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shaunbrockhill
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Hi, I'm currently considering courses to apply for (2013 entry) and have pretty much narrowed it down to Mechanical or Chemical Engineering...

I do Maths, Physics and Chemistry at A level, so subjects are not an issue.

So basically I was just wandering if anybody had any useful information they could give me regarding either course? Anybody who is doing/has done either of these courses, what are/were they like and what career prospects do they provide you?

Oh and a more specific question, is Mechanical Engineering considered like a general Engineering course as opposed to a specialist area of Engineering? Because I wanted to write in my personal statement how I chose Mechanical Engineering (if I do eventually choose it haha) because it provided me a good, base knowledge of Engineering with the intention of specialising (aerospace or mechatronics for anyone who's interested...) either later in the course or in postgraduate study... would this sound odd or right?

PS: Universities i'm thinking of applying to are Southamton, UCL, Exeter, Warwick, Loughborough, Newcastle and Liverpool (for those who are interested or can give me more specific information...)

Thanks in advance!
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Smack
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I do mechanical and it provides you with excellent career prospects. As do all the core engineering disciplines.

Mechanical isn't like general; it's its own specific discipline, although it is perhaps the broadest.
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shaunbrockhill
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(Original post by Smack)
I do mechanical and it provides you with excellent career prospects. As do all the core engineering disciplines.

Mechanical isn't like general; it's its own specific discipline, although it is perhaps the broadest.
Okay, but many Universities offer Mechanical Engineering with an option to specialise in the 4th year... So is it an unreasonable thing for me to put in my Personal Statement (as mentioned in Original Post)???
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Smack
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(Original post by shaunbrockhill)
Okay, but many Universities offer Mechanical Engineering with an option to specialise in the 4th year... So is it an unreasonable thing for me to put in my Personal Statement (as mentioned in Original Post)???
I'm afraid I don't know much about personal statements.
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shaunbrockhill
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(Original post by Smack)
I'm afraid I don't know much about personal statements.
I meant as more of an insight into what Mechanical Engineering actually consists of as opposed to direct personal statement advice, but fair enough I'm probably asking that question in the wrong place haha.

Thanks alot anyway. Where are you studying out of curiosity?
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alexkol
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(Original post by shaunbrockhill)
Okay, but many Universities offer Mechanical Engineering with an option to specialise in the 4th year... So is it an unreasonable thing for me to put in my Personal Statement (as mentioned in Original Post)???
Go into the 3rd and 4th year modules and have a look at the optional/selective modules.
The specialization is usually with some Aero and Vehicle/Automotive modules
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Dukeofwembley
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chemical engineering probabaly makes it easier to find jobs, simply due to the fact that only about 1500 grads come out each year, and oviosly only 750 ish with 2.1s or above

then you realise that alot of them go into other "higher paying" fields and youve got a pretty small pool of people to compete with!!

theres about 6,000 mech engines though!!!
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bilgin_143
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With chemical engineering, the fields you can go into are limited when compared to mechanical engineering.. There may be 4 times more mechanical engineers graduating every year, but the number of jobs available for mechanical engineers is much higher than chemical engineers (graduate jobs), there is a need for mechanical engineers in almost any industry, and the demand for mechanical engineers is high, so as a result the supply is high too.. With a mechanical engineering degree you can go into most of the fields covered by a chemical engineering degree, such as oil&gas, and you can easily reach six figures if you secure an offshore job etc..
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wibletg
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(Original post by bilgin_143)
With chemical engineering, the fields you can go into are limited when compared to mechanical engineering.. There may be 4 times more mechanical engineers graduating every year, but the number of jobs available for mechanical engineers is much higher than chemical engineers (graduate jobs), there is a need for mechanical engineers in almost any industry, and the demand for mechanical engineers is high, so as a result the supply is high too.. With a mechanical engineering degree you can go into most of the fields covered by a chemical engineering degree, such as oil&gas, and you can easily reach six figures if you secure an offshore job etc..
http://www.whynotchemeng.com/informa...formation.aspx

On average, the graduate salary is £4,000 more for someone who did ChemEng over MechEng
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bilgin_143
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(Original post by wibletg)
http://www.whynotchemeng.com/informa...formation.aspx

On average, the graduate salary is £4,000 more for someone who did ChemEng over MechEng
Well, that is because chemical engineers usually get jobs in energy, and oil and gas, which are the highest paying ones (although some of them go for other industries in which they are needed), whereas mechanical engineers go for almost all industries, including oil and gas, and the salary varies a lot. The average might be higher in Chem. eng, but just like with any engineering it's really up to you if you want to get a well paying - high stress job, or go into a more sophisticated less paying field, such as alternative energy ..

