Engineering is a field of study that affects every aspect of our daily lives. The only reason we’re able to get up in the morning and brush our teeth or cook breakfast is someone somewhere engineered devices that make these tasks possible. Yet despite its importance, most people have little to no understanding of just what goes into engineering even the simplest of machines.
Udemy’s Introduction To Mechanical Engineering ($11.99) won’t turn you into an engineer overnight, but it aims to give you a basic understanding of the topic. Let’s take a closer look.
This course is primarily divided into two main sections. The first section introduces you to the course but has no real content. Similarly sections 4-8 aren’t lectures, but these instead contain practice questions and solutions to help reinforce what you will learn in sections 2 and 3.
Section 2 technically doesn’t dive into engineering topics, but it serves as an algebra refresher course to help get you up to speed on the type of math problems you will see throughout this course. Especially important here is the Quadratic Formula lecture:
The lecturer shows his work while working through this formula, but he could have done a better job explaining how he got to his answer. As I wasn’t familiar with the quadratic formula before, I was forced to turn to do a little research online to gain a firmer understanding of this topic before continuing the course. If you are already familiar with the quadratic formula, however, and if you have a solid understanding of algebra, then you could skip straight to section 3.
Throughout section 3 a wide range of topics are covered, including free body diagrams, shear force, bending stress, buckling, and more. All of this information is given to you in just two hours, which can make it difficult to get a firm understanding as the subject matter is fairly complex. The lecturer doesn’t rush through any part of this, either; instead, he calmly talks through each point. But I still found the need to re-watch parts of the lectures to truly understand them.
Having completed part of this course I can say that this isn’t a lecture series for the faint of heart. If you are really curious about what goes into engineering something like a bridge then this course will give you a solid idea of just that. That’s not to say that you will be building a large scale bridge anytime soon, but with the information in this course you could probably work out the math required to build a small bridge over a little stream or creek on your property.
This class would also serve as an excellent starting point for someone considering a career as an engineer, as it gives you a solid foundation from which to build upon. But if complex topics and math sound unappealing to you, then it’s probably best you try a different course. This one is currently available from Udemy.
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