Which Engineering Discipline? Chemical,Materials or EEE

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lucidpeach
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Which Engineering Discipline should I choose, Chemical, Materials or ELectrical and Electronics.
With chemical I hear theres a high salary but the content doesnt interest me a lot of maths and physics little chemistry involved. However you can put your foot in many industries, food, cosmetics, desalinisation, oil,pharmaceuticals,biotechnolog y, nuclear even hydrogen fuel cells. Materials Science is the most fun however I'm worried as the mining industry has gone down hill I'm interesting in subjects like polymers, ceramics, composites, metals, colloids and emulsions and many other. However with EEE, I think about electric cars, AI, maglev trains, phones, printers,robotics , 3-D printing. It seems in the most demand and I could even make a lot of money with Patent Law. As apparently their is a demand for lawyers that understand electronics.
Or is it possible to do a bachelors in one and a masters in another. Thanks
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PQ
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(Original post by lucidpeach)
Which Engineering Discipline should I choose, Chemical, Materials or ELectrical and Electronics.
With chemical I hear theres a high salary but the content doesnt interest me a lot of maths and physics little chemistry involved. However you can put your foot in many industries, food, cosmetics, desalinisation, oil,pharmaceuticals,biotechnolog y, nuclear even hydrogen fuel cells. Materials Science is the most fun however I'm worried as the mining industry has gone down hill I'm interesting in subjects like polymers, ceramics, composites, metals, colloids and emulsions and many other. However with EEE, I think about electric cars, AI, maglev trains, phones, printers,robotics , 3-D printing. It seems in the most demand and I could even make a lot of money with Patent Law. As apparently their is a demand for lawyers that understand electronics.
Or is it possible to do a bachelors in one and a masters in another. Thanks
If the amount of maths and physics in chemeng doesn’t interest you then I would recommend that you look into other degrees - all engineering disciplines have a large amount of maths and physics in them and you will not get through the 4+ years required if you aren’t enjoying your studies
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lucidpeach
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(Original post by PQ)
If the amount of maths and physics in chemeng doesn’t interest you then I would recommend that you look into other degrees - all engineering disciplines have a large amount of maths and physics in them and you will not get through the 4+ years required if you aren’t enjoying your studies
I enjoy maths and physics however, I dislike fluid mechanics and transport phenomena and I hear there is going to be a lot of it
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Helloworld_95
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Materials isn't about mining and is more about developing alloys, ceramics, composites, polymers, etc.

EEE is going to be largely about circuit boards and power delivery, with semiconductors and communications having a secondary role. For most of the things you're talking about, there will be very few positions, particularly graduate positions, where you will be able to get involved. AI certainly won't be under the EEE umbrella.

I'd say look into Sheffield's ACSE program as that will look at the kind of things you're talking about under EEE, and you don't seem afraid of a niche subject given you're looking at Materials. I'd also look into some of the more EEE oriented Aerospace degrees e.g. the ones offered at Bristol and Sheffield. General engineering would also be worth a consideration as it will mean you don't have to choose immediately (though you may not learn to as specialist a level in your final years).

For patent law, it doesn't matter too much which discipline you come from as far as I know.

As for doing a BEng in one discipline then an MSc in another, it's usually possible, though not at all universities. You will also find yourself playing catch up at the beginning, and MScs tend to be international student dominated courses which comes with its own problems.
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lucidpeach
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(Original post by Helloworld_95)
Materials isn't about mining and is more about developing alloys, ceramics, composites, polymers, etc.

EEE is going to be largely about circuit boards and power delivery, with semiconductors and communications having a secondary role. For most of the things you're talking about, there will be very few positions, particularly graduate positions, where you will be able to get involved. AI certainly won't be under the EEE umbrella.

I'd say look into Sheffield's ACSE program as that will look at the kind of things you're talking about under EEE, and you don't seem afraid of a niche subject given you're looking at Materials. I'd also look into some of the more EEE oriented Aerospace degrees e.g. the ones offered at Bristol and Sheffield. General engineering would also be worth a consideration as it will mean you don't have to choose immediately (though you may not learn to as specialist a level in your final years).

