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jim hardy
Dec29-12, 05:01 PM
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For those who are working engineers, what field are you working in? What attracted you to the field and is it what you imagined when you first started the journey?
Like the other posters here i enjoyed tinkering with, and figuring out machinery.
I was introduced to electronics in high school and did well at it. I figured i'd make a career of communications electronics.
In college i found i enjoyed electric machinery a lot more than circuits, for the circuits courses seemed to deteriorate into abstract if clever alphabet juggling and i didnt see the point of it. So i took an electric three phase power course after "Transistor Circuit Design".

I'd always enjoyed machinery. One of my "AHA" moments was when took apart a planetary gear automobile transmission and figured out how to work it in my head.
I also loved "analog computing" where we solved differential equations with opamp circuits - about the most visual example you can get of pure math at work in Nature.

I was tremendously curious about the reactor building at my school. My advisor let me take "Reactor Physics" and "Reactor Operation" as senior year electives. Both were fascinating with just the right blend of math and real concepts that one could visualize. I found the reactor even more fascinating than planetary gears; struggled through the vector calculus, did starttups, flux distribution measurements with a copper wire inserted in the fuel elements, learned to understand multiplying systems, and learned the simple electronic reactor instrumentation .....

Well - it worked out ideally. My hometown electric utility was building a nuke plant. They needed to hire some engineers for it.
It's a small world and the Lord lets you know when he's had a hand in your fate. When i applied for the job, the head of personnel came down to greet me. His daughter and i had won a lot of spelling bees in fourth grade and he remembered my name those years later....
I worked there 30+ years and became a reactor systems handyman because of my non-specialized background.

But now i'm retired.

So - to your question: it was not what i expected but i dont see how it could have been any more interesting.
If you apply yourself to all the subjects, the one meant for you will self-announce. (or be announced for you)

old jim