Favorite Engineering branch?

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Re: Favorite Engineering branch?

Postby Ah! Real Raptors! » Sun May 30, 2010 4:30 am UTC

Hmm, with my usual indecisiveness... I think Chemical, Electrical and Mechanical engineering are all super interesting :D Physics and math being my current majors, I can't decide what dual degree to change into. Probably Physics and *some* form of engineering, but who knows, goddamn the need to get a job after completing my degree, if I could stay at uni forever and study endless degrees my life would be complete :D

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Re: Favorite Engineering branch?

Postby Odd_nonposter » Fri Jun 04, 2010 2:46 am UTC

I'm thinking Chemical or Food, Agricultural, and Biological. (FABE) Bro's got a bachelor's degree in FABE with a power machinery specialty, and now has a really cushy job for Cummins.
I like my chemistry classes, though.
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Re: Favorite Engineering branch?

Postby KestrelLowing » Fri Jun 11, 2010 2:42 pm UTC

I have to say mechanical is my favorite, but I wish I could do it all! (Except maybe civil - concrete just isn't that interesting!)

Ideally, if I had all the time and money in the world, I'd love to get degrees in mechanical eng, materials eng, computer science, chemistry (plain, not eng), physics (or engineering physics), electrical eng, and biology, in that order. Of course, by then I'd also have a mechatronics degree as well as biomedical, otherwise those would be in my list!

I guess I'll have to stick with a BS in MechE and a masters - maybe in mechatronics, or simply mechanical with a focus on robotics.

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Re: Favorite Engineering branch?

Postby MessioticRambles » Wed Jun 16, 2010 5:34 am UTC

ROBOTS! Would that be Mechatronic or Mechanical or what? I mean, I know I'm a Software Engineer and all, but I still can't get over the need to fiddle with things, I'm actually considering doing another Bachelor's degree after I finish SoftEng, I mean, I could probably do it really fast if I chose one that just requires Maths, Computer Science and first year Electrical Engineering (my God I hate it, too many pseudo-explanations) because I'll have already done them =P
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Re: Favorite Engineering branch?

Postby KestrelLowing » Wed Jun 16, 2010 12:07 pm UTC

MessioticRambles wrote:ROBOTS! Would that be Mechatronic or Mechanical or what? I mean, I know I'm a Software Engineer and all, but I still can't get over the need to fiddle with things, I'm actually considering doing another Bachelor's degree after I finish SoftEng, I mean, I could probably do it really fast if I chose one that just requires Maths, Computer Science and first year Electrical Engineering (my God I hate it, too many pseudo-explanations) because I'll have already done them =P


In my dream world, it would be studying robotic locomotion, so I guess more mechanical, but mechatronics would be good as well. I really do need to learn a bit more about programming and controls though. There's a couple universities I know of that have labs for robotic locomotion (at least in grad levels) so I'm really, really hoping I can get into one of those programs for grad school.

The degree you're describing sounds a little like computer engineering, but I'm not sure how helpful that would be for robotics.

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Re: Favorite Engineering branch?

Postby MessioticRambles » Thu Jun 24, 2010 2:16 am UTC

KestrelLowing wrote:In my dream world, it would be studying robotic locomotion, so I guess more mechanical, but mechatronics would be good as well. I really do need to learn a bit more about programming and controls though. There's a couple universities I know of that have labs for robotic locomotion (at least in grad levels) so I'm really, really hoping I can get into one of those programs for grad school.

The degree you're describing sounds a little like computer engineering, but I'm not sure how helpful that would be for robotics.


What you call Computer Engineering is what we call Computer Systems Engineering, and as for first year, they are exactly the same, it's just that from second year onwards I am only required to do Computer Science whereas they are required to do Electrical Engineering and Computer Science courses.
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Re: Favorite Engineering branch?

