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Engineering Exploration

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Aerospace Engineering

Aerospace engineering is perfect for the person who knows the industry they'd like to be in, but doesn't want to specialize on one type of engineering just yet. Aerospace engineering undergrad is very similar to mechanical engineering undergrad but adds additional focus to fluids and space dynamics.

Main Areas of Study:

  • Fluids

  • Structures

    • Statics & Dynamics

    • Composites

  • Propulsion

    • Rocket

    • Air Breathing

  • Controls

  • Plasmas

Companies to Work For:

  • Boeing

  • NASA

  • SpaceX

  • Amazon Air

  • Blue Origin

  • Lockheed Martin

  • Northrup Grumman

  • Raytheon

  • Insitu

  • Airbus

Image by Jordan Sanchez
Image by SpaceX
Image by asoggetti
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Industrial and Systems Engineering

If planning is your thing, systems engineering is for you! No, industrial engineering is not just assembly line manufacturing - but it could be. Industrial engineering and systems engineering are, arguably, the most basic and broad forms of engineering. These hyper interdisciplinary fields focus on the design, integration, and management of complex systems over the whole life cycle of the system or product.

Main Areas of Study:

  • Engineering Fundamentals

    • systems engineering is often seen as an extension to the regular engineering courses

    • industry attitude is that system engineering students need a foundational background and students of "traditional" engineering disciplines also need to know systems

  • Manufacturing Systems

  • Design of Experiments

  • Probability and Statistics

Companies to Work For:

  • Basically anywhere!

  • Especially large manufacturing companies

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Image by Alvaro Reyes
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 Mechanical Engineering

Are you fascinated by the way machines come together? Don’t just think of machines in a mechanics shop (or do!), but think about the way cars get from A to B, how robots are becoming reality, and even how the human body functions! All these require a system of parts to work together. As a mechanical engineer, you blend physics and math with real world materials to bring ideas to life! Mechanical engineering is a uniquely hands-on field where you get to not only design, but also build and test your ideas.

Main Areas of Study:

  • Structures

    • Mechanics & dynamics

    • Material Science

    • Composites

  • Thermodynamics

  • Fluids

  • Drafting & design

  • Electronics

    • Specialization in mechatronics

Companies to Work For:

  • NASA, SpaceX, Boeing, etc

  • Google, Apple, Microsoft, etc

  • The Department of Energy

  • Boston Scientific

Image by Sam Loyd
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Civil Engineering

Civil engineers contribute to the buildings we live and work in, the roads and bridges we drive on, the trains and subways we take, and connect society to the water and energy it survives on! Put simply, civil engineers have to come up with solutions to complex problems and implement them; they literally shape the world we live in. Civil engineers are tasked with keeping our infrastructure running effectively and adapting it to meet challenges, such as population growth, climate change and natural disasters. If you’ve ever thought, “man, I could’ve designed this intersection better” or wanted to help make jaw-dropping structure a reality, then civil engineering is for you!

Main Areas of Study:

  • Construction/Contracting

    • This specialty is more involved with keeping an eye on the physical construction

    • Engineers in contracting are usually based on-site

  • Consulting

    • This specialty mainly focuses on design work

    • Civil engineers in consulting generally spend more time in the office or working with clients

Companies to Work For:

  • Department of Transportation (local)

  • Federal government agencies

  • Contracting firms:

    • Arup

    • Atkins

    • Vinci

    • Mott McDonald

    • Stantec

    • Balfour Beatty

    • Bechtel

    • Skanska

    • Laing O’Rourke

    • Arcadis

Image by Dan Calderwood
Image by Matthew Henry
Image by ThisisEngineering RAEng
Inside the Subway Station
 
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Computer Science and Computer Engineering

Computers are the future and most of the present. If seeing patterns and making complex systems work is your thing then maybe Computer Science and Engineering is too! Commonly broken into computer science and computer engineering, computer science studies the processes that interact with data while computer engineering works with the hardware needed to make that data processing run.

Main Areas of Study:

  • Software Engineering

    • This encompasses your typical programing and coding classes

  • Data Structures and Algorithms

    • The logic behind the magic. Algorithms set the rules to be followed in calculations and other problem-solving operations. 

  • Computer Hardware

    • Here’s your circuit boards and signals and displays or whatever black magic they use

Companies to Work For:

  • Google

  • Facebook

  • Amazon

  • Microsoft

  • Apple

  • Other STEM places like Boeing and NASA 

  • Anywhere that has a webpage or large amounts of data

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Image by Chris Ried
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Electrical Engineering

You flip a light switch and boom- let there be light! How does it happen? Magic? Probably. Engineering? I mean, that’s what they tell us- we’re unconvinced. If you understand the mystery that is electricity and electronics like, wow, way to go. You have the gift of electrical engineering. This branch of engineering deals with a wide range of electrical components, devices, and systems- from tiny microchips to huge power station generators. It isn’t all circuits and signals and blah blah blah (unless you want it to be), a lot of times it’s more Iron Man than that.

Main Areas of Study:

  • Controls

    • This specialty focuses on the modeling of dynamic systems and creating controllers that cause the desired behavior- oftentimes using constant system feedback on performance to provide corrective performance and automatic controls (i.e. cruise control).

  • Microelectronics

    • Electronics but like itty-bitty.The smaller the electronics, the more capabilities and processing power you can put into your devices. 

  • Computer Systems

    • This specialty is electronics but for computers. Motherboards and displays and all that jazz.

  • Power

    • Power plants that make our cities operate. What gives our electronics their juice.

  • Telecommunications

    • This discipline is responsible for providing high-speed data transmission. Things like telephones, optic fiber cabling, radio transmissions, etc.

Companies to Work For:

  • Lockheed Martin

  • Texas Instruments

  • Intel

  • Tesla

  • General Electric

  • Boeing

  • IBM

  • Google

  • Apple

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Soldering circuit board
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