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Weapons Engineering: best minors for tank designing

  1. Nov 21, 2016 #1
    I plan on going into the weapons engineering field and I want to design tanks. Either the armor or the gun. Both fascinate me and I was just wondering, what is the best minor to mechanical engineering for both career options? Materials for the armor and electronic for the gun?
     
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  3. Nov 21, 2016 #2

    russ_watters

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    Your field options are broad/diverse. My dad actually researched the properties of steel for armor for the Army for his Master's thesis, so that is a real thing. But tanks also require mechanical engineering and electrical engineering and their weapons systems probably physics, aerospace engineering and chemistry (if we stick with standard powder launched projectiles). So take your pick.

    My bigger concern would be on the other side: just tanks or would you be interested in going broader? Because while I'm sure they have continued to improve it, the USA has used the same main battle tank since 1979 so it wouldn't exactly be a growth industry.
     
  4. Nov 21, 2016 #3
    Thanks for the help. my thinking is since most other countries are developing new tanks, and not just redesigning current ones, the US will eventually design a completely new line of mats some day, and the reason I say weapons systems ins because tanks aren't the only things that benefit. anything that needs a gun would benefit. ships, planes, trucks, tanks. they all interest me.
     
  5. Nov 21, 2016 #4

    analogdesign

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    I would agree with Russ that you have a lot of options. I would pick the field (mechanical or electrical) that interests you the most because you'll be more successful at something you find interesting.

    More important than the area of study is getting hands-on experience. You can either try to get an internship at one of the labs doing weapons research (for example Sandia National Laboratories) or you can try to get an internship at a contractor doing work you're interested in. That's your #1 way in.

    Keep in mind that this area is really boom and bust and during a bust highly skilled engineers can find themselves out of work with skills that aren't really in demand.
     
  6. Nov 21, 2016 #5
    Another thing is the projectiles, which would be aerospace and physics. So should I pick what is the most interesting to me or the one that has the highest outlook because they all interest me highly. thanks for the input.
     
  7. Nov 21, 2016 #6

    analogdesign

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    Pick the basic field that is most interesting to you. Even in projectiles there is work for people with a lot of different backgrounds. You probably won't know what really interests you until you take a few classes. When I was an undergrad I was very interested in Chemistry until I took a couple of Chemistry classes and that cured me of that interest really quickly.
     
  8. Nov 21, 2016 #7

    Vanadium 50

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    One thing to think about (and I give this advice to everyone who wants to work on a highly specialized field) - how many jobs are out there? Particularly if you limit yourself to tanks. ("I'm sorry - I design guns for tanks; this one looks like it goes on an IFV") The M1 was designed 40 years ago. The M60 was designed 20 years before that.
     
  9. Nov 21, 2016 #8

    Bystander

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    Don't forget the "MBT 70," a more ill-conceived monstrosity than "The Maus."
     
  10. Nov 21, 2016 #9

    Vanadium 50

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    Didn't the Maus have a hybrid drive? The Prius of tanks?
     
  11. Nov 21, 2016 #10

    Bystander

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  12. Nov 22, 2016 #11

    mheslep

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