What is necessary to succeed as an automotive engineer?
I am a junior at Boston Collegiate, and I want to start developing skills to become a automotive engineer now. I am curious to what an engineer, specifically automotive, needs under his belt to succeed (this includes majors, skills and habits). What makes an engineer a "good" engineer? #engineering #technology #automotive #mechanics #cars
Khaleef, I was happy to read your question.
Mechanical and electrical engineers are very important for the automotive industry. In the past, the industry was primarily reliant on mechanical engineers, but the need is shifting towards electrical engineers because of all the new technology going into vehicles nowadays. Mechatronics is a cool major too that combines both majors to some extent.
Picking a major go back to your strengths. Because I am more mechanically inclined I went with mechanical engineering. What about you?
I can't stress the importance of software packages enough. The more programs you are familiar with the better your chances in the job market. The ones you should learn are Catia, MATLAB/Simulink, and HyperWorks. These are the most used software packages in the industry.
Close attention to detail!
Lastly, take a couple of internships while you are pursuing your degree. The experience would guide you to the field you are interested in and look good on your resume.
Hope you the best.
Automotive engineers research, design and develop vehicles and their subsystems. They work with sophisticated technologies to create products that thrill the senses and bring the freedom of mobility to the world.
What Do Automotive Engineers Do?
- Design new products or modify existing ones
- Troubleshoot and solve engineering problems
- Plan and design manufacturing processes
- Researching, designing, developing and producing vehicles and components
- Preparing cost estimates and design specifications
- Preparing plans and drawings
- Analyzing energy, environmental and safety aspects of the planned project
- Predicting vehicle or component behavior under different conditions using computerized models
- Developing testing procedures
- Investigating product failures
- Analyzing, interpreting and condensing technical data into reports or presentations
- Supervise technical staff
- Working closely with other types of engineers, such as civil, electrical, aerospace, chemical and industrial
- Working with professionals from other occupational fields, such as marketing and legal
Any pre-engineering student should have a strong background in advanced calculus, physics and chemistry to succeed at the collegiate level. Good grades and a high level of hands-on experience at the undergraduate level are important to landing a job after graduation. Because vehicles today are designed and developed in a virtual world and are basically “computers on wheels,” it is a real advantage to have a strong appreciation of computer science.
Degrees and Specialties
Very few universities and colleges in the United States offer bachelor’s degrees in automotive engineering.
Consequently, many students go into mechanical engineering because automotive engineering is a specialty of mechanical engineering and much of the coursework is the same.
However, there are some mechanical engineering schools that offer undergraduate courses that cover diesel engine theory, automotive electronics and automotive power systems.
At the master’s degree and Phd levels, students can concentrate on specific areas, such as:
- Automotive mechanical functions
- Automotive systems studies
- Hybrid electric cars
Is Automotive Engineering Right For You?
Ask yourself the following questions in evaluating your potential to become an automotive engineer:
- Are you interested in motor vehicles and how they work?
- Are you a natural problem solver?
- Do you communicate well with others and work productively in a team environment?
- Are you comfortable leading and motivating others?
- Are you able to multi-task and meet deadlines?
- Are you willing to constantly learn new things?
If you answered “yes” to these questions, and you do not struggle in math and science, then you should consider pursuing a career in automotive engineering.
All the Best for you!!