• Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is Engineering for Me?

    Ask yourself these questions:

    • Do you like to solve problems?
    • Do you enjoy knowing how things work?
    • Do you like to know "why"?
    • Do you do well in Math, Science, and computers?
    • Do you enjoy working with other people?

    If you answered yes to many of these questions, Engineering may be the right field for you!

    Engineers apply science and math, experience, judgment, and common sense to benefit people by solving problems and making things. What kind of problems? Everything from designing computer chips to building high-rises. Engineers research, plan, design, build, and maintain our society's infrastructure and products, among other things. Engineers use natural and man-made resources to build things efficiently, both from a time and cost standpoint. The range of jobs available in engineering is staggering, so it's a good idea to think about what your particular interests are:

    • Do you like computers?
    • Do you like working with your hands?
    • Do you like working outside or prefer to be in an office?
    • Do you prefer working alone or with others?
    • Are you more analytical or people oriented?
    • How much risk are you willing to take in your job?
    • What kind of topics interest you?
      • If roads, bridges, and buildings, think CIVIL ENGINEERING
      • If computers, power, circuits, telecommunications, think ELECTRICAL OR COMPUTER ENGINEERING
      • If engines, gears, equipment, heating/cooling, automobiles, think MECHANICAL ENGINEERING
    What Kind of Engineers Are There?

    Some of the more common types of engineers are:

    Mechanical Engineers -

    Mechanical engineers are involved with all forms of energy utilization, conservation, and conversion, machines, manufacturing materials and processes, and engines. Mechanical Engineers typically have an interest and aptitude in automobiles, airplanes, engines, power, etc. Some other fields in mechanical engineering include refrigeration, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning, manufacturing technology, robotics, and materials testing. In the next century mechanical engineers will tackle a variety of fascinating new problems, including developing sustainable and environmentally friendly energy sources, developing low-emission, energy efficient automobile engines, and the development of manufacturing materials that use sustainable or recycled products.

    Different fields within Mechanical Engineering that will address these challenges include:

    • Manufacturing Engineering
    • Automotive Engineering
    • Power/Energy Engineering
    • Materials Engineering
    • Bio-mechanical Engineering

    Civil Engineers -

    Civil Engineering deals with buildings, bridges, dams, roads, and the rest of our society's infrastructure. Civil Engineers plan, design, and supervise the construction of facilities such as high-rise buildings, airports, water treatment centers, and sanitation plants. The field of Civil Engineering, while among the oldest of the engineering fields, is constantly changing. New techniques in water and wastewater treatment are making our drinking water and natural resources safer. Road design is continually being updated to provide safer, longer lasting roads. Much of the country's bridges are in need of update or replacement. Trains of tomorrow will be high-speed magnetic wonders, requiring innovative design and construction techniques.

    Several types of Civil Engineers will tackle these and other challenges of tomorrow:

    • Structural Engineer
    • Transportation Engineer
    • Surveying
    • Environmental Engineer
    • Geotechnical Engineer
    • Construction Engineer
    • Hydraulics Engineer

    Electrical Engineers -

    Electrical Engineering is the largest, and fastest growing field in engineering. This field covers a large number of areas, including everything related to electrical devices, systems, and the use of electricity. Electrical engineers work on telecommunication, electronics, power plants, computers, circuits, silicon chips, electric motors, control systems, measurement, among others.

    Some of this century's greatest achievements have been made in electrical engineering. Think of the progress! The century has seen electric light, installation of power grids, telephone, radio, radar, the invention and mass distribution of the personal computer, the internet…….and it continues. Engineers of the next century will continue to develop ground-breaking technology that becomes part of everyday culture. The types of Electrical Engineers that work on these problems include:

    • Power Engineer
    • Telecommunications Engineer
    • Computer Engineer
    • Electronics Engineer

    Other types of engineers include:

    • Aerospace/Aeronautical
    • Agricultural
    • Architectural
    • Bioengineering/Biomedical
    • Ceramic
    • Chemical
    • Construction
    • Environmental
    • Forestry
    • General
    • Industrial
    • Maritime
    • Metallurgy and Materials
    • Mineral and Mining
    • Nuclear
    • Ocean

    Engineering Job Functions

    There are almost as many job functions in engineering as there are engineering fields. Don't assume that Engineers sit at their desk all day, working on calculations! Engineers spend a great deal of time working with other professionals, communicating their ideas and products, and transforming their ideas into reality through manufacturing or construction. Some of the more typical job functions that engineers may perform include the following:

    • Research
    • Development
    • Design
    • Production and Testing
    • Construction
    • Operations and Maintenance
    • Sales
    • Management
    • Consulting
    • Teaching

    As you can see, engineering can accommodate all types of personalities through a variety of different job functions. All you need is an interest in the overall field and there's probably a job out there that's well suited for you!

    If you're interested in finding out more about the disciplines and job functions of engineers in today's workplace, check out MHCC's GE 101, Engineering Orientation, which addresses many of these issues for the beginning engineering student. This course is offered in the Fall each year.

    What Does MHCC Engineering Transfer Offer?

    The Engineering Transfer Discipline at MHCC allows students to take the first 2 years of a 4 years engineering degree curriculum at MHCC. The Engineering curriculum offered at MHCC is designed to allow students to transfer into the Engineering curriculum at Oregon State University, Portland State University, and the University of Portland. Students can also transfer to other engineering schools, but should research the differences in programs to ensure they are prepared for that particular program.

