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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  • Joshua Waters

    Added Wednesday, October 31, 2018 at 5:03 PM

    What should my undergrad be? I was thinking Physics and Astrophysics as I plan on pursuing Astronautics. I have no idea what I'm doing, I've been out of school for some time now and would love some advice on how to get back into the routine, where do I even begin? I have little to no background in Physics, what areas should I focus on in studying so that I don't waste my time, I want a solid foundation before re-entering schooling if you have any suggestions that would be fantastic.

    Answers 1
    Missy Cummings, Duke University
    Answered 3 days AGO
    If you want to be a Aerospace Engineer but have been out of school for sometime, I would first look for a community college that offers basic math and physics courses that transfer to a 4 year university. All engineering degrees require up through ...
  • jessica blanco asked Sunita Satyapal, United Technologies Research Center

    Added Tuesday, October 23, 2018 at 10:03 AM

    Answers 1
    Sunita Satyapal, United Technologies Research Center
    Answered 4 days AGO

    I studied chemistry and then did a postdoc in applied and engineering physics. I first thought I wanted to teach and took a two year teaching position. Turns out I loved teaching but did not like grading. Also, I wanted to have more impact and so I ...

  • Marnie Smith, LivaNova
    Answered 5 days AGO
    HI Debbie!
    I have a degree in Mechanical Engineering and work in the Medical Device industry. I'm currently a Director of Quality Engineering which means I'm ultimately responsible that the products we are designing and manufacturing for use with ...
  • Rachel asked Rachel Rothman, Good Housekeeping

    Added Wednesday, October 17, 2018 at 7:00 PM

    By the way my name is Rachel too
    Answers 1
    Rachel Rothman, Good Housekeeping
    Answered 12 days AGO

    I graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in four years with a BSE in Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics and Minor in Mathematics.

    Some of the best expertise I have garnered since has been hands-on in the lab and meeting with industry ...

  • Danielle

    Added Monday, October 15, 2018 at 9:14 AM

    I'm a sophomore in high school and I specifically want to get into designing prosthetics and trying out new devices. I'm I feel kind of overwhelmed with all the options out there.
    Answers 1
    Jenny Boothby, PhD student at UT Dallas
    Answered 13 days AGO

    Hi Danielle! It's wonderful that you're thinking about college and career options so early!

    So I'm going to talk about applying to college and following your career path/classes separately, as they are pretty different topics.

    Applying for college-
    The ...

  • Mariela Romero Vasquez

    Added Thursday, October 4, 2018 at 2:45 AM

    Answers 1
    Taneka Lawson, United States Postal Service
    Answered Thursday, October 25, 2018 at 8:08 AM
    Communication might be a challenge for an Engineer. You may be tasked with providing technical information to different audiences. The key is to know your audience and have an understanding of what they are trying to gain from your interaction.
  • Madigan asked Kim Wheeler, The Walt Disney Company

    Added Tuesday, October 2, 2018 at 1:18 PM

    Hi Kim,

    I just scrolled through the many questions you have answered and I think is it amazing that you offer advice to aspiring engineers. It means a lot for students like myself to hear from professionals in the industry we look up to. Working for Disney as an imagineer is my dream job. I am a senior in Civil Engineering looking at going to grad school for Structural Engineering. I've been doing a lot of research to figure out if a career with Disney is even possible for ...

    Answers 1
    Kim Wheeler, The Walt Disney Company
    Answered Tuesday, October 16, 2018 at 11:43 AM
    Hey Madigan
    Nice to hear from you! So there are some truths to what you said but I also have good news: Disney does hire Structural Engineers! We have an entire structural engineering department under our Architecture and Facilities Engineering group. ...
  • aubri asked Kristy Rasbach, General Motors

    Added Saturday, October 6, 2018 at 2:40 AM

    I am in the 6th grade and in math i got a C.
    Answers 1
    Kristy Rasbach, General Motors
    Answered Tuesday, October 16, 2018 at 7:48 AM
    Hi Aubri!  I am so glad that you found EngineerGirl!  Just because you got a grade that you are not satisfied with does NOT mean that you are not good at something.  One grade does not determine your future nor your capability!  And yes, I believe that ...
  • Ingris asked Tiera Fletcher (Guinn), MIT/The Boeing Co

    Added Tuesday, October 2, 2018 at 7:47 AM

    Answers 1
    Tiera Fletcher (Guinn), MIT/The Boeing Co
    Answered Wednesday, October 10, 2018 at 12:16 PM
    Hi Ingris! 
    At a young age, I had a passion for math, science, innovation, design and art. By the age of 11, I was introduced to aerospace engineering through a program available at my elementary school. That program showed me how aerospace engineering ...
  • Tiera Fletcher (Guinn), MIT/The Boeing Co
    Answered Wednesday, October 10, 2018 at 12:10 PM
    That's great! Feel free to ask as many questions as you like. My favorite part about the project that I am doing is the freedom for innovation. There are so many opportunities to release my creative outlet, in terms of problem solving and design, ...
  • Cody Melane asked Andromeda DuMont, CH2M / Jacobs

    Added Wednesday, October 3, 2018 at 4:01 PM

    Answers 1
    Andromeda DuMont, CH2M / Jacobs
    Answered Wednesday, October 10, 2018 at 8:20 AM
    Yes I love my job! I am always hashtagging #ilovemyjob over on my IG @dumontandi. I would absolutely consider moving to a different company or trying out a different part of my company. I do very fun projects and, on any given day, have many different ...
  • Ace Reave asked Andromeda DuMont, CH2M / Jacobs

    Added Wednesday, October 3, 2018 at 3:48 PM

    How and what do you do as water resource engineer when you are mainly outside? I thought most engineers work in factories or in their own businesses.

