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Engineering Career Path: From MechE to Aerospace Engineering

  1. Aug 7, 2016 #1
    I know that aerospace engineering is a branch of mechanical engineering, and as a student of mechanical engineering myself, I'm curious to know what kind of knowledge a MechE coming out of a Bachelor's Degree should have if he wants to start working with aircraft (or pursuing a Master's Degree on aerospace engineering).
    Apart from classes like thermo, fluids, structures (things that we learn in a typical mechanical engineering degree), what else is important if I want to start a career in aerospace?
     
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  3. Aug 7, 2016 #2

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  4. Aug 8, 2016 #3
    Thanks. I'm not very familiar with how a master degree works. I mean, I've given a look at the master's degree program on aeronautical engineering of a given school, and there were various concentrations: aerodynamics and propulsion, controls and guidance... When you enroll on a master's degree, you get to study only one of those subjects? Let's say: a MechE with a master's in aerospace engineering (focus in aerodynamics, for instance) could work with controls and guidance?
     
  5. Aug 8, 2016 #4

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    There will be some course differences for the different concentrations. The Masters degree usually requires you to study the broad spectrum of relevant subjects. Sometimes you can select some and omit others, but you shouldn't count on it. You can probably get a list of courses for each concentration.
     
  6. Aug 9, 2016 #5
    I was able to find the courses offered by each department, but I don't know if there are any courses that all MS students are required to take. This school is focused in aeronautics, and it offers a Master's Degree in Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering. I'm asking because I'm interested both in the Propulsion and Aerodynamics concentration and the Aerospace Systems and Mechatronics concentration. In general, a engineer with a MS in aeronautical engineering would have enough knowledge of both areas to work on both fields, or he needs to especialize in one of those?
     
  7. Aug 9, 2016 #6

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    Your initial selection would not lock you in forever. My progression of specialties over 37 years in aerospace was: math => economic analysis => operations research => real-time computer simulation => software engineering => flight controls. They were all interesting. Whether you change the company groups you are in or not, you always have to be learning new skills anyway. Expect change and be adaptable.
     
  8. Aug 10, 2016 #7
    That's good to know. My biggest concern whilen choosing a specialization was being stuck on that forever.
     
  9. Aug 10, 2016 #8
    Also, I would like to know how, typically, is the work of a engineer on a aerospace company. I mean: how multidisciplinary is the job? Does a single engineer ends up applying different kinds of knowledge (like strenght of materials and structures, fluid dynamics, controls...) or is the work divided and there are some engineers that only work with thermo, others for structures, etc...?
     
  10. Aug 10, 2016 #9

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    That entirely depends on the company and the position. In general I would say the smaller the company the more you get to do. Often in larger companies people do one job each. That one job however could be something like systems integration where you work across multiple fields.
     
  11. Aug 10, 2016 #10
    I wonder how a engineer working in such a specific field manages to remember all other important stuff that he learned as a mechanical engineer. For example: a engineer working in aerodynamics probably won't need to deal with stress analysis every day.
     
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