. Both could transform the aerospace and defence industries and how we move people and materials around the world. An innovation that could make supersonic flight affordable for all would change not just how we do business but make the world a lot smaller. Of course, there is no indication how fast aircraft like the ADIFO can travel but the potential to turn countries like Australia commutable would be incredible. Similarly, a new system to replace control surfaces that would make aircraft easier and safer to fly would benefit both the aerospace manufacturers and the airlines alike. Possibly making flights more affordable too. As if often the case with two competing technologies, one design will likely win out over the other. Which usually turns out to be the cheapest too. KDC Resource are leading recruiters for technical and engineering talent for the Aerospace, Defence and Emerging & Disruptive technology markets. If you’re looking for you next role register your details with us today. If you’re looking for top technical talent then get in touch and a member of the team will be in contact with you to discuss your requirements.
50 Years of Airbus
May 2019 marks 50 years of Airbus. Although the first order for Aibus’ A300B wasn’t placed until 1970, the company’s founding – as we know it today – was the year before. Airbus was a multi-national project designed to rejuvenate the flagging European aerospace industry. It was clear that if something wasn’t done the American aerospace giants would dominate the world, relegating the European industry to little more than subcontractors and put thousands out of work. It was ambitious and had the potential to shift the balance of power in an industry that was growing at an increasingly rapid rate. Airbus however was almost sunk when Britain – nervous over the growing costs of Concorde and resentful that Rolls Royce engines weren’t to be used – backed out of the deal. West Germany instantly stepped in and offered half the cash. The country’s finance minister – Franz-Josef Strauss – saw Airbus as an opportunity to rebuild Germany’s decimated aerospace industry and an opportunity to strengthen inter-European co-operation. The Early Days West Germany’s involvement saved Airbus from certain doom. Their backing as well as a £35 million loan to British manufacturer Hawker Siddeley guaranteed that Airbus at least had a chance to succeed. Hawker Siddeley defied the government’s withdrawal, choosing to stay on as a preferred subcontractor. They were including in board meetings but didn’t have a vote. But they were responsible for making the A300 wings and other key components. Roger Beteille, Technical Director for Airbus, was utterly focused on two things: providing an aircraft that met the needs of the market and multinational co-operation. Therefore, he redesigned the plane from 300 seats to 250. A300B would be a plane to occupy the regional flight market that was rapidly expanding across Europe and the US. By making the aircraft smaller they could also use existing engine technology and one fewer engine than US rivals. This made the aircraft cheaper to build, cheaper to buy and cheaper to run. He then divided the work up between France, Germany, Spain, The Netherlands and Britain’s Hawker Siddeley. Beteille was more interested in utilising the talent where it could do the most good. He was famously quoted as saying: “I wanted to use all the available talents and capacities to their utmost without worrying about the colour of the flag or what language was spoken,” A mindset that was nothing short of visionary at a time when the world was still licking its wounds from World War 2 and the USSR’s hold over the rest of Europe was all but assured. Airbus and modern commercial flight The A300B was 80 centimetres narrower and 5.6 metres shorter than the original A300 design making it 25 tonnes lighter. Beteille also had the idea to raise the cabin floor slightly to allow two LD3 freight containers to fit in the hold, side by side. This increased the profitability of the aircraft by being able to carry more cargo. Hawker’s wing design also allowed the A300 to climb faster to cruise altitude than any other aircraft. This made the aircraft very efficient and economical. Plus, the sooner the plane got to cruising altitude the sooner the cabin crew could start selling in-flight services. The A300, by any measure, was an incredibly feat of engineering and set a new benchmark for the industry. In the following years Airbus patiently and systematically identified a market and devised an aircraft to meet that need. A300B was perfect for European and internal US flights. The A300B4 offered a long-haul alternative and helped Airbus break into the Asia markets. Despite best efforts however, by the mid-70s sales had dried up and production had been scaled back. It was only through sheer tenacity and the quality of the A300 product that finally broke the dry spell in 1977, putting the company back on track. It was the same year that Airbus made history when the A300B4 became the first ETOPS (Extended Twin-Engine Operations) certified aircraft in the world. This gave airlines far greater versatility with routing as the aircraft was safe to fly over water. In the years that followed Airbus continued to push the boundaries, developing new aircraft and innovative new approaches to make the aircraft lighter, more efficient and better value to their customers. In 1985 Airbus made history again when its A310-300 employed an all composite fin, which was the first time an all composite primary structure had been used. With Airbus having come close to 30% market share in its first decade of active trading. With a healthy order book and a strong foothold in the US market, Airbus pushed ahead with the Airbus family of aircraft. Throughout the 80s and 90s the A330 and A340 grew in popularity and continued to push the boundaries. The ultra-long A340-300 could carry 295 passengers 7,150 nautical miles, and the shorter A340-200 could travel 7,750 nautical miles. The continued success could be attributed to Airbus holding true to Beteille’s mantra of always listening to customers. Airbus in the 21st Century As the years marched on so did Airbus’ commitment to innovation, delivering an ever-expanding family of aircraft that could meet the needs of its customers, wherever they sat in the commercial marketplace. Partnering with Rolls Royce on increasingly fuel-efficient engines also meant that Airbus planes continued to represent both great value and lower running costs. The 21st Century saw the 10,000th order, the 7,000th plane and the 5000th A320 delivered and a few later the 10,000th A320 was ordered. All impressive milestones. For all of Airbus’ successes over the last two decades – of which there has been a great deal – they grabbed the headlines for the wrong reasons earlier in 2019. Airbus announced that despite their best efforts, they were no longer going to produce the record breaking A380. For many it didn’t come as a big surprise. With airline ticket sales down, increasing pressure to cut emissions and customer satisfaction at an all time low, it was little wonder. But it also suggests that – even after all these years – Airbus is still listening to its customers. Although the A380 is an incredible feat of engineering, there is – at this moment in time – no need for a plane of that size. That’s fine. Markets change. Airbus did the right thing by making that difficult decision. It would have been far worse had Airbus continued to push a plane that was costing them money. With the double decker mantle passing back to Boeing, Airbus has another challenge to deal with. The long-delayed Mitsubishi regional jet has begun its certification flights and looks to occupy a similar niche to the one that established Airbus as a global name. It’s also a big deal for Japan as this is the first airliner they have produced since the 1960s. This is bad news for Airbus and Boeing as Japan and its regional economic partners are like to lean more towards the MRJ when it’s officially on sale in the next year or so. Considering Airbus bought Bombardier’s C Series airliner project to meet its regional jet operations, they have some serious skin in the game already. But with a potential windfall. Experts predict the regional jet market to be worth up to $135 billion by 2037. Mitsubishi plans to launch the regional jet next year. Considering the production problems that plagued them over more than a decade and $2 billion in development, it really needs to meet that deadline. Failure to do so will kill the offering before it gets off the ground. Whatever happens with Mitsubishi, Airbus’ track record for innovation and taking competitors head on means that they will likely be fine. Or pivot to a new, more profitable market. Their willingness to mothball the A380 is proof enough that they’re not afraid to make the tough decisions or push forward in a new direction when the market conditions dictate. Whatever Airbus come up with next, they’ll apply the same recipe they always have for the last 5 decades that turned them into one of the biggest aerospace businesses in the world. KDC Resource are leaders in technical and engineering recruitment for the aerospace market. If you’re looking for a new opportunity register your details today. Alternatively, if you’d like support with your talent search, get in touch and we’ll be happy to help.