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Nanotechnology or mechanical engineering

  1. Oct 27, 2014 #1
    Hi! I am now doing my first semester for an integrated master's degree in mechanical engineering at a Norwegian university. I am doing well, but I have been second-guessing my choice for a while now. I have to admit I really was uncertain about what to chose, and while I mainly considered engineering physics and mechanical engineering in the beginning, I have also been thinking about fields like cybernetics and electronics as well.

    Lately I have thinking about nanotechnology, and before saying something about my motivation for that, I have to say it is very easy for me to change field without losing anything within the next 6 months, which is part of the reason to why I am still trying to find out about what I really want to do for the rest of my life(?).

    So, the main thing that drew me towards mechanical engineering was the two paths I could take later; "energy, process and flow engineering" and "industrial mechanics" which I reckon is commonly known as applied mechanics, where I by the way can take a subject called nanomechanics in my 4th year. As I really enjoyed physics in high school I thought it would be interesting to delve into mechanics and fluid mechanics to really understand that part of nature which I've always seen and known, but never understood in detail, while still having good job prospects in many industries.

    The subject most related to mechanical engineering we are doing now is called "product modelling" which is about technical drawing and CAD (NX 9). It is OK, but it is nowhere near what I want to do, and the "design a hand drill" (just looks) makes me feel like I am studying something more like design where I end up redesigning the wheel... or a wheelchair... or a drill which I do not really care about as they are fine as they are today in my view. When I look at the other subjects targeted at mechanical engineers such as production technology etc., I feel it is a long way until I get to do what I want to, and that the choice may be wrong for me. I also take myself in thinking of the field as "primitive" compared to automation, electical engineering etc. I just don't think I have any clue about what is left to discover or develop within the field. It just seems like it is mainly about scaling well-known systems like turbines and engines to fit a specific situation... at least for someone almost straight out of high school.

    So I was thinking about nanotechnology engineering, which is a masters offered at my university. The directions is nanoelectronics, nanomaterials and bionano. I feel like there is a field where more will happen than in mechanical engineering, or most other fields in the future, where it is easier to pioneer something, and with just as much physics (without being too much) and other fairly interesting/usefull subjects. It seems like an exciting field as well, where you'll get to know a part of the world previously unknown. The problem is however that it seems a little small. The industry is still new, and while I know they get hired, I struggle a bit to see in what specific position and how nanotechnology is going to be as big as claimed by some. I also do not want to work as purely a chemist. I know it is a mix, and I have nothing against using chemistry a lot, but I just do not want it as my main thing... If there is any danger of it.

    So... I know I have lost track a bit, but just as much as I want to get some qualified views on nano vs. mech, I also want some feedback/help/motivation to chose and settle on a field and feel happy with that. Have you had the same thoughts?

    The main question formulated in one sentence: what are your view on a nanotechnology education and how does it compare to a more traditional field (primarily like mechanical engineering)?

    The main problem for me is probably that I do not really know what I am truly passionate about. At highschool it was physics, and may still be, but I'd like to specialize a bit more at something and I am not really that keen on astrophysics or something super fancy. I just like being able to tell whats going on around me, and I do not feel 20 physics courses are necessary for that. I have been trying to chose a field based on what I believe I would find the most satisfying and fun to do as well as having good opportunities in Norway. Whether that is mechanical or nanoengineering something completely different I am not sure. But at the moment I think about those two primarily.

    Thanks for reading through the wall of text or/and answering :)
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 2, 2014 #2
    Thanks for the post! Sorry you aren't generating responses at the moment. Do you have any further information, come to any new conclusions or is it possible to reword the post?
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