From Open University to Spacecraft Engineer- How OU Study Helped My Career

During my military service in the Royal Air Force, I took the opportunity to study a Bachelor’s degree with the Open University – a choice I never regretted and thoroughly enjoyed.  I look back at that time when things were very busy and I am very grateful for the all the tutors that I had over the years who helped me get to where I wanted to be.  Little did I know then that the path I was on would see me gain acceptance for a Masters Degree in Astronautics and Space Engineering at Cranfield University, but also to embark on the wonderful road of Doctoral research at the same institute.   Now, I get to design space vehicle systems and get involved with other wonderful projects around the world as well as making contacts and friends along the way.

It takes a lot of self-discipline to study with the Open University and for essentially becoming “self-taught” but as an Open University Alumni, I not only encourage you to consider distance learning, but also to encourage you to keep going if you are currently studying because the rewards will be worth it!  I remember some very good friends of mine during my RAF years wanted me to go on holiday with them and I even paid for the ticket, but I ended up not going because I had my maths exam (MST209) a week after I got back and I wanted to revise.  I missed out on a good holiday from the sounds of it, but the revision was worth it as that particular module turned out to be a “Key” module for getting me onto the MSc and ultimately, my PhD.

So have faith and keep with your studies – you will look back in a few years and not only feel you have accomplished something amazing, but hopefully it will have put you onto the career you want.

If you have any further questions or comments I look forward to hearing from you!  And if you are doing or are interested in any of the modules I have studied, then please don’t hesitate to ask about them!

Completed modules

T848 Managing technological innovation (2013)

T307 Innovation: designing for a sustainable future (2010)

T450 The engineering project (2010)

T889 Problem solving and improvement: quality and other approaches (2010)

T357 Structural integrity: designing against failure (2010)

MST209 Mathematical methods and models (2010)

T173 Engineering the future (2009)

T211 Design and designing (2009)

CMAS100 Life in the Universe and SETI (2008)

MST121 Using mathematics (2008)

S197 How the Universe works (2008)

S151 Maths for science (2008)

S196 Planets: an introduction (2008)

S194 Introducing astronomy (2008)

Completed qualifications

Postgraduate Certificate in Technology Management (C49)

Diploma in Design and Innovation (D43)

Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Technology (B20)

Certificate in Introductory Astronomy (C91)

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