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Waterloo Engineering

  1. Sep 8, 2008 #1
    So, I'm in grade 12 and soon I'll be applying for university... eek. Rough times ahead.

    I'm wondering what to go for. I know I'll be applying at Waterloo and other universities, but what is the best choice for Waterloo: System Design, Mechatronics, Mechanical, or Chemical?

    I know System Design and Mechatronics are interdisciplinary which are broad and opens up many prospects. Now, is one better than the other? What are the pros and cons such as work load and demand.

    Or, should I go for more specific lines of engineering such as Mechanical and Chemical? Is going specific a smart choice for later on?

    Please provide some insight because I'm totally lost as of now...

  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 8, 2008 #2
    I'm just dropping out of mechatronics :). I would say go for tron it's an amazing program.
  4. Sep 8, 2008 #3
    Tron? Please elaborate on its meaning. :)
  5. Sep 8, 2008 #4
    Mechatronics. Thing with systems is that first year is really really hard but it gets better later on. Mechatronics starts of easy then gets harder exponentially. Also Mechanical is more interdiciplinary, you can practically go anywhere with tron.
  6. Sep 8, 2008 #5
    I see. So, if I would like to work in the aerospace or automotive industry, I would be able to get in with my mechatronics degree?

    And what's the main difference between system design and mechatronics?
  7. Sep 9, 2008 #6
    Tron is basically 85% Mechanical, 10% Electrical and 5% computer. We do everything half assed but are very multi diciplinary even more so than mechanical. Whereas systems is basically well it's systems. You will mostly deal with systems and how they work, optimization etc.. with a whole bunch of engineering courses thrown in.
  8. Sep 9, 2008 #7
    Thanks for the explanation. I guess Mechatronics is more hands-on and more like engineering than system design which is mainly just systems, right?

    I'm trying to understand all aspects, really. Mechatronics more fun, then?
  9. Sep 9, 2008 #8
    By the way, I've never seen a Mechatronics program in the States, and it kind of makes me think of big, bipedal, Japanese military robots.

    Anyway, back on topic - what it says on your degree isn't going to matter as much as the classes you took and what you know. If you want to work in Aerospace or Automotive, make sure you get to take the same classes that Mechanical Engineers take, or you'll have some catching up to do - by the same token, if you do take the same classes, the additional Electrical and Computer Engineering classes might give you a bit of an edge, and you'll have your foot in the door, so to speak, if you ever decide to switch fields.
  10. Sep 9, 2008 #9
    Yeah it is. But ironically the program that mechatronics resembles the most is systems design. Fyi watch out for prof. el-sadanny in your 1B term he is a ***********
  11. Sep 9, 2008 #10
    Thanks for the heads up. :P

    I've heard great things about System Design, but I hear its hellishly difficult. 50+ hours of work per week... Mechatronics is the same I'm guessing.

    Also, since you are in 3rd year, I are quite familiar with co-op. Where did you work for your first two years for mechatronics? Out of Waterloo, enjoyable?

    Thank you so much for your replies. The information is helping out a lot.
  12. Sep 11, 2008 #11
    Yeah systems is hard in the beginning but tron gets hard later on. I just finished my first year. For my first workterm I worked as a research engineer at Sunnybrook and Womens college doing research on how metastatics spinal cancer affects the biomechanics of the spine and right now im basically working in industry as "IT". They're completely different worlds.
  13. Sep 13, 2008 #12
    Sounds good. Please bare with me and my questions. You have no idea how much you are helping.

    No matter which engineering I get into, I'll be put into Stream 4. Now, how hard is it to get co-op acceptance somewhere for your first work term? What do the employers look at in terms of previous working experience. I'm asking this because I haven't really worked anywhere yet. Will this be a hurdle for me? I see the acceptance rate is something like 95%, but I think a response from someone who's been there and done that is more dependent.

    Also, location wise, do I have a say where I want to work? I'm guessing it's going to be around Waterloo like Cambridge and Toronto.

    Last of all, should I have my resume ready even before class starts? I'm hearing many things, but again, someone with experience is more dependent.

    I've good to get the co-op facts straightened out before applying.

    Thank you very much for your time.
  14. Sep 17, 2008 #13
    Do not and I repeat DO NOT worry about co-op. Almost everyone gets a job (unless you're at the bottom of the class). I thought that I wouldn't land a job but for my first two terms I worked as a reseach engineer! Yeah location wise you do have a say as you have to apply for jobs and all job postings have location stated on them. Nah, there are a ton of programs which will kick your butt into gear and get your resume ready. Co-op isn't hard PDEng you will hate but thats more like a pain in the ***. Also check out jobmine or look for salary statistics there. (search at uwaterloo.ca)
  15. Sep 17, 2008 #14
    That's a relief...

    I think I can stay at the top of the class. Well, relatively anyway. Hard work, but very doable.
  16. Sep 17, 2008 #15
    Thats a little cocky man. There are tons of brilliant people there. My entrance avg was 97% and I got that without trying. But yet got raped first year because of my bad work habits. Just make sure you work hard, thats the key.
  17. Sep 17, 2008 #16
    I shouldn't have said it that way and because of that, I do sound cocky. :P Not intended at all.

    I'm just willing to work hard. If I work at it, I should do well.
  18. Nov 5, 2008 #17
    Systems engineer - jack of all trades. they SAY they know everything, in the end they just know alot of nothing.

    If u were deciding ebtween the 2 i wud say mechatronics, at least they are more specialized, tho i would also say they claim to know everything lol. Work hard sir, Ill be seeing u during frosh week. And u'll be calling me sir, edcom sir.
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