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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  • 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 1 hour and 20 minutes AGO
    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 21 hours and 59 minutes AGO
    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 ...
  • Laila Brown asked Tiera Guinn, MIT/The Boeing Co

    Added Saturday, September 30, 2017 at 6:54 PM

    Answers 1
    Tiera Guinn, MIT/The Boeing Co
    Answered 22 hours and 1 minute AGO
    Hi Laila, There is never a day that I don't use math because math is the foundation of structural analysis. In structural analysis I perform calculations that characterize the structural integrity of the design. On an average day, I am performing hand ...
  • Elizabeth Schlegel, KSN Inc.
    Answered 3 days AGO
    Hi Allison,
    I normally work 40 to 45 hours a week as a private consultant, but as a mom, I have a schedule that gives me some flexibility if I need to arrive late/stay late.  I use AutoCAD Civil 3D to design my projects, Microsoft Word to write ...
  • Ethan Sombke

    Added Wednesday, September 27, 2017 at 12:24 PM

    Questions I would like to ask: What is your current career title? Where are you currently employed? How long have you been an engineer? Why did you choose to become an engineer? What type of education did you need to have to become an engineer, and are you still in any current education or training program? How many hours do you usually work in a week? What is the most enjoyable aspect of being an engineer? What high school courses may help me prepare for this career? What advice would you give ...
    Answers 2
    Adriana Beal, Cloudwiry
    Answered 3 days AGO
    > What is the most enjoyable aspect of being an engineer? The opportunity to solve complex problems. You're always dealing with interesting problems that require deep thinking and the use of different techniques, from design thinking to machine learning, ...
    Adriana Beal, Cloudwiry
    Answered 4 days AGO
    Answering in two parts because of the 2000-char limitation.
    PART I
    > What is your current career title?
    Senior consultant, cloud optimization solutions.
    > Where are you currently employed?
    Cloudwiry, a company that offers cloud optimization ...
  • Jordan

    Added Thursday, September 21, 2017 at 10:01 AM

    So far, I have a pretty good GPA. This semester I am taking Physics and Calc 3 and struggling. I would like to know what GPA is considered average, what is good, and what is great. Any advice to also help me get a job upon graduating would also be helpful.
    Answers 1
    Kelly Knight, Bechtel National, Inc.
    Answered 6 days AGO
    Dear Jordan, There are some excellent C grade employees out there for sure and some employers prefer them. For an employer who is building a bridge that is over water and responsible for the safe passage of thousands of people a day, what GPA do you ...
  • Emily

    Added Monday, September 25, 2017 at 10:26 PM

    I am currently a freshman in college and am pursuing a degree in mechanical engineering. However, I am interested in petroleum engineering, but not many colleges offer that program. So I was wondering if it is possible to get a petroleum engineering job with a degree in mechanical engineering or what field would you recommend going into to get a petroleum engineering job?
    Answers 1
    Alicen Kandt, National Renewable Energy Laboratory
    Answered 11 days AGO
    I think that mechanical engineering is the most broad of the engineering disciplines; it provides a great foundation for most any type of engineering work. I would think you could enter into petroleum engineering with a mechanical engineering degree, ...
  • Kara Kockelman, University of Texas at Austin
    Answered 11 days AGO
    Great question, Karen! Civil engineering is much broader than environmental engineering, and will expose you to much more content & potential career paths (e.g., geotechnical engineering, materials engineering, transportation engineering, structural ...
  • Rana

    Added Sunday, September 17, 2017 at 11:51 AM

    Answers 1
    Amy Betz, Kansas State University
    Answered Thursday, September 28, 2017 at 7:04 PM
    This will depend on your personal strengths, interests, and what you want to do with you career. For some majors it is obvious what courses they build on. For example, if you love chemistry you might consider chemical engineering. For others ...
  • Andromeda DuMont, CH2M / Jacobs
    Answered Thursday, September 28, 2017 at 5:58 PM
    Hi Ariana! Thanks for the question! I guess my first suggestion is...figure out why exactly you want to be an environmental engineer! There's many different paths (air, water, soil, federal work, consulting, sampling, treatment design) so that it might ...
  • Answered Tuesday, September 26, 2017 at 7:39 PM
    No, you don’t have to be a really smart person to become a nuclear engineer.  You just need to be willing to work hard and not give up.  Remember that life is about learning and realizing that anything is possible when you put your mind to it. Once you ...
  • Estrella Alonso asked Sara Dolatshahi, OPG

