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Need advice on getting back into Mechanical Engineering

  1. Jul 19, 2012 #1
    I need advice! After graduating college in 2007, I've been in the Army fighting wars and the like, instead of touching anything mechanical engineering. I recently left the service, and was lucky enough to land a job in manufacturing/automations that I'm extremely happy with. We essentially build high-cost, low-volume robots and machines to manufacture or modify our customers' parts and products. I am absolutely prepared for the leadership/communications component, but undoubtedly ill-prepared for anything engineering or mechanical in nature. I roughly recall broad principles like St. Venant's, but I'm utterly frustrated in having retained marginal knowledge with math, analysis, etc. What's the best "good enough" and timely approach to becoming an expert again in mechanical engineering and design? Given the industry I'm in, which topics should I focus on? I've been brushing up on SolidWorks (would have started earlier, but the $5K bill wasn't exactly my cup of tea). I've also been reviewing with Shigley's Mechanical Engineering Design; what other books are must-have? Thanks in advance.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 19, 2012 #2


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    You should consider reviewing for and taking the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam. It would help you review all basic topics in Mechanical engineering, and show that you still know them (by passing the test).

    Take a look at these books:
    Lindeburg- FE Review Manual
    Lindeburg- EIT Reference Manual
  4. Jul 19, 2012 #3
    Thanks, Mech_Engineer. Will definitely pick up a copy ASAP. Any other books? I (re)learn fairly quickly--how much time should I dedicate before taking the test? I am working 60+ hrs a week.
  5. Jul 20, 2012 #4
    In a much less formal way you may be able to relearn some material simply by trying to solve the questions some users post on the forums.
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