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Life as a Physicist or Engineer

  1. Aug 2, 2013 #1
    I am a college freshman, and I was just wondering what the work environment and nature of work was like for a physicist and an engineer. I am most interested in hearing about all types of physicists (but I find particle physics fascinating) and electrical and mechanical engineer but all other input is appreciated.
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 2, 2013 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    I talk some about EE work in this bio thread:


  4. Aug 3, 2013 #3
    I think electrical engineering is cool, but I am not as interested in things radio, transceivers, comm transformers, and power circuits. I am more into electronics, like heads up displays, mp3 players, and stuff. I am most interested in robotics though. I think it is so cool. Is robotics and electronics possible with an electrical engineering degree?
  5. Aug 4, 2013 #4
    There is a program that some universities are getting into it; it is called mechatronics.

    It is a cross between electrical and mechanical engineering. I think it is mostly designed for robotics.
  6. Aug 4, 2013 #5
    My school doesn't offer this concentration.. just electrical and mechanical separate
  7. Aug 4, 2013 #6


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    Education Advisor

    A simple answer to your question is yes, it is possible to work in robotics with an electrical engineering degree. At the University of Toronto (my alma mater), for example, there is a research group within the electrical engineering department that specializes in control systems, which is closely related to robotics.


    I'm certain that there would be similar research taking place in the electrical engineering departments in other universities.

    I used to work as a consulting statistician for an engineering company specializing in robotics and automation (a spinoff and they had both electrical and mechanical engineers working there.
  8. Aug 4, 2013 #7
    This is an odd question, since probably 1/2 of all working electrical engineers are somehow working on electronics. If you like electronics, EE is the way to get there.

    As for robotics, there is no major that encompasses robotics (even though some schools have a robotics major, I think they put you at risk of not knowing one thing well). Robotics is a very interesting mix of mechanics, electronics, and computer science, and typically people focus on one of those facets of robotics (you REALLY don't want to be a jack of all trades). Another wrinkle is that robotics companies typically have as many people working on applications of the robots as they do on the robots themselves.

    I think it's safe to say that robotics is like almost any other high-tech field in that there are more software people in the field than any other speciality. It's certainly that way in my field, integrated circuits.
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