Associate Professor & Examinations Manager, Abu Dhabi Polytechnic
Ashley Davies is a Senior Engineering and Training Manager with wide-ranging experience in the aviation industry. Currently an Associate Professor and Examinations Manager in the Aircraft Engineering Technology Department at Abu Dhabi Polytechnic (formerly Al Ain International Aviation Academy) UAE. His teaching responsibilities include Avionics, Human Factors and Aviation Legislation.
Mr Davies joined Abu Dhabi Polytechnic in 2013 and helped develop new teaching material for changes brought about by EASA Regulation 1149/2011.
Mr Davies has spent over 40 years in aviation involved in new Aircraft Certifications (SAAB-340 & others), Support, Consultancy & Training. He has written several Training Manuals for Basic Par-66 Licence Courses and Type Training Manuals for the Hawker 800 aircraft series.
He is currently undertaking research in Risk & Change Management in the final year of a MSc Programme with Trinity College Dublin.
How has the Digital Revolution Affected the Way Engineers Learn Aviation Engineering?
In the 21st Century, aviation technology has developed beyond all recognition compared to that of the 1980s. As most modern aircraft now use electronics for their systems and composites for their structure, the requirement for Licenced individuals is growing exponentially and good ones are becoming hard to find. Training such individuals to European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) Part-66 and Federal Aviation Administration A&P requirements takes time, with a minimum of five years’ training to obtain an EASA Licence through a Part-147 Approved Training facility; most take longer, with self-starters taking up to 10 years.
Digital technology has revolutionised aircraft manufacturing, performance and maintenance in the last 20 to 30 years, with the introduction of computers in all facts of Aviation Engineering. In the same time-frame, the way Engineers are taught has changed little.
Millenia Generation students learn differently as they have been brought up captivated by the myriad of digital products available.
With aircraft numbers projected to double by 2030 and modern aircraft’s reliance on Avionics & Composites, the need for Licenced Engineers/Technicians & Mechanics is already critical. Teaching modern aircraft systems needs to change, but it is becoming more difficult without the assistance of MROs, Avionic Manufacturers and Airline/Operators as system training aids, if available, are prohibitively expensive.
In order to employ and train these engineers etc., MROs and operators will have to expand their own training facilities or rely on the output of existing schools.
The industry needs a solution that will generate enough maintenance personnel to meet the ever advancing requirements as aircraft numbers and complexity continues increasing throughout this century.