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Old Jul 28, 2012, 01:25 PM
AndyKunz's Avatar
Illinois
Joined Sep 2001
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Originally Posted by Wufnu View Post
Also, be very wary of numerical analysis; it's a GPA killer. Well, that was the class at my school, anyway.
That was one of my most interesting classes, one of them which comes in very handy in my work. In fact, I have to say that AirWare is the first product I've done since college (25+ years ago) that uses EVERYTHING I learned in college and beyond.

The other important thing to learn is to know who to ask. And who NOT to ask.

Quote:
Passion breeds diligence; diligence breeds patience.
My webmail signature is pretty close to that: Passion creates Competence. Competence creates Superior Products. I have always found it much easier to train passionate people than people with high GPA's (although a great GPA doesn't hurt).

Andy
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Old Jul 28, 2012, 03:08 PM
Pickin' an a Flyin'
Wufnu's Avatar
United States, TN, Knoxville
Joined Apr 2004
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I suppose it depends on the professor. We only had one teacher teaching this course so every engineering student from every branch had to sneak past him. He graded on a curve... the average grade was a 75 so he curved DOWN. Someone said he failed 1/3 of his class, on average. He is, most likely, the most prolific professor at the school. The wall outside his office is littered with research papers he's published in the last year or so. He also has tenure. I think he averaged about 15 seconds to grade 10 page reports that were 20% of our grade; he never listened to us, even when we made an appointment. He took 20 points off because I used a quick diagonal rule (I saved that paper!) to take the determinate of a 3x3 matrix and he didn't know that rule. I had to argue with him on every test and report. It was hell.

Numerical analysis was the second most boring class I had and the second most powerful. #1 in both was matrix algebra: boring but, by far, the most useful subject I studied in school.

Hah, cool signature. I think it's true, obviously. At the time, I was merely trying to figure out why I had the patience to do the things I've done; it was because I was diligent in my working on it. Still, why was I dilligent? Because I really, really wanted it. Why did I really really want it? I was passionate about it. The real question, at least as it relates to this topic, is how do you breed passion? Marketers can do it. If I get accepted to grad school, maybe I'll take a few marketing classes.
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Old Jul 28, 2012, 03:13 PM
Stop scaring my donkey!
JohnathanSwift's Avatar
Greenland
Joined Mar 2012
8,196 Posts
Well, if anyone deserves a gold star, it's Pat Trittle, who, in the U.S., appears to have helped many of us discovery true modeling in the last 5 years or so.
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Old Jul 28, 2012, 04:05 PM
Playing with AutoCAD!
PiperCub49's Avatar
United States, ME
Joined Oct 2008
2,652 Posts
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Originally Posted by Wufnu View Post
Good luck, Kody! I'm quite envious. I, too, wanted to fly for the military but was too fat and before too long I was too old. I suppose I just didn't want it bad enough to lose the weight in time. I wish I could do it all over again but them's the breaks. You, though, you can do it! Never make a B in college, stay in great shape, and actively volunteer within the community and you've got it golden. You know this already, I'm sure. Also, be very wary of numerical analysis; it's a GPA killer. Well, that was the class at my school, anyway. The professor often said, "Every transcript needs at least one F". Look out for professors like that, too.

Do they still do aeronautical engineering? I thought most universities only called it aerospace these days and liked to make you take things like astrodynamics. Man, I had almost zero interest in the space stuff.

Sorry to go off topic. Balsa strippers.
Wufnu,

Thank you for the advice. I'll admit that I've done some things right to put me on the path that I'm on now, but heaven knows that high school isn't the real world. College will be a whole lot more challenging than a small town secondary education and I am willing to hear all the advice that people who have "been there, done that" can offer me.

My major will technically be in aerospace engineering. That can change in my junior year, where I can take a couple courses specific to aerodynamics instead of rocket propulsion, ect. Then my major can change to aeronautical engineering.

Kody
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Old Jul 28, 2012, 04:36 PM
AndyKunz's Avatar
Illinois
Joined Sep 2001
23,504 Posts
Kody,

In case you haven't noticed, aerospace is THE MOST cyclic of all the engineering professions. If you get in during a good time, you're usually pretty well set, but if you enter the cycle wrong, you'll have a long wait. STICK WITH IT even if you hit the timing wrong first time. Be prepared (mentally and educationally) to do something entirely different. My brother was a Rutger AE grad at the wrong time; fortunately it was a networking boom time, and he was enough of a weenie to be good at both. Now he is a noted communications dude in his particular industry, probably one of the best at it.

He still has model airplanes, and is teaching all his kids (boys and girls) to fly them and to fix them. Having their favorite uncle at Horizon buying them birthday and Christmas gifts probably doesn't hurt either

My oldest nephew, OTOH, works as an engineer on the 787.

