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B.S. in Mechanical Engineering, where should I go from here?

  1. Oct 16, 2014 #1
    Hello fellow PF members,

    Some background about me: I am currently a senior (actually is my 6th year in college) in Mechanical Engineering at Oregon State University. I am on track and will be graduating next summer. Given how long I have been in college, I would want to go straight to work already. However, I have not had any internship experience yet and since I came from a community college, I have not had any engineering club involvement either. So, I don't have any real experience aside from being a NASA Aerospace Scholars once and being a T.A. for Statics & Dynamics.

    1) Should I continue to get my Master's? My professor suggested me to continue to get my Masters because it would be very useful and I would be more specialized and will have more chances in the job market.

    2) If I decide to get my Master's, what should I focus/specialize on?

    I really like Math (I have a Minors in Math) so I have seen lots of Ordinary and Partial Diff EQs, Complex Analysis. So I want to get into a computational field like being an analyst doing numerical simulation or being a test engineer doing data analysis.

    Out of all the topics I have seen, I am really interested in Dynamics and especially in Vibrations. I have thought about going into Robotics & Controls to see more of Dynamics but I am not sure if I will really like robots (I like cars and aircrafts more). Mechanics of Materials has come through my thought as well but I did not learn much from the instructor who taught that course so I might be biased. The relationship between MoM and Vibrations is interesting too. What would I do if I specialize in this area? Finite Element Analysis, perhaps?

    Thermodynamics/Fluids/Heat Transfer are also very interesting and they really make sense for me. Heat Transfer seems to be really challenging and that's why I like it, same as Dynamics. I know there is Computational Fluid Dynamics which I have heard is demanding. However, these courses really take up a lot of time and efforts to understand what is going on. Every grad student in Thermal Fluids at my school seems to have no life, which is what I'm afraid.

    I left out Design and Materials Science because I don't really like those classes. In those classes, I am given some equations most of the time without really understanding where they come from.

    I am sorry for posting such a long post. I hope somebody will read this up and possibly help me to answer these lingering questions. I especially am looking for someone who has been in this situation or someone in the field who knows what it is like when you work out there since I have no clue what it will be like yet.

    Thanks :)
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 21, 2014 #2
    I guess my previous post was long and rather vague. My problem is that I like everything that I have learned up to this point in Mechanical Engineering (except for Design and Materials Science).

    After thinking for a few days, I have narrowed down to just Mathematical modeling/simulation and Dynamics/Vibrations. From all the options for ME Masters that I have seen, at least at OSU, the topics that I like are mostly under Robotics and Controls. However, I only like System Dynamics and Vibrations so I am not sure if I will like Robotics or not.

    Consider my interest in modeling, simulation, and dynamics/vibrations, do you think I should continue with a Masters in Robotics and Controls? Or should I opt out to go to work? I would appreciate any input from those who have been in the robotics industry or anyone who has an extensive background in system dynamics, dynamics or vibrations and is now working in a field which uses it (like vehicle suspension system, or vehicle dynamics control system, etc.)

    Also, if you don't mind, I would like to hear your experiences working in the field too.
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