    Added Saturday, September 16, 2017 at 8:08 PM

    Name: Specific degree: Please deacribe you engineering field. What is your current job title? Please describe your particular job and duties. What is your average work schedule? Starting with high school, please describe your educational background If you had it to do over, related to your career or education, would you do anything differently? What advice would you give to me as someone interested in pursuing a career path similar to yours?
    Answers 1
    Answered Tuesday, September 26, 2017 at 1:13 PM
    Engineering field:  
    Nuclear Engineering  
    Job title: 
    Shift Manager of a nuclear power plant producing electricity.  
    Job description:
    I am responsible for safe operation of the plant and safety of personnel, public and environment.  I have the ...
  • Yatziri

    Added Tuesday, August 15, 2017 at 10:24 AM

    What are your reasons as to why you chose this career in general?
    Answers 1
    Krista Murphy, Affiliated Engineers, Inc.
    Answered Monday, September 25, 2017 at 7:44 PM
    I was searching for an opportunity to combine technical skills and interaction with a variety of people. Engineering consulting offers an opportunity for both design and project management.  I enjoy spending time with project teams, walking construction ...
  • Hypatia

    Added Sunday, July 23, 2017 at 5:00 AM

    I am a Mechanical engineer who has been working in the defence sector for the last two years. I am working towards professional recognition and chartership which has been my goal for as long as I can remember. I also really want to be a Mum and my husband and I are definitely ready however I am torn between work and home. I have lots of great female engineering role models at work but none of them have children so I can't get an opinion on the impacts of having children at different times in ...
    Answers 1
    Stephanie Meyen, Advanced Scientific Concepts
    Answered Sunday, September 24, 2017 at 12:14 AM
    Hello Hypatia,
    This is a tough question and the answer is highly individual. Everybody makes different choices depending on what type of person they are and what is important to them. For me, having kids did not influence my career negatively. And I ...
  • Monique Frize, Carleton University and University of Ottawa
    Answered Friday, September 22, 2017 at 11:39 AM
    The definition of the two fields of biotechnology and biomedical engineering are vastly different. A definition from wikipedia: Biotechnology is the exploitation of biological processes for industrial and other purposes, especially the genetic ...
  • aarushi

    Added Tuesday, August 22, 2017 at 9:46 PM

    i want to do aerospace engineering but i am stuck that should i go for B.eng in aerospace or should i go for bachelors degree in mechanical with specialisation in aerospace. At present, i m a grade 12 student n wish to apply for Sept 2018 intake. thanks!!
    Answers 1
    Seetha Raghavan, University of Central Florida
    Answered Sunday, September 17, 2017 at 9:34 AM
    Excellent that you have found a passion in Engineering and you’re being really proactive in thinking about the specific areas in Engineering to pursue. Both options you suggest are exciting and they both focus on solving engineering problems that are ...
  • maha shabbir asked Hannah Noll, ATI

    Added Wednesday, August 23, 2017 at 10:57 AM

    hey hannah! nice to be on your profile :) basically i am doing my bachelors in metallurgical engineering and that also from Pakistan! a lot of people have heavily criticized me for choosing it as a major, but you have really inspired me that girls do have potential ! thanks alot :)
    Answers 1
    Answered Friday, September 8, 2017 at 1:42 PM
    Hi! Thank you for sharing this, I’m very proud of you for choose metallurgy and am even more excited to hear that you’ve stuck with it despite being criticized! I find it such an interesting subject and love continuing to learn about it. There are ...
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