Yesterday I was lucky enough to be invited to Spirit AeroSystems’ A320 family spoiler facility’s opening event at their plant at Prestwick Airport. This was due to my PhD’s association with Spirit.

It was a bit of a surreal experience being there alongside such important guests as the dean and principal of the university, senior Airbus and Spirit executives and the First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon.

n interesting theme of the speeches was the highlighting of the company’s links with the University of Strathclyde. This is due to the tireless work of people such as Prof. Gareth Pierce, Dr Charles MacLeod and Dr Carmelo Mineo (who is sadly leaving Strathclyde mext week). It seems there are high expectations on me and my work, which is both flattering and utterly terrifying!

It’s a shame that my colleague who also was a PhD student associated with Spirit decided to leave, and did so yesterday. I totally understand his reasons (I share a lot of similar reservations). I wish him well for his future career.

The main thing I have learnt however is that what I’m researching is of value, not just for what it is, but for improving my prospects in the future. This was the main concern I’ve had about my PhD, as I understand that a lot of engineering companies don’t value PhDs (or indeed regard them as bad). The fact that Spirit are so enthusiastic is a real plus.