Advanced Engineering (Transport) Sector Profile


Northern Ireland has a strong tradition of manufacturing and engineering in the transport sector, particularly in aircraft, ship and bus production. In recent years the sector has placed a greater emphasis on advanced engineering, specifically innovation, design and development. This is because cheaper international labour costs mean local companies cannot compete in manufacturing. However, NI companies continue to develop their advanced engineering skills and capabilities.

Jobs in the sector

Aerospace design engineer
Aerospace engineer
Air traffic controller
Automotive engineer
Control and instrumentation engineer
Computer modeller
CAD operator
CNC machinist
Electrical engineer
Electrical manufacturing technician
Electrical technician
Electronics engineer
Freight forwarder

Logistics and distribution manager
Maintenance engineer
Naval architect
Packaging technologist
Passenger transport manager
Product design & development
Quality manager
Machine technician
Maintenance engineer
Materials engineer
Materials technician
Materials researcher
Mechanical engineer
Mechanical engineering
Mechanical technician

Measurement control technician
Motion controls engineer
Non destructive testing technician
Polymer Chemist
Safety inspector
Sheet metal worker
Stress engineer
Technical sales engineer
Telecommunications researcher
Transport modeller
Transport planner
Vehicle painter
Warehouse manager
Welder supply chain manager

Who are the employers?

There are a wide range of businesses working across this sector. They include:

BE Aerospace
Creative Composites Ltd
Denroy Plastics
Wrights Group
Bombardier Aerospace Belfast
Thompson Solutions
Martin Baker

Alpha Environmental
John Huddlestone Engineering
Whale Pumps
Datum Tool Design
RFD Beaufort
Nacelle Systems Consultancy

Studying in the sector

There is a range of engineering and transport related courses available at the colleges and Universities throughout NI and the UK. Some courses focus on electronic and mechanical skills whilst others focus on engineering and design. Some courses are also sector specific such as aerospace studies.

Courses available

Electromechanical engineering Mechanical engineering
Computer aided engineering
Mechanisms and machines
Agricultural mechanics
Automobile/motor vehicle engineering
Motor cycle engineering
Vehicle body work
Road transport engineering

Motor vehicle electronics
Production engineering
Aerospace studies
Aeronautical engineering
Fabrication engineering craft practice
Vehicle maintenance
Mechanical maintenance
Sheet metal working

Engineering design and manufacture
Plant process engineering
Plant Science

At school

Many of the subjects studied at school can set you on the right path for a career in the advanced engineering (transport) sector, for example, Mathematics, Science;and Technology and Art & Design.

For further and higher education courses visit:

Queens University

University of Ulster

Future of the sector

The future of the advanced engineering (transport) sector is promising and job prospects are good. The following six areas have been identified by experts as important areas to focus on in the sector for the future:

  • Design for passenger safety and security
  • Environmentally optimal products
  • Use of lighter, stronger and more cost effective materials
  • Innovative solutions combining products and services
  • Space
  • Intelligent transportation

Global issues and trends

  • Energy efficiency issues
  • Waste reduction
  • Increasing concerns about passenger safety and security
  • Globalisation
  • Increasing costs of fuels
  • Exploration of new frontiers
  • Demand for skilled workforce