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Choosing my right engineer path

Choosing my right engineer path

Choosing my right engineer path

Hey all!

I am having a really hard time choosing the right engineering field, and really hope you can help me out.
I have my goal in mind, but I don't how to achieve it (ish). I really want to be a part of the "journey to Mars" mission in one way or another, as an engineer though.
I have been looking into robotics engineering, which sounds very interesting, but I was really bad at highschool's electricity topics. I think the robotics aspect of space exploration will always exist. Any robitic engineers who work with any space related, who can comment on this? :)
Anyway, what would your advise be (study-wise) to achieve my goal? Aerospace is not an existing field of study in Denmark, but didn't knew where else to write.

Thank you for your time.

Carsten Pedersen

RE: Choosing my right engineer path

I built a few robots, in school and after, and I confess that I didn't know much about how transistors, MOSFETs, Op-Amps, and motor EM suppression circuits worked, then.
But I built them and they worked. For a while...
My point is that excellence in high school electricity doesn't decide much about success with robotics. Too many other things going on in a robot for it to succeed or fail on circuit boards alone.
Being interested in a worthwhile end goal is often enough to motivate you to learn anything you need to get there. And there's plenty of inspiration to go around when it comes to robots on Mars.

Good luck to you!
(Be careful about posting as a student, here. You might get more advice if you post your question about universities in the "How to Improve Myself..." forum.

What about Delft? There's a picture of a robot on the home page and and a news feature about astronauts.


RE: Choosing my right engineer path

Robotics tends to have certain connotations that won't necessarily get you to the right place
Autonomous systems might be more applicable

Nowadays, autonomous systems are combinations of a bunch of different things:
Electronics -- processors
Mechanical -- structures
Electromechanical -- motors and actuators
Software -- to control all of the other things
Sensors -- vision, GPS, inertial, gases, mass spectroscopy, optical spectroscopy, electromechanical, optomechanical
Navigation -- GPS, inertial, etc. with software to provide 6 DOF knowledge of position and attitude

I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert!
homework forum: //www.engineering.com/AskForum/aff/32.aspx
FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies forum1529: Translation Assistance for Engineers

RE: Choosing my right engineer path

Thank you both for your answers!

SparWeb: Thanks for that. Yes, I totally agree with more robots on Mars and I think that every planet we want to explore, will first be with robots - like the Mars rovers.

IRstuff: Unfortunately I don't have the opportunity to study autonomous systems alone, but through the robotics study (only one in Denmark) I can get some courses of that.
And I agree with the fact that I might not "end" up at the right place, but I guess there's used for robotics engineers a lot of places, eventhough I don't achieve my goal.

Do you think an education in robotics engineering will prepare me for such features? I mean in Denmark, we don't have any space veichles experts, who can tech this form of high-tech. :o

RE: Choosing my right engineer path

Note that the Mars rovers are more like autonomous systems than industrial robots, say. While they both make use of canned programs, the Mars rovers are doing things that have never been done before, while industrial robots tend to do repetitive tasks.

I can do absolutely anything. I'm an expert!
homework forum: //www.engineering.com/AskForum/aff/32.aspx
FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies forum1529: Translation Assistance for Engineers

RE: Choosing my right engineer path

You state that you want to be part of a "journey to Mars" in your professional career. While this sounds like an admirable goal, here's what I can tell you based on my personal experience working many years in the aerospace industry. The one company that has stated they are pursuing a manned mission to Mars is SpaceX. I work for an aerospace company in southern California that is located not far from SpaceX. We have interviewed/hired a couple young engineers that interned/started work at SpaceX, but left after finding the environment there a bit difficult. I have never worked for SpaceX, and all I know is what I have been told by these engineers during interviews. So if you are considering pursuing a career there, you might want to give it some more thought.

During my engineering career the best job I had was working for Rockwell/Boeing on the Space Shuttle program, which involved interesting work about 50% of the time, and involved incredibly boring tasks such as filling out paperwork the other 50% of the time. I have also worked as a design engineer for a factory race team. It seemed like a dream job when I was first hired, but the pay was miserable and the hours were long. After the novelty of being a race car designer wore off, I quit and found a much better paying job doing mundane engineering work for an aerospace company.

What I have found is that all engineering jobs involve both interesting and boring work. The best you can hope for is that the job involves enough interesting work (or financial compensation) to make the boring work tolerable.

Best of luck to you.

RE: Choosing my right engineer path

recognise that school is only a very small part of your journey.

Try to understand why you did poorly in Electronics in High School ... teacher, material, distractions ? If it's the subject material then this could be a significant hurdle to overcome (and in my experience there are two types of engineers ... mechanical/structural and electrical ... a wiring diagram still looks unintelligible to me !?)

Recognise too that there are still many other fields to contribute to in design/build of robots. In these projects, expect to be a small cog in a much larger machine ... no-one knows everything these days.

Recognise too that there are many other fields where robots will make a contribution, ie not just space. But maybe these are "hum-drum" and its "Mars" that's turning your crank.

Where is ESA recruiting from ? Which universities work with ESA on projects ?? Which university has the best robotics program to suit your intentions ?

another day in paradise, or is paradise one day closer ?

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