What does it mean to be a mechanical engineer?
Mechanical engineering arose in Europe during the Industrial Revolution in the 18th century, although its roots may be traced back thousands of years throughout the world. It is, without a doubt, the most diversified of engineering fields.
In the automotive, aerospace, biotechnology, computer and electronics, automation, and manufacturing industries, mechanical engineers play a critical role. They create, test, and develop a wide range of mechanical gadgets, tools, engines, and machines.
Mechanical engineers are able to design and manufacture everything from small parts like miniature connectors to large machine tools like drill presses. They take a product from start to finish, and design for aesthetics, functionality, and durability. Examples of products that mechanical engineers can design and develop are: transmissions; engine parts; aircraft engines; control systems; prosthetic devices; disk drives; printers; semiconductor tools; sensors; gas turbines; wind turbines; fuel cells; compressors; robots; and machine tools.
What does a Mechanical Engineer do?
Mechanical engineering is one of the most ancient and diversified engineering fields. It is a discipline of engineering that entails the use of physics, engineering, mathematics, and materials science principles to the design, manufacture, and operation of machinery.
Mechanical engineering can be found in fields like composites, mechatronics, and nanotechnology, and it frequently overlaps with manufacturing engineering, metallurgical engineering, civil engineering, aerospace engineering, electrical engineering, chemical engineering, industrial engineering, and other engineering disciplines in varying degrees.
In order to design and manufacture mechanical systems, mechanical engineers need to have a deep understanding of mechanics, dynamics, thermodynamics, electricity, and structural analysis. They also need to be able to use computers, CAD (computer-aided design), and CAM (computer-aided manufacturing) to produce and analyze their designs, as well as to monitor the quality of products.
Mechanical engineers typically do the following:
– Analyze problems to see how a mechanical device might help solve the problem
– Design or redesign mechanical devices, creating blueprints so the device can be built
– Develop a prototype of the device and test the prototype
– Analyze the test results and change the design as needed
– Oversee the manufacturing process
Mechanical engineers use many types of tools, engines, and machines, such as:
– Electric generators, internal combustion engines, and steam and gas turbines
– Power-using machines, such as refrigeration and air-conditioning
– Industrial production equipment, including robots used in manufacturing
– Other machines inside buildings, such as elevators and escalators
– Machine tools and tools for other engineers
– Material-handling systems, such as conveyor systems and automated transfer stations
The following are examples of different types of mechanical engineers:
Automotive Research Engineers
Automotive research engineers try to improve the performance of cars by working to improve traditional features of cars such as suspension and work on aerodynamics and new possible fuels. Automotive research engineers focus on the development of passenger cars, trucks, buses, motorcycles, or off-road vehicles. They design new products, modify existing ones, troubleshoot, and solve engineering problems.
Heating and Cooling Systems Engineers
Heat engineering, also known as heat transfer or thermal sciences, is an academic specialty of mechanical engineering. Heating and cooling systems engineers develop environmental systems (systems that keep temperatures and humidity within certain limits) for airplanes, trains, cars, computer rooms, and schools. The design test control apparatus as well as equipment, and develop procedures for testing products. They also calculate energy losses for buildings, using equipment such as computers, combustion analyzers, or pressure gauges.
A robotics engineer is a behind-the-scenes designer, who is responsible for creating robots and robotic systems that are able to perform duties that humans are either unable or prefer not to complete.
Robotics engineers will spend the majority of their time designing the plans needed to build robots, and will also design the processes necessary for the robot to run correctly. Through their creations, robotics engineer helps to make jobs safer, easier, and more efficient, particularly in the manufacturing industry.
Materials engineers attempt to solve problems in several different engineering fields, such as mechanical, chemical, electrical, civil, nuclear, and aerospace. They do this by developing, processing, and testing materials in order to create new materials that meet certain mechanical, electrical, and chemical requirements.
Materials engineers study the chemical properties, structures, and mechanical uses of plastics, metals, nanomaterials (extremely small substances), ceramics, and composites according to the place of usage.
What is the workplace of a Mechanical Engineer like?
Mechanical engineers are the second-largest engineering occupation. They work mostly in engineering services, research and development, manufacturing industries, and the federal government. The rest are employed in general-purpose machinery manufacturing, automotive parts manufacturing, management of other companies, and testing laboratories.
Mechanical engineers generally work in professional office settings. They may occasionally visit worksites where a problem or piece of equipment needs their personal attention. Most mechanical engineers work full time, with some working as many as 60 hours or more per week.
What types of industries can mechanical engineers work in?
Mechanical engineers can find employment virtually anywhere where innovation takes place, and are sought out by employers within a variety of industries, such as aerospace, automotive, chemical, construction, defense, electronics, consumer goods, marine, materials and metals, pharmaceuticals, rail, and utilities.
Mechanical engineers can also work in non-engineering types of jobs, both within and outside of the engineering industry. These can be in areas such as finance, management, law, the military, government, medicine, research, technical sales, technical consulting, technical publishing/science journalism, and teaching. From developing a prosthetic leg to a new child’s toy, a degree in mechanical engineering gives you a diverse choice of industries and projects you can be a part of.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, the largest employers of mechanical engineers are as follows:
Architectural, engineering, and related services – 22%
Machinery manufacturing – 13%
Transportation equipment manufacturing – 12%
Scientific research and development services – 7%
Computer and electronic product manufacturing – 7%