A simulation engineer plays a pivotal role in all kinds of complex projects. They employ their technical prowess and understanding of simulation technologies to gauge the durability, performance, security and functionality of various solutions - within a virtual environment.
Say you have an engineering company that is developing a highly-intricate and costly product. This could be a new stealth aeroplane, a satellite or who knows...a submarine. In these instances, it is only advantageous to test potential prototypes in a simulation. It cuts down on outgoings and furthermore, it allows you to test the product within in situations where testing in real life is simply unfeasible.
For example, you could be working on a bot whose job it is to collect soil samples. Only, this bot is supposed to collect soil samples on Mars. You can’t really deploy prototypes every time you want to see how they get on in this instance. With a simulated test, however, you can run as many tests as you need.
The number one thing that a SImulation Engineer needs to be able to do is to comprehend the difficult environment and intricate components of the technical product that they are tasked to simulate. Their job begins, however, with fully understanding the end goals of the project, reporting what needs to be done and working closely with the other engineers in the team.
After the initial consultation, a Simulation Engineer will put al their focus on finding answers to the complicated mathematical problems attributed to the project. They will need to apply all their knowledge of scientific anomalies, fluid dynamics, quantum mechanics and thermodynamics.
After all this research, these engineers will use programming languages such as Python, C++ or Fontran to create model simulations. They will model for a plethora of different situations and test for any variable imaginable - all one after the other to thoroughly test the solution that they are working on. They want to make sure all the bases are covered before even considering to build the first physical prototype.
Oftentimes, Simulation Engineers just create mathematical simulations and make conclusions based on whichever results appear.
The performance of the simulation in these environments will determine any changes that need to be made before bringing the solution to life.
To get into this field of work, an undergraduate degree in a relevant area, such as astrophysics, mathematics, operational research, software, or virtually any engineering field will be necessary.
Don’t have a degree in any of these fields? You could also think about completing a postgrad qualification in one of those fields - especially if your plan is to enter via some kind of graduate program.
Another way to augment your chances of getting a job as a Simulation Engineer and get your foot in the door is by picking up some work experience with a relevant engineering company. That way, you’ll get a load of useful, hands-on experience and will give you the chance to expand your network of useful contacts.
Most of your training will occur on the job, you’ll learn a lot by just getting stuck into the project and under the careful eye of your supervisors - Senior Simulation Engineers. It’s highly likely that you will also have the chance to attend in-office training modules too.
It might also be necessary to learn new programming languages or enhance your skills in certain languages through external, company-paid courses. C++ for example is one of the most widely used languages in Simulation Engineering and is pretty much a must for the budding Sim. Eng.
Lastly, staying on top of trends within the Simulation industry will be vital to you being at the top of your game. Keep updated on the latest news and emerging technologies in the field and you will be able to add a heavy dose of innovation to all of your projects.
If you are looking to find your next Simulation Engineer job in space then we’re here to make sure you have the best start. Check out our CV-writing guide and signup to Space Individuals to receive a constantly-updated and curated list of space jobs that might interest you.