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.