For patent law, it doesn't matter too much which discipline you come from as far as I know.

As for doing a BEng in one discipline then an MSc in another, it's usually possible, though not at all universities. You will also find yourself playing catch up at the beginning, and MScs tend to be international student dominated courses which comes with its own problems.

I keep changing my mind im on the foundation year doing engineering BUT I wish I had just retaken my A levels and done Physics at another college. A lot of jobs are open to many graduates doing graduate schemes however Im really scared in the future, of "doing a job I LOVE" and the market dries up for it. A lot of new jobs dont even exist in the future but electronic and engineering seems to have a lot of innovation. Also why would It be hard for a graduate of EEE to go into robotics, maglev trains ...
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artful_lounger
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Being a patent attorney is not the same as being a lawyer (i.e. solicitor or barrister) working in IP/patent law. A lawyer does not necessarily need of any specialist scientific or engineering knowledge to work in IP law. A patent attorney, who does a completely different job, does, although this can be in any STEM field realistically (and the patents you review will be different depending on your background. Additionally being a patent attorney is not really renowned to be high paying - rather it's well known for being just fairly stable with good money but not "banking/startup" money. I also have heard it has fairly limited progression, although I don't know too much about that.

Aside from that, there are no required subjects to study Law (and hence be a lawyer but not a patent attorney) at university and people can and do apply successfully with all STEM subjects at A-level. Equally many firms offer training contracts which include a graduate diploma in law conversion course (which you can also do paying yourself if you don't have a TC, and then apply to a TC) which someone from any discipline can apply to, so there isn't even a specific need to do a Law degree to become a lawyer (although it's quicker and perhaps less competitive at certain stages - this is debatable depending on your ultimate goals).

As above, all of the courses have very high amounts of maths and physics. In fact, those are the three engineering disciplines with the most mathematics and physics content, out of any others, so you've chosen very poorly if you don't like those subjects (although as PQ indicated in the other thread, any engineering course will contain quite a lot of maths and physics - those you've noted just happen to have the most maths/physics which is less applied than in other disciplines).

In terms of starting in one of those disciplines and moving to another, it's difficult, because they're all fairly unrelated. You may be able to move between a general ChemE undergrad course to certain Materials masters courses that specialise in surface science/tribology or something similar (but probably not the other way around). Equally you may be able to move from an undergrad course in EE to a masters course in Electronic/Electromagnetic Materials or semiconductors that is materials oriented, but again, probably not the other way around. Additionally you may be able to move from EE into physics and specialise in condensed matter physics which is essentially materials but from the bottom up instead of top down.

Ultimately though you wouldn't really be moving into a different area, just specialising in some area which has overlap between the two. There are a small number of masters courses which are "conversion" courses for you to move from one engineering background to the other - this seems most common with ChemE though, or maybe Materials. I don't know of any EE courses as such offhand, although they may well exist. The downside of this is realistically you want your masters course to be specialising you in a particular subdiscipline of some area of engineering, rather than generalising you into another area...

Spoiler:
Show



N.B. 3D printing is more materials than EE incidentally, mining engineering has very little to do with materials, and "washing machines" isn't really...anything. Maybe a mechanical/product design engineers role in some capacity...Robotics depends entirely on the specific aspect of it you would end up doing, it can be mechanical or EE stuff. The rest of the stuff just looks like you copied and pasted some stuff listed on another website which you don't really know much about...

There is a huge difference in working with/in e.g. carbon nanotubes (nanotechnology) vs colloids (soft matter physics and chemical engineering) vs ceramics (very much a materials specialism and not really anyone elses) or electric cars/maglev trains (power engineering, AI/robotics (control engineering and programming/software development) and phones/wifi (communications engineering). This is even before you consider the fact several of the things noted (carbon nanotube stuff, AI/robotics, colloids) are very much research oriented areas and not something you would "work in" from an industrial standpoint except in R&D, which entails a PhD minimally, compared to some of the others which are strongly industrially oriented such as telecomms engineering and metallurgy (which you might want to do a PhD in, but certainly there are many roles you could go in from BEng/MEng). They're just...completely different in every way.




