Is EE the right major

I am returning to college at 34 years old to fulfill a lifelong desire to be an engineer. Many people tried to convince me, undergraduate
advisors and certain "friends", when I was younger that it was not possible because I had difficulty with math. I have learned as I got older that you can really do anything if you put in the effort. Well I will be enrolling at the Univ. of New Orleans in Spring 2007 most likely as a Electrical Engineering major. My interest are in plug-in hybrid vehicles and alternative energy and I was wondering whether EE or ME would be a better choice. Obviously by posting this on alt.engineering.electrical I may be loading the question to validate my own decision but I'll wait and see what happens.
Chris
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

For your interest, EE or ChemE, are likely the best choices. The "vehicle" part of hybrid vehicle is pretty much done. Sure, there is some work in exotic materials to lower weight and improve safety, but for the most part we know how to build something that rolls. The trick is marrying electric energy storage to that vehicle. Lots of work for EEs and plenty for ChemE as well. Battery technology is a real sticking point.
BTW, you will need to be good at math. But, as an older student you are more likely to have good work and study habits. This will help you overcome a weakness in math if you apply yourself. In my opinion of course.
Charles Perry P.E.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Chris wrote:

I graduated with a BSEE at 38. You can do it.
Best of luch to you.
Tim
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Depends on what you personally want to be doing.
If it's designing the electric motors, generators, inverters,controllers, etc, then it's EE.
If it's designing the batteries or fuel cells then it's chemical.
If it's designing the system then there's two possibilities, ME and EE. Although I'm an EE I think I just might give preference to an ME degree here. You can get pretty deep into system theory as an ME and you could get enough electrical to get the job done.
dave y.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I'm currently in my 3rd year studying the new engineering discipline known as mechatronics. It offers you the flexibility to choose subjects from both electrical and mechanical engineering, and gives a good system overview.
dave y. wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Is that out of the ME or EE department? My only brush with a mechatronics program was dealing with a grad student in the Ohio State program. It was taught out of the EE department and seemed to be primarily design of electrical machines (motors etc). The guy seemed a little inept around mechanical systems. Guess my preference here is either a ME with system theory and adaquate electrical, or an EE with a good mechanical foundation, and the later I think is harder to come by. Where I went to school (aeons ago) every engineer had the same classes the first two years so I had lots of mechanical even as a EE, but EE's today seem to be mostly electronic, computer hardware, or software.
dave y.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Try to bone up on grade 10-12 math and ideally some H.S. physics before spring comes. Solving equations, constructing equations from word problems, the quadratic eqn, factoring, completing the square, expansions, simplifying, algebra, series and sums, graphing, lines and circles and ellipses, polynomials and roots, asymptotes, trig and trig identities (trig identities is NOT SOH-CAH-TOA!), kinematics, dc circuits, there is a lot of stuff that will be relatively fresh for most of the class and you won't get much time to pick it up again before they wheel out the new stuff. You will use complex numbers and polar coordinate representation at least one billion times in the years to come. Complete every problem in every chapter, practice is the single biggest factor IMO. Also your calculator should cost at least $100.
Try to enjoy yourself.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
When I was in school several years ago I purchased a HP 48GX and it's pretty much the only calculator I use unless I working on a strictly financial problem and then I defer to my HP 12C. So I think I have the calculator down.
Chris
operator jay wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
operator jay wrote:
Also your calculator should cost

Good ones are pretty inexpensive now!
I got my BSEE using only a K&E Log-Log Decitrig slide rule.
I passed the EE Professional Engineer license using the same.
Seriously, I think using a slide rule helps in understanding order of magnitude in engineering calculations.
I use a calculator now, of course, and it even has polar > x-y conversions! It also has Base10, Hex, Binary conversions, which we barely heard about in those days, and are now essential.
A calculator also will give six place "accuracy" when your input is only good to three places. :-)
It won't replace the one between your ears.
--
Virg Wall, P.E.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
VWWall wrote:

My Faber Castell Novo Duplex model 2/83 is within reach as I type.. Good as new*, never needs batteries and very quick to a result. * The small rubber anti-skid strips have long turned rock-hard..
I also learnt my 2 figure log tables at an early age. A bit of mental arithmetic with those goes a very long way - if no slide rule is to hand..
--
Sue








Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Palindr?me wrote:

In the US, wire sizes are based on logs. You can do a quick calculation of many things based.s on: #10 AWG ~10K CM, (circular mils), ~1 ohm/1000ft #13 is half/twice that, etc.
Of course, in the UK, you use metric, which makes more sense.
In the late 1960's, I did design work on the UK tracking station for the SkyNet Military Communications System. The station is at Oakhanger, near Alton, Hampshire. There was a requirement to use as much UK procured equipment as possible. Most of the instrumentation was of US manufacture, so the design was a mixture of British and US standards.
It's code name on the control network is "Lion", named after a nearby pub, called "The Red Lion", which was run by a chap named Percy.
I hoisted many a pint there! :-)
-- Virg Wall, P.E.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@DEADearthlink.net says...

Good == HP? ;-)

I bought an HP45 my senior year. I used a Post Versalog before that.

Didn't take the PE exam. Didn't see the need.

I agree 100%. I used to be able to get one or two significant digits and the exponent right just by looking at the problem. After 30+ years with calculators, I've long lost the ability to get even the exponent right by inspection. Too bad too, because I don't know when I've seriously fumble-fingered a calculation.

The HP45 had polar <-> rectangular conversions too, but few realized it at the time.

When was this? I did a lot of number conversions and base 2/16 arithmetic in college. We were doing arithmetic and conversions between various bases up to 32 in fifth and sixth grade ("new math").

Let me rephrase; what good is six place accuracy when you don't get the exponent right. ;-)

Nope, it's just another tool.
--
Keith

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Keith Williams wrote:

I, and everyone I know, are partial to TI-89s. I once had a 92+, but with a QWERTY keybd, you can't use it on many tests, 89s have the same form factor of a regular TI calc.
They do all those things mentioned previously also.
My junior college taught using TI calculators, probably why I'm partial to them.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@sonic.net says...

Algebraic notation? Ewww! ;-)

They teach how to use a calculator. That's bizarre.
--
Keith

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Anthony Guzzi wrote:

I'm so used to RPN now that I would have difficulty using a TI or any other calc that used algebraic notation. . I have found that a lot of schools do use them in classes though. Now before a war starts I don't think that RPN is better for everything than ALG but it's better for everything I do. It's also not harder to learn than RPN it's just different and if you learned it first it would seem different to then switch to ALG.
Chris

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I've always liked the HP-35.
says...

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@NOSPAM.ZIP says...

The HP35 had the limitation that you couldn't do rectangular to polar to rectangular conversions directly. The HP45 allowed this, and a lot more (I wonder where mine went).
--
Keith

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I doubt that I could find a professor at my school that could use a slide rule.
Chris Johnston
VWWall wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I would suggest looking into Chemical Engineering for greater versatility.
I'm a EE [UMR] but my son is a Chem E [Purdue].
In either field Math will be a major building block.
Best of luck to you.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
The only place in town that has ChemE is Tulane and at $40,000US a year it's way out of my price range. Besides I can't get excited about ChemE.
Chris
Jay Stootzmann wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Polytechforum.com is a website by engineers for engineers. It is not affiliated with any of manufacturers or vendors discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.