Zimbabwean Vukile Dumani has been named Airbus UK’s Filton apprentice of the year. He completed his higher engineering studies in September and is now a specialist engineer in non-destructive testing.
What does your job in non-destructive testing involve?
I use NDT techniques to look for defects in aluminium, carbonfibre and other materials like steel. We apply ultrasonics and eddy currents into materials, as these are reflected by defects. Another technique is to look for changes in a magnetic field caused by cracks or delamination in carbonfibre. The layers of carbonfibre are more complex than aluminium, so we are developing new techniques that could be used on Airbus aircraft.
Can you describe a typical working day?
There is no such thing as a typical day. One day I could be working upside down inspecting an A400M wing in Seville, and the next I could be writing a procedure for inspecting the landing gear attachments on an A320. Each task presents a new challenge. Sometimes we have to conduct inspections for airlines – for example if an aircraft has had a hard landing – and this could be anywhere in the world. Continue reading…