Is mechanical engineering more difficult than electrical engineering?


They are actually very similar in mathematics, physics and the breadth of topics they cover. Many topics are actually similar.

Mechanical vibrations, for example, are almost identical to analog circuits. Mathematically advanced dynamics is almost identical to electrodynamics (vector operator, canonical partial differential equations).

Both digital logic for EE’s as well as kinematics/mechanics for ME’s have their own unique areas. Advanced thermodynamics and semiconductor theory are not all that different. Both are proficient in numerical methods and both use sophisticated modeling software (ME’s using Finite Elements, EE’s with Spice). Both are proficient in CAD (VLSI /ULSI, IC production vs. Solid Modeling and Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM). Both share power transmission and generation classes. They also both have electrical machine design (motors solenoids and transformers). Both are interested in control theory. Both share design projects and measurement labs.

They differ in stress analysis and fluids, manufacturing and materials science for MEs. Communication theory, digital design and optoelectronics are all part of EE’s.

EE’s can see more clearly without having a concrete example, while ME’s can model spatially, geometrically, and dynamically better. EE’s rely on abstract visualization more than ME’s because they have a better understanding of the inner workings and are more mathematically oriented. ME’s, however, tend to think more qualitatively and intuitively.

Both are possible for those who have the right skills in math, analytic, abstract reasoning and problem solving.

Without these skills, it would be impossible to have both.


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