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Good Books

  1. Feb 8, 2010 #1
    Hi all this is my first post and i wanted some suggestions on good books to read about mechanical engineering. I am a freshman in high school and im interested in mechanical engineering and I wanted to read some books about what mechanical engineering is.
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 8, 2010 #2
    There is a mechanical engineering forum, next time put your thread there. For now, I would just start reading books that interest you on a particular area of mechanical engineering. Do you have anything in mind? The textbooks will require a massive amount of mathematics, so in the meantime study your math, and read up on the big picture stuff from non-technical books. :smile:
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2010
  4. Feb 8, 2010 #3
    To tell you the truth I did not know that there were particular areas of mechanical engineering, so let me google it and maybe ill find some books.

  5. Feb 8, 2010 #4
    Well, to be more basic: why do you want to become a mechanical engineer?
  6. Feb 8, 2010 #5
    The reason is because I love making and tinkering with things. I like taking things apart and making them better or make them do different things that they were not ment to do. I like taking things apart to see how a certain part works. I like things that challenge me and I like solving problems. I like taking ideas that are in my head and making them real. And the reason why I want to be a mechanical engineer is because it seems like its what I like to do. I want to get some books so that I can learn a little bit more about what mechanical engineering is.
  7. Feb 8, 2010 #6
    Well, I will say that being an engineer is not exactly that. Engineering, mechanical in particular, is the ability to calculate (by hand or on computer) the stresses/forces, energy, etc of a component part or a system. In other words: mathematical analysis.

    I think you need to refine more specifically what it is you would like to be doing once you enter into college. I can tell you now that mechanical engineering is very broad, so you could be doing thermal analysis, structural analysis, or fluid analysis.
  8. Feb 8, 2010 #7
    Well... if there are any mechanical egineers reading this will you tell me what your job is and what you do in that job?
  9. Feb 8, 2010 #8
    I am a mechanical engineer. :wink:
  10. Feb 8, 2010 #9
    Well? What do you do?:smile:
  11. Feb 8, 2010 #10
    I am a bad example because I switched to aerospace engineering for graduate school, but reread what I wrote in post number 6. What you can do is go to various university websites and look at what research is being done in their mechanical departments.

    Usually, go to: department of mechanical engineering --> graduate school --> research

    you can also look at the asme website: www.asme.org

    or http://memagazine.asme.org/
  12. Feb 9, 2010 #11
    Thanks you very much I will.:approve:
  13. Feb 9, 2010 #12


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    The tough part for people in your position to get your head around is that ME is a very broad field. If I had to start at the most basic level, I would divide the ME discipline into three very broad topics:

    - Design
    - Analysis
    - Production

    It seems, on the surface, that you may lean more towards the design end of things.

    That being said, all MEs learn the same, basic core classes and then venture into some specialization in their undergrad studies. I would start with looking at various ME curricula and possibly finding what you want to look at from that. Just be warned that you probably will not understand the majority of the topics, but that should still give you an idea as to where you can start.
  14. Feb 9, 2010 #13
    Thanks im taking design processes right know and next year im taking auto CAD and my jr. year im taking fundamentals of engineering where we make a super milage car. I think what I would like to do is help make/design defense systems or something to that kind.
  15. Feb 9, 2010 #14
    The different categories of engineering are human constructs. If you go back 100 plus years or so, there was only one branch of engineering, so there's a lot of overlap. But to answer your question, just read. Here's my 2 cents:

    1.) Make Magazine
    2.) How Invention Begins by John Lienhard
    3.) The Difference Engine
    4.) To Engineer is Human by Henry Petroski
    5.) Mark's Standard Handbook for Mechanical Engineers
    6.) Design News Magazine
    7.) Thinking Physics by Lewis Epstein
    8.) Wheels, Clocks and Rockets: A History of Technology
    9.) Machine Design Magazine
  16. Feb 9, 2010 #15
    Thanks I will be sure to look at those.
  17. Feb 9, 2010 #16
    Good list, but I would avoid #5 because that is really a book for working engineers. It's not really a book to learn from. I may try and grab a copy of some on the list :smile:.
  18. Feb 10, 2010 #17
  19. Feb 10, 2010 #18
  20. Feb 10, 2010 #19
    Whoops. I thought it read freshman in college. Sorry.

    Thanks Cyrus.

  21. Feb 16, 2010 #20
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 24, 2017
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