Postby Bakemaster » Fri Jun 25, 2010 1:45 am UTC

Two of the groomsmen at my wedding did Computer Engineering at Northeastern. They described it pretty much as a mix of CS and EE. They both took a robotics course, but it might have been a special elective rather than a major requirement; I'm not sure.
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Re: Favorite Engineering branch?

Postby Alx_xlA » Fri Jun 25, 2010 5:04 am UTC

Civil, Mechanical, and Industrial Engineering are the ones for me... I like the practical aspects of it.
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Re: Favorite Engineering branch?

Postby waltwhitmanheadedbat » Fri Jun 25, 2010 9:29 am UTC

IMO:

-Electrical, chemical, industrial and mechanical strike me as very general and versatile.

-Others like petroleum and aerospace strike me as very particular but people get paid an awful lot and probably have enough general chemical/mechanical to kick vast tracts of posterior. Also, I saw a reddit iama with a photonics/laser engineer and he was pretty awesome. Similar situation most likely.

-Computer engineering is double strength awesome sauce, the work with FPGAs especially.

I suppose my dream job (if I had a desire to work a regular job over being a business owner) would be chemical engineer with an awful lot of chemistry. Something with research as well as practical applications, say in pharmaceuticals. Even better if I can get some ethnobotany in there and work on practical ways to synthesize and mass-produce things that have traditional uses and heretofore have not been extracted and placed in a simple, elegant, buffered tablet.

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Re: Favorite Engineering branch?

Postby Bakemaster » Fri Jun 25, 2010 9:02 pm UTC

This thread might find the entry on Engineering from the Occupational Outlook Handbook of the bureau of labor (US Dept. of Labor) interesting. Especially the employment growth projections for various engineering fields:
Much faster than average growth: Biomedical, Civil, Environmental
Faster than average growth: Industrial, Petroleum, Mining & Geological
Average growth: Aerospace, Agricultural, Health & Safety, Materials, Nuclear
Slower than average growth: Mechanical, Marine, Computer
Little to no growth, or slight decline projected: Chemical, Electrical, Electronics
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Re: Favorite Engineering branch?

Postby MessioticRambles » Mon Jun 28, 2010 9:15 am UTC

Way to step on my hopes of having a job before I even come close to graduating ;-;
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Re: Favorite Engineering branch?

Postby The Pigeons' Rule » Mon Jun 28, 2010 10:55 am UTC

Anything but Electrical does it for me.
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Re: Favorite Engineering branch?

Postby Bakemaster » Mon Jun 28, 2010 2:17 pm UTC

MessioticRambles wrote:Way to step on my hopes of having a job before I even come close to graduating ;-;

It's worth noting that overall, engineering jobs are expected to grow about 11% over the next decade, and the only branch predicted to lose jobs is chemical engineering. Even if there's no growth, there is turnover when engineers retire, quit or are fired and replaced.
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Re: Favorite Engineering branch?

Postby Animastryfe » Wed Jun 30, 2010 11:55 pm UTC

Out of ones offered by universities such as Caltech, my favorite would be bioengineering. Not biomedical, but biological engineering.

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Re: Favorite Engineering branch?

Postby KestrelLowing » Thu Jul 01, 2010 11:35 am UTC

Animastryfe wrote:Out of ones offered by universities such as Caltech, my favorite would be bioengineering. Not biomedical, but biological engineering.


So what exactly is the difference?

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Re: Favorite Engineering branch?

Postby Animastryfe » Thu Jul 01, 2010 12:42 pm UTC

KestrelLowing wrote:
Animastryfe wrote:Out of ones offered by universities such as Caltech, my favorite would be bioengineering. Not biomedical, but biological engineering.


So what exactly is the difference?

The definition for the two terms may not be universally adopted, but from what I've seen biomedical engineering is about engineering medical devices, such as pacemakers, or engineering applied to the medical field specifically. Bioengineering, on the other hand, is about engineering biological systems, the application of engineering to fields such as biochemistry and molecular biology. Some organizations use the terms interchangeably, but if they do differentiate between the two terms then they usually use those definitions.

