The aim of this chapter is to give a broad overview of the activities related to the field referred to as aerospace engineering. More precisely, it aims at summarizing briefly the main scope in which the student will develop his or her professional career in the future as an aerospace engineer. First, a rough overview of what is engineering and what engineers do is given, with particular focus on aerospace engineering. Also, a rough taxonomy of the capabilities that an engineer is supposed to have is provided. Second, the focus is on describing the different aerospace activities, i.e., the industry, the airlines, the military air forces, the infrastructures on earth, the research institutions, the space agencies, and the international organizations. Last but not least, in the believe that research, development, and innovation is the key element towards the future, an overview of the current aviation research agenda is presented.

The contents of the chapter are:

1.1 Engineering

1.2 Aerospace activity

1.3 Aviation research agenda

1.3.1 Challenges

1.3.2 Clean Sky

1.3.3 SESAR