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    TheMechanical EngineersOf TSR(a.k.a.The Lords OfEngineering :pierre: )


    • This thread is for people currently studying the Mechanical Engineering discipline, those aspiring to be mechanical engineers & graduates of course.
    • Here are some general questions that tend to be asked ALL the time so please read this before asking as it MAY already answer your questions:

    1. Is X university good for engineering?
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    It doesn't matter what university you go to, as long the course is accredited by the relevant institution i.e. IMeChE. When it comes to getting those engineering jobs or intern-ships YOU will do all the work, so I would advise you to make the most out of whichever university you go to i.e. getting involved more, doing extra projects etc. so that you can be an attractive candidate for top level jobs.


    2. Do employers care if I go to a uni ranked X and not a uni ranked Y?
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    Look....unless you want to go into invest banking then ranking doesn't matter in the slightest. Employers simply don't have time and don't give a crap if your university was ranked X last year/or this year. If you are happy with the university and you're happy that the modules will help suit your interests then don't be put off by league tables; its really that simple.


    3. Do I need any special laptops or software to study Mech Eng at uni?
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    No you don't need any special laptops or to buy any software.They will be course computers specifically for the engineering department at whichever university you're going to attend where you can use all the software required without having to buy it. It's also very expensive. I advise just getting whatever laptop you want to get that will last you a long time and maybe able to run basic free versions of SolidWorks.


    4. What technical questions can I get asked at an internship interview if any?
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    The main (technical) questions I remember from interviews were typically looking at something and then asking why is it done this way. The important bit here isn't to jump in with an answer straight away. They're not asking blindingly obvious questions, and they're not expecting a genius - they're interested in how you go about addressing the problem. Don't panic, don't be afraid to sit quietly for a few moments, then talk through your thought process. Throw in relevant experiences if appropriate. If necessary, change direction as you go. If you get the right result that's great, but if you don't then it's not the end of the world. They'll probably explain what the answer is, and if you can jump in with something that demonstrates that you understand then so much the better. It's always good to show that your mind is agile.

    They may ask you a bit about where you're from/hobbies etc., especially if you're moving to take the job. I've worked at a couple of companies where geographic location has led to them losing quite a few people when they realised it just wasn't working for them. You might want to have a bit of a think about what it would be like to live there, you want to enjoy your time too right?!


    5. Do I have to be good at drawing to study Mech Eng?
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    No, everything you will need to know will be taught to you on the course so please do not worry.


    6. Do I have to have work experience to study Mech Eng?
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    No, 95% of people will not have done any work experience so universities are not expecting you to have any. Work experience is also difficult to get but if you can get some it won't hurt your application plus it can be a benefit to future job applications.


    7. I'm starting mechanical engineering soon, how can I prepare for the course in advance?
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    Well hello my little eager engineers ! If I were you, I would save my energy for when term starts as things will get more stressful over time so don't burn yourself out. Right I know some of you eager one's might not take that advice and may still insist on working in the summer....fine... I would brush up on your maths skills particularly; intergration, differentiation, complex numbers, and basic algebra....If youre feeling sciency and want to learn some of the mechanical science in advance then read on basic Thermodynamics, Fluid Mechanics, Electrical Engineering, Mechanics......that should be MORE THAN enough preparation


    8. BEng or MEng? Which one shall I pick?

    9. I've managed to get to an assessment centre for an intern-ship. What do I do?
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    Assessment centres: don't trample on people, but remember you are essentially competing against the other people there. It's not quite like working in a normal team. If you've got an idea, make sure it's heard, and don't be afraid to push it. Don't wait until it's fully formed and ready to action, talk about it and it might spark someone else into finishing it off. At the same time, don't be afraid to abandon it in favour of a better idea from someone else (especially if you can add something to polish that idea up!)

    ***See the Target jobs website for solid interview and assessment day techniques as it is usually written by employers***


    10. General interview tips:
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    There's plenty of generic interview advice, but make sure you look presentable. Iron your clothes, wear a decent suit, polish your shoes. It just makes you look like you're taking the thing seriously and are willing to put a bit of effort into it. If it's an assessment centre, be alert to what's going on around you - for example if chairs need resetting, tables need moving etc. try and act on your own initiative rather than needing someone to tell you what to do. Leave plenty of time to get wherever there and if possible arrive the night before and scout out where you're going - much better to spend half an hour hanging around than rocking up a scraggly mess and out of breath ten minutes late! Socialise with the other people there, at the end of the day most employers would rather have someone with perhaps a little less technical expertise but who can crack a joke and integrate into a team

