Insights for a Mechanical Engineering student

In summary, the conversation discusses the interests and studies of a mechanical engineering student, including their access to scientific journals and their future career goals. They also mention recommended reading materials and advice for managing time and understanding the practical applications of engineering principles. The conversation also includes a personal anecdote about the importance of hands-on experience in learning about tools and materials.f
  • #1
Hello everyone,
I'm a mechanical engineering student, I'm italian, so, sorry for my bad english.
In this moment i am studying the following subjects: Mathematical Analysis II (multivariable calculus), Physics II (eletctromagnetism), Mechanical design and fundamentals of structural mechanics (beams, stress, strain, fatigue).
My university allows me to have access to some scientific journals (like ASME, Nature, ACM, Science direct, etc.), so I would like to know what are the scientific articles that a mechanical engineering student (perhaps with my basics) should read to deepen what he studies. Thank you in advance. :)
  • #2
Welcome, Buraca! :cool:
Are you interested in any particular area of Mechanical?
  • #3
I'm interested in structural mechanics, strenght of materials, continuum mechanics (but I would prefer a less mathematical and more engineering treatment), robotics (3d kinematics, rotations, ecc...). I will study other subjects like applied mechanics, design of machines, turbomachines, fluid mechanics, next semester and next year.
  • #4
  • #5
At the beginning, the subjects of study seem to be confusing and not interconnected.
Later on, when you start working as an engineer and you continue learning from new challenges and more experienced co-workers, things that you learned in school begin to make sense and you see and understand the connection with other things.

Try learning the basic principles as solidly as you can, because those are the foundations of many things that you will learn and you will work with later on.
You will not have much time available to learn all the subjects at the rhythm that the school demands; hence, learning to manage your time and energies becomes an additional autodidactic subject.

Take advantage of the access to those publications and get familiar with the type of practical work that mechanical engineers do, even if you still can't understand every detail.
That will give you an idea about the types of works that attract you the most.

Here you have a few additional references:

Benvenuto nel tuo futuro produttivo! :cool:
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  • #7

Are you actually suggesting that @Buraka should casually read the McMaster-Carr catalog?
I hope so!

It is a treasure trove of the stuff you occassionally need but didn't know even existed. (how many ME grads know what a "chicago nut" is?)

And this is from an Electronics guy!
  • #8
I hope so!

It is a treasure trove of the stuff you occassionally need but didn't know even existed. (how many ME grads know what a "chicago nut" is?)

And this is from an Electronics guy!

That's about like reading the phone book.
  • #9
That's about like reading the phone book.

At least this one has pictures :oldbiggrin:
  • #10
I hope so!

He's Italian, so maybe he's in Italy? Does McMaster-Carr work in Italy?
  • #11
Engineering is the application of physics principles to making real things. Engineering school teaches analysis techniques, but does not teach about what is available to use in design.

A real conversation with a Master's student in EE. This student had specifically requested a project with a mechanical aspect:

Student: How do I fasten these two parts together?
Me: With a bolt.
Student: What's a bolt?
Student: How do I tighten the bolt?
Me: With a wrench.
Student: What's a wrench?

This particular student was from a wealthy family in India, where people of her class do NOT touch tools. She wanted to broaden her education, so came to the US.

And the McMaster-Carr catalog is on the internet, so is a world wide information source.
  • #12
I can confidently say that, as a mechanical engineer, I don't know anyone who just reads the McMaster-Carr catalog (or Grainger or MSC or any other industrial supplier's catalog, for that matter). Reading through a catalog with hundreds of thousands of parts is not how you learn what a bolt is. There are much better ways to spend your time.

For example, joining a club that actually builds something or getting involved with undergraduate research are both much better ways to learn how to use a wrench. If I am interviewing a student who I am considering hiring and I ask them about what they did outside of class, if their answer is that they read the McMaster-Carr catalog so they are familiar with what's available and how to build things, I bet someone several offices down the hall will hear my eyes rolling.

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