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Engineering Aeronautic vs Electronic engineering?

  1. Sep 8, 2008 #1
    Hi there

    I really need help am terribly confused and i need to decide on a career ..

    uff .. so here it is, i have two options
    is either aeronautics or electronic, i love both i really do and I know i can do well on both however my window of getting one is closing, so on one hand i have the enthusiam of planes, engines and aerodynamics but on the other controlling stuff by computers which seems amazing to me as well .. i just can't decide, while i get on one then i go on and think about the other one .. this is so confusing it already became painful .. if anyone is reading please give me some advice; am very good at math and physics

    what about the possibilty of studying both, of course getting done with one first .. would that be feasible?

    .. sorry i just i dont know where else to drop this question?

  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 8, 2008 #2
    If I were in your shoes I'll pick a career into Aeronautics, nothing beats being a rocket scientist. EE nowadays is just too specialized and hard to find jobs for.
  4. Sep 8, 2008 #3
    (I'm an Aerospace Engineer by the way)

    If I were to do it all over again, I would take a bunch of controls classes as either an AE or EE. I saw a lot more jobs available for EEs than I did AEs when I was looking, but that might not be the best way to pick a major.

    But yeah, you can get into controls (or even avionics) through either major, and controls can be interdisciplinary if the engineer knows a lot about both how to make the hardware to control something, and also how that system will behave mechanically/physically.

    I'm mainly in structures/mechanisms right now, and I'm just going by what I think is sexy. You might hate controls.
  5. Sep 9, 2008 #4
    yeah .. thanks Hippo

    and thanks Mr Greg.. that was really helpful, it was indeed, if you come by again, is avionics sexy?

    .. i think i will go thru aero', and as 'stupid' as it may sounds .. sometimes money isn't the big factor, in fact that what people calls a good position in a job isn't all (sometimes those big positions are all about office stuff.. i'd be very sad if they sat me behind a desk) .. what it's all to me is to be able to use my knowledge, to apply them, that really fills a gap in my err heart? i love both and i'd love to take the big challenges (money aside) i just want to prove that working together in a group of great engineers we can create modify and play along mother nature( he he so max efficiency ~28%, c'mon we can beat that!! )

    I dont know, math classes really motivate me and my school is pretty much the best you may find in latin-america, they push you to the very limit :P (IPN, mx)

    Thanks Greg!
  6. Sep 9, 2008 #5
    TECHNICALLY They could work together in a field known as Aerospace Electronics which could be a achieved by a double major, but you would be in school for 5 or 6 years.
  7. Sep 9, 2008 #6
    Do you mind if I ask you what Country you are studying at?

    I agree, to be able to do Aeronautics and something in between Electronic Engineering at the same time is a plus. If I were smart I would do Aero Engineer, but I'm too dumb Academically and settled for something easier like EE.
  8. Sep 10, 2008 #7
    I don't think that AE is any more difficult than EE. I'd say that AE would be harder than ME (which was part of the reason I went the AE route). AE and EE are difficult in different ways. AE typically uses some higher level math, but it can be physically easier to comprehend. AE's also tend to have to understand more physical systems (structures, dynamics, fluids/heats, astrodynamics) that EEs. I think a great idea for any EE (especially if they are to go into controls and want to get into the space industry) would be to take dynamics classes or even aerospace/mechanical experimental labs. It would help round them out more.

    Also, work on undergraduate projects outside of class. I wish I had spent more time on outside groups. I have no idea what your school will have to offer, but where I was they have Formula 1 style racing, satellite design, design build fly (RC airplanes with specific mission requirements), micro air vehicles, and many others. Those projects can teach you a lot more than any class would, from what I've seen. Also, try to grab an internship during the summers or a co-op even. It'll give you a better idea of what to expect in engineering. I've known a couple engineers that couldn't handle drawings because they had never worked in an environment that used them before.

    I think avionics can be sexy, but then again I've been fooling around a lot with electronics lately...like LEDs:
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2014
  9. Sep 10, 2008 #8
    (IPN, mx)

    Mexico, school is National Institute of Polytechnics ;)



    @ Greg..

