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    Hi guys. I've just started A-Levels. At GCSE, I got 6A*s (full UMS in all 3 sciences) 9 in Maths 2 7's in the English, and a B in RS. I'm doing Maths, Further Maths, Physics and Chemistry, and have now managed to narrow it down to Civil, Chemical or Mechanical. Any suggestions. I'm also aiming for Cambridge so can you also advise me on my prospects there? Much appreciated
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    (Original post by Brruh)
    Hi guys. I've just started A-Levels. At GCSE, I got 6A*s (full UMS in all 3 sciences) 9 in Maths 2 7's in the English, and a B in RS. I'm doing Maths, Further Maths, Physics and Chemistry, and have now managed to narrow it down to Civil, Chemical or Mechanical. Any suggestions. I'm also aiming for Cambridge so can you also advise me on my prospects there? Much appreciated
    Could you provide more information on what sorts of things you'd like to work on and what you like doing?
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    Sorry for the late reply,

    I am interested in factories and their upkeep, as well as energy, be it the source of the fuel, or the fuel itself, or the turbines themselves. For this reason I'm interested in the above 3. I had a chat with my teacher and he said the average number of a*s pupils had from my school who had interviews was 9 . Anyhow, I'm looking to start some further reading, but have no ideas, as I'm not sure which discipline to follow.
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    Cambridge does their engineering degree as a general course, and then you specialise after 2 years. There's no need to aim for it as there are plenty of other engineering faculties/departments/programs which are the same quality as Oxbridge's if not higher.

    Based on your interests I'd say mechanical at a university with a strong reputation for manufacturing, energy, and turbomachinery would be good options. Sheffield will always be top for manufacturing because they have the AMRC, the Scottish universities are likely best for energy as Scotland has sizeable O&G and renewable industries, quite a few places are good for turbomachinery.
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    (Original post by Brruh)
    Sorry for the late reply,

    I am interested in factories and their upkeep, as well as energy, be it the source of the fuel, or the fuel itself, or the turbines themselves. For this reason I'm interested in the above 3. I had a chat with my teacher and he said the average number of a*s pupils had from my school who had interviews was 9 . Anyhow, I'm looking to start some further reading, but have no ideas, as I'm not sure which discipline to follow.
    Mechanical would be a good fit overall, since it can cover things like energy, turbomachinery, maintenance, etc.

    If you're aiming for Cambridge, their degree is general for the first two years, so you will have a chance to sample other disciplines too.
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    Thanks Smack and Helloworld, but I the sole reason I'm aiming for Cambridge was due to the broadness of the first year. Are there any other unis that do this? As well as this, are there any good reads for Mechanical Engineering?
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    (Original post by Brruh)
    Thanks Smack and Helloworld, but I the sole reason I'm aiming for Cambridge was due to the broadness of the first year. Are there any other unis that do this? As well as this, are there any good reads for Mechanical Engineering?
    Oxford, Durham, Warwick, Sheffield and I think a couple of others do it.

    Just keep reading news articles really, some people might recommend Engineering Mathematics by Stroud, but otherwise I would try and avoid just reading textbooks as a not-even-first year, they can get very dense and the same goes for journal articles really.

    Also textbooks are very expensive, easily £100+, and journal articles often have a paywall.
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    Just out of interest Helloworld, are you at uni, if so where?
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    (Original post by Brruh)
    Sorry for the late reply,

    I am interested in factories and their upkeep, as well as energy, be it the source of the fuel, or the fuel itself, or the turbines themselves. For this reason I'm interested in the above 3. I had a chat with my teacher and he said the average number of a*s pupils had from my school who had interviews was 9 . Anyhow, I'm looking to start some further reading, but have no ideas, as I'm not sure which discipline to follow.
    Chemical engineering?
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    Sorry? I'm interested in making factories for chemical processes, as well as power stations, more towards the alternative energy side of things. Hence chemical or mechanical.
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    (Original post by Brruh)
    Just out of interest Helloworld, are you at uni, if so where?
    Yeah, final year of Aerospace MEng at Sheffield
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    (Original post by Brruh)
    Sorry for the late reply,

    I am interested in factories and their upkeep, as well as energy, be it the source of the fuel, or the fuel itself, or the turbines themselves. For this reason I'm interested in the above 3. I had a chat with my teacher and he said the average number of a*s pupils had from my school who had interviews was 9 . Anyhow, I'm looking to start some further reading, but have no ideas, as I'm not sure which discipline to follow.
    If that's what you want to do then not civil. Civil is more focused around static structures and is pretty much focused entirely around construction. The main areas of civil are: structures, geotechnics (geology aspect), transport, water and hydraulics and environmental. There are a lot more sub disciplines but the types in terms of what you will work on fall into those main ones I have. They also mix together a bit like structures and transport with bridges and rail and structures with hydraulics with dams etc. Obviously they all mix together quite a bit but thats the general idea.