You seem very unsure of the direction you want to go in, which while understandable, might mean you need to do a bit more research into your options. Otherwise (and perhaps even still) I would strongly second the above opinion that you should consider a General Engineering course, or one that starts "general" and you select your specialism later in the course (e.g. at the end of the first/second year - such as at Exeter, although I can't recommend their engineering course for any other reason). Beyond that, Aerospace Engineering tends to have a little bit of all the areas, and is probably the best bet if you wanted to start in one area then specialise into one of the others, but not all courses will cover all areas equally as you move into the later years of the course and specialist more. Additionally not all masters courses in one of those areas will accept an aerospace or general engineering background without certain amounts of specialisation later in the course, so depending on the course you study you might find yourself a bit more limited e.g. towards the EE or materials side or what have you.
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lucidpeach
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(Original post by artful_lounger)
Being a patent attorney is not the same as being a lawyer (i.e. solicitor or barrister) working in IP/patent law. A lawyer does not necessarily need of any specialist scientific or engineering knowledge to work in IP law. A patent attorney, who does a completely different job, does, although this can be in any STEM field realistically (and the patents you review will be different depending on your background. Additionally being a patent attorney is not really renowned to be high paying - rather it's well known for being just fairly stable with good money but not "banking/startup" money. I also have heard it has fairly limited progression, although I don't know too much about that.

Aside from that, there are no required subjects to study Law (and hence be a lawyer but not a patent attorney) at university and people can and do apply successfully with all STEM subjects at A-level. Equally many firms offer training contracts which include a graduate diploma in law conversion course (which you can also do paying yourself if you don't have a TC, and then apply to a TC) which someone from any discipline can apply to, so there isn't even a specific need to do a Law degree to become a lawyer (although it's quicker and perhaps less competitive at certain stages - this is debatable depending on your ultimate goals).

As above, all of the courses have very high amounts of maths and physics. In fact, those are the three engineering disciplines with the most mathematics and physics content, out of any others, so you've chosen very poorly if you don't like those subjects (although as PQ indicated in the other thread, any engineering course will contain quite a lot of maths and physics - those you've noted just happen to have the most maths/physics which is less applied than in other disciplines).

In terms of starting in one of those disciplines and moving to another, it's difficult, because they're all fairly unrelated. You may be able to move between a general ChemE undergrad course to certain Materials masters courses that specialise in surface science/tribology or something similar (but probably not the other way around). Equally you may be able to move from an undergrad course in EE to a masters course in Electronic/Electromagnetic Materials or semiconductors that is materials oriented, but again, probably not the other way around. Additionally you may be able to move from EE into physics and specialise in condensed matter physics which is essentially materials but from the bottom up instead of top down.

Ultimately though you wouldn't really be moving into a different area, just specialising in some area which has overlap between the two. There are a small number of masters courses which are "conversion" courses for you to move from one engineering background to the other - this seems most common with ChemE though, or maybe Materials. I don't know of any EE courses as such offhand, although they may well exist. The downside of this is realistically you want your masters course to be specialising you in a particular subdiscipline of some area of engineering, rather than generalising you into another area...

Spoiler:
Show



N.B. 3D printing is more materials than EE incidentally, mining engineering has very little to do with materials, and "washing machines" isn't really...anything. Maybe a mechanical/product design engineers role in some capacity...Robotics depends entirely on the specific aspect of it you would end up doing, it can be mechanical or EE stuff. The rest of the stuff just looks like you copied and pasted some stuff listed on another website which you don't really know much about...

There is a huge difference in working with/in e.g. carbon nanotubes (nanotechnology) vs colloids (soft matter physics and chemical engineering) vs ceramics (very much a materials specialism and not really anyone elses) or electric cars/maglev trains (power engineering, AI/robotics (control engineering and programming/software development) and phones/wifi (communications engineering). This is even before you consider the fact several of the things noted (carbon nanotube stuff, AI/robotics, colloids) are very much research oriented areas and not something you would "work in" from an industrial standpoint except in R&D, which entails a PhD minimally, compared to some of the others which are strongly industrially oriented such as telecomms engineering and metallurgy (which you might want to do a PhD in, but certainly there are many roles you could go in from BEng/MEng). They're just...completely different in every way.




