Weapons Engineering: best minors for tank designing

In summary, the conversation is about career options in the weapons engineering field, specifically designing tanks and their weapons systems. The best minors for this field are materials engineering for armor and electronic engineering for the gun. However, there are also opportunities in mechanical engineering, physics, aerospace engineering, and chemistry. It is advised to choose the field that is most interesting, as hands-on experience is crucial in this field and job availability can fluctuate. It is also important to consider the broader scope of the industry, as tanks may not always be in high demand. The conversation also mentions the possibility of working on other weapons systems besides tanks.
  • #1
Whit3chick3n
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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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  • #2
[Moved to academic guidance]

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.
 
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  • #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.
 
  • #4
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.
 
  • #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.
 
  • #6
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.
 
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  • #7
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.
 
  • #8
Don't forget the "MBT 70," a more ill-conceived monstrosity than "The Maus."
 
  • #9
Didn't the Maus have a hybrid drive? The Prius of tanks?
 
  • #11

Related to Weapons Engineering: best minors for tank designing

1. What are the best minors to pair with a major in Weapons Engineering for tank designing?

The best minors to pair with a major in Weapons Engineering for tank designing depend on your specific interests and career goals. Some popular options include Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science and Engineering, Computer Science, Industrial Engineering, and Systems Engineering.

2. How will a minor in Mechanical Engineering benefit my career in tank designing?

A minor in Mechanical Engineering will provide you with a strong foundation in mechanics, materials, and design principles, which are essential for designing tanks. This minor will also give you a deeper understanding of the mechanical components and systems within a tank, allowing you to design more efficient and effective tanks.

3. Can a minor in Computer Science be useful for tank designing?

Yes, a minor in Computer Science can be highly beneficial for tank designing. With the increasing use of technology in warfare, having a background in computer science will allow you to design tanks with advanced computer systems and controls. This minor can also open up opportunities in the field of autonomous and unmanned tank systems.

4. What skills will a minor in Industrial Engineering provide for tank designing?

A minor in Industrial Engineering will equip you with skills in optimization, systems analysis, and project management, which are crucial for designing tanks. This minor will also give you a broader understanding of the manufacturing processes involved in tank production, allowing you to design tanks that are not only effective but also cost-efficient.

5. Is a minor in Systems Engineering important for a career in tank designing?

Yes, a minor in Systems Engineering is highly recommended for a career in tank designing. This minor will provide you with a comprehensive understanding of the complex systems within a tank and how they interact with each other. This knowledge will be invaluable when designing tanks, as it will allow you to create a more cohesive and efficient design.

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