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Thread: Advice For ME Major

  1. #1
    Associate Engineer
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
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    Advice For ME Major

    All,

    I am a junior ME, and i am looking for some advice. I have worked an internship since January, and I have enjoyed most of it. I worked as a process intern, and i am unsure if that is the route i want to pursue. I know that i can't ask anyone to tell me what i should do with my life, but I just want some advice or some additional perspectives. When it comes to what areas I should look into for the future.

    I have worked on three main different projects at school: a rocket for the NASA SLI competition, a small scale industrial chain lift, and a bike for an individual for with physical disabilities.

    I enjoy working and learning about various materials and their properties, designing, and working with mechanical devices. (not interested in long walks on the beach)

    I like the idea of a design role in engineering. The only reservation I have is that I am uncertain how a practical design setting compares to what I have worked on in college and my internship. I loved being a team lead, and "systems engineer" on the chain lift project. (I know i wasn't really a systems engineer but that is the title the professor gave)

    Any advice is appreciated!

  2. #2
    Technical Fellow jboggs's Avatar
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    Mar 2011
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    Myrtle Beach, SC
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    My story: Growing up with a father who was a very creative and competent mechanical engineer (32 patents in fiberglass extrusion), I was fascinated when I saw machines he designed and followed his footsteps. I don't have 32 patents, but I do have over 40 years of mechanical design work under my belt and I don't regret a minute of it. I have designed, installed, and debugged automation and manufacturing equipment for industries as diverse as automotive glass, tires, hearing aids, machine tools, and even aircraft. Mechanical engineering is, in my opinion, by far the most wide ranging and diverse of the engineering disciplines. (Can you think of ANY product that wouldn't need an ME in its development and production?) I chose to specialize in the sub-discipline of Machine Design (as opposed to HVAC, Structural, Piping, etc.). There is no joy like struggling for months with numerous design obstacles and failed attempts to finally watching something you designed run smoothly and reliably, doing what it was meant to do with no hiccups. In a lot of ways, your most successful projects are the ones that get the least long-term attention and notice because, well, because they simply work. And keep on working, quietly and under the radar.

    I don't know if I've triggered any thoughts for you, but you reminded me of myself a few decades ago. Thought I'd give you a little glimpse "from the other side".
    Last edited by jboggs; 08-23-2017 at 02:29 PM.

  3. #3
    Associate Engineer
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Posts
    3
    I really appreciate your reply! I agree I enjoy the wide range of possibilities that come with this area of engineering. And I feel like I would enjoy the broad range of opportunities and work that you described. It makes me think of the different projects I have been on and how I have enjoyed working on the design aspects, and when it finally comes together. I once worked for seven hours straight on three hours of sleep ( after working most of the night on it) to finish fine tuning a project before giving a demonstration of it and how it works. While it could be frustrating I enjoyed working on it and it was great to finally see it run correctly.

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