In 2004 I joined the School of Mechcanical Engineering at the National Technical University of Athensand, eventually, followed the option of Air and Ground Transportation Vehicles. The course guide of the School of Mechanical Engineering had a very analytical orientation and great emphasis was given on mathematics. The core of the course guide consisted of a variety of math and engineering classes, while the option was focused on mor specialized and advanced topics, such as Control Systems & Optimal Machine Regulation, Flight Dynamics, etc. . Therefore, I acquired a spherical view of Mechanical Engineering and became capable of solving difficult and pure Mechanical Engineering problems, facing them from a high-level perspective, but also from a low-level/theoretical perspective by dealing with their mathematical side.
In April 2010, after my graduation from the MechEng at NTUA, I joined the Faculty (School) of Aerospace Engineering at TU Delft for approximately 4 months. During my stay I worked on an area totally different than my previous research interests; particularly I worked on the problem of Knowledge Based Engineer (KBE) and became acquainted with the notions of Systems Engineeing and Advanced Design Methodologies. The main goal of KBE is to minimize the cost of a product by incorporating advanved design techniques, mostly automated parametric geometry and design/manufacturing coupling and optimization, at the conceptual design phase. The experience was very rewarding, since I had the opportunity to fill in some blanks in my understanding of the overall procedure of product generation. More specifically I observed the complete process from conceptual design to detailed design, and, finally, manufacturing.
In 2011 I joined the Guggenheim School of Aerospace Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech or GaTech) and followed the option of Flight Mechanics and Control. My coursework was focused mostly on dynamical systems, control systems theory, and optimization. Consequently, I specialized on an area not applicable to only aerospace systems, but a great field of engineerig areas. I had the opportunity to see the theory in great analytical and mathematical depth, which enabled me to greatly understand all the challenges in the area. Apart from that, I obtained great experience in these areas by using many computational and simulation tools, thus verifying everything learned in class or read in books/papers.
The first 1.5 year is the most challenging one, and you should have blind-belief to the system. Unfortunately, the system is failing in explaining “why all the math”, but this is where it
all boils down to! Math is and should be the favorite tool of the engineer.
There are many courses, especially the 1st year. Just be cool, survive the first semester, audit ALL classes, keep notes, and try to love each one of them. The moment you find why each
course is attractive to you, you also find the way to excelling. There is no such thing as “useless class/knowledge” ;-)
After the 2nd year the course guide becomes more engineering-oriented and you should find WHAT makes you feel in love with the school! There are many people who did not choose this
school, but in the end feel totally sure about their way through MechEng. So, don't think you're helpless, you just need to search inside you!
Because in the end you will have one of the most recognizable degrees, and, most importantly, you will be able to work in any job field you want! The reason is that you will be any-type
problem-solvers, and this is the best skill you could ask for :-)