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Engineering Mechatronics or Thermal and Fluids for specialization?

  1. Jul 29, 2016 #1
    I'm a Mechanical Engineering student at the 4th semester, and I've been thinking about what specializations I should pursue after I get my bachelor's degree. I've always find mechatronics (control and automation) to be quite fun. I've developed some projects using Arduino and studied a little bit of control theory. On the other side, thermal and fluids also looks like a good specialization. I think studying things like propulsion and turbomachinery would be great, since I have an interest in aircraft.
    So my question is: which specialization offers the best job prospects and has the most applications?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 29, 2016 #2
    I think thermo/fluids would compliment your current major more than mechatronics would. Thus, would provide you with more career opportunities.

    That being said, you should really do what you enjoy doing the most.
  4. Jul 30, 2016 #3
    Thanks. I intend to take some electives on control disciplines (control theory is also offered as a MechE course) and decide what path to follow later. I like mechatronics because I'm interested in robotics, but I understand that thermal/fluids is more related to my major.
  5. Jul 30, 2016 #4
    Also, how hard would it be for a mechanical engineer working with controls to switch fields and start working with thermo/fluids?
  6. Jul 30, 2016 #5
    Not very hard I suspect. I am studying as a mechatronic engineering student, and I can take fluids/thermo classes as electives, no problem.
  7. Jul 30, 2016 #6
    Thank you. I would like to hear some more opinions. I'm really thorn between those two subjects.
  8. Jul 31, 2016 #7
    Well, what do you like about each of the two topics? i.e., why do you enjoy control, and why do you enjoy thermo/fluids?
  9. Jul 31, 2016 #8
    Probably I started liking controls because I played with robotics a little bit and enjoyed using Arduino. Then I found out about control theory, and how to improve the performance of the robot by using PID control and so. Also, it's a beautiful field, from a mathematical point of view, and it has huge applications everywhere, specially in aerospace (which I enjoy).
    For thermo/fluids, I enjoy the disciplines and I see that there are plenty of jobs for engineers working in this field (it's very versatile). Also, it has applications in aerospace (turbomachinery).
  10. Jul 31, 2016 #9
    Naaa, don't bother with the thermo/fluids ;). Go for robotics! It's the future!

    Of course, my opinion is just an opinion, and is bias (as i mentioned, i am robotics eng student), but i would encourage you to go down the control systems path as it is still very much a developing and thriving field to be in.
  11. Jul 31, 2016 #10
    I want to reach a good balance between liking the subject and having good job opportunities within it. I've been searching for job positions (just to get a grasp of it) in control systems, and most of them are being offered to electrical engineers (as one of the requirements). And I'm not interested in switching majors. Thermo/fluids is more related to Mechanical Engineering (as you said, it would compliment major more than mechatronics), and I think I would have no trouble finding jobs.
  12. Aug 1, 2016 #11
    Hmm... If you're just seeking employability, then i guess going down the thermo/fluids path would be better. You'd be more of a specialist in your field, and thus, be more likely to get higher paying, stable jobs.

    On the flip side, you definitely wouldn't be short of work if you go down the control path, but yes, your skills will be less focussed i suppose.
  13. Aug 1, 2016 #12
    Eh.. To be honest... Control is a big part of Mechanical Engineering anyway. I think in either case you'll be fine.
  14. Aug 7, 2016 #13
    Are there any fields where thermofluids and control intersect? Especially in aerospace. I'm thinking about things like turbomachinery, where knowledge of thermodynamics, heat transfer, fluids and controls would come in handy.
  15. Aug 7, 2016 #14


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    Chemical manufacturing process design .

    Power station design .
  16. Aug 7, 2016 #15
    Thanks, but I'm not sure about how controls and thermofluids would work out in chemical manufacturing process. Could you say more?
  17. Aug 9, 2016 #16


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    I haven't been able to find a really good overview of chemical plant technology for you on the internet .
    [/PLAIN] [Broken]
    So read this to begin with and come back with specific questions if you want to .
    Last edited by a moderator: May 8, 2017
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