    Advantages of attending MHCC for pre-engineering include:

    • Quality education at a lower cost
    • Smaller class sizes
    • More instructor interaction
    • One-on-one advising
    • Professional Instructors with industry experience in engineering
    • Up-to-date facilities, computers, and training equipment
    • Services for economically disadvantaged and disabled
    • Tutoring
    • Relaxed campus setting
    • Free parking
    • Convenient access to light rail, buses, and I-84

    Students may take pre-engineering courses in the field of their choice at MHCC. The program at MHCC is specifically designed for Mechanical, Electrical, and Civil Engineering students, but students interested in other disciplines may also take the majority of their pre-engineering coursework at MHCC. In all cases, students should establish contact with advisors at both MHCC and the university to which they plan to transfer to develop an academic plan suited to their particular goals.

    What Engineering Courses Are Available?

    MHCC offers the following courses in engineering. Check the schedule for class times.

    GE 101 Engineering Orientation (4 CR, Fall)
    An introduction to the engineering profession, and engineering problem solving. Includes an overview of various engineering fields, engineering education, professionalism and ethics, communication skills, engineering mechanics, electrical fundamentals, engineering economics, and basic programming techniques. Prerequisite: MTH 111 with a grade of C or better.

    GE 102 Engineering Computations (3 CR, Winter)
    To acquaint students with the use and operation of the computer programming in the engineering problem-solving process. Computer programs will be developed and used by students in the typical engineering problems. Structured programming techniques will be emphasized. Prerequisite: MTH 111 with a grade of C or better.

    GE 115 Engineering Graphics (3 CR, Spring)
    An introduction to engineering graphics using manual and computer-aided drafting skills. Includes graphic communication, mutiview and pictorial representation, graphical analysis and solutions. Prerequisite: None, but recommend a Mechanical Engineering Drawing course, Introduction to AutoCad, or consent of instructor.

    ENGR 201 Electrical Fundamentals I ( 5 CR, Fall)
    A study of basic electrical circuit theory for engineers. Analyze voltage and current relationships. Covers circuit parameters of resistance, inductance, and capacitance. Includes basic DC, AC, and natural responses of circuits. Prerequisite: MTH 252 with a C of better.

    ENGR 211 Statics (4CR, Fall)
    Analysis of forces induced in structures and machines by various types of loading. Includes equilibrium analysis, internal forces, centroids, moments of inertia, and frictional equilibrium. Prerequisite: MTH 252 with a C or better.

    ENGR 212 Dynamics (4 CR, Spring)
    Kinematics, Newton's laws of motion work-energy relations, and impulse-momentum relationships, applied to engineering systems. Prerequisite: ENGR 211, MTH 252, and PH211.

    ENGR 213 Strength of Materials (4 CR, Winter)
    This course covers properties of structural materials, analysis of stress and deformation in axially loaded members, circular shafts, beams, and in statically indeterminate system. Prerequisite: ENGR 211 and MTH 252.

    MHCC also offers a full curriculum of courses in math, physics, chemistry, and other general education disciplines that are required to complete a full pre-engineering curriculum.

    What is a Typical Curriculum?

    There is no "typical" curriculum. Curriculum varies by engineering discipline and transfer institution. However there are certain courses that most pre-engineering students take in their first 2 years. Students should contact an advisor at MHCC and their transfer university to verify what their curriculum should be.

    Freshman Year - FALL
    GE 101 - Engineering Orientation (4 Cr)
    MTH 251 - Calculus I (4 Cr)
    CH 221 - General Chemistry I (5 Cr)
    WR 121 - English Composition (3 Cr)
    General Education Requirements (3-4 Cr)

    Freshman Year - WINTER
    GE 102 - Engineering Computations (3 Cr)
    MTH 252 - Calculus II (4 Cr)
    CH 222 - General Chemistry II (5 Cr)
    SP 111 - Fundamentals of Public Speaking (3 Cr)
    General Education Requirements (3-4 Cr)

    Freshman Year - SPRING
    GE 115 - Engineering Graphics (3 Cr)
    MTH 253 - Calculus III (4 Cr)
    CH 223 - General Chemistry III (5 Cr)
    General Education Requirements (9-10 Cr)

    Sophomore Year - FALL
    ENGR 211 - Statics (4 Cr)
    ENGR 201 - Electrical Fundamentals I (5 Cr)
    MTH 254 - Vector Calculus (4 Cr)
    PH211 - General Physics with Calculus I(5 Cr)

    Sophomore Year - WINTER
    ENGR 213 - Strength of Materials (4 Cr)
    MTH 256 - Differential Equations (4 Cr)
    PH212 - General Physics with Calculus II (5 Cr)

    Sophomore Year - SPRING
    ENGR 212 - Dynamics (4 Cr)
    PH213 - General Physics with Calculus III (5 Cr)
    General Education Requirements - (6-7 Cr)

    General education requirements vary from institution to institution. Students should consult with the four-year school they plan on transferring to for general education requirements.

    The curriculum shown above consists of all the MHCC's engineering courses, and some of the other math and science courses available at MHCC that are required during the first two years of a typical pre-engineering curriculum. Students should note that not all of the courses listed are required for each type of engineering curriculum (civil, mechanical, and electrical) at different engineering schools. Nor is every course required by the various disciplines at different schools offered at MHCC.

    Upon selection of a particular engineering discipline and a four year engineering school, students should review their planned curriculum with the MHCC engineering adviser and an adviser at their four year school. This will help avoid missing necessary classes and taking unnecessary ones.

    To investigate a more specific curriculum designed for your interests, check with the adviser for Engineering at MHCC - Nikolene Schulz, P.E. 503-491-7463, or the Science and Industrial Department 503-491-7470. Advising guides are available for the following curriculums, developed for civil, mechanical, and electrical engineering at OSU and PSU.

    Electrical Engineering at OSU
    Electrical Engineering at PSU
    Mechanical Engineering at OSU
    Mechanical Engineering at PSU
    Civil Engineering at OSU
    Civil Engineering at PSU