Civil Engineering or Mechanical Engineering for Aerospace?

In summary, Sarah is a high school senior who is planning to pursue a career in Aerospace Engineering. She is unsure whether to get a degree in Civil Engineering or Mechanical Engineering and is seeking advice on which would be more beneficial for her. Aerospace engineering involves materials science and engineering, and she can also consider a degree in that field if she wants to focus on space materials. Aerospace engineering is a specialized field that involves a lot of computer-aided analysis, design, and simulations. Both Mechanical Engineering and Aerospace Engineering degrees are suitable for a career in the aerospace industry, but Mechanical Engineering may be a better option overall.
  • #1
Sarah Jones
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0
Hello,

I am currently a senior in high school, I will be attending college in the fall of 2018 to pursue a career in Aerospace Engineering. I am a bit worried about a few things in this field. I am not sure if I need to get a degree in Civil Engineering or Mechanical Engineering, when I look on my colleges website it says that both degrees can open doors in the field of Aerospace Engineering, so which would be better for me to join? Also, what is Aerospace engineering really like? What are the possibilities and what happens on a day-to-day basis? Is the work incredibly difficult? Is it worth it? What kind of math does an individual do during the learning of both degree plans? I am asking for all the help I can get. Sarah Jones
 
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  • #2
Here's the Wikipedia description of it:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aerospace_engineering

Also I would think you'd major in either Aerospace or Mechanical Engineering based on the school you go to.

Civil engineering is more geared toward construction work so maybe you'd be designing building and structures needed to support Aerospace vehicles:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civil_engineering

There is an aspect of Civil engineering related to materials which would indicate ceramic tiles on reentry vehicles... in aerospace design:
Materials science and engineering[edit]
Main article: Materials science
Materials science is closely related to civil engineering. It studies fundamental characteristics of materials, and deals with ceramics such as concrete and mix asphalt concrete, strong metals such as aluminum and steel, and thermosetting polymers including polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) and carbon fibers.

Materials engineering involves protection and prevention (paints and finishes). Alloying combines two types of metals to produce another metal with desired properties. It incorporates elements of applied physics and chemistry. With recent media attention on nanoscience and nanotechnology, materials engineering has been at the forefront of academic research. It is also an important part of forensic engineering and failure analysis.

Here's a website for Aerospace Civil Engineers that may give you a deeper understanding:

https://www.asce.org/aerospace-engineering/aerospace-engineering/
 
  • #3
If you are looking at a career in the aerospace industry, a mechanical engineering degree or an aerospace engineering degree would be the best. I am not sure how or why civil engineering would be a better option. Material science may be a better choice if you want to focus on space materials, for example. Aerospace engineering would be more specialized in the field, which may be a good thing.

Difficulty? All engineering is difficult. You have to love mathematics. Aerospace engineering involves a lot of computer-aided analysis, design, and simulations. That is definitely a skill that you will need to have or learn.
 
  • #4
If you are interested in the design of aircraft it self, then choose mechanical engineering. If you are interested in the design of the facilities that house the air craft then go with civil engineering.
 
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  • #5
I have known dozens of ME who worked in Aerospace, but I've only ever found one CE who did so. By a wide margin, I'd say if you want to do Aero, but your choices are limited to ME or CE, choose ME. Areo is essentially a specialization within ME.
 

1. What is the difference between civil engineering and mechanical engineering for aerospace?

Both civil engineering and mechanical engineering play important roles in the field of aerospace. Civil engineering focuses on the design and construction of structures such as airports, runways, and launch pads, while mechanical engineering deals with the design and development of aircraft and spacecraft systems. Civil engineers also work on the infrastructure needed to support aerospace operations, while mechanical engineers focus on the mechanical components and systems that make up an aircraft or spacecraft.

2. Which engineering discipline is more relevant for a career in the aerospace industry?

Both civil engineering and mechanical engineering are relevant for a career in the aerospace industry. It ultimately depends on your interests and skills. If you are more interested in the design and development of aircraft and spacecraft systems, mechanical engineering would be a better fit. If you are more interested in the construction and maintenance of aerospace infrastructure, civil engineering would be a better choice.

3. What are the key skills needed for a career in civil engineering or mechanical engineering for aerospace?

Some key skills needed for a career in civil engineering for aerospace include strong mathematical and analytical skills, attention to detail, and the ability to work with complex designs and structures. For mechanical engineering, important skills include knowledge of mechanics, materials science, and CAD software, as well as an understanding of aerodynamics and propulsion systems.

4. What are some examples of real-world applications of civil engineering and mechanical engineering in the aerospace industry?

Civil engineering plays a crucial role in the construction of airports, runways, and launch pads for space missions. It also involves the design and development of structures that can withstand extreme weather conditions and other external factors. Mechanical engineering, on the other hand, is involved in the design and development of aircraft and spacecraft systems, such as engines, propulsion systems, and flight control systems.

5. Is it possible to pursue both civil engineering and mechanical engineering in the aerospace industry?

Yes, it is possible to pursue both civil engineering and mechanical engineering in the aerospace industry. Many aerospace companies require a combination of skills from both disciplines for their projects. Some engineers also choose to specialize in a specific area, such as structural design for civil engineering or propulsion systems for mechanical engineering, while still working in the aerospace industry.

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