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Are you interested in things that fly? Choosing to study aerospace engineering in college could be for you! Aerospace engineering is the study of air and space travel. It is often referred to as “rocket science.” Aerospace engineers research, design, construct, test and maintain aircraft, spacecraft, missiles and related systems and equipment. They also are concerned with flight safety, operating costs, fuel efficiency and environmental impacts.

The field can be broken down to two major overlapping branches- aeronautical engineering and astronautical engineering. Aeronautical engineers concentrate on aircraft that fly within the earth's atmosphere (airplanes, jets, and helicopters), while astronautical engineers focus on spacecraft and launch vehicles. 

A good background of math and physics classes in high school is important for students applying to aerospace engineering programs. There are many colleges that offer degrees in aerospace engineering. Some of these include: MIT, Georgia Institute of Technology, Caltech, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and Perdue University. Check out the U.S. News list of the top ranked aerospace engineering programs.

 

Biomedical engineers design and create devices, equipment, computer systems and software used in healthcare. The design of a prosthetic limb, the development of sophisticated medical imaging devices, stem cell engineering and the 3-D printing of biological organs are all examples of biomedical engineering. Simply, biomedical engineers apply the principles and problem solving techniques of engineering to biology and medicine.

Biomedical engineering not part of the traditional engineering education. It is a newer field that has rapidly been growing. Aspects of mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, chemical engineering, materials science, chemistry, mathematics, computer science and biology are used in biomedical engineering to improve human health. Coursework in biomedical engineering combines engineering with biological sciences. Overall, the field of biomedical engineering focuses on advancements that improve human health and health care at all levels.

According to Oxford Dictionary an engineer is, “A person who designs, builds, or maintains engines, machines, or structures.” In today's world the field of engineering encompasses so much more. Engineers are problem solvers, designers, organizers and calculators. The modern engineer is also computer savvy. They will utilize software programs to assist in design and forecasting or developing new software to make things run better. Engineering touches every aspect of life. For example, phones, bridges, appliances, machines, buildings, computers, airplanes, and the list goes on.

An engineer uses science, math and ingenuity to develop solutions to commercial, technical and societal problems. They design structures, materials, systems and processes, while taking into account regulations, safety, cost and practical limitations. Being an engineer is challenging and rewarding. An engineer can be involved in finding answers to problems that confront society.

There are 4 main disciplines that the engineering field is broken down into. They are Mechanical, Chemical, Electrical and Civil Engineering. There are numerous sub disciplines under each of those. Computer Engineering, Construction Engineering, Aerospace Engineering and Biomedical Engineering are just a few of those sub disciplines.

Getting an engineering degree can open the door to other professions as well. The thinking process and skills developed as an engineer are very valuable and highly sought after. There are many engineering graduates who are currently in careers in business, law and medicine. In addition, there are a significant number of CEO's and people in other key management positions in large companies who come from engineering backgrounds. There will always be a demand for the skills of an engineer.

Overall, engineers are designers, calculators, designers, planners, tech savvy and problem solvers. If you are curious about how things work and like to apply what you learn to solve real world problems, engineering may be the right field for you.

 

Just like there are different types of music, there are different types of engineering fields.  Traditionally they could be grouped into 4 primary types, Chemical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Electrical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering. There are  many other engineering sub disciplines that branch off or merge from there. Here are descriptions of the 4 primary engineering fields.

Chemical Engineering: Chemical engineers develop processes to make raw materials or chemicals into usable products. They apply the principles of chemistry, physics, math and biology to solve problems with the design or production of these products. Chemical engineers design processes and equipment for product manufacturing. They also direct facility operations and test and plan production methods. 

Civil Engineering:  Civil Engineering is one of the oldest types of engineering. Civil engineers work on the design, construction, analysis and maintenance of man-made and natural structures. These include buildings, roads, bridges, dams, seaports, airports, drinking water and energy systems and infrastructure for a cleaner environment. They determine the feasibility of projects including costs and safety, and are responsible for the design and implementation. Civil engineers use physics and the advanced principles of mathematics such as calculus and trigonometry in their work.

Electrical Engineering: Electrical engineers design, develop, test and supervise the manufacturing of electrical equipment. They work will all kinds of electronics from small pocket devices to supercomputers, telecommunications and power systems and controls. They apply the physics and math of electricity, electronics and electromagnetism to large and small scale systems to process information and transmit energy.


Mechanical Engineering
: Mechanical Engineering is one of the broadest of the engineering disciplines. Mechanical engineers design products and the machines that produce these products. They also design and construct machines, from power producing machines such as generators, turbines and engines to machines in buildings like elevators, escalators and air conditioning systems. They also maintain mechanical systems. Mechanical engineers apply physics and math to design, analyze maintain and manufacture mechanical systems.