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Expectations for Mechanical Engineering

d1a2n3i5e8ld1a2n3i5e8l Posts: 45Registered User Junior Member
edited May 2008 in Engineering Majors
Do schools expect you to know all about engines and how to put them together?
Is it bad if i have never worked with cars or machines, but would like to be a mechanical engineer?
Post edited by d1a2n3i5e8l on
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Replies to: Expectations for Mechanical Engineering

  • ish718ish718 Posts: 253Registered User Junior Member
    Absolutely not.
    The only skills required are the math and science skills.
  • aibarraibarr Posts: 4,248Registered User Senior Member
    Seconding. Some of your classmates might know something about engines and whatnot, but it's not going to help them in any spectacular ways. No worries.
  • d1a2n3i5e8ld1a2n3i5e8l Posts: 45Registered User Junior Member
    Are there any mechanical engineering classes that are taught through labs without any books?
  • aibarraibarr Posts: 4,248Registered User Senior Member
    For with vs. without books, it really depends upon the professor. That's pretty true for most classes/fields in college, incidentally.

    And yeah, most engineering majors have lab courses of some type, and some of those are either with or without lectures. It really depends.
  • lil_killer129lil_killer129 Posts: 4,706Registered User Senior Member
    Do schools expect you to know all about engines and how to put them together?
    Is it bad if i have never worked with cars or machines, but would like to be a mechanical engineer?
    Engines? I don't even know what a wrench was until last week, and I did fine during my first year as a M.E. major.
  • aibarraibarr Posts: 4,248Registered User Senior Member
    Engines? I don't even know what a wrench was until last week, and I did fine during my first year as a M.E. major.

    LOL.........
  • fofocrashfofocrash Posts: 53Registered User Junior Member
    I think you are confusing Mechanical Engineering with Engineering Technology.Mechanical Engineering is mostly Physics and Math the first two years-that is why many students can go to pre-medicine schools.
  • keeferkeefer Posts: 616- Member
    one of the dissapointments of my life is when I discovered, after going through a competitive mechanical engineering program, that at the end, I cannot fix my own car. At the time when I was in school, I knew how the theory works for engines, refrigerators, and how to solve problems using calculus. The curriculum I went through was practical and theory based, however I think theory really dominates, therefore, I was doing a ton of math problems basically.

    Now, 5 years later, I hardly remember any of the specifics I learned in college, but i've acquired a very important skill through engineering, that is learning how to learn and how to get answers from scratch, those skills have served me well in my consulting career.

    Don't worry about it, unless ... if you want to be a mechanic.
  • aibarraibarr Posts: 4,248Registered User Senior Member
    one of the dissapointments of my life is when I discovered, after going through a competitive mechanical engineering program, that at the end, I cannot fix my own car.

    I am similarly depressed that I cannot construct my own parking garage. =(
  • d1a2n3i5e8ld1a2n3i5e8l Posts: 45Registered User Junior Member
    If I take Physics and Calculus in High School would I be fairly well prepared for the first year of Mechanical Engineering?
  • aibarraibarr Posts: 4,248Registered User Senior Member
    Yes, you'll be fine.
    (Might want to try for AP Phys C and AP BC Calc, if they're offered... it might knock off a course or two that you'd have to take your freshman year.)
  • d1a2n3i5e8ld1a2n3i5e8l Posts: 45Registered User Junior Member
    Okay, thank you for your assistance.
  • weldonweldon Posts: 537Registered User Member
    To OP: all the answers you have currently received are quite correct. Your first years of school, and in fact your entire ME program, will be much more heavily oriented toward applied math and science than "practical" mechanical knowledge. However, a question you should ask yourself (I am wondering here as well) is why you want to be an ME if you've displayed no real interest in mechanical things or machinery up to this point. Eventually as a working engineer you will need to be involved with practical mechanical issues, since no engineering employer is really interested in math/science for its own sake.
  • d1a2n3i5e8ld1a2n3i5e8l Posts: 45Registered User Junior Member
    I am sure I would enjoy learning how to assemble cars and other machines. What I was saying is that I have not had the opportunity to do so. I was worried that hands on experience with actual engines and machines would be expected of new students.
  • RacinReaverRacinReaver Posts: 6,598Registered User Senior Member
    I'd say you'd be more expected to have had experience with Legos, Tinkertoys, and K'Nex. Anything above that is probably considered a bonus.

    I'd recommend trying to take a woodshop/metalshop class as soon as possible, though. At my school, those classes were reserved for MechE, art, and architecture majors, and they were in pretty high demand. I had wanted to take one, since knowing those sorts of things are good skills for life, but unfortunately I couldn't.
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