Civil Engineering or Mechanical Engineering for Aerospace?

  • #1
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.

Best,
Sarah Jones
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
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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
Scrumhalf
Gold Member
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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
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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
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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.
 

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