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Engineering for a girl

  1. Oct 7, 2005 #1
    Which engineering program would be the most suitable for a girl;

    1. Mechanical
    2. Industrial
    3. Electrical

    and why?

    If by any chance you think none of them, pls why?
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 7, 2005 #2


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    Well at my school of engineering most girls pick Industrial Engineering, i don't know why, thought. :confused:
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2005
  4. Oct 7, 2005 #3


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    From a physical point of view, a well trained girl engineer can perform in any of those fields equally as well as a guy. It is engineering after all, you won't be carrying bricks around. I'm doing an engineering program, and honestly, girls are hard to find here. About 1 girl to 5 guys here at electrical, with the ratio worsening towards mechanical and industrial. You decide :P
  5. Oct 7, 2005 #4
    suitable for a girl? What does that mean? I know women who are each one of these and also systems engineers and nuclear engineers... It depends on the PERSON not their gender.
  6. Oct 7, 2005 #5


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    LOL, I guess it's still kind of like how many people still find it awkward to know that your guy friend or brother is a nurse. What's it called? Something about gender and links to certain occupations. And I would guess the person him/herself would feel more comfortable working in the "right" profession as well. :biggrin:
  7. Oct 7, 2005 #6

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    What the heck does 'suitable' mean here? If something is suitable, I think of it as befitting a situation or occasion. For instance, it is suitable to wear nice clothes to a job interview, and it is suitable to serve cold beverages to your guests at your summer afternoon party.

    But what is the situation here? The hypothetical individual in question happens to be female. There is no mention of her talents or abilities or even her interests, yet we are supposed to make some sort of judgement about what is suitable for her as an occupation based solely on gender? There is simply not enough information.
  8. Oct 7, 2005 #7


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    Well, certainly engineering is a bit advanced for a "girl"...more something an adult woman would study! :biggrin:

    What on earth would your sex have to do with the suitability of a field of study? Do whatever interests you.
  9. Oct 7, 2005 #8


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    Individual aptitude is what counts, not whether a person is male or female.

    Pick whichever engineering field would be most meaningful - to yourself - and not someone else.
  10. Oct 8, 2005 #9
    Hello i'm a girl and i'm a nuclear engineering student, but i don't think there's an answer for ur question, i agree it depends on what kind of person u r not ur gender...

    Here in Egypt, there were problems for the mechanical dept, mostly there were more abundancy in jobs for males...But we don't have such a problem now..I think.

    Now it's different, there r girls everywhere, it differs from a class to the other, but in the end it's ur career and ur satisfaction...

    the only dept that i've found girls free was the marine dept. i'm not sure why, and i think it's because of this job thing...
  11. Oct 8, 2005 #10
    OK I hear you , then why there are no more girls in those occupations?
  12. Oct 8, 2005 #11
    Because we live in a masculine community my dear, slowly it's realizing that girls can do just fine and even better sometimes in engineering fields and that there's nothign such as a women's field or a man's field...

    But still, some jobs are clearly exhausting for exmaple a marine engineer will 1have to work on ships all time, and it's tiresome, i can bear infact i think it's fun that but many girls wouldn't...And then it's not encouraging since u can only fnd boys there, so it feels like being an intruder...

    So if u r thinking about ur career prospects, it depends on where u live, the jobs abundance there..etc.
  13. Oct 8, 2005 #12


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    Oh, but there are! They might be few, but women are certainly present in mechanical, civil, aerospace, nuclear and other engineering disciplines.

    I rent a office from an architecture/engineering firm and the staff is about 50/50 male/female in engineering and architecture. Surveying has 3 male and one woman.

    When I travel to customers, I do find women at all levels of engineering and even management. Women are perhaps under-represented by that is slowly changing, but may be slowly accelerating.

    Take a look at the Society of Women Engineers

    University chapters -





    And these are some of the top science and engieering schools in the US!

    Also, ASME and other engineering socities have active programs to attract and encourage women in engineering - http://www.asme.org/communities/diversities/bdo/
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2005
  14. Oct 8, 2005 #13
    Anyhow what's important is what u'd like to do more than anything..
  15. Oct 8, 2005 #14
    None of these engineering courses are meant to be prejudiced to *only* men. It really depends on what subject you have a flare for and what typically (in the engineering context) interests you.
  16. Oct 8, 2005 #15


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    This statement is right on. The thing is, it can be difficult for a college age person to have much of any idea what any of these fields are like. One suggestion is to ask (maybe via this forum) engineers from each of these fields to describe what kinds of jobs they’ve had or know exist for people with the particular degree (ME, EE, IE).
  17. Oct 8, 2005 #16
    The thing is, it can be difficult for a college age person to have much of any idea what any of these fields are like. One suggestion is to ask (maybe via this forum) engineers from each of these fields to describe what kinds of jobs they’ve had or know exist for people with the particular degree (ME, EE, IE).

    hotvette, i would like to hear them too.
  18. Oct 8, 2005 #17


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    For an overiew of Mechanical Engineering, see -

    I extracted some information from Wikipedia and ASME regarding Mechanical Engineering. It provides some ideas of the technical subjects with which one might be involved as a mechanical engineer.

    Information on Electric Engineering can be found at IEEE (http://www.ieee.org/portal/site)

    Information on Industrial Engineering can be found at the Institute of Industrial Engineers (http://www.iienet.org/).

    IEEE has a group on Industrial Automation.

    In Canada, one can find - Canadian Society for Industrial Engineering - but they don't seem to have a website that I can locate.

    The Institute of Industrial Engineers - Australia (http://www.iie.com.au/)

    One will find comparable organizations around the world.

    Technical societies like ASME and IEEE have affiliations with similar socities in other countries, as well as international technical and standards organizations.
  19. Oct 8, 2005 #18
    Electrical :smile:.... oh, and this is an extremely biased opinion...

    but honestly, pick what you want to do. You being a girl shouldn't have anything to do with your decision....
  20. Oct 9, 2005 #19
    my personal observation is there are more female students in Industrial eng than in EE or ME.

    ****Astronuc, thank you very much for the sites. I like your saying.
  21. Oct 9, 2005 #20


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    There's also a thread in the General Engineering forum that might provide some help for you; it's the "should I become an engineer" thread that's stickied there.

    It also might help you to look around at the types of questions and discussions ongoing in our other engineering forums here to get an idea of the types of things/tasks/projects covered by the different types of engineers.

    I've known women in civil engineering, electrical engineering, and biomedical engineering. They each chose their respective fields not because of how many other women were in it, but because those were the fields that appealed most to their personal likes/dislikes.

    I only know about the engineering program at the university I attended, so don't know if something similar is offered at all universities. The university I attended had a first-year course for engineering students titled something like "Survey of Engineering." The entire purpose of the course was to help the students choose their area of focus by presenting them with some information about each of the disciplines offered and what engineers in those fields do. This is helpful both for choosing a field for yourself and in understanding who does what when you're involved in a large project that requires interacting and planning with engineers from multiple fields. All the courses offered in the first year or two were general courses that all the engineering students needed to take (calculus, diff EQs, general chemistry, general physics, statics, dynamics, economics, and expository writing are the ones I can remember), so there was time to experience the major before deciding which specialization you'd choose. A number of those first-year courses also were taken by the physics, math and chemistry majors, so for those who realized engineering wasn't for them, it wasn't too hard to transfer out of the engineering school and into one of the other colleges at the university to major in one of the other math or science majors.

    I don't know how common this is to engineering schools; perhaps others who actually ARE engineers can comment about how similar curricula are at various universities and how soon you realistically need to decide your field of specialization within engineering.
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