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    there are only ~4 of us
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    (Original post by + polarity -)
    there are only ~4 of us
    doesn't matter any input is valuable
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    I'm hoping to go into a Mechanical Engineering course next year, so this thread is of interest to me! Not much to contribute at the moment though...
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    (Original post by Dan Of LA)
    I'm hoping to go into a Mechanical Engineering course next year, so this thread is of interest to me! Not much to contribute at the moment though...
    this is because as polarity mentioned there's very few who do mechanical on TSR unlike the other disciplines which seem to have a lot. But im sure they will reply patience
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    Well I'm in my first year doing Mechanical Engineering at Manchester, this semester I'm in uni for 20-23 hours a week (depending on my practical classes) which is a lot more than everyone else in my flat. The workload hasn't been too difficult up to now, although I guess next year/the year after might be a different story. There's been a fair few assignments which have had me up late into the night doing work, and also a massive group project last semester which was a bit of a pain due to other group members not putting in equal effort! Overall though it hasn't been as taxing as I expected up to now.
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    (Original post by Nugard123)
    Well I'm in my first year doing Mechanical Engineering at Manchester, this semester I'm in uni for 20-23 hours a week (depending on my practical classes) which is a lot more than everyone else in my flat. The workload hasn't been too difficult up to now, although I guess next year/the year after might be a different story. There's been a fair few assignments which have had me up late into the night doing work, and also a massive group project last semester which was a bit of a pain due to other group members not putting in equal effort! Overall though it hasn't been as taxing as I expected up to now.
    i see thanks for the input :pierre: what did you have to do for your project?
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    Currently accepting Mechanical offer for Plymouth.... So don't scare me off pls
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    (Original post by stereot)
    Currently accepting Mechanical offer for Plymouth.... So don't scare me off pls
    don't worry we are all in the same boat! Hello fellow engineer to be :hat2:
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    (Original post by + polarity -)
    there are only ~4 of us
    come on polarity at least write something pretty pleasee :cry2:

    so far some good input xD
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    (Original post by a10)
    come on polarity at least write something pretty pleasee :cry2:

    so far some good input xD
    I'm not sure what to say. Is there anything you want to know about? I can't talk about internships because I haven't done any yet
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    (Original post by + polarity -)
    I'm not sure what to say. Is there anything you want to know about? I can't talk about internships because I haven't done any yet
    Just a short summary about your years doing mech eng, tips and hints? Do's and donts? Anything we should watch out for?

    Much appreciated thanks
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    (Original post by a10)
    Just a short summary about your years doing mech eng, tips and hints? Do's and donts? Anything we should watch out for?

    Much appreciated thanks
    biiiiiiig question

    I've enjoyed my degree so far, every year has been intellectually challenging and has put my resilience to the test (but last year was a par). I liked first year because it sort of eased you into the work, you had a nice and easy first few weeks before you started the harder, new stuff.

    Second year I think was the hardest because there was quite a lot of report/project work, and I have heard that 4th year is similiar (possibly even worse!) but we get to do robotics next year so I'm looking forward to :p:

    Third year is the year in which you get to do your biggest self-directed project yet; the individual research project. I absolutely loved it, including the sleepless nights, staying in the flat on my own, staying in the lab until 10 and having to find a door that wasn't locked, trying to get my flaming thing to work. During the second term/semester it took up pretty much all my time, at the expense of all my other modules, so I'd advise that when you have lots of projects to do, serously don't neglect your other work! You may at times doubt that you're doing the right thing, I think this is a natural reaction to hard work. I myself am finding it difficult to muster the enthusiasm to face all my current modules :pain: but at times I can't think of anything other than sinking my teeth into a gnarly problem sheet :coma:

    It seems like we cover topics in thermodynamics, materials, fluids, electronics/control, design & manufacture every year, and you get a little more specific every year. I don't get to choose any modules until 4th year, and the modules seem quite specialised (e.g. Power Generation, which I imagine would be related to thermo). Not sure where I'm going with this.

    As far as tips and hints go, I don't think there's anything I could tell you that isn't turtly obvious. I don't know anyone who hasn't had to stay up all night because they left something until the last minute so I won't say anything about that......... but time management is really important in engineering, if you want to have free time and go outside :nothing: (P.S. I'm still in my pyjamas)

    Sometimes you don't learn from lectures, and you feel like they're a waste of time. In this country we are lucky that the lecture notes are readily available, as well as textbooks, which means we can learn in our own time and at our own pace, so it's not that bad if you miss some lectures, but don't make it a habit. The lectures near the end of the semesters tend to be useful because the lecturers go through past paper questions and might give you hints on what may be a waste of time to revise :wink2:

    My old tutor frequently emphasised the importance of using the Easter holidays for revision, and I think it was wise advice. If you want to get a holiday job get one for the Christmas holidays, then smash the life out of your lecture notes over the holidays, then you can use the holidays and the start of the summer term for past papers (just as important as they were at A-level!)

