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How to build railguns and coilguns, continued...
Careers in Railguns and Coilguns

Becoming a supergun researcher is hard work, but please don't worry about whether you have the brain power to do it. If you have enjoyed reading this Guide, you probably have enough enthusiasm and intelligence. Just add hard work and go to the right school and you will be on your way to an exciting career.

First of all, you need to join the world-wide organization for electrical and electronics engineers, the IEEE. That's the organization that sponsors all the most important conferneces and publications on electromagnetic guns. They have chapters around the world where you can spend the evening with other engineers and make friends and get help for your career. They will know where the best colleges and universities are in your area, or maybe even help you get scholarships to go to school outside your country. If you are a full time student, you can get a reduced rate to be a member.

Best school on the whole planet: The University of Texas at Austin. Enroll in their Electrical and Computer Engineering or Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics programs, and after getting through the first two years or so, with help from your favorite professor, you should be able to go to the Institute for Advanced Studies and ask about becoming a student intern. (Whether you get the job may depend upon funding at the time.)

If you can't go to school there, then your next best bet is to get a degree in engineering or physics from a "real" university. By real I mean one where you attend classes in person and do laboratory work. Those online degrees will waste your time. You need the hands on experience of laboratory work to become a real engineer.

You can find out what are the best of these universities by reading http:// www.emlsymposium.shtml. Look for where the authors of these papers work. In many cases these are colleges or universities. If you enroll at one of these universities, then just walk over to the door of the office of the researcher you read about, knock on the door if it is closed (or see if the professor has posted office hours on the door), and he or she will be glad to meet you. Tell him or her how much you admire that paper in the EML Symposium. Explain your dream, ask for help, and you will get it.

I kid you not. Most researchers could make more money working on boring stuff for a giant corporation. These people become college professors instead because they enjoy teaching and researching. If you walk in and beg to work with one of these professors, and it makes his day. Of course the prpfessor will make you work like heck, but hard work is fun when you are chasing your dream.

Also, you learn a whole lot more if you get an advanced degree. You can get a job as either a researcher or teaching assistant once you are in grad school which saves a lot of money and is more fun than other jobs.

Happy electromagnetic hacking!


       © 2013 Carolyn Meinel