Evolving into an Engineer
Student experience 31st January 2018
University is a place full of stories and adventures.
It’s not just about what you are studying, especially if you are a mechatronic engineering student like me. From my own experience in the past two months, university education isn’t just attending lectures, participating in labs and calculating numbers. Those are indeed very important things, but you will develop a better way of thinking and a unique way to approach problems as well.
For example, we had a mechanical CAD (Computer Aided Design) lab this morning. The task was to make and assemble the microcontroller board with Solidworks. I’m not a complete stranger to this software, so it only took me a couple of minutes to draw the parts of the microcontroller. But things didn’t go so well with my friends who were sitting next to me. Since this wasn’t a test or quiz and the demonstrators were all pretty busy, I started helping them with their drawings and later on their assemblies.
I noticed that there are many different ways to put all these parts together – there was a brief guide to follow on the lab notebook but the rest of the work was all your creativity and imagination.
Sometimes in Solidworks, you can save lots of time by using small tricks while putting together an assembly. This might sound very basic to mature engineers that use CAD tools all the time, but it was pretty inspiring to me.
This is one of the many things that make me think about my university education in more depth; behind all the technical skills and knowledge, the development of one’s problem-solving skills is incredibly important.
So before I finish this entry and go to bed, I hope my simple thought will be helpful for someone who’s reading this. I guess I’m not the first one to realize this, but I’m pretty sure that there are still many people out there still treating their university education as a harder version of high school education. I don’t think it is. It should be a transition from “learning your skills” to “developing your own skills”.
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