I am a materials engineering master's student and have a poor track record with undergraduate level mathematics and mechanics. However, I like working on applied problems that involve these. For example, currently I find modeling 3D printing process interesting and want to work on the topic.

However, I am objectively poor in mathematics and mechanics. I enjoy the physics in play and have an intuitive sense, and my master's research was about using an existing tool to understand the parameters that influence a good 3Dprint. I have also published in a good journal. I am interested in a career in research (academia or industry).

I have got a PhD offer from a good university and good professor on the topic. It will involve some programming to develop geometries, but mostly use an open-source software to understand and predict the physics of 3D printing process.

Considering that this PhD is in UK and I won't be taking anymore classes than I have already taken. Should I go for this PhD? The group publishes regularly in decent journals.

  • 3
    If you've been given a funded offer the department is confident in your ability to handle the work. Oct 26, 2020 at 11:46
  • Also keep in mind that you don't have to be "poor in mathematics" forever. It's something like building muscles. It's harder for some people than others but almost everyone can do it with consistent work.
    – user128124
    Oct 26, 2020 at 15:28
  • It seems strange to me that you talk about your grades and not perceived knowledge. I mean, if I have had prof. X in every subject who gave everyone they liked an A I would have had better grades. If I had prof. Y in every subject who announced people should not ask question and if they do, they will penalized at the exam, I would have had worse grades. Prof. A's exams are 5 times more difficult than prof. B's exams - so what exactly should an individual grade tell me?
    – user111388
    Nov 8, 2020 at 11:25

1 Answer 1


First, recall that there is nothing about doctoral (or other) level research that suggests all of the necessary ideas are covered by coursework. For those like yourself and others, people need to be able to learn what is necessary to reach the research "edge" and cross it.

You may have a harder time than some, or not, depending on the sorts of things you wind up doing. But don't hesitate because the job looks hard. It would anyway. My guess is that you will be fine. If your advisor believes in you, relax.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .