Ask an Engineer

This is the place where you can ask those questions you still have about engineering careers.  You can read profiles of practicing engineers in the I'm An Engineer section and ask them a question directly, or you can submit a question here to have EngineerGirl staff try to find the right person to answer you.

Since other people may have already asked the question on your mind, please take time to search through the questions and answers to see what others have already said about your topic. You may also find the list of FAQs about Engineering helpful.  These answers were not provided directly by engineers in the directory, but they will give you a basic understanding of what you need to know about an engineering career.

If your question is for the EngineerGirl Team please first take time to review the Resource FAQs that cover the basics of what we can provide for you from EngineerGirl.

Also, since we cannot give you actual engineering advice, if you need help designing that booster rocket for your own spacecraft or other project, you may find a resource on this list of other Engineering Q&A sites, and we encourage you to seek the services of a professional engineer for any engineering advice you may require. 

Search Questions & Answers
  • Tiera Fletcher (Guinn), MIT/The Boeing Co
    Answered 2 days AGO
    In school,  you focus on various subjects that may or may not be of interest to you,  so that in itself can make it difficult for you to excel. However,  if you redirect your focus to your dream career,  or your goal, instead of the interest in the class ...
  • Kaylee

    Added Tuesday, October 31, 2017 at 1:25 AM

    I have a degree in physiology, but know I am for sure switching to engineering. I don't feel that I'm all that interested in biomedical engineering though. Would a second bachelor's be worth it? Or should I pursue a master's degree? What is the difference between having a bachelor's or a master's in engineering?
    Answers 1
    Michele Miller, Michigan Technological University
    Answered 8 days AGO
    Kaylee,
    
    That's great to hear that you are thinking about switching fields.  I would recommend talking with someone at the college you are interested in.  Most engineering departments have a Graduate Director--that would be a good person.  Some ...
  • Sharon Kenny, US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
    Answered Friday, November 3, 2017 at 12:59 PM
    Congratulations on the completion of your B.S. in Industrial Engineering!  A graduate degree in environmental engineering will require knowledge in a particular set of fields that you may have not been exposed to while a student in industrial ...
  • Jenny

    Added Sunday, October 29, 2017 at 11:31 PM

    I want to be an environmentalist engineer. How can I compete with people that have been to robotics camps and science camp? I read about alternative energy and I like math. But I don’t have a background to prove my worth, because stem was never pushed with girls at my school. Can I do anything to prep now?
    Answers 1
    Sharon Kenny, US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
    Answered Friday, November 3, 2017 at 12:22 PM
    I think that having a non-STEM background does not limit you; it enhances your perspectives and the set of skills you have as an engineering student.  So do not be shy when describing yourself and your interest in pursuing a degree in engineering in your ...
  • Ally

    Added Wednesday, October 25, 2017 at 3:50 AM

    I am a Freshman in high school, but I am worried about what kind of job I am going to have and if I will enjoy it and it will fit my needs. I would like to be an environmental, mechanical, or civic engineer. (I am not yet sure what kind of engineering yet) I would like to be able to help others, possibly in third world countries, but still, earn enough money. I would also like to travel when I am a young adult but have opportunities to settle down when I am older.
    Answers 0
  • Jennifer Bahena

    Added Monday, October 23, 2017 at 12:58 AM

    Answers 1
    Jennifer Gilleece, Network Rail
    Answered Wednesday, November 1, 2017 at 9:38 AM
    Hi Jennifer,
    If less and less girls get into engineering, more and more girls would miss out on a wonderful career! I love being an engineer and making a difference in my job so I feel sad that some people rule themselves out from engineering because of ...
  • Pom

    Added Thursday, September 7, 2017 at 5:21 AM

    What should the engineer do, if there is a conflict between tge company and the community?
    Answers 1
    Jennifer Gilleece, Network Rail
    Answered Wednesday, November 1, 2017 at 7:52 AM
    Engineers have to work with a lot of different people and often some of those people have different motivations or things they want from a project – however every reputable engineering company will have various specialist disciplines to respond ...
  • Chimuka

    Added Sunday, October 15, 2017 at 5:26 AM

    Hi, I graduated with a bachelors degree in Chemical Engineering in May and have been job hunting without any success. I did really well in school and have co-op experience with good references. I apply to several jobs a day but keep getting rejection emails one after the other, even after revising my resume several times. The job search is getting a bit demoralizing as most of my classmates that didn't do well academically or didn't have good work ethics got jobs fairly quickly. I spend at ...
    Answers 0
  • carolina

    Added Tuesday, September 26, 2017 at 10:02 PM

    Hello, I'm stuck on choosing between Chemical and Mechanical Engineering and I need some help deciding. I am a senior in High school and college applications will begin in October so I need advice fast. I love chemistry and I think this will be a good career choice but I also heard it is the hardest Engineering and only have two universities that offer it that I will most likely get accepted to. I want to do mechanical because it is one of the more broad types so I'm not sure which one to ...
    Answers 1
    Tricia Berry, The University of Texas at Austin
    Answered Monday, October 30, 2017 at 5:28 PM
    Carolina: First off, you have narrowed to two types of engineering that are broad and have many applications and career pathways in the areas of medicine, healthcare products, etc. Usually those with more of an interest in chemistry head towards the ...
  • Alex asked Nita Patel, L3 Technologies, Insight

    Added Tuesday, October 17, 2017 at 12:56 PM

    I am 12 years old and I was interested in engineering, so I was wondering how you got there?
    Answers 1
    Nita Patel, L3 Technologies, Insight
    Answered Sunday, October 29, 2017 at 11:03 AM
    Hi Alex,
    
    Thanks for your question. I think you will find engineering to be exciting, challenging and extremely rewarding. I have always been curious, interested in learning and experimenting. This is why I got into engineering. I went to university ...
  • Answered Thursday, October 26, 2017 at 7:44 AM
    Good day Joyce,
    
    Yes, I am a Mining Engineer from Namibia. I studied in Namibia at the Namibia University of Science and Technology.
    