    I think every engineering student has a lecturer whose accent is hard to understand... that's something to watch out for.
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    (Original post by + polarity -)
    biiiiiiig question

    I've enjoyed my degree so far, every year has been intellectually challenging and has put my resilience to the test (but last year was a par). I liked first year because it sort of eased you into the work, you had a nice and easy first few weeks before you started the harder, new stuff.

    Second year I think was the hardest because there was quite a lot of report/project work, and I have heard that 4th year is similiar (possibly even worse!) but we get to do robotics next year so I'm looking forward to :p:

    Third year is the year in which you get to do your biggest self-directed project yet; the individual research project. I absolutely loved it, including the sleepless nights, staying in the flat on my own, staying in the lab until 10 and having to find a door that wasn't locked, trying to get my flaming thing to work. During the second term/semester it took up pretty much all my time, at the expense of all my other modules, so I'd advise that when you have lots of projects to do, serously don't neglect your other work! You may at times doubt that you're doing the right thing, I think this is a natural reaction to hard work. I myself am finding it difficult to muster the enthusiasm to face all my current modules :pain: but at times I can think of anything other than sinking my teeth into a gnarly problem sheet :coma:

    It seems like we cover topics in thermodynamics, materials, fluids, electronics/control, design & manufacture every year, and you get a little more specific every year. I don't get to choose any modules until 4th year, and the modules seem quite specialised (e.g. Power Generation, which I imagine would be related to thermo). Not sure where I'm going with this.

    As far as tips and hints go, I don't think there's anything I could tell you that isn't turtly obvious. I don't know anyone who hasn't had to stay up all night because they left something until the last minute so I won't say anything about that......... but time management is really important in engineering, if you want to have free time and go outside :nothing: (P.S. I'm still in my pyjamas)

    Sometimes you don't learn from lectures, and you feel like they're a waste of time. In this country we are lucky that the lecture notes are readily available, as well as textbooks, which means we can learn in our own time and at our own pace, so it's not that bad if you miss some lectures, but don't make it a habit. The lectures near the end of the semesters tend to be useful because the lecturers go through past paper questions and might give you hints on what may be a waste of time to revise :wink2:

    My old tutor frequently emphasised the importance of using the Easter holidays for revision, and I think it was wise advice. If you want to get a holiday job get one for the Christmas holidays, then smash the life out of your lecture notes over the holidays, then you can use the holidays and the start of the summer term for past papers (just as important as they were at A-level!)

    I think every engineering student has a lecturer whose accent is hard to understand... that's something to watch out for.
    hahahaha! Absolutely brilliant advice!!! Definitely going to take those into account thanks broo :pierre:
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    (Original post by a10)
    Just a short summary about your years doing mech eng, tips and hints? Do's and donts? Anything we should watch out for?

    Much appreciated thanks
    Well, I'm a first year student in my second term.

    Definitely stay on top of your work and ask if you're not sure. A lot of people just coast through or don't show up, and ultimately they're just going to fail the course. It can help to read ahead, and most of our lectures tell us about upcoming material too. Understand how you're being graded... Sometimes just attending a session can be worth marks!

    Do work as a team. Get together with people if you're working on a project or think it would help to go through work together. Be extremely careful NOT to cheat though - They will catch you out and you could be disqualified, but it's useful to go through some problems and collaborate just to see different approaches to problems.

    Above all else, have fun but make it into classes. I have missed a few lectures here and there and you do fall behind. But still, go on nights out and enjoy yourself!


    Do be prepared to read and research though. The quality of your answers are only as good as the quality of research and the way you present your findings. If you can't back up a claim, don't make it! It really helps to start coursework early just to find the appropriate research... Else, it can be a race to complete on time!


    Fun things about the course include the diversity of what we do. Some classes are purely about maths, others about design or engineering science. Then, others are about applying what you've learnt. We have a year project in a group to design and build and race an RC car - You're graded on how well it does! So first place gets the best grade, etc. It seems odd at first, but that's really how industry works... They want the best! In one class we go around essential skills and use it to loop back into the main project. For instance, these two weeks will be spent stripping down an engine and rebuilding it. The other week we built a bridge and tested it. Before that, we had classes on marketing, CAD and metrology (taking proper measurements). It is very diverse and a lot of fun. We usually have two or three minor projects going on at any one time... It's an exercise in self management and team work. It is great.

    Some modules are quite nice with their assessments, and some are standard "end of year exams". For instance, we had a weekly online test for one module. Other modules, such as the bridge/metrology/CAD are based on writing a brief report and the performance of what you do. In some ways, it's a lot easier than college... But there is overall more work to be done.

