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A Career in Engineering Analysis vs Design

  1. May 24, 2013 #1
    I was hoping to get some perspective from practicing engineers on the difference of a career in design making stuff, or analysis ( performing FEA, CFD etc on designs). I am in a rotational program and have some flexiblity. I ask because it appears these are divergent choices and going down one path will close the door on the other. Any opinions would be much appreciated. Thanks in advance.
  2. jcsd
  3. May 24, 2013 #2
    I personally haven't seen a difference career wise if you are in aerospace. For example as part of a design that modifies an aircraft structure the models built for the design are used to perform FAE on the structural, thermal, etc impacts of the change. Those results are rolled into design changes/improvements. But the same engineers doing the design are the same ones doing the analysis.

    That being said I do not have experience with massive development projects like designing a complete aircraft. In that case there very well be a group that just does modeling/analysis being fed data by the design group.

    So I guess my summary is that if you are a mechanical or aerospace engineer I would expect you to have experience with FEA/CFD analysis regardless if you are a design engineer or if you end up doing strictly modeling/analysis. I don't know if the career fields are segmented so that there is really a hard distinction in industry.
  4. May 24, 2013 #3
    Ok, that is good to know. I would think that a design engineer would need to do both but in my company it appears to be seperate. I have been reading of software developers trying to make the analysis process easier so it can be folded into the design process more. I personally would like to have my hand in both pots but it appears that is a company to company difference. I may need to go to a smaller operation.

    Do you think on skill is more portable than the other? Once you design an Aerospace part can those principles be used to design something else in a different industry more or less. I feel analysis is analysis which is the direction i am leaning. I am in the power industry by i may want to switch in the future and would prefer something that keeps my options open.
  5. May 24, 2013 #4
    If you stay in school after your bachelors, you'll get classes geared more towards analysis rather than actual design.

    I think the smaller the company you work for, the more you'll be expected to design and carry out the rudimentary FE analyses. If you choose to work at a large company there is a real possibility that you'll be pigeonholed into one or the other. It's rare to meet a good design engineer who also has graduate level FEA theory under his belt.
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