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Hi, i am 17 and in H.S.  I have been looking in to going to kettering university, i want to design cars "more the motor and stuff"  I was wondeirn gif anyone could fill em in on the scholl from past experiences, and if there are any other schools in the U.S. that are as good or better.  
Thanks for you time.

(My first car was my dream car-66 Mustang)

RE: Kettering???

I went to Kettering (although it was GMI at the time).
I'll sum it up with the following:
I do not regret my decision to go there; however looking back the reasons that I am happy with that decision are NOT the reasons that I chose to go there.
I chose GMI for many of the reasons that you are considering it (along with the co-op program).  I ended up being happy with GMI because it was a small school with very interested, engaged faculty, and there were many opportunities for me personally.

However, I know that the level of quality in applicants has diminished.  This doesn't bode well for quality of education. Also, the co-op program is not what it once was--unless things have changed many freshman do not even have co-op jobs initially. (this was not the case previously)
Finally, the tuition has skyrocketed since I went there (actually while I was still there). Much of my decision was based on economics, and those are very different today.

For these reasons, I find it hard to whole-heartedly endorse the school.  I think it is good, but I think that there are other very good schools out there that will prepare you for an automotive job (if that's what you want).
I will finally add that other GMI alumni whose opinions are not shaded by their alma mater seem to echo my sentiments.

Sorry to be so blunt.

(Oh yeah, my first car was also 66 Mustang!)

RE: Kettering???

Hi, I really appreciate you response. That's what I was looking for, true felling about the school. If you don't think that it is such a good school, what other schools do you suggest? Thanks again.

(My first car was my dream car-66Mustang)

RE: Kettering???

So that my comments are not misconstrued, I want to be clear--Kettering is not a BAD school, it is just not the be-all end-all for anybody desiring to be an automotive engineer (unfortunately, many alums would argue otherwise).

I think that any good mechanical engineering school is likely a good school to breed automotive engineers.  If your heart is set on that field, the question then becomes "How can I get relevant student experience and background to position myself for a career in automotive engineering?".

I'll try and answer that question (and would request that others help me answer that question).

1) Look for schools that have reasons to be focused on automotive--i.e. professors conducting research in this field and departments built around them.

Schools which come to mind--Michigan is very strong in this field.  Michigan State and Wayne State are also (although my impression is that Wayne State is more focused at the graduate level than undergraduate).  I know that University of Iowa was very strong in graduate-level research in this field, and my impression was that there was trickle-down into the undergraduate ranks.  Possibly a way to further investigate this area would be to look into SAE papers that have been published by people affiliated with universities.  See what universities keep showing up.  This is likely indicative of research work done in the automotive field.

2) See what undergraduate clubs and activities are available at the schools that you are considering.  The most obvious ones to me are the SAE student groups and any universities involved in the GM Sunracer (Sunraycer?, I'm not sure of the spelling) competition.  THe SAE student groups have two different national competitions that they compete in--a dune-buggy type competition and a mini-formula-one type competition.  The Sunracer competition is a solar-powered vehicle competition held every year or every-other year.  These student groups are open to undergraduates who want to be involved, and these provide valuable experience.  Although I was not involved in these myself (I went to GMI, but wasn't considered a gearhead by their standards), I would strongly encourage you to consider being active in such groups.  

I guess if somebody forced me to name a "number one" school by these standards, I would probably say University of Michigan. But this does not take into account other factors (notably geography and price).

That's my two cents.  Good luck

RE: Kettering???

I was also was once a GMI student or almost, I was accepted, and obtained a Co-op job through GMI. I got messed up on a motorcyle and didn't go. But anyways I work in the auto indusrty for Yazaki-NA, making wire harness componets for Ford, and have worked 2 internships for Ford, and 4 at MTD. I went to school at Cleveland State University. It has the 9th largest Co-op program in the US. I think that this is what you need to look for, a Co-op program. If you can get your foot in the door at an Automotive company, as I did, you can work anywhere in the automotive field. My internship at ford was at a casting plant (Brook Park), where we built the engine blocks. In our ajoining facilty they machined and assembled them. I could have stayed and continued working with the engines but choose not to.
As far as Kettering I went to school with a lot of GMI/Ketterington dropouts, that all had horror stories about taking classes there. None of them liked it there. (Many also dropped out of CSU)
Find a school with a good Co-op program, and start early.

RE: Kettering???

That is very good advice. I'd forgotten how useful my real life engineering experience was, at university. Basically the first year of study was much easier as I could see the application of most of the stuff, except the maths, which had gone very rusty in the interim.

I did what was known as a thick sandwich course at the time, one year in industry, three years at uni, working for 2 months in each long vacation, and then another year in industry. Typically we spent 6-13 weeks in each department of the company.


Greg Locock

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