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Combining thermo and mechanical design

  1. Oct 17, 2011 #1
    Hey everybody!

    I'm in my Junior year of undergraduate Mechanical Engineering and am trying to figure out what direction to focus my studies (mainly what industry to focus my pursuit for next job/internship)...

    Does anyone know of any fields/industries where an engineer can utilize interests in both Thermodynamics AND Mechanical Design (system dynamics, vibrations, deformable materials...)?

    I notice most of my peers who have an interest in these fields wind up tailoring there focus around one or the other. I've done some Thermo-related research at school in the past, as well as mechanical design/dynamically-loaded structures analysis work in my last internship. Haha unfortunately I loved both...!

    I'm very interested in energy systems (specifically power generation, power plant design/development) but it seems that while it utilizes a significant amount of the thermal/fluid engineering side of things, there may not be a place for the dynamics/structures/materials interests... (anyone have experience in the field that might set me straight on this largely uninformed assumption??) :)

    Thanks in advance for any help! I'd really appreciate any feedback/feelings/thoughts/experiences on the matter!
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 19, 2011 #2


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    Heat sink design or any sort of industrial heat dissipation comes to mind.
  4. Oct 19, 2011 #3


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    The obvious answer is anything to do with heat engines. Industries like auto, aerospace, power generation, nuclear, etc.

    You probably won't study much about the dynamics of rotating machinery (including blade vibration etc), or the interactions of mechanical vibration and aerodynamic loads, in a first degree course, so you might not have realised how complicated this can get in the "real world".
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