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. 

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  • Samantha Magoveny

    Added 10 days AGO

    I am a second year mechanical engineering student. I am doing very well in my courses, and I am about to start a summer internship. However, I am concerned that I lack practical, hands on intuition when it comes to how things work or how problems can be fixed. Will this prevent me from becoming a good engineer, or can I develop this skill with experience?
    Answers 1
    Erin Brooks, Tesla Motors
    Answered 5 days AGO
    Yes, you can absolutely be a successful mechanical engineer!  My advice is to get as much practical, hands-on experience as possible.  Make sure to take an active role in your design and testing lab courses - especially because many female engineers tend ...
  • Hannah

    Added Monday, April 30, 2018 at 8:24 PM

    Hi, I’m thinking about majoring in industrial engineering in college. The field really interests me and I think I could have the skills to do well in this type of job. I’ve been looking at typical college coursework for the major and seeing many advanced calculus and physics courses (among other challenging subjects). I’m good at math and physics and I know with some hard work I’ll be able to handle it in college. I was just wondering how often you really use intense calculus and mechanics on ...
    Answers 1
    Yamile Jackson, Nurtured by Design
    Answered 6 days AGO
    Hi, Hannah,
    I am happy to know that you are considering industrial engineering as a career path.
    Industrial is probably the most versatile so you can go either way.  Choose intense calculus and mechanics or not, however, if you are looking for ...
  • Farah Issa asked Carmen Espinal, NTN Bearing Corporation of America

    Added Wednesday, May 2, 2018 at 2:30 PM

    Answers 1
    Carmen Espinal, NTN Bearing Corporation of America
    Answered 9 days AGO
    Hi Farah,
    My circumstances were a little bit different. They kind of steered me towards Mechanical Engineering. Here is what I mean: I come from a country where college education is free provided you have good grades during high school and good grades ...
  • Zay Yar Min asked Marnie Smith, Canon Bio-Medical

    Added Saturday, May 5, 2018 at 4:39 AM

    Is there a job which is a combination of engineering and MBA?
    Answers 1
    Marnie Smith, Canon Bio-Medical
    Answered 11 days AGO
    Hi there! Great news, there are a ton of job options that you can combine a degree in engineering and an MBA with! In fact, I was heavily considering pursuing my MBA last year. I wanted to combine the problem solving abilities I have gained with my ...
  • Jessica Dale

    Added Thursday, May 3, 2018 at 1:26 PM

    I’m 15 and I’ve always wanted to be an engineer or architect but architectural engineering really interests me, I need to start picking my subjects in school that would help me to get into the course I want, what ones should I think of and how would I go about it?
    Answers 1
    Melanie Cragnolin, Cragnolin Engineering and Design Associates DPC
    Answered 11 days AGO

    I strongly recommend taking calculus based physics, calculus and AutoCAD or AutoDesk based building information modeling if it is offered in high school in order to prepare to study architectural engineering.

    Mechanical drawing is also recommended.


  • Sariha Azad

    Added Wednesday, May 2, 2018 at 12:11 PM

    I am a freshman student of electrical and electronic engineering. My classes have started just a month ago and already I am feeling terribly frustrated. Recently I have messed up badly in a test. Many of my classmates solved the problem correctly in time. I tried the problem at home and after vigorous efforts I solved it. But I won't get my marks back. I have no other option than going on with this. I have always been a bright student and now I am afraid that I'll be a dropout. Please tell me ...
    Answers 1
    Marnie Smith, Canon Bio-Medical
    Answered Thursday, May 3, 2018 at 10:28 PM
    It will be okay! I know it may not feel like that right now, especially if you are used to doing really well. College classes are much more challenging than high school, especially within Engineering. You will still have additional tests in your course ...
  • Emily Ellwein

    Added Tuesday, April 24, 2018 at 9:21 PM

    I am taking AP Calculus BC this year and I am doing well. I am going to college in the fall. I am planning on majoring in engineering, but I am open to changing to something I know I like better.

    I see a lot of questions asking "I like science but not math" but I don't see any of the reverse. Now, I don't dislike science. I am not bad at it either. I think I just had "meh" science teachers all of high school.

    I don't really know what kind of engineering to major in either. I ...

    Answers 2
    Marnie Smith, Canon Bio-Medical
    Answered Thursday, May 3, 2018 at 10:21 PM
    Hi Emily! I just wanted to let you know that I was in your shoes when I was graduating high school as well. I loved math and was pretty good at science but found it 'meh'. I also didn't know what type of Engineer I wanted to be until the end of my ...
    Amber Ferland, Sebago Technics, Inc.
    Answered Thursday, April 26, 2018 at 10:58 AM

    Science is a very broad category and includes everything from geology to biology to chemistry to air quality. It's ok to not be excited about science and still want to be an engineer. I didn't like some science areas but I'm still an engineer.

