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Can chemical engineers work in aerospace?

  1. Sep 15, 2012 #1
    So I've well into my first year at university, but I have been having doubts about my degree already.. It seems like I never thought about what I REALLY wanted to do during high school. So due to me enjoying a mix of physics, chemistry and math, I chose ChemE..

    However, I've always been fascinated with space exploration, astronomy, rocketry etc. It's been like this since I was a kid (not unusual?), but I didn't choose aerospace engineering because they don't offer it in my country. So would it be possible for me to work for agencies like ESA etc. and contribute to space exploration, while having a degree in chemical engineering? I was thinking having a chemE around when you design rocket engines and life support systems could be handy.. But may I be wrong, and thus should switch my degree to engineering physics or mechanical engineering or something next year?

    Edit: It is possible for me to pick optional classes during my third, fourth and fifth year (my degree is a 5-year MSc), and even travel abroad to study in my fourth or final year. This could make my chemE degree more aeorspace oriented, no?
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2012
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 15, 2012 #2
    That's very natural. This will undoubtedly be the case for many other students. It's really difficult to aim for a career at the start of your undergraduate course and be able to follow through with the plan accordingly. There will be chnages to your values and ambitions - that's a part of life.

    Some people are fascinated by such dreams, indeed! But not most teenagers, I guess!

    I can only say that whatever you do, you must have practical experiences by your side, for example, internship experiences during the summer, etc.
  4. Sep 15, 2012 #3


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    There are chemists working in aerospace on things like combustion or developing new materials - but not many compared with other engineering disciplines.

    There are plenty of mech and electrical engineers working in aerospace. A degree in aerospace engineering isn't a necessariy requirement to work in the industry.
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