I'm an engineer and I'm planning to get a bigger toolbox than Excel to solve difficult problems. I started learning Python (as that seems the script language to go for math intense jobs, and runs in the background of many applications) and plan to take a deep look at Sage and Ascend, as those seem to be two good free packages that do different jobs. Ascend especially was written with process engineering in mind.
Right now I pursue this in my spare time.
Now, I look for problems that are not too far from my background - process & environmental engnieering. Possible tasks (that I think lend them selve to numerical solutions):
- compressible flow through channel
- flow through networks of pipes (Gas, heating)
- mass-flow through complex systems with lots of interconnections and chemical/biological reactions
- thermodynamic cycles
- sizing heat exchangers
I think in most professional environments this would be done in ASPEN or Aquasim, the company I'm at doesn't (need to) work like that. Note that I'm not looking at CFD or Finite Elements.
Most of these I could get from my work - but without a correct solution to benchmark my calculations. Ideally, I would have a problem and a correct solution, where the problems need some engineering or physics understanding and the ability to translate this into some code (depending on the platform used to solve) - or a Project Euler for engineers!
Where can I find worked examples with results to sharpen my teeth on?