    WOW .. i see you enjoy engineering to its best, i hope i can do that one day.
    BTW do you see aviation industry plumming down because of fuel? i'd like to get a background in AE and you being an AE i'd like to hear it!!

    oh yeah.. we also have a lot of undergraduate programs, GE aviation has a CIAT near Mexico city and really likes to bring a lot of stuff for us turboreactors that is, as well as chrysler, but i find car - motors not so exciting, and i will surely take your advise.


    AE is hard in many ways but EE is no way easier, math applications in both are extremely hard, in EE you have to work with the wave equation while in AE you have to make your way thru the heat eq. which used in real life are extremely hard because of the initial conditions or the boundary conditions, they always take about four sheets to get one done(yeah i know calculators exist nowadays but we have to do them manually on the first semester ) :P .. i just love both too much and hell so far am willing to go for both.
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2008
  10. Sep 10, 2008 #9
    I have no idea about the commercial/general aviation sector as that's not my expertise (I work on spaceships, and I'm not that far out of college). However, I do know that there were a lot of jobs at Boeing that were cancelled when I was applying because of delays due to manufacturing issues (at least that's what I heard) having to do with the 787 and other projects. I doubt aviation fuel will have any difficulties other than price, though. Newer, more efficient technology will mean more high tech equipment though. There always seems to be a push for that no matter what.
  11. Sep 23, 2008 #10
    Don't know much about Aeronautics but EE can be very hard and nasty. If one think control theory is difficult, then take a look at Dyadic Green Functions in Electromagnetic Theory and Field Theory of Guided Waves. Both are by IEEE. See how people solve the simple looking wave equations. I think I know Maxwell's Equations, Partial Differential Equations and Tensor Calculus pretty well, but I have to go through the texts many times to understand what it says. By the way, it's only good to solve relatively simple boundary conditions.
  12. Sep 23, 2008 #11
    @ gordilloedwin:

    From what I read, it seems like you're about to graduate high school or somewhere near there. You might have more time than you think. If you go to a college where both AE and EE are taught, you could start out as an undecided engineering student and take classes that the two majors have in common.

    For example, I am currently going to Penn State. When I first enrolled, I planned on following the AE curriculum and getting the AE degree. However, Penn State does not let first year students enroll in a specific engineering curriculum. What they do instead is enroll the majority of engineering students under a 'general engineering' status, and have all of those engineering students take similar first-year-courses. This serves two purposes. The first is that it is necessary for first-year students to enroll in a specific engineering curriculum because all/most engineers take the same first-year-courses. The second purpose is it allows the students to change their anticipated major without a great hassle.

    I have since changed my anticipated major to Nuclear Engineering after researching about AE a bit more (NucE interests me more now). The nice thing is that all except two of my credits will apply to my NucE requirements. My point is that most first-year-courses for engineers are very similar if not the same.

    You may want to see what the first year courses are for both AE and EE at your intended college, and take the courses where the two intersect. Doing that may buy to some time to decide which major you want to choose, or if there are more options. Perhaps you should read a couple of books that describe each major in detail.

    Good Luck!
  13. Sep 23, 2008 #12
    This is true. I am currently a freshman at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach Fl and I enjoy every minute of it. I am in many classes that really show what engineering is going to be like and get many hands-on experiences through classes and clubs. I also like electronics mainly because I learned quite a bit about it through ham radio and started building homemade electronic devices. However it came down to doing aerospace engineering with astronautics area of concentration because I hands down love airplanes, rockets, space, etc. Like thewhills say's at my school we do have a major and minor in Aerospace Electronics. If you would like to do both I suggest doing a minor in Aerospace electronics. Taken right out of the school's catalog "The minor in Aerospace Electronics provides a knowledge of digital electronics and its application to aviation and space electronics systems." This minor will require 17 extra credits on top of the Aerospace engineering major which requires 129 total upon graduation. Also with 1 more math class you could obtain a minor in mathematics. This is at my school but I just was showing you what exactly this program is a what it takes to get the minor on top of an Aerospace Engineering degree. Good luck with your decision.
  14. Sep 25, 2008 #13
    Thank you guys.. it seems this is a nice forum with people ready to release knowledge.. i'll be heading here more often but right now I have to study hard because the tests are almost here !!

