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An Integrated Civil Aviation Engineering Education Paradigm

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2006 Annual Conference & Exposition


Chicago, Illinois

Publication Date

June 18, 2006

Start Date

June 18, 2006

End Date

June 21, 2006



Conference Session

Best Practices and Structuring for Aerospace Curricula

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Page Count


Page Numbers

11.195.1 - 11.195.7



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Paper Authors


Jiasheng Zhang Northwestern Polytechnical University

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ZHANG JIASHENG, born in March, 1966, graduated from Northwestern Polytechnical University in 1989 with a master degree in aircraft engineering and from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, USA, in 2002 with a master degree of management in science and technology. Now teaching in Northwestern Polytechnical University, Xi’an, China

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

An integrated civil aviation engineering education paradigm

Introduction Instead of operating the airliners made in USSR, China has been keeping on operating more and more airliners from some western aircraft companies such as Boeing , Airbus and BAE since 1980s. This has driven its aircraft maintenance industry to shift and expand very fast. As the fleet of airliners expands, their maintenance service has also developed into an attractive business. Foreign aircraft maintenance providers have gradually entered into this segment and have made this industry come across globalization since early 1990s. The benchmark lies in the establishment of AMECO, Beijing, a joint venture between Lufthansa and Air China, in 1989. After then, Taico, Xiamen and Gameco, Guangzhou and some more other aircraft maintenance or aircraft subsystem and auxiliary parts maintenance companies have also been established as joint ventures or FDI(foreign direct investment) companies. Up to the mid of 1990s, almost all the key players in this industry are FDI companies or joint ventures.

This fast shifting of airliners’ operation has provided many challenges not only to Chinese airline companies, but also to aircraft maintenance service segment. The urgent need of qualified aircraft maintenance engineers is a very important one of these challenges. To meet the fast growing demand of high quality aircraft maintenance engineers from aircraft maintenance and airline companies, Civil Aviation Engineering College of Northwestern Polytechnical University (NPU) established in 1994. Operated by its board members, two CEOs from two airline companies and the president of NPU, the college has been cooperated with University of Maryland, USA in senior students’ foreign language and western culture training program as well as cooperated with aircraft maintenance companies such as Ameco, Beijing; CNWA (China Northwestern Airline); Gameco, Guangzhou and Hainan airline, etc. in providing students the tailored internship and co-developing their four-years curriculum schedule. The college has sent about a thousand qualified engineers with their bachelor’s degree into airline industries since then. About 30% of these engineers are working in foreign direct investment companies at homeland or abroad and 60% of them in joint ventures. This means 90% of our graduates are working in multi-cultural environment and are enjoying the achievements of my college’s being adaptive to the globalizing process and the market challenge in this industry.

This paper focuses on the analysis of the characteristics and challenges of this industry at first. Then based on reviewing and analyzing our solution to develop aircraft maintenance engineers, it researches into the challenges and characteristics facing aerospace engineering education in an eastern developing country and the key factors affecting this arena resulted from globalization process. The roles of aerospace engineering education for multicultural environments and the motivations in both university side and industry side are also explored by focusing on market pull and technology push. Aiming at building an effective education paradigm for developing our graduates to work in multicultural or global aerospace industry environment, this paper works on integrating our practices with some modern engineering education theories such as teamwork

Zhang, J. (2006, June), An Integrated Civil Aviation Engineering Education Paradigm Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--1100

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