    I am a student from a school in Maryland where our project is an interview with an engineer. I decided to chose you because this was an engineer type that I have never heard of so I wanted to ask a couple of question about what you have done as this engineer and what happened on your way to becoming this engineer.

    Answers 1
    Andromeda DuMont, CH2M / Jacobs
    Answered Wednesday, October 10, 2018 at 8:19 AM
    I do many different sorts of projects, including ones that require field work or traveling. Because I have a background in hydrogeology, my field work typically consists of drilling or sampling activities. This means I will hang out with a water supply ...
  • Andromeda DuMont, CH2M / Jacobs
    Answered Wednesday, October 10, 2018 at 8:17 AM
    Hello! And thanks for your question. I chose engineering because I wanted to make a difference! I have always loved technology and cool gadgets. I had plenty of mentors along the way including my father (an engineer), my mother (encouraging and ...
  • Aditi asked Katie Smith, Appalachian Power Company

    Added Thursday, September 27, 2018 at 9:52 AM

    My degree is very similar to yours. I was recently very disheartened when I freaked out after giving possibly the worst coding test for a summer internship. Is there anyway I can prepare better for next time? I'm pretty fine with electrical stuff, I just struggle a lot with the computer science / computer engineering aspect.
    Answers 1
    Katie Smith, Appalachian Power Company
    Answered Tuesday, October 9, 2018 at 3:09 PM
    Aditi, the old saying "Practice makes perfect" is really true. Just keep studying hard and you will excel. Find what you're passionate about and focus on that. If it's not computer related then so be it. My rule I followed until I overcame my self-doubt ...
  • Rayna

    Added Thursday, October 4, 2018 at 3:13 PM

    I really love electricity and airplanes but I don't want to be a mechanical engineer. Is there any way I can just do electrical in aeroscience? Thank you!
    Answers 1
    Answered Tuesday, October 9, 2018 at 7:35 AM

    One aspect of aerospace will be autonomous capabilities, like those you see in autonomous vehicles. The majority of those systems leverage electrical engineering concepts, like LIDAR to operate. In addition, aerospace will be a part of the IOT wave and ...

  • Jillian asked Sara Dolatshahi, OPG

    Added Tuesday, October 2, 2018 at 4:08 AM

    Answers 1
    Answered Monday, October 8, 2018 at 8:29 AM

    After high school, I studied 4 years of Chemical Engineering. Few years later, after I started working for a Nuclear power plant, I completed 2 more years of school part time to obtain my masters in Nuclear Engineering. Let me know if you have any other ...

  • Stephanie asked Victoria Cummings

    Added Monday, October 1, 2018 at 8:46 AM

    Hi Victoria, you being a chemical engineer kind of sparked my interest, since chemistry kind of gets the best of my curiosity, and because this is part of a research project I have to do for school.
    Answers 1
    Answered Sunday, October 7, 2018 at 7:41 PM
    Before becoming an engineer I had a plethora of professions I wanted to excel  in. I was very lost because to be quite honest I deeply loved more than one thing. The professions I was interested in before choosing engineering were  business, ...
  • Jeni asked Kristy Rasbach, General Motors

    Added Wednesday, October 3, 2018 at 6:13 AM

    I want to become an Engineer for BMW, MINI or Rolls Royce. I always loved cars, and last year I started to think a lot about Mechanical Engineering after meeting a retired Mechanical Engineer. I'm not old enough to go to collage yet. What can I do now to learn about Mechanical Engineering? I figured out how to fix a toy pull-back truck's gears. I'm really interested in car engines and I thought about becoming a Mechanic too. How hard was it to get into GM?
    Answers 1
    Kristy Rasbach, General Motors
    Answered Friday, October 5, 2018 at 4:33 AM
    This is a great question!  If you are naturally interested in cars, engines, and other mechanical systems, then I think that engineering is definitely a career choice that you should explore.  For now, keep being curious and learning new things!  This ...
  • Philippa Martin, University of Canterbury, New Zealand
    Answered Thursday, October 4, 2018 at 10:21 AM

    You are missing a crucial word, 'yet' ;) If you are determined and you reach out for help and keep trying, then you can master math. So, when you get stuck with a math problem, say to yourself, I'm smart, I'm capable, I'm going to conquer this. Engineers ...

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