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Hi-Mechanical Engineering Student

  1. Jan 26, 2014 #1
    Hi all, I can't find an new member intro on this forum, so I'm posting here. I'm new to the forums- I am a Mechanical Engineering student at Colorado State University at Fort Collins, and I am in my Junior year. Since I have been in engineering school, I have become much more passionate about physics... but wasn't as much when I was taking physics 1 and 2 for physical scientists... I got a B in physics 1 but I should of devoted more time in Physics 2 and pulled a C, but now I'm wishing I could retake physics 2 after becoming so passionate about physics. Of course, physics 2 was quite a bit more challenging than the standard classical mechanics than in Physics 1, so alot of it was over my head.

    I'm starting to understand the material that perplexed me now that I have gotten into my engineering courses, including the standard intro to electrical engineering class required for MechEs at most schools, I got an A- in Statics, and have taken Calc 1,2,3, and Ordinary Differential Equations.

    Since being at Colorado State, I have become shocked and frankly blown away at how advanced the scientific labs and engineering labs are at my university. I chose it because I knew it was a good school and it was right next to my house, but I had no idea CSU had these ultra advanced research labs, some of which don't have websites and are very hard to find information about, hence CSU is often underrated partially due to its own fault of not promoting how advanced the research is. It wasn't until I put alot of my freetime researching labs that I discovered the Powerhouse energy institute, formerly the Engines and Energy Conversion Lab, now tripple in size of what used to still be considered one of the most advanced engines labs in the world, patenting the lazer ignition spark plug. I believe the lab is about 90,000 square feet once expansion is complete. They also built a new 122,000 square foot Bioengineering Research facility, an advanced beam Laboratory with a linear particle accelerator, as well as two other linear particle accelerators in the Vetinary Teaching hospital, which gets alot of its technology from the engineering departments developing it for them as one-offs... there is also a Motorsport Engineering Research Center that has the Formula SAE team, and a hydrogen car development for EcoCAR2. The most high tech research centers are kept off campus in a massive foothills campus, some are ultra-secretive and I find most of my classmates don't even know of any of these advanced labs. There is also another 120,000 square foot facility called the Engineering Research Center, headed by CSU in cooperation with CU Boulder and UC Berkley, it houses a half scale earthquake shake table, a materials lab,CSU Electric Propulsion and Plasma Engineering Laboratory, Laser and Plasma Diagnostics Laboratory, a flood simulator, and the world's largest wave-overtopping flume. There is also an atmospheric research center, the most selective in the nation, or one of them, which predicts hurricanes and invented a tornado detection radar system, and houses a huge Chill-Radar Dish in Greeley. My friend saw some atmospheric researchers at the main on-campus engineering building and asked them about this infrared dish they had, apparently they modeled the physics of it with a 23 variable partial differential equation with 3 of the variables being linear matrices. They also have life sciences labs, such as the Research Innovation Center and biocontainment center, which finds cures for the world's deadliest illnesses to fight bioterrorism, and there are barbed fences from this isolated facility with armed military guards at all times. Nearby are many CDC university research center. Much of the really advanced research is kept off campus. CSU is also the most federally funded public university for research in the United States, and recieves the second most research funding for all american public universities without medical schools in the US after Georgia Tech. It is stuff like this that makes me think US news rankings are based on the art of subjective bullshitting, and in effect state schools are always very underrated, not just CSU but all of them.

    It is being immersed in such advanced scientific research that engineering, science, and mathematics now consumes me. In high school, I was a star student in my college algebra class... but I had no interest in math, only a passion to be an automotive engineer. I went into engineering school out of a sheer love of cars. Now, I marvel at human's abilities to use math and science, a language we invented to describe the laws of the world, to develop advanced things out of raw materials. I'd love to become an automotive or aerospace engineer someday.

    I have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, which seems like a double edge sword. I am very very obsessed with engineering, it is all I think about, but my grades aren't as good as I'd like because I suffer massive anxiety attacks and especially test anxiety.

    I am now becoming passionate about space exploration... I like reading about NASA developing warp bubbles and the development of VASIMIR rocket engines.

    Sometimes I have OCD attacks about how advanced we are as a civilization. It is a relative answer, with no definite answer. The way I think of it is alot of us think about limitations in technology today and how great it would be 1000 years in the future, yet they will probably wish to live 1000 years in the future 1000 years from now. and of course with movies like space odyssey 2001 people in the past fantasized about what is now over a decade into the past. And people from say, the time Jesus was around, if they saw something like a modern day Honda Civic or F-22 Raptor, or just an office PC, they would probably in such amazement they wouldn't be able to fathom our modern lives, with little smart phones with transistors so small they encounter quantum tunneling effects, or seeing a city like Tokyo, Abu Dhabi, or Dubai. But if we today saw what life in the far future was like, we may be very shocked and beyond ourselves as well. So its all relative and I can never come onto an answer, so it bugs my thinking a bit.

    My physics knowledge is much more limited than many of you I'm sure, but I would love to learn all I can from you guys on this forum!!

    Currently, I am extremley busy with school, I am taking Thermodynamics, Dynamics, a machining class, and Engineering Design 2.
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2014
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 27, 2014 #2
    Hey, camrysedan! Welcome to PF!
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