Lubricant Education-Literally

Messages
1,408
Location
Gone Fishing
I have a young boy 15 years of age and a sophomore in High School. His ambition is currently in auto mechanics or motorcycle mechanics. Nothing wrong with this, I am glad that in this day and age of all the distractions that he is thinking of a future and not squandering it away as many kids do these days. He has very good grades in all his subjects B and A's and he participates in football and basketball and a couple other school activities. My question for the forum as I have gathered there is a lot of very knowledgeable people here is this: Are there programs on a higher level relevant to these industries? What programs might that be and at what colleges and or institutions? Might he need to go to the auto/motorcycle schools first and then pursue a higher level education or is this all accumulated at the school of hard knocks? Thanks for any input and if this is not the place for the question please let me know and I will put it in the general section.
 
Last edited:
Messages
13,251
Location
North Carolina
He might want to think about the business end as well, he could aspire to own an independant shop. If so he would need the business skills as well as the mechanical skills.
 
Messages
4,998
Location
Milwaukee, WI
I'm not sure what you are asking. Does he want to be a chemist for an oil company? Or an engineer for a auto company? Or are you asking if he should become a service technician and go to technical school for that? No, I absolutely would not spend 2 years getting a technical degree and then another 5 getting a bachelors. In 7 years you could have a masters in engineering or chemistry, not a bachelors and some resume filler.
 

John_Conrad

Thread starter
Messages
1,408
Location
Gone Fishing
Exactly what I am after guys you are hitting the nail on the head as i am not familiar with these fields. Some specifics on the auto/motorcycle career as well as other options that I could expand his horizon with, would be helpful.
 
Last edited:
Messages
838
Location
One Step Beyond
When my older Brother was 14, my Uncle gave him an old 1948 Harley (3-wheel) motorcycle that was half buried in his back yard. My Brother could only get it if he passed 8th Grade. Well, he passed. My Father thought my Brother would never get it running and it would keep him busy for the Summer. Well, he got it running. The excitement of a 14 year old boy getting his Harley running was quite high. He was allowed to ride it in the back yard. My Father didn't seem to mind the ruts in the lawn. Well, the back yard got boring, so my brother takes it down the street. Someone called the Police and my Brother comes speeding up the driveway and behind the garage. Nothing more became of that, but it was really the beginning of his mechanical career. He has since passed away, but he sure was my #1 person to call if I needed help. Edit: This motorcycle had a Towing Hitch on the front. It belonged to a Garage where the Mechanic would fix your car, then deliver the car to your house while towing his motorcycle. Then he would drive the motorcycle back to the Garage (1950's era).
 
Last edited:

John_Conrad

Thread starter
Messages
1,408
Location
Gone Fishing
thanks for the posts, the boy will be 16 next month and has 2 years of high school yet, but I want to be able to steer him in a good direction when the questions come up, so thanks for all your posts, really like the UNOH video. It was kind of like that with my son larry, i've been taking him hunting and fishing since the age of 3 and been letting him help with automotive care and repair since the age of about 12 or so. Last year he removed carburetor off an old dirt bike i had not been able to get to in forever, and asked me for help with cleaning and getting it put back on the bike. Once we breathed life into the old dirt bike, he has been interested in the field...
 
Last edited:
Messages
5,128
Location
Columbus,Nebraska
Some of the junior colleges in our state have programs for automotive and agriculture equipment mechanics. They turn out a very good product and most students have job offers before they graduate. Aviation would also be a good field for the mechanically inclined to consider.
 

John_Conrad

Thread starter
Messages
1,408
Location
Gone Fishing
Agree on the aviation field, i have made mention of this to him. thanks for the reminder as i had forgotten and i will look into this field some more with him.
 

MolaKule

Staff member
Messages
21,950
Location
Iowegia - USA
Originally Posted By: John_Conrad
thanks for the posts, the boy will be 16 next month and has 2 years of high school yet, but I want to be able to steer him in a good direction when the questions come up, so thanks for all your posts, really like the UNOH video. It was kind of like that with my son larry, i've been taking him hunting and fishing since the age of 3 and been letting him help with automotive care and repair since the age of about 12 or so. Last year he removed carburetor off an old dirt bike i had not been able to get to in forever, and asked me for help with cleaning and getting it put back on the bike. Once we breathed life into the old dirt bike, he has been interested in the field...
I am biased but I would steer him toward Physics and Chemistry. With a good foundation in both, you can branch out to any related field such as Tribology. cool Bikes are fine while young, but he will eventually have to bring in his own income.
 

John_Conrad

Thread starter
Messages
1,408
Location
Gone Fishing
thanks, Based on the little that I know about tribology, which i learned from searching the web.... Is it possible to branch into Tribology without a degree in Mechanical Engineering? or are you saying a degree in ME with heavy emphasis in physics and chemistry. This sounds intriguing to me so i'll need to research it more and hence the questions!
 