    Even ...

  • Carmen Espinal, NTN Bearing Corporation of America
    Answered Wednesday, May 2, 2018 at 11:36 AM
    Hi Kathleeen,
    I know how you feel. I was in your shoes trying my best to get an internship before my graduation since we all now how everyone nowadays asks for experience although you are a recent grad. I managed to get one literally 5 days before ...
  • Beto

    Added Thursday, April 19, 2018 at 7:20 PM

    Climb cell phone tower, install carrier equipment (AT&T, Sprint, Verizon, T-Mobile) push software, run power and fiber, sweep coax, fiber test, fiber scope, install microwave dishes.
    Answers 1
    Answered Wednesday, April 25, 2018 at 11:29 AM
    Hi, Beto! If you have enjoyed working with cell towers and would like to work towards a degree that would allow you to stay in the field, you could consider a few different options. 
    1.) Engineering Technology - This degree could prepare you to work as ...
  • Marielisa

    Added Monday, April 16, 2018 at 5:37 PM

    I am currently a freshman in college and will be transferring to my dream engineering school (Georgia Tech) to get my bachelors degree (just that for now) in Biomedical Engineering and teach it someday. I had very good grades in high school (both in PR and GA) and have good grades now in college although Calc 1 is making me doubt how good at math I am and how much I love it and chemistry, man I can't wait to move on to physics just to escape chem. I know things will just get harder with physics ...
    Answers 1
    Sarah Foster, STEM Like a Girl
    Answered Friday, April 20, 2018 at 11:58 AM
    Hi Marielisa,
    Congrats on getting into your dream school!!  I completely understand questioning yourself and I felt the same way my first year of college!  I went from being one of the smartest in my classes in high school to struggling with chemistry ...
  • annie

    Added Monday, April 16, 2018 at 7:35 PM

    i am a second year chem e student and will need to go 5 years to graduate. I am thinking of possibly changing my degree due to money issues but I do not want to lose any credits. i wondered if there is a degree i could go for that is "one step down" from chem eng. no one at my university is willing to help me with options. thanks
    Answers 1
    Answered Friday, April 20, 2018 at 8:43 AM

    Dear Annie,

    There are so many jobs available to a chemical engineer regardless of sex. Chemical Engineers work for Oil & Gas Companies, Consumer Goods Companies, Power Companies, Manufacturing Companies, Municipalities and more. I myself have worked in a ...

  • Neha Chavan

    Added Saturday, April 14, 2018 at 11:17 AM

    Answers 1
    Katelyn Lichte, DuPont Pioneer
    Answered Wednesday, April 18, 2018 at 1:48 PM
    The advice that I would give to a second year engineer student is to get involved!  This can mean a variety of things.  I would strongly suggest getting involved with a student group that does projects/work that you're passionate about.  This is ...
  • Mehak Chohan

    Added Tuesday, March 27, 2018 at 10:00 PM

    Im confused whether i want to go into the field, i am interested in building, creating, etc.
    Answers 1
    Kristin Malosh, Vallourec USA Corporation
    Answered Tuesday, April 17, 2018 at 9:18 PM
    Hi there. The simple answer is yes- all engineering requires calculus, and I would call that hard math. I have friends who weren't so interested in math, but they enjoyed design/creating and they studied architecture- have you thought of that as a career ...
  • Isabella Lee-Hauser asked Kristin Malosh, Vallourec USA Corporation

    Added Wednesday, April 4, 2018 at 8:03 AM

    Do you also believe environmental engineering is a stable job where someone would not have to worry about the outlook of their job? And lastly do you have any tips on how to find somewhere where someone who interested in environmental engineering could observe and shadow? Thank you so much.
    Answers 1
    Kristin Malosh, Vallourec USA Corporation
    Answered Tuesday, April 17, 2018 at 9:15 PM
    Hi Isabella. Great questions! I do think environmental engineering is a career that will continue to grow. I work in the steel and energy industries and there is no shortage of environmental management associated with those industries. Working for ...
  • Kristin Malosh, Vallourec USA Corporation
    Answered Tuesday, April 17, 2018 at 9:08 PM
    Hi Dixon. YES! My husband studied physics and earned his BS while I was studying to become an environmental engineer. I liked physics, but he LOVED physics. Classes that he took that amazed me included optics and electromagnetism....the most physics you ...
  • Linda Schadler, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
    Answered Tuesday, April 17, 2018 at 1:06 PM
    Materials Engineering is a growing field. Most engineering products are made out of materials and thus as companies develop new high tech products, they need materials engineers to help. Materials engineers work in fields ranging from aerospace products ...
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