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Re: Favorite Engineering branch?

Postby KestrelLowing » Thu Jul 01, 2010 5:20 pm UTC

[quote="Animastryfe]The definition for the two terms may not be universally adopted, but from what I've seen biomedical engineering is about engineering medical devices, such as pacemakers, or engineering applied to the medical field specifically. Bioengineering, on the other hand, is about engineering biological systems, the application of engineering to fields such as biochemistry and molecular biology. Some organizations use the terms interchangeably, but if they do differentiate between the two terms then they usually use those definitions.[/quote]

Ahh, gotcha. So biomedicals work alongside biology, and bioengineering make/rearrange biology.

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Re: Favorite Engineering branch?

Postby Spen » Sat Jul 03, 2010 7:54 pm UTC

Mechanical right now but tomorrow I'm off to Loughborough uni for a headstart course in systems engineering (should probably go and finish packing now!)

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Re: Favorite Engineering branch?

Postby uncivlengr » Sun Jul 04, 2010 1:39 am UTC

I think if I were to choose another field outside of bridge engineering, it'd be something completely different: agricultural engineering.

I hadn't heard of it till I worked one summer for an agricultural research company that was located in a agricultural industrial park, which also had a university centre that focussed on agricultural engineering - they had these little miniature wetlands built as test plots, and they were mixing ratios of different plantlife to acheive some optimal balance, I presume.

It would require a complete re-education (my biology experience ended with 11th Grade Bio), but I love the idea of figuring out a natural system and being able to reproduce it in some reliable manner, finding means of mass food production that don't require such invasive techiques, etc. Both my parents are in agriculture, so I guess it's something toward which I'd be inclined to gravitate.
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Re: Favorite Engineering branch?

Postby MyNameIs » Tue Jul 06, 2010 5:52 pm UTC

I am quite interested in studying Engineering at university next year. It's my second choice after medicine so I have been scrutinising the disciplines of engineering. I like the idea of mechanical engineering but is maths or physics recommended for mechanical (or any engineering discipline)? I can't take both because I am doing Advanced Higher Biology and Chemistry. I'm leaning towards Maths however.

Chemical engineering sounds very interesting aswell. The thing about engineering (or so I hear) is that it is a very flexible degree and you can graduate with a sound knowledge of all disciplines as well as your specialised one that you have taken to a further level. My dream would be to be come an F1 mechanic.

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Re: Favorite Engineering branch?

Postby KestrelLowing » Tue Jul 06, 2010 7:46 pm UTC

MyNameIs wrote:I am quite interested in studying Engineering at university next year. It's my second choice after medicine so I have been scrutinising the disciplines of engineering. I like the idea of mechanical engineering but is maths or physics recommended for mechanical (or any engineering discipline)? I can't take both because I am doing Advanced Higher Biology and Chemistry. I'm leaning towards Maths however.

Chemical engineering sounds very interesting aswell. The thing about engineering (or so I hear) is that it is a very flexible degree and you can graduate with a sound knowledge of all disciplines as well as your specialised one that you have taken to a further level. My dream would be to be come an F1 mechanic.


Engineering is all about math and physics, especially mechanical. However, it sounds like with your interest in medicine, you might want to check out a biomedical engineering program. That major does require bio and chem, as well as physics (it's really a combination of mechanical, materials and electrical engineering with bio and chem thrown in) If I wasn't so disinterested in bio, that's probably where I'd be instead of mechanical. (However, biological inspired movement for robotics is something that's awesome!)

Engineering is quite a flexible degree - especially if you go into mechanical, chemical, or electrical. Those fields are very broad and you can really figure out what sub-area you want to pursue. Also, you don't really have to stick to strict engineering. Many people I'm going to school with now are planning on going to med or law school. Patent lawyers are something that is pretty popular for a possible job. Many also are planning for an MBA and will try to start their own companies.

