Any enginneers?

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by jer446, Dec 30, 2005.

  1. jer446 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2004
    #1
    I dont know what forum to put this in because i didnt find any engineering forums online.. anyone have any good forums??
    Well my question is this..I think i may want to become an engineer, but am not sure what type and what to study.. I have a couple basic questions..
    I take electronics in school, more robotics, and i really enjoy it..
    I was thinking that it would be really cool to be the person that designs the prosthetic limbs and the robots for the hospital, but am not sure what type of engineer is this.. I dont think i want to become biomedical because that involves pretty much medschool.. Would i need to double major in electrical and mechanical engineering? or something different?
    What is the best payed engineers, one of my biggest concerns, i know a bit materialistic, but then how am i going to afford all my macs?:p Another concern i would have does it have the potential for me to open my own business.. Anything to add would be helpful. Thanks.
     
  2. Randall macrumors 6502a

    Randall

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2005
    Location:
    Norwood, MA
    #2
    Computer and Electrical Engineering is what you're looking for (ECE). The prosthetic limbs would probably also require extensive medical background as well, and perhaps biotech. I suggest that be your minor concentration if this is what you're interrested in. Computer Engineering is a great field, although I have only been working for a year.
     
  3. Dandaman macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2004
    Location:
    soCal
    #3
    something else you might want to look at is MEMS (micro electromechanical systems). I believe that this field has many biomedical applications, but is more on the engineering side. I was kind of in the same boat as you, wantingn to get into the bio engineering field, but not really wanting to touch bio. The only thing with MEMS is that it's still very new and would mean that you would probably do research.

    To get a lot of money as an engineer, you'd either have to be some super genius expert in your field or become some kind of manager. Engineers usually get a good starting pay, but plateaus fairly quickly.

    There are also many enginners who go on to start their own business. Not sure, but I think a lot of people go get an MBA first, then try it. Last I heard, most of the people in an MBA program had an engineering degree, but that could have changed.

    Hope that helps and hope it was accurate :p

    daniel
     
  4. Mr. Anderson Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2001
    Location:
    VA
    #4
    Yeah, you'd have to do biomedical at some point if you wanted to work with prosthetics. As for robotics, I don't know if there is a school that has a degreed curriculum specifically (probably is, though), but the computer/electrcial will get you part way there. It might require graduate work to get the really interesting stuff though.

    You could get a electrical/computer engineering undergrad and focus on the robotics/biotech for a second degree.

    Good luck,

    D
     
  5. ftaok macrumors 601

    ftaok

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2002
    Location:
    East Coast
    #5
    First piece of advice is to rethink whether you really want to be an engineer or not. I'm a chemical engineer by training, and while the money's really good, the work isn't as great as I thought it would be.

    But, if you really have your heart set on becoming an engineer, I think chemical and mechanical usually command the highest salaries. Electrical and Computer follow them. Lastly are the civil engineers. Keep in mind, that the salaries are dependent on the location. Along the East Coast and Gulf Coast areas, ChemE's are valued for the ability to design petro and pharma processes. In the Silicon Valley areas, I would suspect that EE's and CompE's would be paid better. There are many charts and metrics that have information that would help your decision.

    Anyways, I'll sign off with a bit of comedy. Have you ever noticed that some new piece of technology is described as a "Scientific Miracle or Breakthrough", but when something blows up or falls apart, it's always an "Engineering Disaster". Food for thought.

    ft
     
  6. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #6
    You don't need med school for this (but obviously, a fair number of bio courses).

    My brother does this, he was an aircraft engineer first (Engineering Technologist, BC Institute of Technology) and he left that to go back to school (Lakehead University, Thunder Bay ON where they have a biomechanical engineering programme), and did his post-grad work at University of British Columbia. He invents new methods of computer-aided design and surgery for knee replacements.

    Other info from Stanford, Cornell, Uof T Austin

    It is a long programme, requires both engineering rigor and medical understanding. If you are talented, hard working (driven, even) and attracted to this cross-specialty type of study it may be just the thing.
     
  7. jer446 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2004
    #7
    Well i like engineering, but i am afraid i cannot compete with the "geniuses" i am pretty smart, but some kids.. damn is the only word that comes to mind. That is why i would like to open a business, were i could succeed using my wit and people skills, as well as some engineering and managing. I used to want to become a doctor, but then realized i did not enjoy the gore and didnt want to dedicate about 10 years of extra schooling until i even start a family.. Can anyone suggest any other fields or something? I can get into top schools i believe, havent started looking, will wait till next year.
     