    In the case of a factory civil would be involved in the design of the factory's structure itself and not the machines in it.

    Smack please respond if you think I'm talking waffle, don't want to discourage someone from a course they may like if this sounds incorrect for the first sentence.
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    (Original post by Vikingninja)
    Smack please respond if you think I'm talking waffle, don't want to discourage someone from a course they may like if this sounds incorrect for the first sentence.
    You're spot on. If we're talking about chemical plants, refineries, power stations etc. the companies that design and build them (known as EPCs - Engineering, Procurement & Construction) employer civil & structural engineers to design the structures, access roads, etc. I think some of the civil design consultancies, e.g. MM, Arup, AECOM, Atkins etc. also get involved with this too, but I'm not entirely sure (and you'd probably know more about this than me anyway).
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    (Original post by Smack)
    You're spot on. If we're talking about chemical plants, refineries, power stations etc. the companies that design and build them (known as EPCs - Engineering, Procurement & Construction) employer civil & structural engineers to design the structures, access roads, etc. I think some of the civil design consultancies, e.g. MM, Arup, AECOM, Atkins etc. also get involved with this too, but I'm not entirely sure (and you'd probably know more about this than me anyway).
    Sweet thanks, I can't confirm that you can't work on stuff like the components, with structures in civ I think of it that you work on static structures whereas mechanical is with moving components hence why I gave the response.
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    So what do process engineers do then? I thought they were the ones who made the factories' parts, and designed the factory.
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    (Original post by Vikingninja)
    Sweet thanks, I can't confirm that you can't work on stuff like the components, with structures in civ I think of it that you work on static structures whereas mechanical is with moving components hence why I gave the response.
    Yeah if you're a civil/structural engineer you'll design the static structures that support things being where they need to be. Mechanical will be more about either the machinery involved, i.e. things with moving components like turbines, pumps, compressors, or pressure containing equipment that doesn't move, is static/fixed, such as pipework, pressure vessels, etc.
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    (Original post by Smack)
    Yeah if you're a civil/structural engineer you'll design the static structures that support things being where they need to be. Mechanical will be more about either the machinery involved, i.e. things with moving components like turbines, pumps, compressors, or pressure containing equipment that doesn't move, is static/fixed, such as pipework, pressure vessels, etc.
    I know that with some students in civil they work on stuff like pipelines especially heriot-watt due to its links, not sure about pressure vessels would've thought that would be chemical engineers. Also with previous years at my uni with the 2nd year coursework they had to design a pipe line.
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    (Original post by Vikingninja)
    I know that with some students in civil they work on stuff like pipelines especially heriot-watt due to its links, not sure about pressure vessels would've thought that would be chemical engineers. Also with previous years at my uni with the 2nd year coursework they had to design a pipe line.
    Yes, pipeline engineers can come from either mechanical or civil backgrounds - well, for oil & gas ones at least. A pressure vessel would typically be designed by a mechanical engineer (edit: after all, ASME, who have written one of the most commonly used pressure vessel codes in BPVC (boiler and pressure vessel code), are mechanical engineers), but a chemical/process engineer would typically need to provide some specifications with regard to sizes etc. to the mechanical engineer - well, in oil & gas again at least.
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    (Original post by Smack)
    Yes, pipeline engineers can come from either mechanical or civil backgrounds - well, for oil & gas ones at least. A pressure vessel would typically be designed by a mechanical engineer (edit: after all, ASME, who have written one of the most commonly used pressure vessel codes in BPVC (boiler and pressure vessel code), are mechanical engineers), but a chemical/process engineer would typically need to provide some specifications with regard to sizes etc. to the mechanical engineer - well, in oil & gas again at least.
    Yeah I would've thought that it would be chemical engineers since they would design them for rates of reactions and all that. In a pressure vessel I understand mechanical since there isn't really any production and reactions, I believe I was more thinking along the lines of processing vessels.
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    So mechanical it is then! Thanks for that! Now where? My parents (and I) want an RG uni, I like Cambridge, but idk if I can make it with these grades? Thoughts?



    (BTW: Thanks a lot for cooperating and helping, it's nice to see you care )
 
 
 
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