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Career after the Ph.D.


I'm an Engineer and a Ph.D. student in Applied Maths, working in the field of Nonlinear Finite Elements for Elasticity. I often think about my future career since, by now, I have a strong experience with coding FE in C++/Matlab/Mathematica, but no clue whatsoever about commercial black-box softwares for FEA. I'm worried about this, since most of the job vacancies from the industry (I'm not interested in pursuing the Academic career) seem to require only experience with a specific software and application, and not to directly code FE.

Also, since my Ph.D. funding is actually a full employment at the university as a Reasearch Assistant (I'm in Europe), will I be considered as already having work experience after my graduation? I'm so fond of Computational Mechanics, that I believe any job in this area would probably fit my taste, the problem is that I have no idea what are the needs of people outside academia! How do I get more informations?



Many places will hire you. Software companies for one. Many companies also develop their own in-house code. ExxonMobile for one need someone who know Galerkin method and strong programming skill. Good luck.

Your questions are good. Here's my take on it:


1)  Don't worry too much about knowing a particular FE code. There will always be someone who will let you learn - it may take you 2-3 weeks to learn a commercial FE code for a project at most. You won't be an expert in a particular code - but that is not your goal - becoming an expert in a particular code will take 10 years effort. The goal is to learn enough to finish a project correctly. 

 2)  Whatever your title, everyone knows you were a Ph.D. student - don't worry about such formalities.

 3) Your professor is probably the best person to start asking for information. ( Unless he/she wants you to go to academia).

 Good luck.



 you ask for advice and i am writing in order to make another question. Do you have any examples on using mathematica in order to code FEM ? Regards,




Sorry if I reply only now. I recommend against implementing FE in Mathematica. I only use it for interactive manipulation of toy problems, like visualization of deformations of a single element, but it's not designed for looping over a mesh and assemble stiffness matrix and similars.

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