MECH3/3.5 Recap

How is it already January? Einstein described the warping of time surrounding massive objects; clocks that appear faster further away from clocks on our planet. Surely, the engineering buildings at UBC produce their own temporal acceleration too.

For skimmers, here’s the briefing of the below paragraphs:

  1. I’d suggest joining a maximum of one design team and one professional organization during full time studies.
  2. Don’t underestimate the return to school after co-op; MECH3 assignments can sneak up on you.
  3. MECH3.5 is an exercise in time management and team dynamics. These factors are complementary and will provide compounding reductions in stress, if appreciated.
  4. For those interested in the CIE process starting around 3rd year, check out Kirsten Meng’s excellent post about it.

I meant to provide updates on the MECH3/3.5 experience in real-time, but I’ve repeated the mistake of overloading my plate at this wild undergraduate buffet. For those that enjoy the variety of extracurriculars, it can be a real struggle pacing yourself around UBC’s wide range of options.

MECH3 returns to the traditional semester course schedule students are accustomed to. At first glance it seems to indicate an easier semester for those returning from co-op; there’s a good amount of review at the beginning of term. However, don’t be lulled into a false sense of security (like I was). Without the weekly quizzes and frantic project timelines, I had a slow start to regular studying and homework. My midterm grades were an effective wake-up call, but with only one or two assessments per course, I could’ve had a much easier time ahead of the final had I been more proactive.

Lesson learned – Navvy-stokes and transient heat transfer problems laugh in the face of cramming.

MECH3.5 was a very different beast. Group work has its ups and downs, but it’s so important to develop an awareness of team dynamics and how to massage them to the group’s benefit. I had heard complaints of the unrealistic objectives and lack of prototyping in MECH328, but the opportunity to dig deeper into designing a product made it enjoyable. I also lucked out with the powerhouse team I was assigned (nearly all of them dedicated design team members, hint hint).

I’ll write one more post on study semesters and design teams, then catch up on my current adventures on exchange in Europe. I figure we can talk flights and packing, then the first few days. Spoiler: It’s been *amazing*.

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