Alumni Advice

Glenn Walnicki, BS 2000

Control Systems Engineer, General Electric

Make sure that after the professor spends ten minutes writing up an equation, ask how that can be applied using real-life examples.

I like to see real-life applications of theory, rather than an exhaustive study of the theory itself. Knowing how to apply thermodynamic laws is more helpful in daily life than only knowing how to write them out. Understanding a laminar flow profile is more important than knowing exactly how fast a partical is moving in a semi-viscous fluid that is an inch from the inside of the tube on a day when the sun is relfecting off of farmer Bob's sunglasses causing the rooster to go blind. :)

Back of the envelope calculations are as much if not more useful than knowing how to derive Bernoulli's equation. Once you are getting to the details of the design, then it's time to crunch the numbers. But it's tough to crunch the numbers when you don't know what you are trying to figure out!  

So I suggest to make sure that after the professor spends ten minutes writing up an equation, ask how that can be applied using real-life examples.

Remember that engineering is about applying theories and laws to real world situations!