ldl345
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#1
Report Thread starter 6 years ago
#1
I really don't know how to choose between these two courses. I'm thinking if i can't decide i'll go for mech engineering since its broader and "safer". But at the same time i'm really interested in a chemical engineer's career. Can anyone give me tips on how I should decide which course is more suitable for me? Like what kind of working lifestyle i'll have. I think i would enjoy studying both courses but its their career prospects that'll make or break for me.
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Smack
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#2
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(Original post by ldl345)
I really don't know how to choose between these two courses. I'm thinking if i can't decide i'll go for mech engineering since its broader and "safer". But at the same time i'm really interested in a chemical engineer's career. Can anyone give me tips on how I should decide which course is more suitable for me? Like what kind of working lifestyle i'll have. I think i would enjoy studying both courses but its their career prospects that'll make or break for me.
My response will probably be biased somewhat towards mechanical as that's what my degree was in, but you can't really go wrong with chemical either.

The key question is: what topics do you like studying, and hence would like to work with?

I agree that a mechanical engineering degree is very broad and hence gives excellent career options, due to the fact it covers solid mechanics, fluid mechanics, thermodynamics and heat transfer, and even controls and instrumentation. At my work, mechanical engineering graduates can be found in most of the positions.
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Ponoyo
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#3
Report 6 years ago
#3
I had to make the same decision when choosing courses, between mechanical and chemical, so ill try to break down the differences between them and give you an insight into chemical engineering (what I chose). The course I am doing starts off with a general engineering first year so I have experienced some of mechanical as well as chemical engineering.

The two courses actually share quite a lot of content, in such modules as fluid mechanics (calculating velocities, flow rates and pressure drops etc. in pipes), thermodynamics (the science of heat and temperature and their relation to work - you will probably have studied PV=NRT at school, it's this kind of thing but extended), heat transfer (calculating rates of heat transfer across different materials and geometries) and maths (extension on stuff you will have done at school - plenty of calculus, DEs matrices etc.).

Now, more importantly, the differences between the 2 courses.
On top of these modules, in chemical engineering you will study courses in chemistry (won't go much beyond a level standard), reaction kinetics (this is a big course in chemeng, studying the rates of reactions in chemical reactors, usually in order to be able to calculate the minimum volume of a reactor requires for a given conversion. You will develop on the rates of reaction content learnt in chemistry at school (first order reactions, arrhenius equation etc.)), separations (eg working out what concentration of liquid to use to scrub CO2 from a gas stream) and process dynamics/control (mathematically modelling reactors to control the temperature, pressure etc.).

As for mechanical engineering I won't be able to go into as much detail as I have only studies this for a year, but the courses involved on top of those shared with chem eng include mechanics (similar to what you will have done on mechanics in maths a level - used eg, to design mechanisms) and you go into more depth in courses on materials than in chem eng (eg, calculating stresses and strains in different geometries).

So in conclusion, I would pick chemical engineering if you like physical chemistry topics such as rates of reaction, on top of fluid mechanics, maths, thermodynamics and heat transfer and go for mechanical engineering if you prefer studying the mechanics of systems (eg, calculating angular velocities of lever mechanisms). You should also consider the career sector you want to enter. Mechanical is more broad in this sense, but both have excellent graduate prospects.



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ldl345
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#4
Report Thread starter 6 years ago
#4
Thank you guys! All these information is really helpful. Still not entirely sure lol but this definitely narrows down the stuff i should consider. Thanks again!
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