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Old 01-18-2012, 06:22 PM   #41
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Don't mean to thread jack. FSAE as in automotive engineers right? I'm studying to be an auto technician at the moment and have been kinda curious about going to that afterwards...Unless its close to the same thing.
To be an automotive engineer the degree you need is ME. Automotive engineering is not typically recognized as its own degree plan most FSAE students are ME's

But I think to get into FSAE at most schools all you have to be is a student though. On my UTA team one of our prominent team members was an art student. He went on to work for BMW design studio and later joined BMW's F1team. We had recruted him because he had formula 3 driving experiance.

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Old 01-18-2012, 06:50 PM   #42
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To be an automotive engineer the degree you need is ME.
When I worked at an auto manufacturing plant (supplier, not actual car builder) I was required to be a "degreed ME or equivalent" Since I had so many years experience in design engineering, it was acceptable. But they can't let just any schmuck work on the design stuff because of liability issues.

Trust me, working in automotive design is not a good field. It will make you learn to hate cars, and the bureaucracy that produces them. Most don't get to work on the cool stuff like Corvettes, but are stuck trying to squeeze an extra 3-4 bucks out of the cost of a minivan.
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Old 01-18-2012, 06:51 PM   #43
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But I think to get into FSAE at most schools all you have to be is a student though.
Yeah, it was the same at UF. Most of the FSAE team were MEs with a couple of EEs, but participation was open to all students regardless of major.

In retrospect, we probably could have used a couple of art students to do the bodywork.
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Old 01-18-2012, 06:55 PM   #44
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Study:
I'm a ME too.
I have to say that I'm slightly different from US MEs: I did BS&MS in Italy + additional MS in US (...not really... it was a double degree program, so I just did last year of MS in US and I got both degrees ).

Here in EU (but in particular in Italy), MS are less specialized then US ones. We have more multi-discipline subjects, and we are much much more theoretical than what you can find in your country.
At the end, you know less of many different subjects (from pure structural mechanic to logistics), instead of being very much involved in a topic. My US diploma is "numerical computation and computer aided engineering" [FEM, Multibody analysis, CFD, vibration analysis, nonlinead dynamics, etc], while the EU one is a "general purpose ME" [structural, thermo/machines, dynamics, logistics, management, industrial engineering, economics, etc].

I've never been interested in PhD as here is completely useless (EU companies don't like hyper-specialized people: they prefer to invest in the trainings focused on their core business).

Work:
I worked for a while (Jul-Dec 2010) at University of Illinois at Chicago as a non-linear dynamics researcher, then I returned back in Europe.
After returning, I had a few months for finishing Italian university and finding job (in March I've been hired definitely). I started searching for a position completely on the opposite side respect to design/simulation/R&D.
Among the proposals, I chose to accept the offer of a very very big automotive international company (supplier of car makers -- more than 40000 people): I spent 8 months abroad (in Germany) for learning and improving my skills as Program Engineer (coordinate the team of engineers + industrial engineers + purchase +... etc).
Now I'm back in Italy, still in the same company, and I work as a Program Manager (that is a "middle management" position). I'm responsible for driving the programs by discussing with our customer, by directing him and agreeing on his needs and wishes. In other words, I mainly discuss about economical and timing aspects. For the technical and productive stuff my task is to create a link between customer and technical platforms.
I really LOVE my actual job, is exactly what I was searching for.



Keep in mind that university is needed for shaping your way of thinking. Then you are free to choose whatever you wish. I think both of your possible choices are great!

Good luck
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Old 01-18-2012, 07:24 PM   #45
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I agree. Italians are much more theoretical. I think it is because their wine and food is so much better.

Just poking at you. I work with Agusta on the A109. It is wonderful to work with Italians. I work all over the EU and Italy is, by far, my favorite.

I agree that the main thing to get out of a college education is how to learn. Learning then becomes a lifelong activity. You probably won't use a heck of a lot of the things you learn in college beyond the basics.

I'm a BSAE, MSAE and JD. Also a registered PE in Mechanical and Control Systems. Very senior in my company and learn something new everyday.
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Old 01-18-2012, 11:29 PM   #46
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I am late here, but this is my opinion.


I am in my 4th year of ME at the university of pittsburgh, currently working an internship with MoTeC this semester. I will be in school for 5 full years.


In terms of school, EE and ME is fairly different. Do you really like calc and diff eq or calculating how circuits work and how to design them? if so EE may be more up your ally. If you like learning about mechanical systems and dabbling in a bit of everything, ME is for you. I know I could not pass all the EE classes.


In terms of work, well, I think a ME degree really wins out. you can literally do anything. Wanna be a programmer? Design cooking pans? Be a aerospace engineer? Automotive engineer? Hell, my friend just graduated and is basically in a management position with BMW USA, he is doing almost no real engineering.

That's not to say you can't do a lot with a EE degree, but as a ME you have a more diverse class load.

So far I have worked 2 semesters with US Airways in aircraft maintenance, and this semester with MoTeC systems east. They have been very different. One was for a large company, really relaxed atmosphere, no design engineering, mostly just some paperwork and looking at the planes telling the maintenance guys it is ok to blend out that scratch on the wing.

MoTeC is with a small company (only 2 people with ME degrees, about 11 people total). I am working all day, not quite as relaxed but everyone is just as fun. Today I started wiring a CDL for a legends car, I have done dyno tuning for a plug in ZX-14 kit, and I went to daytona to help the RCR and TRD NASCAR teams with their motec stuff (as best as a noob could).

