If you are considering a career in engineering, you will be applying scientific knowledge to solve real-world problems. Elizabeth Mabrey, a former software engineer who now runs Branchburg-based Storming Robots, an organization that helps high school students prepare for engineering careers, says, “Don’t be afraid to explore the unknown.” In learning engineering, she says, “math is such an easy thing to use because it makes sense. You don’t have to memorize, you just have to use it. It makes the work so much more fun.”
Here are some potential job titles and descriptions:
Aerospace Engineer: A branch of engineering that involves the design, construction and science of aircraft and spacecraft.
Mechanical Engineer: This is a broad category of engineering that involves skills like physics and materials science to analyze, design, manufacture and maintain mechanical systems. A mechanical engineer might design and build and power plant or a ship, or even a lawn mower.
Chemical Engineer: Drawing on skills in physical science—like chemistry and physics—and life sciences—like biology—a chemical engineer uses math skills to design, construct and operate machines and plants that use chemical reactions. A chemical engineer has a broad knowledge of chemical and technical information that he or she can use to make designs and invent new processes.
Civil Engineer: For this job, you must love design, both physical and computer-based. Civil engineers are trained in the design, construction and maintenance of structures, transportation systems and infrastructures, such as highways, bridges or dams.
Biomedical Engineer: Biomedical engineers apply their expertise to medicine and biology, particularly in the area of improving health care diagnosis, monitoring and therapy.
Environmental Engineer: An environmental engineer uses science and engineering training to improve the natural environment, such as ensuring clean air and water and helping to remediate polluted sites. Other related areas of expertise include hazardous waste-management studies, the design of municipal wastewater treatment plants and even global warming.
Industrial Engineer: An industrial engineer works in industry, analyzing and evaluating production methods and suggesting ways they can be improved for efficiency. According to the Institute of Industrial Engineers, “industrial engineers figure out how to do things better. They engineer processes and systems that improve quality and productivity. They work to eliminate waste of time, money, materials, energy and other commodities. This is why many industrial engineers end up being promoted into management positions.”