If you really want to be an F1 mechanic, you’re going to need more than an engineering degree – while an engineering degree certainly wouldn’t hurt, I don’t think it’s a requirement to be a mechanic. A tech or trade school would perhaps be better. (Please correct me if I’m wrong! I know nothing about being an F1 mechanic!) Engineers typically don’t do mechanic work. They will work with the mechanics to troubleshoot problems, but most of the heavy hands-on work is left to the mechanics.

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Re: Favorite Engineering branch?

Postby MyNameIs » Wed Jul 07, 2010 9:16 am UTC

Engineering is all about math and physics, especially mechanical. However, it sounds like with your interest in medicine, you might want to check out a biomedical engineering program. That major does require bio and chem, as well as physics (it's really a combination of mechanical, materials and electrical engineering with bio and chem thrown in) If I wasn't so disinterested in bio, that's probably where I'd be instead of mechanical. (However, biological inspired movement for robotics is something that's awesome!)

Engineering is quite a flexible degree - especially if you go into mechanical, chemical, or electrical. Those fields are very broad and you can really figure out what sub-area you want to pursue. Also, you don't really have to stick to strict engineering. Many people I'm going to school with now are planning on going to med or law school. Patent lawyers are something that is pretty popular for a possible job. Many also are planning for an MBA and will try to start their own companies.

If you really want to be an F1 mechanic, you’re going to need more than an engineering degree – while an engineering degree certainly wouldn’t hurt, I don’t think it’s a requirement to be a mechanic. A tech or trade school would perhaps be better. (Please correct me if I’m wrong! I know nothing about being an F1 mechanic!) Engineers typically don’t do mechanic work. They will work with the mechanics to troubleshoot problems, but most of the heavy hands-on work is left to the mechanics.

BTW: Welcome!


Wow, thanks for the detailed response! Seriously, it's awesome to register and then get help like this. I've never actually thought about biomedical engineering and I think you might have changed my future career :P
I'll definitely look into it as it combines basically everything I have wanted to study into one degree. Thanks again.

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Re: Favorite Engineering branch?

Postby Secateurs » Wed Jul 07, 2010 10:28 am UTC

In light of the awesome help given to MyNameIs, I'm going to ask my own question. I'm pretty interested in doing engineering at uni next year, and was going to go to chemical engineering after the common first-year because I (very much) enjoy chemistry.

Are there any other fields of engineering which use a fair amount of chemistry in them? I'm not really into the biology-focused disciplines (I haven't done biology for a year and a half) but still love physics and maths. I'm actually midway through a week of civil/structural work experience, which is pretty cool, but not exactly where I want to go.
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Re: Favorite Engineering branch?

Postby Bakemaster » Wed Jul 07, 2010 1:37 pm UTC

Well, there's materials engineering, which also happens to be a pretty good field to go into given that a lot of our technology in the 21st century is going to require the creation of materials that don't yet exist.
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Re: Favorite Engineering branch?

Postby KestrelLowing » Wed Jul 07, 2010 6:38 pm UTC

Awww, I feel so warm and fuzzy inside!

Secateurs wrote:In light of the awesome help given to MyNameIs, I'm going to ask my own question. I'm pretty interested in doing engineering at uni next year, and was going to go to chemical engineering after the common first-year because I (very much) enjoy chemistry.

Are there any other fields of engineering which use a fair amount of chemistry in them? I'm not really into the biology-focused disciplines (I haven't done biology for a year and a half) but still love physics and maths. I'm actually midway through a week of civil/structural work experience, which is pretty cool, but not exactly where I want to go.