You seem very unsure of the direction you want to go in, which while understandable, might mean you need to do a bit more research into your options. Otherwise (and perhaps even still) I would strongly second the above opinion that you should consider a General Engineering course, or one that starts "general" and you select your specialism later in the course (e.g. at the end of the first/second year - such as at Exeter, although I can't recommend their engineering course for any other reason). Beyond that, Aerospace Engineering tends to have a little bit of all the areas, and is probably the best bet if you wanted to start in one area then specialise into one of the others, but not all courses will cover all areas equally as you move into the later years of the course and specialist more. Additionally not all masters courses in one of those areas will accept an aerospace or general engineering background without certain amounts of specialisation later in the course, so depending on the course you study you might find yourself a bit more limited e.g. towards the EE or materials side or what have you.
Would I be better of just doing one as a hobby like maglev trains seems futuristic and stuff but I’m not sure I can do it Day to day. And from what I heard EEE is looking at circuits all day
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Helloworld_95
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(Original post by lucidpeach)
I keep changing my mind im on the foundation year doing engineering BUT I wish I had just retaken my A levels and done Physics at another college. A lot of jobs are open to many graduates doing graduate schemes however Im really scared in the future, of "doing a job I LOVE" and the market dries up for it. A lot of new jobs dont even exist in the future but electronic and engineering seems to have a lot of innovation. Also why would It be hard for a graduate of EEE to go into robotics, maglev trains ...
Out of all of those subjects, demand isn't going to dry up for any of them. Even for ChemE, there is a lot of support for retraining O&G engineers into the Renewable sector.

As for why it would be difficult for a EEE graduate to enter those areas, it's simply because there aren't that many jobs in those areas. Maglev isn't a particularly common technology because it's very expensive and not that fast, it's very niche, and only really exists in the far east. For Robotics, the more important side of development lies in software and thus the large majority of the jobs are software related, and there aren't even that many software related robotics jobs, therefore the numbers working on the hardware side which is what a EEE graduate would work on is really quite small. 3D printing, printers, washing machines are again quite niche and thus there aren't that many jobs. For Phones, there isn't really much development within Europe let alone the UK, with the except of ARM.

Electric cars are a bit more promising, but the large majority of work is still more oriented towards Mechanical Engineers and Computer Scientists.
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artful_lounger
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(Original post by lucidpeach)
And from what I heard EEE is looking at circuits all day
What exactly do you think electronic and electrical engineers do all day? They don't spontaneously generate electricity and cackle manically (at least since Nikola Tesla died).

You initially say don't like maths or physics but are "interested" in engineering, then you say it's just fluid mechanics and transport phenomena you don't like (which you are unlikely won't have studied at all yet, and certainly not in any non-trivial fashion unless you've already studied partial differential equations and vector calculus, so how do you know you don't like it?) but are still "interested" in Chemical Engineering, and you don't want to spend all day "looking at circuits" but you are "interested" in EE....I simply don't see that you have any interest in engineering generally (and certainly not the individual subjects noted) as an academic subject or profession, and for this reason I am concerned that you are very focused on pursuing this area which you don't seem to actually have much enthusiasm for.