PS : I'm also a mech. eng. student, and I'm seeking a job in oil and gas (actually I have an internship) I might be a little biased towards my degree, but I'm also well informed on this And east & south asian studies better paying then engineering??? WTF
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coolstorybrother
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(Original post by bilgin_143)
Well, that is because chemical engineers usually get jobs in energy, and oil and gas, which are the highest paying ones (although some of them go for other industries in which they are needed), whereas mechanical engineers go for almost all industries, including oil and gas, and the salary varies a lot. The average might be higher in Chem. eng, but just like with any engineering it's really up to you if you want to get a well paying - high stress job, or go into a more sophisticated less paying field, such as alternative energy ..

PS : I'm also a mech. eng. student, and I'm seeking a job in oil and gas (actually I have an internship) I might be a little biased towards my degree, but I'm also well informed on this And east & south asian studies better paying then engineering??? WTF
How does a mech eng go into the Energy sector IYO? Also how does a Mech eng go into the oil and gas sector? I didn't know that was possible?


(Original post by bilgin_143)
With chemical engineering, the fields you can go into are limited when compared to mechanical engineering.. There may be 4 times more mechanical engineers graduating every year, but the number of jobs available for mechanical engineers is much higher than chemical engineers (graduate jobs), there is a need for mechanical engineers in almost any industry, and the demand for mechanical engineers is high, so as a result the supply is high too.. With a mechanical engineering degree you can go into most of the fields covered by a chemical engineering degree, such as oil&gas, and you can easily reach six figures if you secure an offshore job etc..
This is interesting, on another thread I started people were saying that pretty much the only offshore stuff which is paid a lot of money is being on an oil rig, what other offshore jobs would give such a high salary for engineering? Surely only oil related jobs would give such a high income?
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Smack
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(Original post by coolstorybrother)
How does a mech eng go into the Energy sector IYO? Also how does a Mech eng go into the oil and gas sector? I didn't know that was possible?
I'm a mechanical engineering student and have done two placements in the oil industry, in two different roles, and I will explain how a mechanical engineer fits into the oil industry.

They fit in just about everywhere. From drilling to well engineering to subsea to facilities to decommissioning to downstream.

Oil rigs are essentially processing plants out at sea. So all of the valves, piping, pressure vessels (e.g. separators), pumps, HVAC, rotating equipment etc. is all done by mechanical engineers. Then beneath the surface of the sea, all of the risers (vertical pipelines), wellheads, flowlines, manifolds and other subsea architecture is all done by mechanical engineers.

Then at the drilling side it is, again, largely dominated by mechanical engineering graduates and apprentices (I got offered a job as a drilling engineer with my mechanical degree, and as far as I am aware they only accepted applications from mechanical students).

Mechanical engineering graduates are likely by far the most common in the industry, followed by electrical and electronics graduates who do all of the power systems, controls, instrumentation etc.
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bilgin_143
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(Original post by Smack)
I'm a mechanical engineering student and have done two placements in the oil industry, in two different roles, and I will explain how a mechanical engineer fits into the oil industry.

They fit in just about everywhere. From drilling to well engineering to subsea to facilities to decommissioning to downstream.

Oil rigs are essentially processing plants out at sea. So all of the valves, piping, pressure vessels (e.g. separators), pumps, HVAC, rotating equipment etc. is all done by mechanical engineers. Then beneath the surface of the sea, all of the risers (vertical pipelines), wellheads, flowlines, manifolds and other subsea architecture is all done by mechanical engineers.

Then at the drilling side it is, again, largely dominated by mechanical engineering graduates and apprentices (I got offered a job as a drilling engineer with my mechanical degree, and as far as I am aware they only accepted applications from mechanical students).

Mechanical engineering graduates are likely by far the most common in the industry, followed by electrical and electronics graduates who do all of the power systems, controls, instrumentation etc.
That it is really well explained.
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bilgin_143
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(Original post by coolstorybrother)
How does a mech eng go into the Energy sector IYO? Also how does a Mech eng go into the oil and gas sector? I didn't know that was possible?



