Graduate’s new job is ‘out of this world’

Date 11.08.2021

A graduate’s career has gone ‘out of this world’ thanks to his time studying Engineering at UON and stratospheric careers guidance.

Alex Uifălean – originally from Romania – graduated from the Mechanical Engineering degree in 2019, gaining a First Class Honours degree.

But his ambitions are truly cosmic as his time at the University is helping him rocket toward his dream job as an astronaut.

Alex explains about how he made use of as many opportunities here as he could: “I knew I wanted to study a technical subject. So, naturally I chose Engineering at the University of Northampton.

“It’s not just about turning up for lectures. Studying at the University helped establish my basis in engineering knowledge and skills and also securing a one-year placement at automation technology company Festo between my second and final years, for which I won a Northampton Engineering Training Partnership award. The award goes to the student who has progressed the most both academically and personally since they arrived at university.

“The lecturing team was another factor that helped along the way with excellent, helpful and friendly academics across the board.

“Moreover, graduating with a First Class degree helped me meet, even surpass, the minimum requirements for enrolling on an MSc Space Engineering course which, in turn, helped me get my current job.”

Alex is now employed as a Mechanical and AIT (Assembly, Integration and Test) Intern at space company Open Cosmos Ltd. He started last month and is working hands-on with space technology undertaking mechanical and electronic assembly as well as running and automating tests.

He is also sure that part of the reason he secured this job is down to the University’s dedicated Employability Team. He adds: “My involvement with them comprised three mock interviews for which I received comprehensively written feedback telling me whether my individual answers to her questions was on point or needed improvement. The questions were great and really on point.

“I had a couple of interviews with other companies before I finally got the position I was hired for. The job is going great! The company culture and people are amazing. I am straight away involved with critical spacecraft design and building projects which both challenge and excite me.

“My long-term plan is to become an astronaut for the European Space Agency but for this I have a little further to travel to train both physically and mentally, for the next 13 years or so which is about when the next astronaut selection will take place.”

Find out more about the Mechanical Engineering BEng (Hons)/MEng.