Andy
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Old Jul 28, 2012, 05:11 PM
Playing with AutoCAD!
PiperCub49's Avatar
United States, ME
Joined Oct 2008
2,652 Posts
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Originally Posted by AndyKunz View Post
Kody,

In case you haven't noticed, aerospace is THE MOST cyclic of all the engineering professions. If you get in during a good time, you're usually pretty well set, but if you enter the cycle wrong, you'll have a long wait. STICK WITH IT even if you hit the timing wrong first time. Be prepared (mentally and educationally) to do something entirely different. My brother was a Rutger AE grad at the wrong time; fortunately it was a networking boom time, and he was enough of a weenie to be good at both. Now he is a noted communications dude in his particular industry, probably one of the best at it.

He still has model airplanes, and is teaching all his kids (boys and girls) to fly them and to fix them. Having their favorite uncle at Horizon buying them birthday and Christmas gifts probably doesn't hurt either

My oldest nephew, OTOH, works as an engineer on the 787.

Andy
Hi Andy,

Surprisingly enough, I haven't noticed that. I'll have to be completely honest here and say that, since I will be joining the Navy after college, I don't plan on having to use too much of my degree right off the bat. However, I won't be in the Navy forever, so my degree is very important to my long-term success, especially in a second(ary) career. My passion for aerodynamics and physics is what drove me toward an AE degree. Hopefully some of my military experience will beef up my resume, but I wouldn't count on it too much...

Kody
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Old Jul 28, 2012, 05:49 PM
AndyKunz's Avatar
Illinois
Joined Sep 2001
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You may find you need to take a pay cut going into engineering after 6 years as an officer. Use the degree within the Navy as a lifer. They need good engineers to evaluate what McDonnell/Grumman/Boeing is trying to sell them. It could even turn into something much better - lots of astronauts are engineers.

Or better yet, become a politician! The best Presidents have been engineers (not just for America) and pilots! They are able to sort things out. The worst have been the "social engineering" types.

Andy
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Old Jul 28, 2012, 09:32 PM
Playing with AutoCAD!
PiperCub49's Avatar
United States, ME
Joined Oct 2008
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Originally Posted by AndyKunz View Post
You may find you need to take a pay cut going into engineering after 6 years as an officer. Use the degree within the Navy as a lifer. They need good engineers to evaluate what McDonnell/Grumman/Boeing is trying to sell them. It could even turn into something much better - lots of astronauts are engineers.

Or better yet, become a politician! The best Presidents have been engineers (not just for America) and pilots! They are able to sort things out. The worst have been the "social engineering" types.

Andy
Andy,

I have to tell you, I do love politics! Pilots and engineers know how to go about problems in a logical manner. I can see the connection you are making there.

I expect to take a pay cut going into the civilian world. My father left the Navy a few years ago after a very long career with it and he is trying to get back on top again in the civilian world, both in work status and pay. My mother did about the same. (Oh, and just to throw it in there, I am NOT going into the Navy because of my parents influence. I was never pushed toward the Navy. I grew up in the lifestyle and chose it for my career.)

One of the serious issues that I haven't worked out yet is how I can directly apply my degree in the Navy (little late to start considering that now, don't you think? ). You provided me with what I would assume to be one of the most popular options. Thank you so much for giving me some solid ideas. I don't know if you realize how much that means to me.

Kody
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Old Jul 29, 2012, 02:43 AM
Pickin' an a Flyin'
Wufnu's Avatar
United States, TN, Knoxville
Joined Apr 2004
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It's not late to start thinking about that; it's the perfect time. If you haven't yet, I would suggest looking for some navy/military forums and asking for advice on how you can use your degree within the Navy. I'm sure there are opportunities but I don't know what they are and being in the military you'll have to be prepared to be put where they want you and not necessarily where you want to go.

I do remember I was flown out to Huntsville's Redstone Arsenal to meet the crew as I was selected for a position there in early 2010. Aside from the government testing areas, there were large buildings for Boeing, etc. If I remember correctly, they would usually have some military engineers about the place although I don't know what they did. I never got to learn because about 1 month later Boeing was shorted on a contract which caused a lot of fuss at the arsenal which lead to the direct loss of numerous jobs which included mine. Them's the breaks.

I was never in the military myself but my dad was for 22 years. I'm sure you will do your homework but I can't stress enough that you need to know what you want, and how to get them to give it to you, before you sign up. Of course it includes things like bonuses, benefits, etc. but it also includes things like promotion paths, etc. Look far in the future. Do you want to be a fighter pilot? Commander? Test pilot? Astronaut? Etc. They all have best ways to get there; look them up. It will be hard because like 99% of people you're thinking and dreaming nothing but flying, "Just get me in a plane and I don't care!". Lots of things you have to ask for, specifically, and often nobody will ever tell you those things exists nor will they tell you how to get them. Be prepared.

That includes preparing for what you want to do after you retire or leave the military. Lots of positions aren't bound for glory but will net you big bucks when you leave; know what they are so you can plan on getting them now. The best example I can think of is flying the OH-58 in the Army. Everyone seems to focus on the Apache, Blackhawk, etc. Ask around, though: no OH-58 has to look for work long after they leave with decades of OH-58 experience. The main reason? The OH-58, unlike most other military helicopters, is not overpowered. They need a bit more finesse on the collective and throttle and get much more time at low altitude maneuverability. Ask an OH-58 pilot how blackhawk pilots fly, for example, and they'll say they try to jerk the collective right off. No finesse

Re: Andy, I remember watching Neil deGrasse Tyson talking about when he was a kid and seeing a list of all the people in congress and what their professions were. He couldn't help but exclaim, "Where are the scientists? Where are the engineers?". Pity.

