SpeedyManiac

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Aug 8, 2000
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Hey Guys,
I just had to share my excitement. This morning I wrote my last university exam of my life. I'm finished! My degree is a BSc in Mechanical Engineering. Words can barely even describe the feeling of finally finishing something I've dedicated the last 4 years to. I'm very excited to finally be finished school, as now I can start taking racing more seriously, make some money and move on to the next stage of my life.

Right now I've accepted a job in Trail, BC doing mechanical design and finite element analysis for a consulting company. I'm pretty excited as it's the sort of work I want to do, but in the wrong industry. I'm hoping to eventually work my way into the motorcycle industry, but first I need to get some experience and get my professional engineer's stamp.

My goals besides work are to qualify for the 2007 and 2008 ISDE in Chile and Greece, respectively. I'm a first year expert, so I'm hoping to consistently get in the top 5 by mid summer.

Besides work and racing I've decided I'm going to take the next two years and just try to live my life. I have some student loans to pay off, but otherwise I don't have anything holding me down. I'm 21, so I figure I should broaden my horizons and see the world before I settle down into the family life. Oh yeah, I'll also try and get in 50+ days of snowboarding next season now that I'll be living back in the mountains.

Anyhoo, I just thought I'd share my happiness. Sorry if I make anyone unhappy with my happiness.

Steve :)
 

Okiewan

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Dec 31, 1969
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VERY COOL! Congrats bro, that's a great accomplishment. :cool:
 

Patman

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Congrats! Funny thing, I considered moving to Trail and working for that company as well last time I was up there.
 

robwbright

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Congratulations! That's a great accomplishment - mechanical engineering is something I don't think I could have done - too much math. . .

A couple weeks ago I received passing results on my last licensing test for practicing law in Ohio. I'm now licensed on both sides of the Ohio River and not planning on taking another test, EVER. :laugh:

It's a great feeling, isn't it?
 

trial_07

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That's great SpeedyManiac! :cool:

I'm a bit confused concerning where I'm heading. Originally I wanted to be a mechanical engineer (just like you), but I realized earlier this year how much I hate Pure and Applied Sciences and the number of years it would take in University discourages me. So I sent a registration form to another college to study "technique de genie mecanique" (in French). It must be Mecanical engineering technician in English? It consists of designing and creating parts, a more manual job which I would like. However, I can't make mind. I know I can always do that program (3 years) in college and then head to University later on or finish off Pure and Applied Sciences (1 year left and probably one course I'll have to do over again) and then go to University (4 years). The thing is University seems to be really much like what I do now, but harder. So yeah...big dilemma.

How was your experience in University SpeedyManiac? I know you are very happy right now, but can you remember times when you were unhappy, or regretted something, or just unsure? Sorry if I sound vague or confusing. I'm weighing the plus and minuses to decide my career choice.

Congratulations again and I truly hope you have fun racing and snowboarding before work and tons of other responsibilities come in.
 

GETMETOCA

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Mar 17, 2002
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Here's hoping that feeling of elation lasts a long time!! Congrats!!! Way to go - this is a very big deal.
 

BSWIFT

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I have some student loans to pay off, but otherwise
Welcome to the world. Congrats!
 

Tony Eeds

Godspeed Tony.
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Jun 9, 2002
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Congratulations

Completing a university degree is a great acomplishment.

Let the real learning begin and good luck on your quest to represent Canada in the ISDE.

If you make it, be sure and look here for support, emotional as well as financial.
 
C

CaNaDiAn,Eh?

CONGRATULATIONS SPEEDY! That is awesome, a degree in mech e is a huge accomplishment, I am very envious!!! I am just finishing off my second year here at U of A now, and I'm just thrilled for summer holidays. Good luck on the ISDE I really hope you make it, and best of luck in your new job!!!!!
 

SpeedyManiac

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trial_07 said:
That's great SpeedyManiac! :cool:

I'm a bit confused concerning where I'm heading. Originally I wanted to be a mechanical engineer (just like you), but I realized earlier this year how much I hate Pure and Applied Sciences and the number of years it would take in University discourages me. So I sent a registration form to another college to study "technique de genie mecanique" (in French). It must be Mecanical engineering technician in English? It consists of designing and creating parts, a more manual job which I would like. However, I can't make mind. I know I can always do that program (3 years) in college and then head to University later on or finish off Pure and Applied Sciences (1 year left and probably one course I'll have to do over again) and then go to University (4 years). The thing is University seems to be really much like what I do now, but harder. So yeah...big dilemma.

How was your experience in University SpeedyManiac? I know you are very happy right now, but can you remember times when you were unhappy, or regretted something, or just unsure? Sorry if I sound vague or confusing. I'm weighing the plus and minuses to decide my career choice.

Congratulations again and I truly hope you have fun racing and snowboarding before work and tons of other responsibilities come in.

There were definitely many times where I absolutely hated university. A lot of this was due to being in Edmonton. I grew up in a small town in the mountains, so it was a huge shock moving to cold, flat, big city Edmonton. Also, I haven't had my dirtbike up here so I've been limited to 4 months of riding a year. Then there's the usual stuff that gets you down like break-ups, etc but that'll happen anywhere.

That said, I will look back with fond memories of university. I have many great stories from living in residence, apartments and houses that have definitely built character. Not to mention the parties and random trips with friends. How many people can say they got up at 3am, drove 4.5 hours to a ski hill for opening day (November 11, 2005), snowboarded all day then drove back home (4.5 hours again) that night? All of this with 4 guys plus all of our gear crammed in a Ford Probe. It's things like that that really make university a great experience.

