lindastuart07
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Hi! I’m going to university next year and I’m not sure yet which degree I should pursue. I’m probably going to apply to mechanical engineering, but I don’t really know what to do next with that degree. I really wouldn’t like to be working with machines in a factory or something like that. Could you tell me what kind of jobs a mechanical engineer can do? I was thinking after the degree to pursue a more specific area, like nanotechnology or something related to biology, do you think mechanical engineering would be a good start to achieve that? Thank you so much, and sorry for the long message!
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Surf
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(Original post by lindastuart07)
Hi! I’m going to university next year and I’m not sure yet which degree I should pursue. I’m probably going to apply to mechanical engineering, but I don’t really know what to do next with that degree. I really wouldn’t like to be working with machines in a factory or something like that. Could you tell me what kind of jobs a mechanical engineer can do? I was thinking after the degree to pursue a more specific area, like nanotechnology or something related to biology, do you think mechanical engineering would be a good start to achieve that? Thank you so much, and sorry for the long message!
Okay, first "working with machines in a factory" is what production operatives do, rather than engineers. This is the problem with the overuse of the term engineer - many people don't know what the work entails - the closest you would come to production is if you chose to supervise the manufacturing process (finding solutions to production line's technical issues, improving procedures, etc.). Ultimately, a company which has qualified engineers (i.e. those with a degree level education) working in production is either understaffed or poorly run, as you will likely be paid more than a production operative and are essentially reducing company revenue. This comment is not designed to slate production operatives, I've worked with many specialists who are incredibly skilled at what they do and deserve all the credit they receive.

The two main 'roles' of a mechanical engineer involve designing and testing products - the applications for which are virtually endless, but a couple of examples are:

- You may design an aircraft's wing based on the results of numerical modelling and/or wind tunnel testing
- You could complete thermal designs and analysis for spacecraft

A mechanical engineering degree teaches you how to design and analyse products to customer specifications. You will learn about structures, control theory, dynamics, mathematical modelling techniques, etc.

You would have to define 'something related to biology' further. As an engineer you could perhaps find a niche in certain fields, like designing GPS systems for wild animals or modelling things like ocean currents (via a PhD). I can't advise you on nanotechnology, as I don't know enough about the field.
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lindastuart07
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(Original post by Surf)
Okay, first "working with machines in a factory" is what production operatives do, rather than engineers. This is the problem with the overuse of the term engineer - many people don't know what the work entails - the closest you would come to production is if you chose to supervise the manufacturing process (finding solutions to production line's technical issues, improving procedures, etc.). Ultimately, a company which has qualified engineers (i.e. those with a degree level education) working in production is either understaffed or poorly run, as you will likely be paid more than a production operative and are essentially reducing company revenue. This comment is not designed to slate production operatives, I've worked with many specialists who are incredibly skilled at what they do and deserve all the credit they receive.

The two main 'roles' of a mechanical engineer involve designing and testing products - the applications for which are virtually endless, but a couple of examples are:

- You may design an aircraft's wing based on the results of numerical modelling and/or wind tunnel testing
- You could complete thermal designs and analysis for spacecraft

A mechanical engineering degree teaches you how to design and analyse products to customer specifications. You will learn about structures, control theory, dynamics, mathematical modelling techniques, etc.

You would have to define 'something related to biology' further. As an engineer you could perhaps find a niche in certain fields, like designing GPS systems for wild animals or modelling things like ocean currents (via a PhD). I can't advise you on nanotechnology, as I don't know enough about the field.
Thanks for your answer! When I mentioned something related to biology, I meant like designing some sort of device to help doctors treat someone. I know that’s usually the job of bioengineers, but, since I’m unsure about the area of engineering that I like the most, I was wondering if, with a mechanical engineering degree, I could then apply to a master in something related to the field I mentioned before.

I feel like mechanical engineering would be the best choice for someone very indecisive as me, as I can, later on, specialise in a wide range of different subjects.
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Chris2892
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(Original post by lindastuart07)
Thanks for your answer! When I mentioned something related to biology, I meant like designing some sort of device to help doctors treat someone. I know that’s usually the job of bioengineers, but, since I’m unsure about the area of engineering that I like the most, I was wondering if, with a mechanical engineering degree, I could then apply to a master in something related to the field I mentioned before.

I feel like mechanical engineering would be the best choice for someone very indecisive as me, as I can, later on, specialise in a wide range of different subjects.
I did mechanical engineering and work in medical device research and development. I work in joint reconstruction, but there’s a wide range of different procedural focus and specialties like specific joints, trauma, and robotics.

The roles are also very broad, such as commercialised and new product design, made to order design, custom (one-off) design, verification testing, research, front end development (new technologies). They usually offer you anatomy and surgical theory training on the job.

It tends to be that medical engineers do the bio roles, but there’s medical engineers in design roles, and mechanical engineers in bio roles. It’s very flexible long term.

I’d advise getting LinkedIn and following some of the medical device companies. It will help you gain some insight and help you focus interest and pick projects during your studies.

Perhaps start with those listed in the link below:
https://www.mddionline.com/business/...ce-companies-0

I’d argue that med device companies are one of the best environments to work in. The job is very fulfilling and they usually have great work-life balance initiatives. Both of which often become priorities after graduation.
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