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Need help

  1. Feb 15, 2012 #1
    Need help :D

    Hi everyone,
    I am finishing my high-school and I have to decide what I'm going to study next.
    I cannot decide between mechanical engineering, mechatronics(modul: robotics) and software engineering.
    This is what I would like to do:
    http://spectrum.ieee.org/podcast/biomedical/bionics/bone-transplantation-without-rejection
    http://spectrum.ieee.org/video/biomedical/bionics/ekso-exoskeleton-hits-the-market
    http://spectrum.ieee.org/biomedical/bionics/birth-of-the-bionic-eye
    - making invisible aeroplanes
    - making satelites
    - making military robots
    - making new types of weapons
    - making new machines for mining industry, civil industry, etc.
    - making new materials, like bulletproof materials, etc.
    - making humanoid robots
    - exploring artificial intelegence
    - making instruments for doctors
    - making medicine robots
    - making software for companies
    - fighting against hackers
    (this are "a couple" of things I find interesting, I'm sure that I won't be able to do all of that)
    Based on this, what you can suggest me( if you say for example M.E, please add what from all I mentioned goes with ME)?
    Everything you say will help me, every word can make me decide what my future call will be.
    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 15, 2012 #2
    Re: Need help :D

    The problem with engineering (in industry, not if you are some eccentric entrepreneur) is that as you get more into the interesting stuff, you get more pigeon-holed. For instance, unless you change your career path several times, you wont spend your tuesdays working with biomedical surgical robots and your thursdays working out the thruster dynamics of GEO satelites. The level of experience requried to be a big part of most of these projects is pretty prohibitive. That is not to say that many of them are not related.

    For instance, you might spend a few years working on mechatronics and robotics or even weapons for the defense department (something which itself requires years of experience, and often times a professional engineering license) you would not be overlooked for a position working out the deployment mechanisms for a satelites solar panels, or instrument panels, etc.

    Artificial intelligence is largely academic, if you want to go this route, go ComSci or ComEng or maybe EE. Note that most companies are looking for people who are proficient in certain things. Most places have little need for a guy who has one or two years experience in several unrelated fields.

    Also, out of curiosity, are you saying you'd like to work on actually invisible aircraft? As in not silent/radar-invisible but physically invisible? If so this is Materials Science/engineering, though I can't imagine there is too large a job market for this at the moment.

    If you like mechatronics and that ilk, you'll like mechanical engineering (most MechE degrees require you to choose a focus, which often times includes mechatronics). In your first year or so at school, you should take a compsci class or two, to see if you'd like to focus on the programming side of things.
     
  4. Feb 15, 2012 #3
    Re: Need help :D

    Thanks on that great answer :D
    I'm interested in so much things that, at this moment, I cannot decide what to study:(.
    To what are bionic and biomechanic related to? Can you tell me what people in ME usually do? Can they work on making robots, cars, aeroplanes, medical instruments, etc.? If they can what they specificly do, I mean, for example, do they make cars engines, or how car should look like, or on aerodynamic shape of car, etc.? If I'm interested in Robotics should I go more for EE, ME or software engineering, I mean, what is the most important part of one robot, or robot hand?
    Thanks in advance.
     
  5. Feb 15, 2012 #4
    Re: Need help :D

    1. Bionics, biomechanics, pretty much anything with bio in front of it will fall into two categories. Biomedical engineering and mechanical engineering. Depending on the school, there may be a mechanical degree with a focus on the biomedical industry, or a biomedical degree with a focus on the mechanical.

    2. Robotics incorporates all three of those fields. ME's will work on the chassis/frame/structure of the things, and will also work with the EE's on control (motors/servos/pneumatics/what have you). Obviously, probably the most important part of robotics is programming, so software/compsci engineering would be most involved with that. Though, almost universally robotics is a team effort.

    3. Mechanical engineering is such a broad field that the question "What does a Mechanical Engineer do?" is almost meaningless. ME's work in mines, on Dams, on cars, buildings, planes, factories, damn near everything. If it uses equipment, bet on that equipment being spec.'d by an ME.

    One thing to consider though is this: Major things like engines, planes, cars, medical instruments, etc. are not designed by one guy. It takes teams of multidisciplinary engineers and technologists to come up with the final products.

    To some extent aerodynamicsts are used on the design of cars, and of course they are used for airplanes, but they generally work with teams of engineers of different fields to come up with the right designs.

    Mechanical engineering is probably the broadest field of engineering, even more so than civil. The thing to understand is that, in industry, nothing is done by one guy in a room with a computer and a calculator. Sure, most small projects can be handled by a single engineer (working with vendors, contractors, etc) but most things that are mass produced, large-scale, novel, or otherwise interesting will have people of different backgrounds contributing parts. Almost always this includes a mechanical engineer.
     
  6. Feb 15, 2012 #5
    Re: Need help :D

    Great answer :) Are you mechanical engineer? If you are, and you're employed can you tell me what is your job? Between those three disciplines, if anyone knows, of course, which one is the best to get a good well-payed job? That is not crucial, but it is good to be known.
     
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