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Mechanical engineering

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  • 29-01-2019 11:20am
    #1
    Closed Accounts Posts: 391 ✭✭


    Hi, I’m a plumber thinking of going back to school at night and studying a branch of engineering. I have some college since my young days in an unrelated field I have no interest in.
    I believe with the plumbing (level 7? Fetac) I can skip a year or so in a degree.
    What’s stoping me is money and the fact I havnt really got a clue how the college system works. I’m full time employed so not sure I can avail of any grants or what not.

    It’d be great if somebody would adopt me for a week or two then tell me to turn up at trinity on wednesday to start my studies but any advice would be greatly appreciated.
    I’m mid 30s if that matters.


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  • Moderators, Regional Abroad Moderators Posts: 5,374 Mod ✭✭✭✭aido79


    Hi, I’m a plumber thinking of going back to school at night and studying a branch of engineering. I have some college since my young days in an unrelated field I have no interest in.
    I believe with the plumbing (level 7? Fetac) I can skip a year or so in a degree.
    What’s stoping me is money and the fact I havnt really got a clue how the college system works. I’m full time employed so not sure I can avail of any grants or what not.

    It’d be great if somebody would adopt me for a week or two then tell me to turn up at trinity on wednesday to start my studies but any advice would be greatly appreciated.
    I’m mid 30s if that matters.

    An apprenticeship is only level 6 and will not as far as I know automatically knock off a year of a degree. Plumbing and mechanical engineering would have little in common so I don't think you could get the course shortened by being a plumber.
    I have no idea about grants or anything like that.
    Best bet would be to get in touch with the college. I am returning to studying this year and have tried that approach and found them very helpful.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 391 ✭✭Flyingsnowball


    aido79 wrote: »
    An apprenticeship is only level 6 and will not as far as I know automatically knock off a year of a degree. Plumbing and mechanical engineering would have little in common so I don't think you could get the course shortened by being a plumber.
    I have no idea about grants or anything like that.
    Best bet would be to get in touch with the college. I am returning to studying this year and have tried that approach and found them very helpful.

    But my boss is a mechanical engineer and so is his boss?


  • Registered Users Posts: 389 ✭✭yomamasflavour


    But my boss is a mechanical engineer and so is his boss?


    What sort of plumbing? maybe it's different to the toilets and sinks / copper pipe bending plumbing that I'm thinking of.


    As aido said, a mechanical engineering degree and plumbing (at least what I'm thinking of) would have little in common.
    Most 1st year engineering classes would be math and theory based.
    You'd want to have decent knowledge of those subjects to just skip into 2nd year.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 391 ✭✭Flyingsnowball


    What sort of plumbing? maybe it's different to the toilets and sinks / copper pipe bending plumbing that I'm thinking of.


    As aido said, a mechanical engineering degree and plumbing (at least what I'm thinking of) would have little in common.
    Most 1st year engineering classes would be math and theory based.
    You'd want to have decent knowledge of those subjects to just skip into 2nd year.

    Yeah as funny as it sounds plumbers have to go to school and do maths too.

    We build hotels and stadiums and skyscrapers. What size cold pipe feeding a floor with 57 bathrooms would you need? What’s the most cost efficient way to heat an office space, how many air changes does an area need.
    It’s mad that people think plumbers unblock toilets and yet if I told you electricians change light bulbs you would laugh.
    I turned water on two weeks ago in a hotel with 6 floors and a basement. Gas to 4 boilers. 2 big heat exchangers. The water tank wasn’t far off the size of a small swimming pool and it was in the basement so it needed a pump set the size of a fiat punto.


    What do you reckon a mechanical engineer does?


  • Registered Users Posts: 389 ✭✭yomamasflavour


    I didn't mean it in a negative sense, merely that plumbing has a more practical hands on aspect to it.

    It was more the reference to skipping first year, from what I can remember from first year engineering in Trinity was 9 courses all maths theory and little else. A lot of the second year courses are merely continuations of the first year so you'd need to be fairly sure of your abilities to just skip the earlier ones.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 375 ✭✭oLoonatic


    I'd check out https://springboardcourses.ie/ if I were you. you can get accepted even if you are working full time. It says whether or not you can be working on the course itself.

