1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Specialization in Fluid Mechanics

  1. Feb 6, 2008 #1
    Hi, I'm inrolled in a mechanical engineering program at my university and one of the main specialization areas and research areas here is fluid mechanics.

    I'm looking at doing this, I'm drawn to the complex physics and mathematics, and aerodynamic/fluid modelling and design looks fascinating. Just wondering what kind of job positions someone in this field could expect coming out of undergraduate?

    I would like to stay for graduate studies, but I may change my mind. In the meantime, does anyone know of any good sources for studying fluid mechanics for someone 3/4 through 1st year undergrad, with some extra knowledge of diff eq'ns, partial deriv, and newtonian mechanics.
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 7, 2008 #2

    Andy Resnick

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor

    My training in fluid mechanics has been quite useful, so I would heartily recommend that you give it a try.

    Because fluid mechanics is such a broad topic, you would have a variety of industries to go after- oil companies (oil recovery and extraction), food, chemical, and cosmetic companies (material transport), aerospace companies, heat sink design, microfluidics... the list is nearly endless.

    A good sourcebook to have on hand until you become proficient is "Vectors, Tensors and the Basic Equations of Fluid Mechanics" (Dover Books on Engineering) by Rutherford Aris. Other than that, there are lots of decent books- hit your library and peruse, see what clicks.
  4. Feb 7, 2008 #3
    Start learning computational fluid dynamics. Learn how to use CFD software like Flotran, Fluent, FEMLAB etc. and pick up a programming language or two and get some basic knowledge of how to model flow and then apply for summer/intern jobs in engineering companies that use CFD. Then you'll have a much better picture of whether you want to stay and continue pursuing that career path by the time you graduate.
  5. Feb 9, 2008 #4
    thanks a lot for the advice. I took a look around in my library for the Rutherford book, I couldn't find it, though the web site said they had it. I'm going to have another look, or else pick up an equivalent one, I've seen a few introductory fluid books there before.

    I'm picking up C/C++ language now and I plan on working on another one over the summer during my work term. I'll try to get some experience with some CFD software, maybe talk to some profs about it, see if I can something like this on my resume so that I can get a job in this industry by next winter term.
  6. Feb 25, 2008 #5
    Hi. I'm new to the site and I was wondering if any of you may know where I can get some assistance in my physics class. I'm a high school student and my teacher just opened up the chapter on fluid dynamics. I typed it into the search field and this thread came up. I was wondering if any of you would be able to answer a few questions I may have with it. I would really appreciate it.
  7. Feb 26, 2008 #6


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    If you've got homework or textbook questions then feel free to post them in the appropriate homework help forum where people come specifically to answer homework/textbook questions.
  8. Feb 26, 2008 #7
    In my personal opinion, first year is too early to be worried about this. Wait until your nearing the end of third year, you might find you actually dont like it, but rather something else.
    Also, much of the math you listed will be beyond a first year student.
  9. Feb 26, 2008 #8
    I would say now is definitely the time to think about it. He's not in high school. Also, he only mentioned differential equations and partial derivatives. Anyone that has done a second semester of calculus could handle that.
  10. Feb 27, 2008 #9
    Sorry, I thought I saw partial differential equations, and you do very little ODE's and partial derivatives in first year anyway. I still maintain that it's too early to be worried about this. At least wait until the end of second year.
  11. Feb 27, 2008 #10
    end of second year is the time when I will have to pick my electives which will determine my specialization, since my program broadens so much in third year and we are given technical electives either to use to specialize in something, or just take a general approach.

    I am not so much worrying about this, as I am just simply interested in learning :).
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook