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Engine Development: What do I need?

  1. Jul 18, 2009 #1
    Currently I work as a retail store manager, a career that I find tolerable but I do not love. I have always been interested in math, physics and mechanics, however recently this interest has grown as I have been doing a full engine rebuild on my race bike. I have realised that working on bikes/cars (particularly two strokes) is something that I love doing, and after discovering that companies are still furthering two stroke technology (Orbital & Bombardier would be the most prominent) I have decided to start moving towards a career that would see me eventually involved in furthering two stroke engine technology.

    I have enrolled in a math & science course in order to bring my skill up to undergrad level (I kinda bombed out in maths towards the end of high school - something I regret now), but the real question I have is where to go from there?

    I figure that a degree in a mechanical engineering is an essential (correct?), but I also want to make sure that I don't miss out on the practical skills of machining/welding/etc as the last time I did anything like that was early high school, and I have long since forgotten what I learnt there. Also I am a very hands-on person as well as being interested in the theory. As well as the math & science course I am reading some two stroke 'canon' in order to learn as much as I can.

    Should I go straight into a mechincal engineering degree? Or should I see about getting some practical experience first? Perhaps doing an automotive or engineering pre trade course?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 20, 2009 #2
    Go to your local CC (Community College) and start the process towards a Mechanical Engineering degree. After you learn some CAD, get a part-time job (even a few hours - perhaps unpaid) at a machine shop. This will get you some raw exposure to fabrication - and insight about the differences between "what's possible" at a computer and "what's possible" at a lathe or milling machine. When you finish your degree go work for a 2-stroke manufacturer to get some experience and exposure to your specific application.

    Having the book smarts and hands-on experience will provide a great foundation.
  4. Jul 20, 2009 #3
    Cheers :)
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