Messages
1,048
Location
SE Wisconsin
If he has an aptitude for science in school, I would encourage him to look into attending a 4-year university and majoring in a physical science such as chemistry or physics, OR an engineering major in mechanical or chemical engineering. If not, encourage him to major in business. I say this because I believe in this day and age, a college degree in a science, engineering, or business field is quite valuable, no matter what you end up doing for a living.
 

MolaKule

Staff member
Messages
21,950
Location
Iowegia - USA
Originally Posted By: John_Conrad
thanks, Is it possible to branch into Tribology without a degree in Mechanical Engineering? or are you saying a degree in ME with heavy emphasis in physics and chemistry.
Yes it is. A degree in ME with heavy emphasis in Physics and chemistry is also a possibility. One possible route is to get a Bachelor's in mechanical engineering, and do graduate studies in the topics listed below. Courses in organic chemistry, analytical chemistry, and physical chemistry are pluses if you want to develop new lubricants.
 
Last edited:
Messages
2,744
Location
San Antonio, TX
A big question will be just how long he'll want to go to school. For a "pure" science degree like chemistry or physics, an advanced degree is often required to secure a good position. And those positions often are focused on research. For example, the company I retired from now hires Chemists with Bachelor degrees for rotating shift work in the quality control labs due to the sophistication of modern analytical equipment. There's opportunity for advancement to the company's more sophisticated central laboratory and into lab supervision. Some get tired of the shiftwork and go back to school to get engineering degrees. For engineering, a bachelor's degree is generally enough to secure a good position unless one wants to focus heavily on research. I'm a Chemical Engineer, and I can tell you the chemistry aspect of things was only lightly touched on n Mechanical Engineering curriculum and most Mechanical Engineers I've worked with had a shallow grasp of chemistry beyond a few fundamentals, while most of us Chemical Engineers had a shallow grasp of mechanical forces beyond the fundamentals. So even in engineering, an advanced degree may be required to obtain a position in tribology. For example, a [censored] in Chemistry and a MS in ME, or a [censored] in ME and a master's in ChE. One of my classmate's father worked at Southwest Research Institute, a good place to check out for someone with such interests. He majored in ME and he & his dad were big gearheads - so much so they constructed their own auto maintenance pit while he was growing up. Might see if that's a place that would appeal to him to work at and what they'd recommend in terms of academic path to a position there. http://www.swri.org/ Best of luck, it's always great to hear of bright & eager youngsters!
 
Messages
3,379
Location
BC, Canada
For a little contrast, I did community college mechanics for 20 months after high school. My brother and sister got their PhDs in pharmacy (bio chem) from Manley NSW I have a cousin that just retired from teaching astro-physics, and at least 8 other PhDs in my gene-pool. My mother BSc in science, McGill 1950, wanted me to become an engineer. Driving trains isn't exactly what she had in mind. Now I have this friend in Omaha.....
 

John_Conrad

Thread starter
Messages
1,408
Location
Gone Fishing
ditto, so many interesting career paths...and i also met a gentleman from omaha who was a retired train engineer that ran the coal trains. met him at hospital during my lengthy stay after a serious auto accident i was involved in. Myself i went to work full time with a land surveying/civil engineering(CE)firm after high school and was able to take advantage of their program of compensation for college classes related to the field of surveying and CE. I was able to complete that associate of applied science degree and today here i am almost 34 years later still in the field! The key for me is that I really enjoy my work and I hope that the boy finds something that he enjoys doing so that it will reward him with a solid lengthy career. While watching the world series last night, i grabbed the lap top and introduced him to the field of tribology and planted the seed for such a career path, he was interested when he found out how it tied back to engines but we also learned of it's application in other fields. So we shall see where he goes with it. Likely he will be asking more questions in the near future. Should I introduce him to BITOG? LOL just kidding and all in due time. thanks all!
 
Last edited:
Messages
28,123
Location
Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
Originally Posted By: MolaKule
I am biased but I would steer him toward Physics and Chemistry.
My bias states that if one wishes to do physics, a student had better get a firm grounding in mathematics early on. It makes life much easier.
 

John_Conrad

Thread starter
Messages
1,408
Location
Gone Fishing
I am amazed at how early they begin advanced math to kids these days. My son(Jon) was doing advanced algebra in jr high. Things that at least i was not exposed to until high school. I'm hoping to see them teach more trigonometry and calculus-at least some thing on this.... Next year he will be able to take a chemistry class, not sure on the physics though. I was able to take chemistry and physics in high school and that was a great exposure to those subjects for me. and on edit: I do remember when I helped him through some of that algebra early on that the problems he was working on were those I remember from physics!
 
Last edited:
Top