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Worried about my engineering research project.

  1. Dec 22, 2013 #1
    I'm in my fourth year of undergrad engineering and next term I have nothing except for a research project. I've always done very well in exams but I'm worried that my grade for this project will be much lower than usual and I'll be exposed as an exam passer (which I basically am since I don't even like engineering. I wish I had picked maths/physics/anything else instead).

    The project is to do with the thermodynamics. I'm not looking for help on any specific section, I just want help on how to approach this.

    1. One of the things I was suggested to do first was to start replicating the results of papers. How can I do this if it's insanely hard to even figure out the equations and values of constants that were used for each paper? They usually point you to another paper or seem to intentionally not make it clear for the reader. It would take me ages to replicate anyone's results.

    2. How do you approach an area of research you know nothing about and learn about it? How do you arrange your notes?

    3. What is expected from an undergrad paper? Am I supposed to invent a new approach or new stuff?
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 22, 2013 #2
    Hi there,

    Not to worry!

    Undergraduate projects are usually just intended to expose one to the research process. What this means for you is that you will be given a reasonable level of guidance from you're advisor (he/she knows how much math/physics you know at this level and will not send you down the rabbit hole). Also, you won't have to "defend" your project as is requisite for the equivalent thing in grad school. This is where the big advantage resides. You need to write or build a good project. You do not have to explain the mechanism and justify it against the prying inquisition of professionals in the field.

    Furthermore, thermodynamics seems like a very broad topic. You have many choices at your disposal. I am a physics major, and I find statistical methods, such as those employed in thermo, to be very interesting.

    Any ideas for a specific topic?
  4. Dec 22, 2013 #3


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    Education Advisor
    Gold Member

    Soooo why are you studying engineering if you hate..um... Engineering?
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