Friday, December 2, 2011

Get Discipline'd (Daniela)

Happy December Everybody!

As first term winds down, and exams get revved up for university students, a lot of first year engineers are trying to figure out what discipline they might want to get into next year. Well, have no fear, I can tell you a little bit about the discipline that has become very close to my heart over the past 3 months: Chemical Engineering.

When I was in high school, I immediately assumed that chemical engineering was all about the chemistry. As it turns out, that's not completely true. Chem eng is about systems, processes, and if you so choose, polymers. We only take about 2 or 3 organic chemistry courses. My favourite course this term, CHEM ENG 2D04, is mainly about “black boxes”. What that means is you are trying to figure out the input and output streams of a system (like the image above). It’s pretty cool!

The other great thing about chemical engineering at Mac is you have options even within the discipline itself! You could get into one of three 5-year programs: Chemical and Bioengineering, Chemical Engineering and Society (WOO!) or Chemical Engineering and Management!

Realistically, not all of you want to go into chem eng, so here are some tips and tricks to help you figure out what discipline to get into after the common first year engineering program:

- Think about what courses you enjoy

- Check out the Undergraduate Calendar and see what types of courses you take in each type of engineering (Here’s the link:

- Talk to upper year students! (We don’t bite, I swear!)

- Attend any department nights that are held throughout the year. Profs and students put together info sessions about all of the disciplines to help make sure you that you get all of your questions answered and make the right choice!

… and last but not least, DO WHAT YOU ENJOY! Chances are, you’ll do a lot better if you actually love what you are learning!

Good luck with your studies and have a great winter break!
Later days,