Learning Important Engineering Skills

Before Sophomore year most of your classes are usually pretty general and kinda boring. This semester though is when you start to really dive into your major and get a sense of what it’ll be like through the more rigorous and demanding courses. This semester I’m taking both MECH 12 and ME 10. These classes are really important as a mechanical engineer because of two very important skills you pick up: FEA and GD&T. FEA stands for Finite Element Analysis and we’ve already started to learn how to do it in MECH 12. Basically its a method engineers use to determine how a certain structure or object will react to certain forces acting on it. It involves taking a an object and splitting it up into as many pieces as you want then doing a bunch of calculations to determine where and how much it deforms. Usually its done using computer programs because there are so many calculations. GD&T stands for Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerancing and we will start to learn this in a few weeks in ME 10. Basically its system of rules and symbols used in technical drawings to display information. There are a few cool benefits of learning these skills. One is that in order to learn these it involves practicing other skills like MATLAB or 2D/3D CAD drawing etc. Its good to continually practice and get really good with those. Another really awesome benefit is that a lot of companies require skills like FEA and GD&T for MechE internships. After completing these classes it opens up a lot more opportunities for internships and co-op.

FEA example

GD&T example


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