#### blyatman

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There are many out there who want to get into engineering, but aren't sure which stream is right for them. I've recently had many students ask me about my opinion on the best stream of engineering to get into, so I'll just share my thoughts here.

This post is about Computational Engineering (or Computational Science & Engineering, CSE), which is a relatively young and emerging field. The importance and relevance of this field has grown due to the exponential increases in available computing power, which have finally allowed scientists/engineers to solve problems that are difficult or prohibitively expensive to do experimentally. To date, very few universities are offering it, but more and more are beginning to offer it due to its ever-growing significance in the STEM industry. While I was at the University of Texas a few years back, they began offering a major in computational engineering in 2017, and were the first university in the US to offer it. Closer to home in Australia, USYD began offering a Computational Engineering major not too long ago as well.

Computational Engineering is the fusion of mathematics, physics, and computer science. It is perfect for those who enjoy learning about how all those areas fit together. An aerospace graduate is typically suitable for aerospace jobs, biomedical graduates for biomed jobs, and so on. These days, essentially every engineering/scientific problem is validated using computational methods. As a result, computational engineers can cross into a wide multitude of fields - whether it be simulating the distribution of a drug in a body, determining the magnitude of air resistance during space shuttle reenetry, simulating supersonic combustion in a ramjet, or simulating the collision of two black holes (for reference, the pretty blackhole seen in the movie "Interstellar" would've required computational engineering).

The USYD computational engineering stream is a major, meaning you choose a base degree (e.g. aerospace, mechanical, etc), and you can then major in computational engineering in your 3rd and 4th years. The reason why universities only offer it as major (as opposed to the entire degree) as part of a degree is because computational engineering is typically a graduate-level field, since it requires a very comprehensive and in-depth understanding of the underlying physics and mathematics. This also means that the work involved is very rewarding - you essentially because a specialist in your field of interest. Most engineering jobs out there are very mundane: doing relatively simple calculations in excel based on some industry code, writing reports, etc (essentially doing things that you don't necessarily need an engineering degree for). In contrast, computational engineers apply almost everything you learn at uni on a daily basis, since they need to solve complex problems by developing (or understanding) the underlying mathematical and physical models.

I definitely would've chosen this stream had they offered it back when I was at uni. As someone who works as a computational engineer, it would've benefited me greatly. If you're someone who is really interested in the application of mathematics and physics, and the use of high-performance computing to solve real world problems, I would strongly recommend you check out this major.

Happy to answer any questions!

Links if interested:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Computational_engineering

https://sydney.edu.au/courses/subject-areas/major/computational-engineering.html

https://sydney.edu.au/handbooks/engineering/engineering/majors/computer.shtml

Some pretty pictures of in my line of work:

This post is about Computational Engineering (or Computational Science & Engineering, CSE), which is a relatively young and emerging field. The importance and relevance of this field has grown due to the exponential increases in available computing power, which have finally allowed scientists/engineers to solve problems that are difficult or prohibitively expensive to do experimentally. To date, very few universities are offering it, but more and more are beginning to offer it due to its ever-growing significance in the STEM industry. While I was at the University of Texas a few years back, they began offering a major in computational engineering in 2017, and were the first university in the US to offer it. Closer to home in Australia, USYD began offering a Computational Engineering major not too long ago as well.

Computational Engineering is the fusion of mathematics, physics, and computer science. It is perfect for those who enjoy learning about how all those areas fit together. An aerospace graduate is typically suitable for aerospace jobs, biomedical graduates for biomed jobs, and so on. These days, essentially every engineering/scientific problem is validated using computational methods. As a result, computational engineers can cross into a wide multitude of fields - whether it be simulating the distribution of a drug in a body, determining the magnitude of air resistance during space shuttle reenetry, simulating supersonic combustion in a ramjet, or simulating the collision of two black holes (for reference, the pretty blackhole seen in the movie "Interstellar" would've required computational engineering).

The USYD computational engineering stream is a major, meaning you choose a base degree (e.g. aerospace, mechanical, etc), and you can then major in computational engineering in your 3rd and 4th years. The reason why universities only offer it as major (as opposed to the entire degree) as part of a degree is because computational engineering is typically a graduate-level field, since it requires a very comprehensive and in-depth understanding of the underlying physics and mathematics. This also means that the work involved is very rewarding - you essentially because a specialist in your field of interest. Most engineering jobs out there are very mundane: doing relatively simple calculations in excel based on some industry code, writing reports, etc (essentially doing things that you don't necessarily need an engineering degree for). In contrast, computational engineers apply almost everything you learn at uni on a daily basis, since they need to solve complex problems by developing (or understanding) the underlying mathematical and physical models.

I definitely would've chosen this stream had they offered it back when I was at uni. As someone who works as a computational engineer, it would've benefited me greatly. If you're someone who is really interested in the application of mathematics and physics, and the use of high-performance computing to solve real world problems, I would strongly recommend you check out this major.

Happy to answer any questions!

Links if interested:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Computational_engineering

https://sydney.edu.au/courses/subject-areas/major/computational-engineering.html

https://sydney.edu.au/handbooks/engineering/engineering/majors/computer.shtml

Some pretty pictures of in my line of work:

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