ME or EE as a starting point for a better career in Renewable Energy or Nuclear Energy

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  • Thread starter Feymar
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Hello,

I've googled my issue, but couldn't find some practical advice on the matter, rather some differences between Mechanical Engineering and Electrical Engineering in general.

So, which one would be better if one wishes to work in the energy industry, namely Nuclear Energy, but maybe also (if that is not an option or the industry is supersaturated) in Renewable Energy?

Of course, I do understand that for these particular industries, there exist specialized Master Classes and such, but I am concerned about my starting point, and the Universities here mainly have these two faculties, with different directional bachelor programms (energetics, telecommunications etc...).

I am mainly concerned about the competitivness of the industry, rather than possible salary, and I would rather like to work in maintaining and/or projecting new power plants, than in research.

My biggest dream is to work on a fusion power plant one day (although, I know the saying that fusion is just 2 decades away... and always will be), however I am talking about "my dream", and not my down to earth expectations.

Originally, I wanted to study physics, but I am discouraged because of the "publish or perish" climate of it, and I do want to do more practical work, hence why I am considering the "Engineering Route".

Thank you for taking your time to read through my post and for your advice.

Edit: I am from Europe, if that matters.

With regards.
 
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Answers and Replies

  • #2
DEvens
Education Advisor
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The state of the nuclear industry is, well, dependent on which country you are from. France is probably your best bet in Europe. Possibly the UK is looking at building one or two in the near future. Other than that, things are kind of boring in nuclear. I think Romania is planning another one, but they don't seem to have signed the contracts yet.

If I was being really pessimist, I would say the thing to study to get into the nuclear industry, is Chinese. They have something like 10 reactors under construction. When those are finished they plan to move one space over and build 10 more. Then 10 more. And possibly 10 more after that. They would build them faster but they can't train engineers fast enough to keep them in the industry. There are too many other industries that attract them.

As to which engineering to study: Which one attracts you more? Look at the course calendars for each. Which classes are required for the different degree? Which of those classes look the most interesting to you? It is a Very Good Thing (TM) if you can work on something that interests you. That will mean you need much less pushing to stay focused and industrious.

When you are in the degree, make serious effort to get work terms in the industries you are interested in. If you can work for 4 months in the office

Once you get an engineering degree you have quite a lot of mobility. Just because you are working in a particular industry today does not mean you must stay there for 30 years. Your first job should be a place that will teach you something. If you are fortunate and it turns into a useful life-long career, great! If you stay there a year and head for greener pastures, also great!
 

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