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STEM Careers: E is for Engineer

This is the third in a series of posts designed to shine the spotlight on one segment of the STEM career path. We have already discussed Science and Technology. Today our focus is on Engineering.

When we think of engineers, we often limit our understanding to just those major and most common categories of engineers: mechanical, electrical, and civil. The truth is there are many other types of engineers, and getting to know what those other types are can help open our minds to studying and working in the engineering field. Let’s look at some of the choices available to you today.

Biomedical Engineers: Make a big difference in people’s lives working alongside doctors developing prosthetics, artificial limbs, and medical devices.

Aerospace Engineers: Design and develop commercial airplanes and military fighter jets, space telescopes and satellites, and even race cars!

Environmental Engineers: Focus on finding new ways to reduce pollution, to develop recycling methods, to improve water quality, and all kinds of other pursuits related to improving air and water quality.

Agricultural Engineers: Design materials and processes for the farming and food-producing industries. That includes equipment, buildings, and systems used with livestock, water drainage, and irrigation. These engineers even work on new farming techniques such as hydroponics, growing food indoors without dirt.

Transportation Engineers: Design roads and highways that allow people and vehicles to flow in the most efficient manner possible.

Architectural Engineers: Work with architects in the design of buildings, focusing on safety and construction methods, especially when building on land that presents challenges, such as sand.

Chemical Engineers: Make products we use everyday, including pharmaceuticals, plastics, petroleum, cosmetics, and much, much more.

Software Engineers: Design computer systems, networks, and operating systems.

Industrial Engineers: Organize all of the materials, people, energy, and machines involved in the production of goods.

Manufacturing Engineers: Design, plan, develop, and manufacture products of every kind, from handheld devices like iPods and MP3 players to video games to medical devices like wheelchairs and orthotic shoes, and beyond.

Ocean Engineers: Put your skills to work exploring and utilizing the oceans’ resources in the oil and gas or fishery industries.

Nuclear Engineers: Be involved in the design, development, and oversight of plants that produce nuclear power.

Where do you see yourself fitting in among the categories above? What are you STEMspired to become? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.

Karen Purcell

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