First Term Over

It’s finally the break, and I couldn’t be happier to be home. As someone who lives far from Auckland, travelling home is a long and tedious process but nothing beats getting out of the big city and back to small-town New Zealand. However, you guys are here to get to know what mechanical engineering is about, and I can say the second semester is undoubtedly better than the first semester. The papers are more engaging, and there is significantly more free time.

Let’s just do a quick summary of each paper so far…

ENGGEN 204 – basically a joke and a chance to meet up with friends from other specialisations, with a minimal workload. The importance of what you learn should not be underrated. How to write effectively and knowledge of engineering health and safety and ethics is extremely important in industry. Good grades will only get your foot in the door. Communication will get you the job.

MECHENG 236 – Very interesting, as we learn how many mechanical devices work and apply this knowledge to the project, where we design a moveable bridge (more about this in a later post). On average only 20-30 people attend the lectures, so there is a great interaction between the lecturer and students with ample opportunity for questions.

MECHENG 211 and MECHENG 222 – most of your workload comes from keeping up with these two papers. The content is engaging and interesting, although 222 will have you reaching for your MM2 coursebook (turns out vibration uses a lot of ODE’s). Clan wars in 222 give a nice sense of competition to make things more interesting. My team (235 reasons why) is closing in on first place.

One reason I found the papers to be very interesting was that all the content is related. In 236, we might learn about the role of a carburettor in an engine, and then in 211, we’ll learn the science of pressures and flow rates that explain how a carburettor works. Something I never liked about first year was how separated each paper is from one another, but so far, I have not had that issue with mechanical. Another bonus is all classes are in the afternoon (1-5pm) so you get the whole morning to do your own thing. Reading some of the other blogs, they all mention workload and the stress, but I think mechanical is different. Sure, there is work and stress, but everyone is a bit more laid back, and we deal with it.

So, what’s the plan for the future? Alongside projects to do over the break, currently, I am applying for summer internships. One awesome thing about mechanical is that, because the degree is so general, you can apply for a huge variety of companies. From Fisher & Paykel Healthcare to Air NZ to BECA, there are so many options, everyone can get a place.

Be sure to read the next blog, where I talk about the amazing 236 bridge project.

Until next time.