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Mechanical vs Aerospace engineering in F1?

It’s my lifelong dream to work as an engineer for an F1 team, like an aerodynamics engineer. Until now, I’ve always thought aerospace engineering would be the way to go, but I realised that mechanical engineering is another option.
Can someone tell me how these two differ, and which one you think would be more useful in my scenario?
Thanks for your help :smile:
Original post by short man
It’s my lifelong dream to work as an engineer for an F1 team, like an aerodynamics engineer. Until now, I’ve always thought aerospace engineering would be the way to go, but I realised that mechanical engineering is another option.
Can someone tell me how these two differ, and which one you think would be more useful in my scenario?
Thanks for your help :smile:

Well if you were serious I would suggest doing your own research as it’s not possible to detail everything in a TSR thread.

Fluid mechanics is a field of mechanical engineering. Aerodynamics is an application of fluid mechanics where your looking at the interaction between air & a solid body. In an engineering degree you’ll study the physics behind this in either one, you’ll just look more focused application in aerospace.

To be a professional aerodynamicist at entry level you’ll need masters level CFD course, this course will require you to have an understanding of fluid mechanics & thermodynamics (either a mechanical or aerospace degree will teach this) a , CFD is a computational tool which uses different turbulence models to predict the effects of flow & temperature in different scenarios and to do well is incredibly complex.

Mechanical encompasses a wide variety of areas: fluid mechanics, thermodynamics, kinematics, stress, dynamics; you’ll also learn design, manufacturing, instrumentation & control, electrical systems. Aerospace will essentially cover the same stuff but where in a mechanical degree you do control systems & electrical systems, in aerospace you’ll do avionics.

Most of the differences are subtle, in mechanical engineering they may well use the otto cycle (the thermal cycle for a spark ignition 4 stroke combustion engine) for an example thermodynamic cycle; whereas in aerospace they use the brayton cycle (the cycle for turbine compression engines aka turbo-fan engines like what you get on an aircraft). But in either degree you’ll need to understand the physics, and the laws of physics don’t change.

Really either degree will be fine. F1 is very competitive (and underpaid, especially graduate roles) as so many people are willing to go for it. If you are desperate the best thing you can do is get experience in the area you want, aerodynamics is one of the hardest as you will need cfd expertise which to learn properly comes at the backend of a degree.
Reply 2
Original post by mnot
Well if you were serious I would suggest doing your own research as it’s not possible to detail everything in a TSR thread.

Fluid mechanics is a field of mechanical engineering. Aerodynamics is an application of fluid mechanics where your looking at the interaction between air & a solid body. In an engineering degree you’ll study the physics behind this in either one, you’ll just look more focused application in aerospace.

To be a professional aerodynamicist at entry level you’ll need masters level CFD course, this course will require you to have an understanding of fluid mechanics & thermodynamics (either a mechanical or aerospace degree will teach this) a , CFD is a computational tool which uses different turbulence models to predict the effects of flow & temperature in different scenarios and to do well is incredibly complex.

Mechanical encompasses a wide variety of areas: fluid mechanics, thermodynamics, kinematics, stress, dynamics; you’ll also learn design, manufacturing, instrumentation & control, electrical systems. Aerospace will essentially cover the same stuff but where in a mechanical degree you do control systems & electrical systems, in aerospace you’ll do avionics.

Most of the differences are subtle, in mechanical engineering they may well use the otto cycle (the thermal cycle for a spark ignition 4 stroke combustion engine) for an example thermodynamic cycle; whereas in aerospace they use the brayton cycle (the cycle for turbine compression engines aka turbo-fan engines like what you get on an aircraft). But in either degree you’ll need to understand the physics, and the laws of physics don’t change.

Really either degree will be fine. F1 is very competitive (and underpaid, especially graduate roles) as so many people are willing to go for it. If you are desperate the best thing you can do is get experience in the area you want, aerodynamics is one of the hardest as you will need cfd expertise which to learn properly comes at the backend of a degree.

Thank you for your help! I definitely have some more research to do :biggrin:

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