    I love my career, and I always tell people my career chose me, based on where I was raised. I love working with ...
  • Haley Grubbs asked Kim Wheeler, The Walt Disney Company

    Added Monday, October 2, 2017 at 12:19 AM

    I just turned 25 and I am currently at a community college. I've been in various occupations over the years: flight attendant, teacher assistant, behavior clinician, et cetera. My current degree track is setting me up to transfer to Virginia Tech and study Computational and Systems Neuroscience, but I am finally realizing that I would be absolutely miserable if I was not able to dream and create on a daily basis. I also have very many interests, and mechanical design would merge at least two of ...
    Answers 1
    Kim Wheeler, The Walt Disney Company
    Answered Wednesday, October 25, 2017 at 3:48 PM
    Good afternoon Haley
    
    Thanks for reaching out!  It is exactly hard to say what kind of education is required. We have creative folks who design and create who don't have any degree, but they are very talented! If you do want to be an Engineer title ...
  • cirse

    Added Friday, October 6, 2017 at 5:11 PM

    Answers 1
    Susan Burkett, The University of Alabama
    Answered Tuesday, October 24, 2017 at 10:14 AM
    I am a University Professor so my job involves teaching classes, doing research in the lab, and going to meetings and conferences. I am an Electrical Engineering Professor so I teach courses in Circuit Analysis and Introduction to Electrical Engineering. ...
  • Chiemerigo Ogboi asked Tiera Fletcher (Guinn), MIT/The Boeing Co

    Added Saturday, October 7, 2017 at 5:54 AM

    Answers 1
    Tiera Fletcher (Guinn), MIT/The Boeing Co
    Answered Thursday, October 19, 2017 at 9:25 PM
    I truly got to where I am today with many nights of tears and many moments of stress, but in saying that, those two aspects of my journey were NOT necessary. With faith, endless support from family, friends and teachers, and great focus, I was able to ...
  • Alyssa Will asked Tiera Fletcher (Guinn), MIT/The Boeing Co

    Added Thursday, September 28, 2017 at 11:27 AM

    I want to work for NASA and be an Aerospace Engineer/Scientist. Some more questions are: What school/college did you go to? Why? Do you have an alternative career? Are you happy with your work? Again, Thank You.
    Answers 1
    Tiera Fletcher (Guinn), MIT/The Boeing Co
    Answered Thursday, October 19, 2017 at 9:14 PM
    Hi Alyssa, I'm so very happy to hear that you'd like to pursue rocket engineering. I went to a high school named Wheeler High School in Marietta, GA and it had a great STEM program where I was able to take engineering courses and advanced classes in ...
  • Alexander Gomez asked Kim Wheeler, The Walt Disney Company

    Added Thursday, October 5, 2017 at 11:59 AM

    Answers 1
    Kim Wheeler, The Walt Disney Company
    Answered Wednesday, October 18, 2017 at 12:03 PM
    Good morning Alexander!
    
    I picked engineering because I have a fascination with how things work. Also, I always love to learn and I knew with an engineering profession I would never stop learning. The great thing about engineers is that we get to help ...
  • Valentina

    Added Monday, October 2, 2017 at 11:36 AM

    I have wanted to be an engineer since high school, but then towards the end I didnt do great in calc 1 and physics 1. I decided to go to community college so that I would be sure that engineering was for me and the class itself was very enjoyable but then the math and science classes that i am taking make me feel like im dumb because i have gotten bad grades. I also dont know what kind of engineering to do because there's so many and how am i supposed to know which one im good at or which one ...
    Answers 1
    Kristy Rasbach, General Motors
    Answered Tuesday, October 17, 2017 at 7:50 AM
    Valentina,
    
    If you enjoy your math and science classes and you are interested in pursuing engineering as a career, my best advice to you is "don't give up!"  My experience was that the foundational courses for engineering study were VERY challenging.  ...
  • Ana

    Added Friday, September 29, 2017 at 7:55 PM

    Hi, Im 17 and about to apply to colleges for next year. I'm very very interested in biomedical engineering and i see myself working with prosthetics and hopefully starting my own company in the future. My parents are doctors and are worried that if i choose this field i will end up like all the other biomedical engineers they know, working in a hospital repairing the old equipment or working in a manufacturing job. I just wanted to know how realistic it is for me to not end up working in those ...
    Answers 1
    Ying-Ja Chen, Pronutria
    Answered Monday, October 16, 2017 at 11:11 AM
    Dear Ana, Typical biomedical engineering jobs include designing medical devices, such as prosthetic, implantable devices, or wearable devices, to name a few. A college degree in biomedical engineering prepares you with a solid foundation and is not ...
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