That 3 year program is called the Mechanical Technologist program. The main difference is in mechanical technology you learn how to design things from formulas where as in mechanical engineering you learn the theory behind the equations so you actually know the limitations of the design work. The technologist schooling is more applied, where engineering gives you a foundation to build your skills from. This is why engineers get a bad rap a lot of the time. We don't know everything fresh out of school, but a lot of people expect us to know exactly what we're doing right after school. The truth is that we still need to do our 'apprenticeship' (4 years of work experience under a professional engineer) where we learn real world design, then an engineer in training (that's what fresh graduates are called) can write a professional practice exam and once it is passed along with 4 years of work experience an EIT becomes a PE (professional engineer).

So, basically, if you are happy just learning how to design stuff, go with Mechanical Technologist. But, if you want to have a good foundation to build your skills and career, I'd recommend doing the 4 years of engineering school. It's definitely worth it when you make it to the end.
 

trial_07

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Thanks for your reply SpeedyManiac! I am in a situation similar to yours meaning that I am not in my home town where the track, dirtbike, ski hill, and the rest of my family is located. I am in a city where there is typically nothing to do apart from studying. Ironically for me, I am not motivated to study when there is nothing to do, but studying.

SpeedyManiac said:
That said, I will look back with fond memories of university. I have many great stories from living in residence, apartments and houses that have definitely built character. Not to mention the parties and random trips with friends. How many people can say they got up at 3am, drove 4.5 hours to a ski hill for opening day (November 11, 2005), snowboarded all day then drove back home (4.5 hours again) that night? All of this with 4 guys plus all of our gear crammed in a Ford Probe. It's things like that that really make university a great experience.
I've done that this winter. Two friends of mine and I left at 4:30 AM in one of those huge snowstorms. I drove during 4 hours in some deep snow and very poor visibility in my Ford Escort ZX2 until we got to that ski mountain. We skied all day long in 2 feet of powder-like fresh snow and there was practically nobody. I'm sure I could live again some experiences like that in college too.

A couple of questions (if you don't mind):

- What exactly are you asked to do being a mechanical engineer?
- Is it only a desk job?
- Do you get to see or even experiment with your own creations? Or do you simply see your projects in theory?
 

SpeedyManiac

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I work for a consulting company, so a client comes to us with a problem or a need. We do start to finish design, so we'll figure out what we think will work, come up with a preliminary design, optimize it using Solidworks/Algor, then build and test a prototype. My job will primarily be sitting at a desk working on a computer, but I'll also make trips to project sites and we have a machine shop so I'm hoping I'll get to do some prototype building. Visit www.redwoodengineering.com and www.hudu-engineering.com. I'm employed by Redwood, but they are just getting into the mechanical end of things so I'll be working very closely with Dave Taylor at Hudu Creek Machinery.
 

trial_07

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I see. I probably would rather the Mechanical Technologist program, work for a company to build up some experience and eventually start out my own small business. That would be awesome.

Thank you thousand times SpeedyManiac!
 

76GMC1500

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Oct 19, 2006
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trial_07 said:
A couple of questions (if you don't mind):

- What exactly are you asked to do being a mechanical engineer?
- Is it only a desk job?
- Do you get to see or even experiment with your own creations? Or do you simply see your projects in theory?

It's hard to say exactly what you do as a mechanical engineer since they do so much. Fresh out of college, and working for an engineering firm, you'll likely be doing number crunching or engineering calculations at a desk. You may or may not see the finished product, you may even only work on a single component of a complex system. As you get higher in the field, you'll likely become a manager and oversee projects. In that case, you will get to see the finished product because you have to ensure it performs as necessary.

On the other side of the spectrum, mechanical engineers may work for a production facility like a refinery or a factory. At a refinery, you may have process engineers which oversee the production process and do thermodynamics calculations. At any time, they may be asked to design or improve systems. In that case, the engineer will either have to draw up plans and do calculations for a new system or contract out to a specialist and oversee the design of the system. Working in refineries and whatever, you'll certainly see the results of your work.

It's pretty common for ME's to go into the HVAC industry as well, designing/specifying ventilation systems.

There thousands of types of jobs an ME can do. Speedy mentioned the lack of knowledge ME's have right out of school. The field is so broad, the schools can't really make you ready for the real world. They just give you the most basic of knowledge that you will have to build on once you start a carreer.

At my school, we also have a engineering technology major. I'm sure this is similar to the technologist. In general, the ET runs the power plant while the ME designs the boilers.
 

trailrider822

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Mar 14, 2007
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way to go steve! I have a bachelor's degree in economics after battling college for 8 years , and that is only cause i got lucky tossin a wheat penny on all the true and falses. and i aint kiddin! wish you all the best in your career pursuits. joe
 

trial_07

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oldguy said:
and he doesn't mean chasing girls around campus all day and night long :boss: ;)

Haha! Well what if I fall on a beautiful girl studying to be a doctor? Just kidding.

Seriously, I think I'm going to take that Mechanical Technologist program. Mechanical engineer is too much of a desk job. I like using my hands. I will be credited for the courses I've done this year so I'll try taking some administration courses. Unfortunately, I'll have to put back my dream trip to the states to 2010-2011.
 
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