Collage of Various Products / Trevor English
Getting through engineering school is no easy task. There are, of course, some things that can help make your time in university just a little bit easier. There are tons of gadgets ranging from the simple to the ultra-techy that will turn your dorm room into a "smart room" or just help you remember an equation on your test. Many of you engineering students out there might also have some extra money lying around from your past summer internship, I know I did. If you are wondering what to spend it on, something on this list might be the perfect thing. Here are the top 10 best gadgets for engineering students!
1. VR Headset
VR is all the rage right now, and if you haven't gotten yourself a headset yet, now may be the time. As an engineering student, you likely can't use VR for anything educational just yet, although VR CAD and design programs are coming. You can, however, use your VR headset for video games or to watch videos. Plus, if you are a little more electronics and technical minded, you could likely write your own games or programs to use in conjunction with the headset.
2. Powerful Alarm Clock
I once knew an engineer who took 30 minutes of their tiny alarm going off before they would wake up. As engineers, we know how to do the math, but we also know how to sleep. If you want to avoid missing class and start every morning off with a deafening alarm, then this extremely loud sonic alarm is for you. Even if you don't need this alarm, having an alarm clock is a good idea. I would often set an alarm clock as a backup alarm just in case my phone failed me. Be an engineer and mitigate every possible bad scenario in your morning routine.
3. Engineering Cheat Shirt
This shirt isn't a gadget per say, but it is both an incredibly useful and hilarious shirt for engineers. You will find printed on this shirt virtually every formula and diagram you could need for your engineering classes. This could get you in trouble though. Just make sure you have a backup shirt in your bag in case your professor decides you have to take it off.
4. LiveScribe Smart Pen
This pen is a little pricey at $180, but if you always lose your notes, then it is probably worth it. This smartpen allows you to take notes on paper and automatically transfer those notes to a digital interface. The pen also incorporates a voice recorder, so you can still hear the professor when you may be copying down the last slide. For anyone that wants to streamline their notetaking and make sure they get everything down, then this pen is probably for you.
5. Pocket Oscilloscope
Admittedly this is going to be for a very select group of engineering students, but it is awesome nonetheless. This pocket oscilloscope is only $99 and could prove rather useful for the electrical engineer on the go or just an engineer that wants an awesome pocket gadget.
6. Maker's Notebook
Every engineer needs a good notebook and this one was designed for makers and engineers alike. It comes with 150 pages of engineering graph paper. The front and back of the notebook are filled with helpful sheets and diagrams for a variety of applications. This book probably isn't for taking notes, but it would be perfect for those weekend projects.
7. Laptop Cooling Pad
Whether you have a gaming laptop or just use one for homework, a cooling stand is generally a good idea to keep your expensive tech healthy. This particular cooling mat has kickstands and a built-in USB fan to help keep your computer at optimal temperature.
8. Charging Backpack
Every engineering student needs a good backpack. There are always going to be different expectations people have for a backpack, but generally, something that looks sleek and maybe has a built-in charger is a good place to start – like the one pictured above. As engineers, we are constantly carrying around computers and tools. If you search around for exactly what you need, odds are you are going to find it.
9. Smart Coffee Maker
Instead of setting an alarm, why not wake up to the smell of fresh coffee brewing? This smart coffee maker can be controlled from a smartphone and is surprisingly affordable at $84. Another great use of this device is that you signal your coffee maker to start brewing while you're in class, that way when you get back to your room it is all ready for you!
10. Digital Calipers
Digital calipers are a must-have for anyone that builds projects a lot or works with tools. These really aren't that expensive given that they're a precision instrument, and they can prove very useful when designing parts in CAD or milling something on a lathe.
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Here you go! Hopefully, you found one or two things that could be useful for you, I know I sure did when I was doing research for this article. If we didn't cover your favorite gadget, let us know what it is in the comments below!