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Can applied physicists be CFD analysts

  1. Nov 23, 2014 #1
    I am about to graduate with an aerospace engineering degree. I am planning to go into grad school for Applied physics(probably plasma physics), which I find very interesting. But the main reason I joined the aerospace degree was because I was interested in CFD. But since I could't land any internships nor jobs(international student so companies don't hire even with good GPA and research) I have to plan to go to grad school but I didn't find any point in doing aerospace again( ya it specializes you into a particular area but I can specialize into any sector pursuing another major, like harvard has applied physics which researches on fluid mechanics) . So here is my question will I still be able to become CFD analyst after I become a applied physicist?

    Any answer will be helpful!
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 23, 2014 #2

    Vanadium 50

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    If you study CFD in grad school you will be in much better shape than if you don't.
  4. Nov 24, 2014 #3
    Short answer: yes. We have several applied) physicists working here in CFD.

    A software package is just a tool and software is not hard to learn. It is much more important to learn what you want to model: you need to understand the physics of the system to know which parameters you can tweak. A programmer may know that you can tweak something, but doesn't necessarily realize whether or not it makes any sense in the physical world.
    Aside from that, educations in any exact science field are more about learning a way of thinking than about factual knowledge (at least, up to and including M.Sc, PhD is a different matter).

    Basically, if you are trained more broadly you can always specialize on the job. The other way around is much, much harder.
  5. Nov 24, 2014 #4
    I am thinking about studying CFD but there are not any university that specifically focus on CFD in US(or I haven't heard of any). I think specializing in fluid sciences in Aerospace engineering is another way but for me its worthless cause I won't be able to work in defense sector( visa status problems). I think I will be doing my grad school in applied physics focusing my research on cfd analysis. Thank you!
  6. Nov 25, 2014 #5
    I am planning to do my phd. I think I will try for applied physics focusing my research on fluid science and plasma physics. That might help me to get into a CFD specific career. Thank you!
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