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Mechanical Engineering vs Civil Engineering

  1. Civil

    0 vote(s)
  2. Mechanical

  1. Jul 8, 2015 #1
    Hello everyone, I know this has come up a lot in the past but my situation is slightly different. As is everyones. Currently a second year general engineering student with a decision to make soon, MEng Mechanical or MEng Civil?

    I enjoy both subjects equally. But I will be taking an intercalated year abroad. In mechanical or civil engineering depending on which one I choose as my main spine. My question is, I assume I'll have transcripts for this. So will employers consider me for alternative positions based on my increased breadth, or will it not make a difference?

    And if so which stream should I pick up as my main, I think my university (Warwick), is a little better for mechanical and electronics in the energy area. But my own interests lie in sustainability and energy. International aspects are important to me also but I assume it's negligible in the grand scheme since both roles are in demand?

    On a slightly different note I have a project in simulation of waves, working with a 3D wave flume this summer. Does this fall under Mechanical or Civil Engineering.

    Thank you very much for reading.

    TL;DR Intercalated year, Mechanical or Civil for main spine.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 8, 2015 #2
    Go with your heart rather than with your wallet.
  4. Jul 8, 2015 #3


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    Flip a coin. Both types of engineers, civil and mechanical, could work on a wave simulation project. Civil Engineers who design beach protection or harbors and jetties need to know something about wave action, and mechanicals often need to know about wave action for designing various things, especially if turbulence or vibration is involved.
  5. Jul 8, 2015 #4
    This is a tough decision for sure, both fields are great, interesting fields. Seeing that your interests are in sustainability, you would have to decide what exactly within sustainability you want to do. For energy, Mechanical would probably be better (Wind/Solar, etc.,). For sustainable design of structures, etc., then civil would be better. It just comes down to what you like more. I say this because the salaries for both fields are very similar, and so are the job markets. Make a decision on exactly what you want to do, and that'll make the decision easier.

  6. Jul 9, 2015 #5
    Mechanical is broader (and probably more relevant to your interests in sustainability and energy) and pays better.
  7. Jul 9, 2015 #6
    Thank you everyone for your advice, I think in the end I'll go with Mechanical as my main spine and decide between Civil and Electronics for my intercalated year later on. :)
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