In conclusion, you can't go wrong with either degree. Both are well respected, needed positions that pay well right out of school. I am just biased toward ME =)

Plus you get to make fun of arts/sciences degrees with your engineering friends, heh.
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Old 01-19-2012, 11:10 AM   #47
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Plus you get to make fun of arts/sciences degrees with your engineering friends, heh.
Don't forget to make fun of the business students too. Those guys are the biggest dummies around and take the easiest courses you can imagine (assuming you have even a modicum of common sense). A FEW of them get hired at companies and then do spreadsheets for a living (i.e., learn how to lie with numbers). These then become your boss and infuriate you to no end because they are so blantantly stupid.

And I highly recommend small company over big. Yes, life is more uncertain and you'll work much harder. But, it is much more fun.
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Old 01-19-2012, 02:07 PM   #48
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Don't forget to make fun of the business students too. Those guys are the biggest dummies around and [...] then become your boss[...]
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Old 01-19-2012, 02:41 PM   #49
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^^^

Yep. Wrote it that way on purpose. It is the way of the world. No sense deluding these poor kids.
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Old 01-19-2012, 06:01 PM   #50
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Don't forget to make fun of the business students too. Those guys are the biggest dummies around and take the easiest courses you can imagine (assuming you have even a modicum of common sense). A FEW of them get hired at companies and then do spreadsheets for a living (i.e., learn how to lie with numbers). These then become your boss and infuriate you to no end because they are so blantantly stupid.

And I highly recommend small company over big. Yes, life is more uncertain and you'll work much harder. But, it is much more fun.
Perfect picture of FIAT management... I really hope that Chrysler one is better...
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Old 01-20-2012, 01:55 AM   #51
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Here's a word of advice for those going into engineering: get experience prior to graduation. When you graduate, one of the top questions you will get asked is whether or not you had an internship or co-op. I can't tell you how many of my engr. amigos in college came back from career fairs griping about how "no one is hiring unless you have experience. How do I get experience if you won't hire me??" Answer: get an internship or co-op prior to graduation.

You'll learn to do whatever it is in whatever industry you plan to work in. I know engineers that get deeply involved in 3D design and analysis. Then I know engineers that have designers do that dirty work while the engineer prepares and maintains all technical documentation and communication. The engineer pay scale has much to do with being responsible and liable for the design. The design and craft personnel can walk if the device implodes on the first day after turning it over to the client. It's usually not the case for the engineers.
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Old 01-20-2012, 02:34 AM   #52
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Voc Rehab put me through law school. Decent program. I've paid it back many times over with income tax -- so a big net positive for the country. Glad to see it's still around for you guys.

Don't worry about being 30. Still plenty young. Make sure you take a few classes out of major to meet some hot young things. IIRC, hot chick pickings in engineering class are pretty non-existent. The hottest girl in my engineering classes was the diaper astronaut -- I ---- you not. She was really cute back then -- quiet and shy.
Yeah, Voc Rehab is going on solid. I'm really impressed on the system. For me it's way better than the GI bill. Except you have to be broken to get into it. Paying it back in taxes is how I see it too kinda, like a less painful student loan. I plan on thinking that later when I get a decent job and have to pay them a disturbing amount every year cause I make baller cash. Met a guy today thats 47 and almost done with his Comp Science degree on Voc. Kinda gives me the motivation to not ----- about being 30. As far as starting over in math goes- I'm doing it. I've forgotten how to to do fractions on paper or long division. Who the hell doesn't have a calculator on them 99% of the time (cell phone for one). As for the girls they're eye candy now, married last year. Can still tho. She's using the 9/11bill for a private culinary school, so I'm well fed to say the least. Might have her cook if the site ever has a meet. She enjoys hosting. Speaking of which need to find that recipe thread.

As for the work experience- I'm at Vol State now then in 2yrs I transfer to Tenn Tech to finish off. Tenn Tech requires a year of internship as part of the degree. They provide a lot of internship options, you pick one or many, do it, and the head hunters come. They have a pretty good job placement program and several job fairs a year. I'd hope to go more toward aerospace and use some of my old TS clearance skills. But that's years from now and not trying to funnel into a corner yet. I'm just looking forward to a job that doesn't destroy my spine more or require me to be on my ankle too much. But a bigger motivator is to have a job I don't despise.
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Old 01-20-2012, 04:58 PM   #53
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I'm of the opinion that the education is just your very first building blocks. What you do with it is down to you and only you. The degree only dictates where you start, but your carrier can go anywhere from that, given that you have some drive and ambition. It is not at all given that you keep working within the same area as you started in. My Bachelors degree in ME gave me a world tour: I worked one year at home in Sweden before I got the chance to move to Italy within the same company. I spent 18months there, 1 year in Germany (I still miss Nurnberg every now and then), 2 years in North Carolina and another year in Nurnberg before the fiancee said we needed to move home and become "normal" (still trying. At least mommy says I am "special").

I nowdays work as a senior project manager and team manager at a larger Swedish consultansy firm and I can honestly say that I love my job. Of course, very little of what I learned in university (graduated 2002) is used in my daily work, which is just my point. Many of the guys in the team are more skilled designers they I am and many have special skills I can't even come close to, but I am the master if running projects, making clients happy and getting the team to work as a well tuned machine. I learned none of that at the University.

BTW. I am totally drunk while typing this. Just so you know...
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Old 01-20-2012, 10:46 PM   #54
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Don't forget to make fun of the business students too. Those guys are the biggest dummies around and take the easiest courses you can imagine (assuming you have even a modicum of common sense). A FEW of them get hired at companies and then do spreadsheets for a living (i.e., learn how to lie with numbers). These then become your boss and infuriate you to no end because they are so blantantly stupid.
I hear this fairly often, I myself did a business degree prior to starting engineering and am putting myself through school with it (helping engineers sell their products when they can't). I'm not offended but business students say the same about everyone else "Those idiots are working so hard to know so much will end up making less money working for us".

That said I am studying to be an engineer because I enjoy engineering more, being a consultant is pretty great as well.
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