I looked and found it!

Neil DeGrasse Tyson on What's Wrong with Congress (Bill Maher) (1 min 13 sec)
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Old Jul 29, 2012, 04:32 AM
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Australia, QLD, Booyal
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Well we are in the stage of selecting grade 11-12 subjects now and i have picked mine around mechanical engineering. I found out about aeronautical engineering and thought hell yeah, i get to by paid to design full size plane and have a hell of an understanding and tools for my model planes. Turns out there is only one aircraft maufacturer in australia which is in the same town where i go to school but they just make the one plane the jabiru. (they are made in bundaberg if you want to google) any way i decided meachanical would be the next best. I also enjoy doing graphics and manual arts so it seems to be a good path. The university that came around also said the $80,000 a year is at the lower end of the average pay straight out on uni
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Old Jul 29, 2012, 07:41 AM
Pickin' an a Flyin'
Wufnu's Avatar
United States, TN, Knoxville
Joined Apr 2004
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I support mechanical engineering as I studied that too Very versatile. Even as an aeronautical engineer, though, the realistic view is that you probably wouldn't get to design a full size plane unless you started your own company. It's more likely you would get to design a small part of a small system attached to a larger system that is a part of a full sized aircraft. The complexity of modern aircraft is simply too much for a single person to do on their own. On the other hand, as an engineer, you can work pretty much anywhere in the world (especially if you learn a second language well) so you don't have to limit yourself to Australia. We Americans are always looking to steal top talent from other countries, haha.

Something I picked out from your post, though, makes me want to tell you the story of the dumbest thing I've done in my life. Please forgive me if I am too wordy. You mentioned that you'd picked mechanical engineering related classes for your last two years of high school. That's great, they'll be applicable to all forms of engineering to be honest. However, it would seem you've just "found out" about aeronautical engineering which would suggest that you haven't done much homework about what you really want to do (which is typical). That's where my story fits in because I was the same only much, much worse. When I first went to school it was to be a civil engineer; I picked that major because I enjoyed taking drafting in high school and everyone said I should be an engineer because I was good at math and they made good money. Good enough for me, I didn't care that much. I talked myself into it thinking, "Hey, designing bridges sounds pretty cool!" The reality was that I would be "designing" drainage essentially forever. The material itself I found extremely boring. Surveying? Ugh, gag me with a spoon. So, after 3 years, I simply left school. I purposefully chose jobs that were horrible so that I would always have a desire to return to school and it worked but most of my courses didn't transfer and I lost a lot of work.

I didn't choose mechanical engineering, mechanical engineering chose me. That's the type of things I was born for and didn't realize it until it was too late. I didn't graduate with my ME degree until I was 29. I also didn't take advantage of any internships or co-op when I was in school (2nd worst mistake). Finding an entry level position at 31 with no experience is not fun.

The whole point of that story is that it seems you're still not quite sure what you want to do, and I don't know any 16 year olds who are, but I would like to caution you into deciding soon what you really want to do. Do not waste time because you will not stay young long and time has a habit of passing so very quickly. It sounds like you're really interested in aviation so I would suggest sticking with aerospace with the caveat that mechanical engineering is extremely useful in regards to all forms of aviation and would be an equally excellent choice. Follow your heart. If you like you could also minor in aerospace, as I did, or get a degree in both, as my friend did. In fact, the courses between mechanical and aerospace are so similar, getting two degrees might add only 1 or 2 semesters.
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Old Jul 29, 2012, 08:50 AM
AndyKunz's Avatar
Illinois
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Thank you so much for giving me some solid ideas. I don't know if you realize how much that means to me.
You're welcome. Just remember me when you become El Presidente For Life

Andy
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Old Jul 29, 2012, 08:53 AM
AndyKunz's Avatar
Illinois
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Originally Posted by Wufnu View Post
In fact, the courses between mechanical and aerospace are so similar, getting two degrees might add only 1 or 2 semesters.
Good advice. I graduated in 3.5 years with two computer science majors and a math minor (5 more hours would have given triple majors but I had senioritis).

That was possible because I had tremendous overlaps with the different majors. Be sure you declare the majors, too, so that your degree shows it.

Andy
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Old Jul 29, 2012, 02:16 PM
An itch?. Scratch build.
eflightray's Avatar
South Wales U.K.
Joined Mar 2003
13,192 Posts
Oh Oh!, this is turning into another LTUP forum.
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Old Jul 29, 2012, 02:38 PM
AndyKunz's Avatar
Illinois
Joined Sep 2001
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Nah, we're just encouraging a young guy to stick with his model building, get a good education, and then make a positive impact on the world!

Andy
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