  8. ftaok macrumors 601

    ftaok

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2002
    Location:
    East Coast
    #8
    Well, if you like engineering, then go for it. Don't worry about competing with the "geniuses". It's likely that the really smart kids won't make it in the engineering field in the end.

    If you have people skills and are very organized, you might make a strong project engineer. These are the guys that oversee the entire project. If you like, a good analogy is a general contractor involved in building a house.

    ft
     
  9. mduser63 macrumors 68040

    mduser63

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2004
    Location:
    Salt Lake City, UT
    #9
    For prosthetics you'd want to study EE and/or CE. My father is one of the principle engineers of a brain-controlled prosthetic arm. He studied EE in school (CE wasn't available then) and also taught himself how to program microcontrollers in the early eighties.

    I'm an electrical engineering student with a little more than a year left of college. Don't think that you have to be one of the "smartest" kids around to go into engineering because that's not true. As with any other field, you'll have to work hard, but if you apply yourself and are interested in the subject you're studying you'll be OK.
     
  10. jefhatfield Retired

    jefhatfield

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2000
    #10
    good luck in your search for an engineering program

    like many do, electrical and electronic engineering degrees are a safe bet, and very versatile...a specialized program in computer engineering or robotics may not be as versatile in the long run

    the ee and el's seem to do well in a dot.com or dot.bomb economy and they kept their jobs in silicon valley where many an mba, computer scientist/enginner were fired first in the great downsizings that followed...but your undergrad degree is an ee/el and you have an mba, then that is a good, yet common combination

    and yes, the ee and el programs are harder than the other programs like computer engineering or computer science (which some colleges, and countries do not recognize as engineering), but thus the built in versatility from year to year in the job market with the more traditional ee/el

    but difficulty of the program does not always mean a better job...for business, i would rather get a general business degree than the much harder to achieve economics/finance degree...and in medicine, you will get paid more as an md vs. a dual md/phd researcher (which obviously requires more education)

    anyway, good luck and don't be too intimidated...none of the above fields absolutely requires that you are a genius ;)

    ...some geniuses are born, and maybe some developed, and they occur in every field and many don't even go to college in their lifetimes...i have a friend with a 180+ iq and he was accepted to a baby ivy right after 8th grade but declined and never attended college
     
  11. jefhatfield Retired

    jefhatfield

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2000
    #11
    in silicon valley and in los angeles, a sales engineer makes the most because of commissions (it could amount to four to eight times your base salary)...some do sales and don't even have a degree and one relative, like that, makes 250-500k a year, almost all of it commission

    of course, one engineer i know worked for a us company that sold weapons systems components, maybe not of mass destruction, but still big, to iraq right before the first gulf war via defense contracts...the taliban were a group we supplied until 9/11...so there could be a moral component, too

    some engineers, turned political talk show host, like right wing bill wattenburg, seem quite ok with the idea but that is a political forum topic ;)
     
  12. jer446 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2004
    #12
    I like that idea of project engineer.. I am a good leader.. Where can i find more information about a project engineer? What would you major in college? That sounds pretty neat because my father is a manager, but in a different field. Thanks for your help guys.
     
  13. Counterfit macrumors G3

    Counterfit

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2003
    Location:
    sitting on your shoulder
    #13
    Don't forget about the mechanical component of the prothesis. There's much being done in making them stronger, lighter, and less expensive. Of course, if you're already into electrical/computer, stick with it. The electromechanical engineering program at my previous school dealt with robotics, but nowhere near the level of the rival school across the river ;)
     
  14. ftaok macrumors 601

    ftaok

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2002
    Location:
    East Coast
    #14
    Well, being a project engineer is something that you develop into. You really don't come out of college and start in project engineering.

    I work for an A&E (Architectural and Engineering) firm. The type of work we do is to build manufacturing facility for our clients. My particular office focuses on the pharma and biotech industry.

    We have many different engineering disciplines in house. Process (mainly ChemEs), Mechanical, Electrical, Controls, Civil, Structural, HVAC, etc.. Projects are usually run by one or more Project Engineers. PEs start off in another discipline, then after gaining some experience, they can move into the Project group.

    In my view, the best Project Engineers come from either Structural or HVAC. I think it's because they have a good understanding of how the whole building fits into a process.

    Anyways, good luck.
     

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