I'd also say to look at materials engineering. It has a lot to do with the structure of materials (well, duh) - like the length of polymer chains and why a certain structure makes a material ductile or brittle, etc. If you remember face centered cubic and stuff like that from chemistry and enjoyed it, I'd say you might have a good match with Mat. Sci. (Sometimes it's called materials science and engineering - there is quite a bit of science in there) You will use math (or “maths”, you crazy people!), but the use of physics might be slightly reduced. You may have to figure out the maximum stresses something will have to handle, but that's typically given to you from some MechE. Often, MechEs and MSEs work fairly closely together, so the physics (with respect to dynamics and such) will mostly be dealt with by the MechE.

As far as I know, chemical engineering mainly deals with processes. They obviously have a very strong background in chemistry, but they'll tend to work with chemical plants - figuring out reaction rates and flow rates and such to make the best product. I'm sure there are other things that chemical engineers do, but I'm just not sure. Unlike materials, there is no "Intro to Chemical Engineering" that I have to take.

PLEASE READ THIS: Note that I am only going off my experiences, I'm just a third year mechanical engineering student, and I'm purely going off what other people say - I have no direct experience. For a real indication, find someone who is actually out of school, in the real world, and in that said profession. If you want to go into engineering, but aren’t sure what kind, it’s ok to take a year (possibly two) to figure that out. Most engineering classes are the same the first few semesters, so you won’t be behind, and you’ll have time to talk to upper classmen.

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Re: Favorite Engineering branch?

Postby Secateurs » Thu Jul 08, 2010 1:31 pm UTC

Cool, thanks for the advice guys! I shall definitely investigate materials engineering some more :).
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Re: Favorite Engineering branch?

Postby not good at these things » Sun Aug 08, 2010 9:58 pm UTC

MessioticRambles wrote:ROBOTS! Would that be Mechatronic or Mechanical or what? I mean, I know I'm a Software Engineer and all, but I still can't get over the need to fiddle with things, I'm actually considering doing another Bachelor's degree after I finish SoftEng, I mean, I could probably do it really fast if I chose one that just requires Maths, Computer Science and first year Electrical Engineering (my God I hate it, too many pseudo-explanations) because I'll have already done them =P


Well, robotics isn't as simple a specialization like chemical->materials or electrical->computers or mechanical->aerospace
It's more of a mix or mechanical, electrical, and you need some decent programing skills. There's no ABET accredited robotics that I know of, yet, since it seems like more of a specialization done by mechanical or electrical and computer engineers. But some colleges have robotics departments and majors (like Carnegie, MIT I think, there's probably more but you'd have to search). I'd like to get my masters in robotics, at the very least minor in robotics with mechanical.

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Re: Favorite Engineering branch?

Postby kpmelomane21 » Wed Sep 01, 2010 8:34 pm UTC

KestrelLowing wrote:I have to say mechanical is my favorite, but I wish I could do it all! (Except maybe civil - concrete just isn't that interesting!)


Hey! Concrete can be fun! Have you ever made a concrete canoe for instance? (anyone know the competition I'm talking about?)

Civil Engineering=awesomeness

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Re: Favorite Engineering branch?

Postby KestrelLowing » Fri Sep 03, 2010 12:31 am UTC

kpmelomane21 wrote:
KestrelLowing wrote:I have to say mechanical is my favorite, but I wish I could do it all! (Except maybe civil - concrete just isn't that interesting!)


Hey! Concrete can be fun! Have you ever made a concrete canoe for instance? (anyone know the competition I'm talking about?)

Civil Engineering=awesomeness


Yup, I know exactly what you're talking about, but I certainly don't want to do concrete my entire life! Just not up my ally. While designing bridges would be cool, only the very top civil's get to do that. If you're not a top civil, you pretty much get stuck doing roads - maybe trains.

The very top MechE's of course do stuff like helping design the mars rovers, but the jobs that the non-top MechE's get aren't that offensive in my opinion. Manufacturing is pretty decent, and that's a fairly average job for a MechE.

Still, I'm very glad there are people out there who enjoy civil! I enjoy being able to use my car.


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