How 'theoretical' is engineering? Watch

Lawinqski
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Is there going to be a lot of practicals and such or just a tonne of maths? While I don't mind maths, I think seeing how everything works is really important to me.

What courses are very practical? Is Cambridge going to give you opportunities to experiment?
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+ polarity -
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It's very theoretical. What do you mean when you say practicals? Just running experiments in the lab? Or maybe building things in the workshop? CAD? All of those things are available too, but you mustn't underestimate the amount of theory on the course.
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Lawinqski
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(Original post by + polarity -)
It's very theoretical. What do you mean when you say practicals? Just running experiments in the lab? Or maybe building things in the workshop? CAD? All of those things are available too, but you mustn't underestimate the amount of theory on the course.
I mean workshop stuff in particular. At the moment maths mechanics is my favourite A Level subject so looking forward to it but I do really wanna spend time in the workshop too!
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(Original post by Lawinqski)
I mean workshop stuff in particular. At the moment maths mechanics is my favourite A Level subject so looking forward to it but I do really wanna spend time in the workshop too!
Oh, there'll be plenty of opportunity for that, especially in the later years!
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Lawinqski
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(Original post by + polarity -)
Oh, there'll be plenty of opportunity for that, especially in the later years!
Awesome. Cheers!

Where do you study, may I ask? I guess your discipline is probably important too!
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+ polarity -
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(Original post by Lawinqski)
Awesome. Cheers!

Where do you study, may I ask? I guess your discipline is probably important too!
Mech Eng
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Lawinqski
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(Original post by + polarity -)
Mech Eng
I was actually looking at that course! You enjoying it? Wet or dry mech eng?
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+ polarity -
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(Original post by Lawinqski)
I was actually looking at that course! You enjoying it? Wet or dry mech eng?
The course itself has been lovely, yes, though I may have bitten off more than I can chew in terms of final year modules lol

Thermo and fluids is really well-taught here but I'm kind of bored of that now. I'd say I prefer the dry side but I hate materials, it's so dry. The engineering maths modules in the first couple of years were nice, though there were still some topics I hated :laugh:

My main interest is control. Would that count as dry?
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Lawinqski
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(Original post by + polarity -)
The course itself has been lovely, yes, though I may have bitten off more than I can chew in terms of final year modules lol

Thermo and fluids is really well-taught here but I'm kind of bored of that now. I'd say I prefer the dry side but I hate materials, it's so dry. The engineering maths modules in the first couple of years were nice, though there were still some topics I hated :laugh:

My main interest is control. Would that count as dry?
I did wonder when I realised the time. Good luck!

That sounds fair enough. I don't think anybody likes materials or maths very much from the sound of it :lol:
You like playing around with sensors then? Can't say I know much about it really.

One more question from me: is mechanical really as broad as it sounds? They make it sound like you could be doing both automotive and aerospace modules and the electronics needed in the systems for them to work which would be pretty cool! I'm really interested in vehicles so a definite agenda in my question! xD
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+ polarity -
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(Original post by Lawinqski)
I did wonder when I realised the time. Good luck!

That sounds fair enough. I don't think anybody likes materials or maths very much from the sound of it :lol:
You like playing around with sensors then? Can't say I know much about it really.

One more question from me: is mechanical really as broad as it sounds? They make it sound like you could be doing both automotive and aerospace modules and the electronics needed in the systems for them to work which would be pretty cool! I'm really interested in vehicles so a definite agenda in my question! xD
:yep: Sensors, motors; it leads quite smoothly into robotics too!

It is really, really broad. I've had modules (and coursework) that have touched on all those areas, and sometimes modules are shared between departments. In my case I didn't get to do much to do with aerospace, but I shared wind power and vibrations modules with the aero students
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Dr Alcoholic
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Depending on the discipline some more theoretical than other, but in general eng courses are very theoretical.
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Lawinqski
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(Original post by + polarity -)
:yep: Sensors, motors; it leads quite smoothly into robotics too!

It is really, really broad. I've had modules (and coursework) that have touched on all those areas, and sometimes modules are shared between departments. In my case I didn't get to do much to do with aerospace, but I shared wind power and vibrations modules with the aero students
mechatronics is so cool. Is that what you hope to do afterwards

there's a whole topic on vibratorsions?! :sexface: :perv: haha
I'm glad! Have no idea what I'm more interested yet so sounds perfect.

Thanks for your help - it's been really useful
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scrotgrot
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Last year I think, there was a team of engineering students building a car for the Red Bull Soapbox Race who the TV crew had chosen to follow closely. They didn't know which way to turn a screw...
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Dr Alcoholic
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(Original post by scrotgrot)
Last year I think, there was a team of engineering students building a car for the Red Bull Soapbox Race who the TV crew had chosen to follow closely. They didn't know which way to turn a screw...

Well that's just poor teaching then.

In my course and in many other unis it is very theoretical because it has to be, but you do a lot of practical as well certainly we all know how to use basic tools with ease at the very least.

The thing is, you need to remember, most graduate engineering jobs aren't hands on jobs, they're design and research jobs. I would imagine most engineers are very capable of doing hands on stuff, but a degree won't teach you as much hands on stuff as say an apprenticeship.
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Engineer2015
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Well i'm doing Mech Eng so the course is pretty theoretical, apart from a few projects and experiments the vast majority of course is spent learning theory and understanding and utilisation of said theories. You have the main subject ares taught at all universities for Mechanical Engineering; maths, solid mechanics, thermodynamics, kinematics, some form of project management or business/finance module and the odd electronics/control module.
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