Planning for an engineering career

Hello. My name is Elizabeth and I am in the ninth grade. I am intrested in engineering as a possible career choice however, I am not completely sure what an engineer does on a daily basis. My favorite subjects are math and science. I try to take the highest courses available to me.Can you give me some information as to what you do as an engineer? DO you have any advice for my future years in highschool or college? Thank you so much!

Elizabeth
posted by Elizabeth, Atlanta, Georgia on February 7, 2014

Answer by Zeyu Zhao

Dear Elizabeth, thank you for taking the initiatives to contact me!  I'm so happy that you are interested in engineering.  Different engineers actually could do very different tasks every day.  My role is an optical engineer and I work a lot of with an optical software called Zemax.  I use it to simulate optical system performance without putting any physically systems together yet.  This helps me eliminate poor designs and optimize for the best one based on my budget.  I also work with a lot of Mechanical Engineers and Software Engineers.  Mechanical engineers work in labs a lot putting the systems I design in computer together.  Software engineers write script to automate the system and connect the system with human through the software interface they write.  It's good that you are challenging yourself with higher science courses.  You can also check out the engineering programs at your local colleges.  They sometimes have summer camps to have high school students come and live on college campus for a couple of months and shadow the engineering labs there.   I know my college (University of Rochester) had this program for high schoolers, so I'm sure Atlanta should have one too.  Let me know if you have more questions later!  Best of luck to you in finding the best plan for yourself!