So I’ve talked about how other students saw those who are Mechanical Engineering majors, but what do we Mech Es think about ourselves?
I decided to take some time out of my day to talk to some other students in this field and ask them why they decided to choose mechanical engineering.
Caleb Mandile is a sophomore, like me, who is on a steady track to graduating with a Mechanical Engineering degree along with an Aerospace minor. He’s always had an interest in cars, and worked for a family members car maintenance shop throughout high school. Also enrolled in the Co-Op Program, he’s looking at Lancer Systems, a weapons manufacturing company. He liked the classes that seemed to teach you things that had real life applications, such as ME 10, where we learned how to use NX 8.5, a modeling program. He disliked classes that seemed to be worthless and could just forget about due to the conceptual nature of the course, such as Thermodynamics (which I’m working on fixing through the research project). One class that he enjoys at the moment is MECH 12, which incorporates lessons learned in previous classes, which incorporates lessons learned in statics, MECH003, and MatLab, ME 17.
Due to the nature of his response, the following student has decided to remain anonymous.
Another student by the name of Manleb Cadile, took ME 104, Thermodynamics, with me last semester as a required course in his program. When asked what he thought about Thermodynamics, he replied with a string of explicatives that have no place even on a college blog.
Lehigh’s a pretty good unversity. As such, they offer great areas of study outside of engineering, believe it or not. For example, this past week, I’ve met so many Business/Finance majors, pre-med/dental students, architecture majors, and much more.
Shameless plug: If you’d like to meet all different types of students here at Lehigh, rush PSP!
It’s always a good idea to open your eye to what goes on around you rather than staying in Packard Lab all day. Although there is a reason why there are so many mechanical engineers here at Lehigh. It’s because it’s the best.
Besides, whenever you talk to BIS/Finance majors or people like that and you mention that your major is in Mechanical Engineering, one of the most frequent responses I get is “Oh (insert explicative here), respect.” Mechanical Engineering is hard. There is a lot of math going on and sometimes the concepts just don’t make any sense at all.
So after getting my resume reviewed a few times, I’m feeling pretty confident going into this next phase of the Co-Op program, which is basically applying to any internship program I’m qualified for.
Of course, the location of such internships will be a problem for me, so I’m looking at internships 30-40 minutes away from here. There are quite a few companies that fall into this category, including but not limited to Sanofi, Bentley, US Biodesign, Lancer Systems, Air Products and Chemicals, etc.
Now I just need to schedule some mock interviews so that when it comes time to actually speak with the companies, I don’t trip up and ruin my chances at obtaining work experience.
After briefly going over streamlines, pathlines, and streaklines in Fluids, we moved on to cover vicsosity. It’s a word we hear all the time, but what exactly is viscosity? Before learning the actual definition, the way I always thought about viscosity is how easy it is for a fluid to flow.
For example, ketchup is a far more viscous than water. But why? The engineering definition of viscosity that we defined in class was as follows. Viscosity is a quantitative measure of the resistance of a fluid to a flow. So basically it’s like friction, but for fluids.
There’s even Newton’s Law of Viscosity. Where 𝜏=μ(du/dy). Any fluids following this law are Newtonian fluids, and any that don’t follow this law are known as non-Newtonian fluids. For example, Dilatants and Pseudoplastics are non-Newtonian fluids.
Pseudoplastics follow “shear-thinning”, meaning that when a shear force is applied, the fluid thins. Examples of this are ketchup and whipped cream. Have you ever shaken a bottle of ketchup to thin it out so it comes out of the bottle? That’s because ketchup is a pseudoplastic.
Dilitants follow “shear-thickening”. meaning that when a shear force is applied, the fluid thickens, e.g starch, sand-suspensions, etc.
That’s all I have for today. Man, I’m basically teaching 231 concepts in my blog. Lehigh should hire me.
I really hated Physics 1 Lab here at Lehigh, and I’m sure that most people who also took that class shares my sentiment. Although most of the labs in physics 1 covered very basic stuff, the lab consisted of repeating a measurement ten different times for twenty different measurements.
Physics 2 lab is far more enjoyable. Although I’m not as familiar with the topics being covered, the fact that we only have to make a measurement as many times as we deem necessary to get proper data makes it far more enjoyable than Physics 1.
Last week, our lab involved measuring the amount of charge a capacitor was capable of dishing out over a brief period of time (we’re talking milliseconds). The lab was straight to the point: set up the circuits, gather your data ONCE, print your graphs, solve your equations, then do error measurements. There was no fooling around with measuring the same circuit twenty times and ending up with twenty different graphs.
Not to mention, getting to use and setting up circuits and using an oscilloscope was pretty fun.
Look at all those buttons.
So I realized that my previous post wasn’t very clear at all about what the purpose of my project that I secured with my thermodynamics professor is about. To make it simpler, I’ll try to break down the purpose.
To begin, this project has to do with the thermodynamics courses offered at different universities. Let’s be honest, thermodynamics is no one’s favorite course (although I will admit that I found it kind of interesting). So the goal of this program is to find a way to revamp the course to make it more interesting.
How so? To begin, each university partners a professor and a student to think of any real-life situation where thermodynamics could be applied. I say real-life, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be realistic. For example, you could talk about energy sources in a zombie apocalypse or something like that.
If the project goes well, then the next step is to find a way to implement it into the thermodynamics course, where hopefully, the students taking the course will find it more interesting and see that there is more to thermodynamics than purely conceptual cycles that have no place in the real world.
Here’s a link to a sample one if you’re interested: http://online.fliphtml5.com/zyet/swsb/#p=13
Look through the first few pages.
Now that we have moved beyond unit conversions in ME 231 (which I’ll be referring to as Fluids from now on), I got a taste at what I could expect from Fluids in the future. In one class, we went over streamlines and pathlines as well as viscosity. It was quite a bit to tackle at once, but thankfully, Professor Banerjee has some of the most organized notes and class structure that I’ve ever seen.
It’s even rubbed off on me and my notes are now clearer and more concise than ever before.
So what’s a streamline? People often use it as a buzzword, e.g “Oh this solution will streamline the process yada yada yada,” but it’s actually an engineering concept. Think of a particle moving through a fluid. At every moment in time, the particle has some velocity. The velocity has a vector. At each instantaneous moment in time, the streamline lies tangent to the velocity vector.
A pathline, on the other hand, simply traces out the trajectory the particle follows. So if you can put the two and two together, there is an instance where the streamline and pathline will be the same. In the case of a steady flow, where velocity vector field doesn’t change over time, the pathline and streamline are the same.
I had a little trouble picturing all of this in my head, so here’s a helpful picture that I found.
If the blue arrows were the velocity vectors of a particle at any moment in time, the red lines are the streamlines. You’ll notice they are tangent to the velocity vectors.