Anytime a college student (engineering or otherwise) finds themself not knowing a crucial piece of information that can make or break an assignment, the first thing they do is “Google it”. After asking Google for help a few times, the student notices that the same websites keep coming up. Eventually, certain useful sites are saved as favorites and accessed directly.
As a senior engineering student, I have personally come across many valuable online resources to get me through challenging problems, interdisciplinary projects, and the various hurdles associated with being an engineering student. This is a compilation of the resources I find most helpful and use most often.
These online calculating tools are great for running quick calculations if a calculator isn’t handy or easily tracking down a useful equation.
This is one of my personal all-time favorites. This powerful website is easy to use and gives great results. The basic site is free but can be upgraded to access different features and analytical tools. There is also an app, which can be purchased for $2.99.
This is a great one-stop-shop that has lots of useful conversions and equations organized by the topic they pertain to, so it’s easy to find what you’re looking for. The website is filled with tables, figures, and other relevant information.
This site is very similar to the Engineering Toolbox in that it provides students with a list of useful formulas and provides great explanations of how they work.
Another good calculating tool that will help with calculations and conversions based on the different types of engineering.
Many websites offer free tutorials and videos that can be used as refresher courses while studying. Khan Academy is great for confusing school subjects (I personally used it a lot for statics and dynamics), and the other three are resources for civil engineering students working in AutoCAD.
Wonderful source of online tutorials for all school subjects at all levels. The website is organized by subjects and topics, so it is very easy to find exactly what you need help with. Most topics are covered by multiple videos (1-2 overview videos and 1-2 videos with example questions).
AutoCAD tutorials for all levels that serve as very good refreshers.
Similar to MyCADsite, this resource provides hundreds of free CAD tutorials that are organized by topic and level of skill.
Autodesk Knowledge Center
Great resource from the creators of AutoCAD for any CAD software. Includes lots of tutorials and helpful hints.
Organization & Collaboration
As students, we are frequently required to work in groups and, more often than not, trying to effectively collaborate within those groups is quite challenging. Here are some of my favorite tools and resources that have helped me streamline group collaboration and organization.
Very helpful with taking and organizing one’s notes. The notes are archived and can be anything in the form of text, pictures, voice memos, or even handwritten notes.
Simple group messaging app to facilitate casual group discussions.
Phone and desktop app that is perfect for large groups that are then subdivided into committees or smaller groups. Slack allows for the creation of “channels” so that all subgroups are still under the same general group, but have the opportunity to set up their own private channels regarding the project they are working on. This resource is unique in that it allows users to “pin” documents to the channel and create polls directly in the chat.
This online video conferencing tool is awesome for large group discussions and is free (each new meeting is free for the first hour) and simple to use. Attendees are sent a “Meeting ID” which takes them directly to the web conference room. Zoom includes a chat box and a “raise hand” feature which is very helpful when multiple people are trying to talk at the same time. This resource allows for screen sharing in a sleek and professional layout.
Super simple tool that make it easy to find days and times for group meetings. It takes just seconds to create an event and send out the link to anyone who needs to attend the meeting.
Online whiteboard for group idea creation that shows the flow and development of the team’s ideas. Participants can paste PDFs, Word documents, videos, website links, etc. directly onto the whiteboard for all participants to access. There is a 30 day free trail after which the service is paid for monthly.
Great resource for file storage and file sharing. It is especially helpful when there is a need to share large files with multiple group members.
Almost everyone uses GoogleDrive in some way, shape, or form as it is an easy way to share documents, write papers, and create presentations in real-time.
Discount College Textbooks
Everyone knows that the typical university bookstore could break the bank, especially for engineering students (where a single textbook could go for over $200). These are some great places to look for college textbooks other than the bookstore. Most have free return services for books rented from their website. Each one is set up similarly (look up ISBN and/or book title).
The following websites are useful for engineering students who want to take a break from homework but still satisfy their inner nerd. There are a lot of cool things going on in the field of engineering and these are some great resources for learning about them.
All of us need an occasional break from homework or studying, here are some of my favorite sites for when I need a breather, but still want to satisfy my inner nerd. There are a lot of amazing things going on right now in the field of engineering and these are some great resources for learning keeping up with them.
Not necessarily an engineering resource, TED Talks cover a wide range of topics (all of which are interesting), that make for a perfect watch during a 20-minute break.
Stay up-to-date on news in engineering, watch videos, and read different guides to engineering (like how to apply for the FE/PE).
Good resource for engineering news, job postings, tips for job applications, links to online calculators, etc.