If you are in school/university, I would recommend you speak with a careers advisor, and spend some time thinking about what it is you currently do (and have done in the past) and what if anything you like from that, and working from there to identify a good path to follow. The only thing you've seemed to have written about with any kind of consistency is wanting to be well paid. While financial stability is important, and an understandable concern when you are going to uni, many people in your position - and from what you've said, I think you included - don't seem to understand that you do not need to be earning 6 figures (or even anywhere near that) to live comfortably and enjoy your life. You don't even need to make much more than £40k to live reasonably well off by yourself in almost anywhere in the UK, and in many places can comfortably live on a lot less.
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(Original post by lucidpeach)
Which Engineering Discipline should I choose, Chemical, Materials or ELectrical and Electronics.
With chemical I hear theres a high salary but the content doesnt interest me a lot of maths and physics little chemistry involved. However you can put your foot in many industries, food, cosmetics, desalinisation, oil,pharmaceuticals,biotechnolog y, nuclear even hydrogen fuel cells. Materials Science is the most fun however I'm worried as the mining industry has gone down hill I'm interesting in subjects like polymers, ceramics, composites, metals, colloids and emulsions and many other. However with EEE, I think about electric cars, AI, maglev trains, phones, printers,robotics , 3-D printing. It seems in the most demand and I could even make a lot of money with Patent Law. As apparently their is a demand for lawyers that understand electronics.
Or is it possible to do a bachelors in one and a masters in another. Thanks
Why have you selected those disciplines in particular? You seem to have a broad range of interests, which is good - but you don't necessarily have to have a degree in a specific discipline to work in a specific industry or on specific products/technologies. Most of the main industries probably employ engineers from most of the main disciplines ... so I would say "what type of engineer do you want to be" is perhaps a bit more pertinent. There are many more different types of engineering in industry than there are undergrad disciplines, but they at least give you a general grounding which can be applied to many different areas; e.g. with an EEE degree you can work in power generation on say nuclear power stations, renewables, or you can also do consumer electronics, or communications, etc.

If you don't know what type of engineer you want to be, that's fine. You can study a "general" degree, where you will cover the main disciplines for a few years then specialise in whichever one you would prefer after that, having made this decision based on what you have studied.
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lucidpeach
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(Original post by artful_lounger)
What exactly do you think electronic and electrical engineers do all day? They don't spontaneously generate electricity and cackle manically (at least since Nikola Tesla died).

You initially say don't like maths or physics but are "interested" in engineering, then you say it's just fluid mechanics and transport phenomena you don't like (which you are unlikely won't have studied at all yet, and certainly not in any non-trivial fashion unless you've already studied partial differential equations and vector calculus, so how do you know you don't like it?) but are still "interested" in Chemical Engineering, and you don't want to spend all day "looking at circuits" but you are "interested" in EE....I simply don't see that you have any interest in engineering generally (and certainly not the individual subjects noted) as an academic subject or profession, and for this reason I am concerned that you are very focused on pursuing this area which you don't seem to actually have much enthusiasm for.

If you are in school/university, I would recommend you speak with a careers advisor, and spend some time thinking about what it is you currently do (and have done in the past) and what if anything you like from that, and working from there to identify a good path to follow. The only thing you've seemed to have written about with any kind of consistency is wanting to be well paid. While financial stability is important, and an understandable concern when you are going to uni, many people in your position - and from what you've said, I think you included - don't seem to understand that you do not need to be earning 6 figures (or even anywhere near that) to live comfortably and enjoy your life. You don't even need to make much more than £40k to live reasonably well off by yourself in almost anywhere in the UK, and in many places can comfortably live on a lot less.
That is correct, I have a lot of different interests, I do enjoy maths and physics I was just surprised by the content but youre right I do need to decide on one because I'm aware you cannot be the Jack of all trades but amaster of none
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(Original post by lucidpeach)
That is correct, I have a lot of different interests, I do enjoy maths and physics I was just surprised by the content but youre right I do need to decide on one because I'm aware you cannot be the Jack of all trades but amaster of none
What content are/were you surprised by? Have you looked into general engineering degrees?
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PQ
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Have you thought about taking a year out and maybe applying for the Year in Industry scheme to work in an engineering firm/environment for a year while you figure out what it is you want to do.
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isiaiah d
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why don't you apply for a general engineering course and specialise later. You might also want to look at the (degree) apprenticeship route if you're interrested
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lucidpeach
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I'm ngl this thread is quite old but after careful consideration I have realised that I want to do materials science and engineering. I have looked at chemical engineering and it looks REALLY hard even the smart people who got amazing grades say it is hard. Plus in chemical engineering there is no chemistry involved and I don't know if I want to do that for the rest of my life. I don't really want to do electrical or electronic even though it has a big impact an everything we use needs electricity. Materials Science however is like the perfect mix off maths physics and chemistry and there are loads of cool fields i can work in plus i have done some work experience that relates to why I should be studying materials!
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