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H0T_S0UP June 17, 2015 09:17

Starting To Hate Engineering
When I was in undergrad I really loved engineering (aeronautical). I thought I wanted to get a PhD focused on fluid mechanics and aerodynamics. After being in industry and deciding not to get that PhD (financial reasons mostly), I am realizing I am hating it...but I am not sure why. I still love math and the physics, but the day to day engineering work is making me so depressed. I also feel like aerodynamics and fluid mechanics is a dead field. Other than turbulence where are advances to be made? I try to go home and work on some stuff after I get out of my job (a class in scientific computing), but I find it absolutely miserable to sit through a class/homework after sitting all day for 8 hours looking at paperwork. I don't know, I feel kind of hopeless/depressed right now. Life isn't working out the way I planned it. I think all I care about now is making money, though deep down I want to have legacy, but I realize the only way to get ahead today is if you are rich.

wyldckat June 17, 2015 15:10

Greetings Alex,


Originally Posted by H0T_S0UP (Post 550767)
I don't know, I feel kind of hopeless/depressed right now.

You might want to get an appointment with a doctor for assessing if you're actually getting into a depression or not. It's a very dangerous medical condition if not taken care of as soon as possible.
Either that, or take a 1-2 week vacation somewhere away from work.


Originally Posted by H0T_S0UP (Post 550767)
Life isn't working out the way I planned it.

Planning is essential, but things rarely go according to plan. Here's an interesting quote:

Plans are worthless, but planning is everything.


Originally Posted by H0T_S0UP (Post 550767)
I think all I care about now is making money, though deep down I want to have legacy, but I realize the only way to get ahead today is if you are rich.

The usual paradigm is simple:
  1. Either you choose a job for the money alone and you stick to the plan of earning money.
    • Then have a hobby or two that you like.
  2. Or you choose a job where you do exactly what you like to do and don't care about the money.
    • With luck, you end up being the best in the work you do and possibly make a lot of money when you reach that status.
Either way, the usual way to earn the big bucks, is to become good/great at what you do.

Beyond this, many people start their working lives in one field and after a few years, they simply change fields.
There is even a work-study paradigm that states that in the future (er, perhaps already in motion?) working in a field won't be much more than 5 years, before going back to school for 1-2 years for working in another field.

Last but not least: Engineering has a pretty broad work spectrum, ranging from anything in-office simulations to outside field experiments. Perhaps you're working on the wrong end of the spectrum?

Good luck! Best regards,

kmooney July 14, 2015 20:52

Some B.S. level engineering positions can end up being a daily grind. If you want to start working on more exotic stuff then you might need to try any move into R&D positions, either through personal development within your company (if thats possible) or getting a MS or PhD to get away from the lower level stuff. Everybody's career path is different, but in the end you're in charge of your work and need to make a change if needed.

ErenC August 15, 2019 12:00

I know this is an old thread but,

When I was in BS my scores were not great and I was not really intrested to be a great engineer. I was going to work at machining industry. Of course, It would be terribly boring life. I knew it.
But when I started to research for my thesis, I found that thermo-fluids were amazing. I decided to raise my scores so I can apply master. I did. I studied with a terrible advisor in master, still, I learnt a lot by myself.

Now I am doing PhD with great advisor, I am learning new stuff everyday, economicly it is a terrible zone. I prefer to say that "I am in a transient zone", but knowledge comes with a cost.

If you haven't already, just like a old "Dark Souls" writing says: "take the plunge". At least you will have clear con'science.

random_ran January 27, 2020 16:24


Originally Posted by ErenC (Post 742190)
"take the plunge".

Have you ever try this:

Crappy tire always gives me a shock.

braakk May 10, 2020 23:01

There are other scientific fields that use fluid simulations, you might enjoy those for example: meteorology, climate science, oceanography, seismology, magnetohydrodynamics, study of extraterrestrial atmospheres and other earth related fields

geth03 June 2, 2020 09:21

i would really like to know what HOT_S0UP is doing right now.
i'm in my first job now, simulating and programming multiphase flows and i don't like it, too.
i wrote a piece of code that has a good agreement with experimental data, so i'm simulating different kinds of machines now. i'm the only one that can write code with C++ and also has the physical background to understand the staff.

but i did expect much different things from work life. i even don't get the salary i deserve.

atelcikti1 July 9, 2020 07:11

haha i feel similar now after 6 years with CFD, doing simulation or writing code dont make me fun. unlike my youth i really enjoy playing video games ^^

Gert-Jan July 17, 2020 17:42

I am a free lancer and have about 20 completely different projects each year. In this way, the CFD work keeps interesting since every project is brand new. For an eager scientist/engineer like me this is absolutely mandatory to keep the work interesting.
If I would work in a single company and would have to work on one typical machine for years writing a code, I would get bored and leave the company within half a year.

Bottomline: make sure your have enough variation in your CFD work. Sometimes do easy jobs. Choose the low hanging fruit. Easy to score. That keeps you motivated. Most interesting are projects where things do not work out in pilot scale as engineerined in the lab. Or when things go wrong during scale up from pilot scale to full scale.
Then customers want a solution yesterday and money is not an issue. Then first mitigate and then come with a permanent solution. That will really show the nice things from CFD as you can open the black box, look behind the stainless steel boxes and in the equipment and show what is going wrong. And tedious grid studies are too time consuming ;-)

If you don't want to become a free lancer or if you don't have the money to buy a commercial license, apply at a consultancy firm. In general they have various projects to work on.

rithik123 September 22, 2020 01:52

Some B.S. level designing positions can wind up being an everyday routine. On the off chance that you need to begin taking a shot at more fascinating stuff, at that point you may need to attempt any move into R&D positions, either through self-improvement inside your organization (if that is conceivable) or getting an MS or Ph.D. to move away from the lower-level stuff. Everyone's professional way is unique, yet at long last, you're responsible for your work and need to roll out an improvement if necessary.

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