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Wants ChemE job, loves Mechanical E curriculum

  1. Nov 27, 2012 #1
    I am a sophomore in college trying to decide between majors
    Mechanical Eng. and Chemical Eng.
    This decision has been a lengthy introspective battle since graduating high school.

    I have always enjoyed chemistry, notably chemical reactions especially in food and drinks and biology. I work as a barista and am passionate about tea and coffee.
    I have a small dream that I would work as a brewmaster for a tea, wine or beer plant.
    Basically I would love to work in a chemical engineering setting, designing a process or taking thermodynamic and quality measurements of reactors etc for biofuel or some cool product.

    The problem is that I really love the mechanical engineering curriculum. It gives me a completely well-rounded curriculum including fluid mechanics, work with stress in solids, etc.
    The Chemical eng. curriculum is principally focused on chemical process design and different applications to reactors and pipes and processes as well as economic feasibility. I would love all that curriculum but want to learn about so much more in solids, stress, and machinery.

    Does anyone have any advice on the issue?

    I am pretty sure some responses will tell me to suck it up and switch to chemical engineering and teach myself mechanical curriculum secondarily.
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 31, 2012 #2
    Interesting dilema. If you want to work as a process engineer, you'll definitely be exposed to the machinery aspect via on the job training. Maybe not the mechanics of materials and stress levels seen in the MechE curriculum, but definitely more than what is in your ChemE degree. ChemE should give you a very well rounded view on liquid systems through a plant - at least it has for me as a Senior about to graduate. Thermo, fluids (pumps, Navier Stokes), heat transfer (heat exchangers), mass transfer (distillation/membranes), transport phenomena (fluid, heat and mass trasfer review), kinetics (reactions and reactors)

    To be honest, self-teaching MechE is stupid for an engineer planning to go into industry. Everything that is really important will be taught to you on the job. Finding that first full-time (or internship) that has a MechE emphasis as a ChemE student would be critical. However, you could throw your electives towards MechE, maybe get a minor

    Hope that helps. I know this is an old post, but I saw ChemE, so I had to put in my 2ยข
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