  15. Sep 26, 2008 #14
    I strongley recomand that you do AE,because EE is simpley to advanced...yesterday I found out that Samsung releases the 8GB of RAM stick,and sales it by 2 stikes(2*8GB...that's 16 GB of RAM) and the HDD is bought by terrabites and all...it's simpley mind-blowing...the architecture it incredible...and it can't go on for long...
    as for AE,it's a revolution today...for ex: there is a recon plaine,that reaches 4000 mph! the aurora or something...new engines are being fabricated...that are based on laser,and curentley they try with photons...so you do have something to work at...I'm actualy thinking to pilot one of these things as a military pilot,but it's just a thought...
    anyway,hope I helped you:)
  16. Oct 3, 2008 #15


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  17. Oct 4, 2008 #16
    Thanks Deffender !!


    Yup, i think that evolving and extreme advances makes a career even more interesting instead of making it hard.. for instance, many of you claim that electronics are now too advance, but think twice... technology can't create itself, it needs good engineers... too advance is actually a plus!

    next generation turbines will be using EMP making it more efficient, electronics are everywhere .. am about to kill myself cause i can't decide :P JK

    .. like this, someone created the terabyte HD or RAM, you know you only need 1/0 to store and use information, it can easily be achieved, light has a frequency, frequency has a pattern which repets over and over again like the sine function, we know much, tons about how light behaves, photons and everything, well take the sine and make the pi/2 = 1 and (3*pi)/2 = 0 there we have a 1/0 .. use a reader you can easily store much much info on a reflecting disk with a light/frequency reader .. to me is easy

    am not scared by hard extremely advance technology, EMP on turboreactors are not new and are easy to learn, it's hard to learn if you don't apply math to it... this is why we are taught to threat any problem on a piece of paper first and then we move on to the real world but mathematics can predict just about anything


    Thanks everyone ;)
  18. Oct 5, 2008 #17
    Aren't those Samsung Ram made in South Korea?

    No matter how good of an EE you trained yourself to be, those Koreans and Japanese in the end will always outdo us in research and technological innovations and leave us behind in the dust. While we're still stuck learning MEMS and Electronics, those guys over there are already offering fields of Graduate specialization in Nano-MEMS and Nano-Electronic Engineering.

    While some of us are still deciding whether to go into a field of the basic Mechantronics (I see new threads opening up every other day on this subject), over there you got them already studying Micro-Mechatronic Engineering! Those guys are always two steps ahead of us in every way possible its unfair! :confused:

    I've read an article a while back about the Japanese trying to do research and develop more advanced Humanoid Robotics technology, in hopes of one day replacing real women for Life-like people to live, eat, to companion with and even have sex with too lol. Those guys are insane. :yuck:
  19. Oct 5, 2008 #18
  20. Oct 7, 2008 #19
    come on you guys? we know there much more than that right?

    we are creating things so small that eventually we'll be managin' electron by electron .. lol that'd be nice and fun.. but is that it? and then we'd give up ??

    NO! we have a long way to go, there's pleny of things to create, to discover, you guys we live in a Universe !!!

    ( about the japanese, our school beat them in microsumo robots, nope they are not two steps ahead.. they are just right beside us :P )

    ok i didnt elaborate but i will now... a lot of people had close their mind because they think there is only one direction to head to... making things small is not all in electronics, we make stuff quite small because we require less energy to process before we deliver to the final "thing" .. but people got obssesed in making things small, so much so that they forgot to implement better coding, the processor still heats up a lot... I like aircrafts too a lot .. i enjoy mechanics as much as electronics .... i'm taking mechanics first, seems easier IMHO

  21. Oct 10, 2008 #20
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