    Some lectures can be really crap and the stuff they teach you is bonkers. They will mumble on and do things the long way, but you'll go to a tutorial and figure out a simple way to do the exact same thing, and the assistants will help you to realise this too. One maths lecture was the guy going on about integration through some really confusing "proper maths" explanation. Then, you go to the tutorial and you just do it normally and it's fine.


    Watch out for deadlines and be prepared to think for yourself. There are times where literally you're given a brief and told to just go and "sort it out". For example "here is part of an RC car. You need to build the chassis, spring uprights and steering ties. It must be made out of steel bar and will be a spaceframe. We will be marking you at the end of the year. Get on with it". So yeah, get used to being left to your own devices.

    Sleep well too - You might only have 20 hours of classes/work and 40 hours of free time in a timetabled week, but the energy of getting to classes, doing projects, cooking, cleaning, etc really tires you. That's before you start on any homework you might have!
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    (Original post by SillyEddy)
    Well, I'm a first year student in my second term.

    Definitely stay on top of your work and ask if you're not sure. A lot of people just coast through or don't show up, and ultimately they're just going to fail the course. It can help to read ahead, and most of our lectures tell us about upcoming material too. Understand how you're being graded... Sometimes just attending a session can be worth marks!

    Do work as a team. Get together with people if you're working on a project or think it would help to go through work together. Be extremely careful NOT to cheat though - They will catch you out and you could be disqualified, but it's useful to go through some problems and collaborate just to see different approaches to problems.

    Above all else, have fun but make it into classes. I have missed a few lectures here and there and you do fall behind. But still, go on nights out and enjoy yourself!


    Do be prepared to read and research though. The quality of your answers are only as good as the quality of research and the way you present your findings. If you can't back up a claim, don't make it! It really helps to start coursework early just to find the appropriate research... Else, it can be a race to complete on time!


    Fun things about the course include the diversity of what we do. Some classes are purely about maths, others about design or engineering science. Then, others are about applying what you've learnt. We have a year project in a group to design and build and race an RC car - You're graded on how well it does! So first place gets the best grade, etc. It seems odd at first, but that's really how industry works... They want the best! In one class we go around essential skills and use it to loop back into the main project. For instance, these two weeks will be spent stripping down an engine and rebuilding it. The other week we built a bridge and tested it. Before that, we had classes on marketing, CAD and metrology (taking proper measurements). It is very diverse and a lot of fun. We usually have two or three minor projects going on at any one time... It's an exercise in self management and team work. It is great.

    Some modules are quite nice with their assessments, and some are standard "end of year exams". For instance, we had a weekly online test for one module. Other modules, such as the bridge/metrology/CAD are based on writing a brief report and the performance of what you do. In some ways, it's a lot easier than college... But there is overall more work to be done.

    Some lectures can be really crap and the stuff they teach you is bonkers. They will mumble on and do things the long way, but you'll go to a tutorial and figure out a simple way to do the exact same thing, and the assistants will help you to realise this too. One maths lecture was the guy going on about integration through some really confusing "proper maths" explanation. Then, you go to the tutorial and you just do it normally and it's fine.


    Watch out for deadlines and be prepared to think for yourself. There are times where literally you're given a brief and told to just go and "sort it out". For example "here is part of an RC car. You need to build the chassis, spring uprights and steering ties. It must be made out of steel bar and will be a spaceframe. We will be marking you at the end of the year. Get on with it". So yeah, get used to being left to your own devices.

    Sleep well too - You might only have 20 hours of classes/work and 40 hours of free time in a timetabled week, but the energy of getting to classes, doing projects, cooking, cleaning, etc really tires you. That's before you start on any homework you might have!
    brilliant! Thanks bro

    One thing thats concerning me so far from what iv heard is the team projects do you get to choose who you want to work with? Because it wont be fair if you get grouped with **** people who don't do the work then you will fail because of that...

    I don't mind working in teams i contribute and work hard on whatever i do but it would suck if you had to catch up other people's work.
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    Checking in somewhat late, but checking in nevertheless.
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    Excellent Thread! Will be watching!

    (Original post by Smack)
    Checking in somewhat late, but checking in nevertheless.
    Hey, any input on top of others XD? And i want to also know what a10 asked :P
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    (Original post by Smack)
    Checking in somewhat late, but checking in nevertheless.
    haha was going to message you to ask whether you could give some input too

    it seems polarity has got banned :rofl: he's been naughty :ahee:
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    I don't really have anything specific to add that SillyEddy hasn't. If anyone does have any specific questions then let me know and I'll do my best to answer them. Warning, though: I don't know anything about A-levels though as I'm Scottish, nor do I know many specifics about engineering departments at English or Welsh universities, except what I've picked up on TSR.
 
 
 
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