Ian Barton

Ian Barton

MSc Tech (Aviation) - 2015 Graduate
Duty Technincal Manager — Qantas

What appealed to you about UNSW and your degree?

I was already working in the Aviation industry as a licenced aircraft maintenance engineer, and had begun moving into more of a management role. In order to further progress in my career, I believed that I needed to gain more knowledge of the industry outside of engineering and maintenance. UNSW offered a tertiary qualification which had a profound reputation within the Qantas community, and it was the best choice for me. 


What is the most valuable thing you took away from your time at UNSW?

Being involved in a small part of the industry, I was really blind to how broad the aviation industry is. The Master’s degree showed me there is so much more than what meets the eye. It’s not just pilots, mechanics and flight attendants; aviation includes scheduling, security, operation, air law and so much more. I believe the degree helped me to widen my scope of industry knowledge, allowing me to be better in touch with other divisions within Qantas and in turn made me more hireable. 


Where has your career taken you? 

Since I have finished my degree I have moved from an engineering role to a supervisor role and now employed as a Duty Technincal Manager at the Qantas Maintenance Operations centre. This has given me the opportunity to work on a variety of interesting projects, including the “Entry Into Service” project overseeing the introduction of 787s into the Qantas fleet. The understanding of other aviation entities allowed me to effectively communicate in my business dealings and progress further in my career.


What innovations do you think the industry needs?

The use of technology is completely undermined in the aircraft maintenance sector of the aviation industry. The utilisation of drones for inspections of aircraft and advanced airframe corrosion/damage techniques require more exploration and so much more. 

I also believe more research needs to be completed around safety in contracted maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO). There is anecdotal evidence which proves the benefits of MRO, little of which balances safety and financial aspects.


What would your advice be for those currently studying or considering the study of Aviation at UNSW?

I would tell students to give themselves as much scope as you can by getting involved in everything. Having an understanding of a wide area of the industry is such a valuable trait to employers. Pay attention whilst studying, the subjects are very relevant and current to the industry which will help you when you enter the workforce. 

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