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What do you do as an engineer?

  1. Aug 5, 2006 #1
    I know its hard to answer with so many different fields in engineering, (andmaybe its a noob question) but is engineering office or outdoor/hands on working?

    and a question to engineers out there... what do u actually do at work each day?

    im interested in maths and science and not sure what i should study in uni.
    engineering sounds cool but im not really exactly sure what is involved.

    also,, is it fun?
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 5, 2006 #2
    My school can set you up to follow one of their grads around for a few hours or all day. I'd guess that other schools have similar programs.
  4. Aug 5, 2006 #3


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    It can be both. Most engineering activities, e.g. analysis/simulation, computation, reporting, etc, would occur in an office. However, engineers often go outdoors, especially civil engineers, where one would do on-site collection of data, supervision of some work (e.g. construction or installation), or inspecting a site to ensure that something is constructed/installed according to plans.

    Most of my work is simulation and model development, which of course includes a lot of data collection and analysis. The model development is interesting. In this activity, one collects experimental data and then contructs models of the physical processes with which one simulates the performance of some system, e.g. a bar of metal under certain thermomechanical loads. It gets more complicated when one tosses in chemical (corrosion) and radiological phenomena. It's very challenging and very rewarding to be able to simulate a complex set of processes and achieve results which can be eventually verified through measurement. My company does predictive analysis. We also do a fair amount of failure analysis, in hopes of better defining technical limits on various materials and systems, which in turn allows us to improve a design or modify the performance envelope.

    Mathematics and science. Engineering is essentially applied physics. Mathematics is the language of physics and engineering. Engineering, like physics, is cool. :cool: :biggrin:

    He!! Yeah!!!!! :cool: I wouldn't do it if it wasn't fun - I'd be doing something different. I work with a lot of cool people from all over the country and the world.
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2006
  5. Aug 6, 2006 #4
    Last week I had to build a temporary free-standing 12' tall x 8' wide wall to block air from a condensing unit, on a 98 deg F day. That was what you call hands on.
  6. Aug 6, 2006 #5


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  7. Aug 7, 2006 #6
    thanks Astronuc for u detailed knowledge and gokul for the site and artman and kdinser for advice.

    is it better to study science or engineering?
    do any good jobs come out of science
  8. Aug 7, 2006 #7


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    I'm an electrical engineer. More specifically, I'm a senior design engineer for a large company that makes high performance analog integrated circuits. Of course, our chips are not purely analog, and in fact often approach a 50/50 split.

    I do some design, predominantly digital, and some verification work. Almost everything I do is on a computer. The work is actually very intellectually stimulating, as I'm often studying a design in very close detail, running many different simulations on it to see how it performs and identify bugs.

    My company is one of the first to make good use of computer simulation and verification procedures on complete mixed-signal designs, so I'm often forging my own path, developing my own scripts and environments.

    There is also some "hands-on" work involved. When we get a completed chip back from our fab, the designers are often the first people to mount in on an evaluation board and start testing it to see if it's functioning to spec. It's not exactly manual labor, but there's a lot of board-cutting, test bench setup, equipment hauling, and that sort of thing.

    In general, it's a phenomenal job. I enjoy the intellectual nature of it. I enjoy the flexible hours, excellent pay and benefits, and relaxed atmosphere. It often feels a lot like the nights I spent with friends as a kid, taking apart computers and learning to program, so I enjoy it immensely.

    - Warren
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2006
  9. Aug 7, 2006 #8


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  10. Aug 8, 2006 #9
    thanks berkeman... chroot that sounds cool as n fun thnx
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