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Mechanical Engineering or Electrical Engineering?

ftw123ftw123 Posts: 34Registered User Junior Member
edited July 2013 in Engineering Majors
Whats the difference? They seem somewhat similar. What does a mechanical engineer do vs electrical engineering?
Post edited by ftw123 on

Replies to: Mechanical Engineering or Electrical Engineering?

  • TheDude2491TheDude2491 Posts: 239Registered User Junior Member
    Hmmm, they actually aren't that similar at all...

    An easy correlation is with AP Physics C. Basically, MEs mostly do the part about mechanics and EEs work with the E&M. Depending on how you view the 2 parts, you can decide whether you feel those two majors are similar.
  • boneh3adboneh3ad Posts: 5,132Registered User Senior Member
    Actually, ME and EE are near polar opposites in the engineering world. ME is based on the mechanics field of physics, while EE is based on the electricity and magnetism field of physics (seems simple, right?).

    Really, the only overlap is in signals processing and controls. Other than that, the two fields are largely disjoint. Sure, MEs might solder together a circuit board as part of their project, but that is a very basic level EE task.

    If you want a good place to start on looking at different engineering fields, try here: Engineers

    You could get some good information just by Googling, too.
  • thrill3rnit3thrill3rnit3 Posts: 1,413Registered User Member
  • nathangibnathangib Posts: 11Registered User New Member
    electrical ftw
  • marchballermarchballer Posts: 370Registered User Member
    While this statement isnt completely true: Would you rather work with things you can see or things you can't. ME's work more with things you can see while EEs work with things you cannot see.
  • Inmotion12Inmotion12 Posts: 1,042Registered User Senior Member
    Both would be interesting. Flip a coin. Mechanical seems a little bit more diverse though.
  • VanagandrVanagandr Posts: 730- Member
    I chose electrical as a BSEE can act as a call option on other fields, including mechanical, because of the degree to which EE is essential in most if not all engineering fields.

    That said, why not major in one and minor in the other?
  • ftw123ftw123 Posts: 34Registered User Junior Member
    @marchballer what do you mean by "work with things you can see or things you can't" like you can't physically see it or what?
  • ftw123ftw123 Posts: 34Registered User Junior Member
    @Vanagandr Ok so I guess major in electrical and minor in mechanical?
  • EnginoxEnginox Posts: 828Registered User Member
    You are better off majoring in engineering and minoring in another field that interests you.
  • F4LCONF4LCON Posts: 156Registered User Junior Member
    ftw123:
    So just think about Mechanics portion of the Physics sequence. Many of the mechanics problems, we can do reality checks just to see if a solution agrees with daily experiences. If you calculated a rain drop to be falling at 500m/s, you know something went wrong.

    We cannot perform this with E&M because we are talking about electrical/magnetic fluxes, fields, charges, currents, and voltages etc. which we cannot see or feel. Being an ECE major myself, I still think Electrical is half magic.
  • colorado_momcolorado_mom Posts: 5,630Registered User Senior Member
    The basic courses will be mostly the same for ME and EE. And in either case you are a "problem solver". Usually you can remain undecided the first year.
  • VanagandrVanagandr Posts: 730- Member
    FTW - depends upon what you wish to do with it. Ideally, I would advise a double major, but that is not always practical, but an EE major / ME minor or vice-versa are both respectable. I would advise talking to an advisor about the finer points.
  • tz2013tz2013 Posts: 49Registered User Junior Member
    Any examples of the extensive problems students do in mechanical engineering and in electrical engineering?
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