Mechanical Engineering

in Design

Mechanical engineering plays an important role in enhancing safety, enjoyment, economic vitality and overall quality of life throughout the world. Mechanical engineers are concerned with the principles of force, energy and motion. Those who work as mechanical engineers are professionals with expert knowledge of the manufacture and design of mechanical systems and thermal devices and processes.  Some examples of process and products developed by mechanical engineers include engines and control systems for electric power generation plants, automobiles and aircraft, lifesaving medical devices and consumer products ranging from air conditioners to personal computers and athletic equipment. They also design the machines that mass-produce these products. Virtually every aspect of life is touched by mechanical engineering. If something moves or uses energy, a mechanical engineer was probably involved in its design or production.  The explosive development and expansion in computer technology has changed the face of mechanical engineering literally. 

The drawing board has given way to computer aided- design (CAD), and sophisticated computational software tools have enabled mechanical engineers to develop efficient solutions to complex technical problems. For e.g., the emerging high-tech field of nano technology is attracting mechanical engineers to design ultra-miniature machines and tiny implantable medical devices that navigate the human body searching for damaged tissue and disease.  Also, the growing concern for the planet and the quality of life for future generations have spurred continuing efforts by mechanical engineers to design resource-efficient and recyclable products and develop equipment and processes to clean-up existing environmental problems and prevent their reoccurrence.  These technologies and a host of others will have an impact on lives in the 21st century, and their development and refinement require the skills, intuition and creative ability of mechanical engineers. At the same time, mechanical engineers are expected to understand and convey the real-world consequences of technology development alternatives to decision-makers and the public.

Mechanical engineering is a profession needs some specific skills. These skills are acquired through education, training and experience. Throughout high school, students must enroll in certain courses as preparation for acceptance into engineering programs at a college or university. A solid foundation in mathematics, science and the language arts is critical.  Strong mathematics preparation includes algebra, geometry, trigonometry and calculus. Chemistry, biology and physics form the basic science foundation. Ability in oral and written communications is important to success in mechanical engineering studies, and courses in mechanical or computer-aided drafting/drawing and other technology-related subjects can help students begin to understand the important practicalities of technological projects.  Students can enhance their studies and enrich the overall learning experience by entering science and technology fairs and design competitions, and by joining clubs or career groups devoted to engineering and science. Some clubs sponsor day trips and similar excursions to companies, laboratories and industrial facilities, where students can meet engineers in actual work environments.

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This article was published on 2012/03/03