This is interesting, on another thread I started people were saying that pretty much the only offshore stuff which is paid a lot of money is being on an oil rig, what other offshore jobs would give such a high salary for engineering? Surely only oil related jobs would give such a high income?
I guess Smack explained the energy stuff pretty well.. Offshore jobs are mostly on oil rigs although there is an increasing investment on offshore wind farms (US plans to build massive ones on the Mexican gulf, and Holland is going crazy about it too ) If you want a high salary, you might want to stay out of the field, and go for the office of the same company (because oil& gas is where the big money is), and work for marketing, risk assessment or project management departments, where your engineering background (and your analytical skills) will be needed..
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momo26396
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Could someone please help me and excuse my possible ignorance. I find it difficult to understand why someone would want to become an engineer when clearly England does not have a manufacturing industry anymore (liquidated by Margaret Thatcher). Why would you want to do a degree with no job prospects unless you wanted to work abroad??? Help me understand!!!! Regards
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(Original post by momo26396)
Could someone please help me and excuse my possible ignorance. I find it difficult to understand why someone would want to become an engineer when clearly England does not have a manufacturing industry anymore (liquidated by Margaret Thatcher). Why would you want to do a degree with no job prospects unless you wanted to work abroad??? Help me understand!!!! Regards
It's possible that people who study engineering still want to work here, I mean, there are still jobs. Or maybe they do it because of the doors it opens, which is reasonable. And it's possible that 'lots' of people studying right now will consider working abroad.
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alexkol
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(Original post by momo26396)
Could someone please help me and excuse my possible ignorance. I find it difficult to understand why someone would want to become an engineer when clearly England does not have a manufacturing industry anymore (liquidated by Margaret Thatcher). Why would you want to do a degree with no job prospects unless you wanted to work abroad??? Help me understand!!!! Regards
Have you checked the graduate prospects of an Engineer in the Uk? probably not
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wibletg
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(Original post by momo26396)
Could someone please help me and excuse my possible ignorance. I find it difficult to understand why someone would want to become an engineer when clearly England does not have a manufacturing industry anymore (liquidated by Margaret Thatcher). Why would you want to do a degree with no job prospects unless you wanted to work abroad??? Help me understand!!!! Regards
Engineers don't have to work in the manufacturing industry
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bilgin_143
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(Original post by momo26396)
Could someone please help me and excuse my possible ignorance. I find it difficult to understand why someone would want to become an engineer when clearly England does not have a manufacturing industry anymore (liquidated by Margaret Thatcher). Why would you want to do a degree with no job prospects unless you wanted to work abroad??? Help me understand!!!! Regards
The ones who lost their jobs when the manufacturing industry was "liquidated" were the technicians, engineers kept their job because England is still a key country in high tech industry, in oil and gas, and in construction (mainly the big projects abroad, done by companies such as Worley Parsons) which employs more engineers (due to the need of well qualified people rather than just field workers), when compared to manufacturing.. Rolls Royce, Airbus wing factories, BP are just examples of what I'm saying.
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coolstorybrother
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(Original post by Smack)
I'm a mechanical engineering student and have done two placements in the oil industry, in two different roles, and I will explain how a mechanical engineer fits into the oil industry.

They fit in just about everywhere. From drilling to well engineering to subsea to facilities to decommissioning to downstream.

Oil rigs are essentially processing plants out at sea. So all of the valves, piping, pressure vessels (e.g. separators), pumps, HVAC, rotating equipment etc. is all done by mechanical engineers. Then beneath the surface of the sea, all of the risers (vertical pipelines), wellheads, flowlines, manifolds and other subsea architecture is all done by mechanical engineers.

Then at the drilling side it is, again, largely dominated by mechanical engineering graduates and apprentices (I got offered a job as a drilling engineer with my mechanical degree, and as far as I am aware they only accepted applications from mechanical students).

Mechanical engineering graduates are likely by far the most common in the industry, followed by electrical and electronics graduates who do all of the power systems, controls, instrumentation etc.
thanks for such an in-depth reply - it's quite an eye opener as to how versatile Mech eng is, probably due to it the "broadness" of the course. Personally how did you find your work placement in the drilling sector? What were the pros and cons? I presume it's offshore, hence is the job offer well paid but at the expense of being abroad and away from friends and family?

(Original post by bilgin_143)
I guess Smack explained the energy stuff pretty well.. Offshore jobs are mostly on oil rigs although there is an increasing investment on offshore wind farms (US plans to build massive ones on the Mexican gulf, and Holland is going crazy about it too ) If you want a high salary, you might want to stay out of the field, and go for the office of the same company (because oil& gas is where the big money is), and work for marketing, risk assessment or project management departments, where your engineering background (and your analytical skills) will be needed..
A lot of people say "oil and gas" is where the money is, but I can see that being the case presently and probably for the last 30 years or so.. but is it really still going to be the case in say 10-20 years? Surely the big bucks will be in alt. energies or hydrogen fuel cells? Salary isn't really why I want to do Engineering - if it was, I'd be going into Finance or Investment banking It's more the problem solving, real world tasks and the chance to make a difference which do it for me
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