    I went back to college partime recently after leaving school over 10 years ago so can see where you are coming from, but got a job within 6 months in the same field after finishing the course. (IT sector)


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,519 ✭✭✭GalwayGrrrrrl


    There are a few postgraduate open days on at the moment - for example NUI Galway has one tomorrow. They will give you advice about grants, applications, the level of maths etc. Maths at university is a lot lot harder than what you describe, maybe chat to someone who is doing engineering to give you an idea. Good luck with your new venture.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 391 ✭✭Flyingsnowball


    There are a few postgraduate open days on at the moment - for example NUI Galway has one tomorrow. They will give you advice about grants, applications, the level of maths etc. Maths at university is a lot lot harder than what you describe, maybe chat to someone who is doing engineering to give you an idea. Good luck with your new venture.

    I got a b in higher maths in the leaving cert many moons ago


  • Registered Users Posts: 18,539 ✭✭✭✭_Brian


    What sort of plumbing? maybe it's different to the toilets and sinks / copper pipe bending plumbing that I'm thinking of.


    As aido said, a mechanical engineering degree and plumbing (at least what I'm thinking of) would have little in common.
    Most 1st year engineering classes would be math and theory based.
    You'd want to have decent knowledge of those subjects to just skip into 2nd year.

    Fluid mechanics used tonbenanfirst year subject, cont imagine jumping into second year of that.

    My brother checked before and his trades did nothing towards starting a degree.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,428 ✭✭✭quietsailor


    I got a b in higher maths in the leaving cert many moons ago

    You'll be able for engineering college maths then. A problem could be remembering the formulas from times ago and getting the brain back into that rhythm again. I went back to college as a mature student in energy engineering and that was the hardest bit. Getting my brain out of work mode and into studying/remembering formulae mode.

    Your plumbing trade cert is a level 6, the old style diplomas (three year degrees ) are level seven and most engineering degrees are level eight now (four year degrees in). You can skip first year coming from a level seven into eight but I don't know if you can do that going level six* to eight

    I'm presuming your level six, that you have no add on studies after you got the trade qualification?

    One final thing, this isn't a dig at you or anyone else with a trade going to a university college degree - I came from secondary school straight into Marine Engineering in CIT and CIT was basically the same as secondary school - they taught you. In the universities the LECTURE you. The difference is in the university you get the basic idea and are expected to go and research it further yourself, coming back to ask questions if you get stuck. CIT taught you everything and expected you to memorise it off. Its a subtle difference but I wasn't ready for it and failed first year maths over it. I got a B3 in Higher Leaving Cert maths so I should have passed.

    If you go back into first year could I suggest getting maths grinds for a few months to get the underlying theory (from leaving cert level ) explained to you so its easier to understand the college level maths is


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  • Registered Users Posts: 441 ✭✭mcgragger


    Yeah as funny as it sounds plumbers have to go to school and do maths too.

    We build hotels and stadiums and skyscrapers. What size cold pipe feeding a floor with 57 bathrooms would you need? What’s the most cost efficient way to heat an office space, how many air changes does an area need.
    It’s mad that people think plumbers unblock toilets and yet if I told you electricians change light bulbs you would laugh.
    I turned water on two weeks ago in a hotel with 6 floors and a basement. Gas to 4 boilers. 2 big heat exchangers. The water tank wasn’t far off the size of a small swimming pool and it was in the basement so it needed a pump set the size of a fiat punto.


    What do you reckon a mechanical engineer does?

    You need to do a building services engineering degree to knit your experience to the theory.

    Why do you want to do Mechanical Engineering?
    What's your ambition in your career ?

    I did Mech eng in Tallght IT for 4 years of evening.
    Maths. Thermodynamics theory which is more maths. Fluid Dynamics which is more maths. Materials science.. Electrical science which is more maths.

    You'd have a good understanding of the subjects but there is no exemptions because of trade.

    I went into mech eng as a qualified electrician and was denied an exemption from the electrical part as the material is much more detailed.

    So it's all in mate.

    I'd say figure out what your career needs to be lookong like then figure out what you want to do.
    Weirdly going up the chain of management guide's you more towards money and people management. That's my experience. Got the qualifications. Moved up the ladder. Don't really use them....

    Sounds like you have a deep understanding of what you do which is a great start point.


  • Registered Users Posts: 743 ✭✭✭KeithTS


    First off, congrats on even thinking about going to get your degree. I did it a few years back and the prospect terrified me but it's worth it.

    Secondly, even if you are allowed skip a year, I would strongly urge you not to.
    The first year is where you'll learn the ropes, how the system works, the way lectures, exams etc are organised and what's expected of you. It's where you'll meet people (there will be other students (mature and oherwise) that you'll do well to get along with as nobody gets on well during a degree on their own.

    Even if you know all the theory and material covered in your classes (you won't btw) you can use that first year to reinforce what you already know so that you're ahead of the game come second year. Engineering degrees don' come easy so don't put yourself at a disadvantage from the start.


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