1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Mechanical Engineering: Major Remorse?

  1. Aug 29, 2012 #1
    I'm a junior in Mechanical Engineering and while I like a lot of it (the theory, that is), there are also some classes that uses AutoCAD and Solidworks or the like that I really do not enjoy. The fact that I think this is really what the job actually entails makes matters worse. What can I do if I want to focus more on the theory rather than on the hands-on, teamwork, product design aspect of things?

    Perhaps this major is not my cup of tea and I should do something more theory based? Switching majors is really not an option for me because I've already taken a lot of my major classes, so I'm thinking graduate school could be an option. Any thoughts / advice?
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 30, 2012 #2
    Well, if you're interested in research and/or deep theoretical exploration, then you'll obviously want to go to graduate school. Engineering programs aim for work in the industry, so they are very practical in nature. You might want to think, whether you want to do your grad school in mechanical engineering or e.g. applied physics, technical mechanics or something else.
  4. Aug 30, 2012 #3


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    A course that is only aimed at "teaching how to use AutoCAD" would lbe poor IMO. But a counrse that is "teaching how to make engineering drawings that follow accepted standards, and interpret them correctly" is giving you a basic skill you need for any sort of mech eng work.

    It might not be a very interesting learning process, but it's as essential as knowing now to read and write your native language.
  5. Aug 30, 2012 #4
    There is plenty of opportunity in industry for those who are more interested in the analysis side of things.
  6. Aug 30, 2012 #5
    Not to mention in most enginieering firms the engineers are rarely required to touch the design software, that is generally left to the drafters/designers.

    But if you don't want teamwork, problem solving, as well as the mundane stuff like paperwork, dealing with contractors and vendors, etc. then, well, I'm not sure. There are many opportunities for ME's to get into work that does not require any design at all.
  7. Aug 31, 2012 #6
    If you enjoy the theory rather than the practical side then you can specialise in things like CFD. You won't touch solidworks there, instead will be spending your time in Fortran or C++ doing some funky maths. A lot of research opportunities in that area too if my observation is correct.
  8. Aug 31, 2012 #7
    I would look into being a Stress Analyst. You spend alot of time thinking about how forces are acting on specific parts or assemblies. No designing required. Also, there is alot of alone time with the computer. Here's a job description I found on a job search engine. Here are the skills that you would need to be a stress analyst for this company:

    Job Title: Structural Analyst/Stress Engineer
    Required Skills: Structural Analyst, Engineering, HEAT, NASTRAN
    Domain: Manufacturing, Leading Avionics

    • Any Exp with NASTRAN would be helpful.
    • Requires a bachelor's degree in engineering Aerospace or Mechanical Engineering

    • Conduct structural analysis using ANSYS finite modeling and hand calculations.
    • Size structure for proof, burst, LCF, HCF, TMF and crack growth.
    • Prepare materials for design reviews and document in reports and presentations.
    • Provides expert consultation in one or more areas for the design, development and implementation of technical products and systems. Recognized as technical leader and resource.
    • Recommends alterations and enhancements to improve quality of products and/or procedures.
    • Responsible for all internal activities and product development.
    • Demonstrates expertise in a variety of the field's concepts, practices, and procedures.
    • Relies on extensive experience and judgment to plan and accomplish goals.
    • Performs a variety of tasks.
    • May provide consultation on complex projects and is considered to be the top level contributor/specialist.
    • A wide degree of creativity and latitude is expected.
    • May report to an executive or a manager.
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2012
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook