What Is Mechanical Engineering?

Mechanical Engineering includes work across a wide and interesting variety of businesses and industries and includes designing, developing, and creating machines and their components.

Though mechanical engineering is actually among the oldest engineering disciplines, this interesting profession is also the direction that continuously changes and grows to keep up with technological advancements which makes it an exciting and vibrant career path, especially in our contemporary, tech-driven world.

Recently, Mechanical Engineering was named as one of the most desired career paths by GED students, says Steve Gory from Best GED classes, a website that provides online GED prep. That’s huge. It means the visibility of this industry is increasing.

Mechanical engineers are also designing power-producing machines like internal combustion engines, gas and steam turbines, and electric generators, as well as machines that use power, such as air-conditioning or refrigeration systems.  Mechanical engineers are in the business of designing all sorts of other machines that are applied, for example, inside buildings such as escalators and elevators.

Mechanical engineering comprises of many and diverse subject fields that include designing, developing, and manufacturing all sorts of things, from small devices and individual parts (e.g., inkjet printer nozzles and microscale sensor) to large and complex systems (e.g., machine tools and spacecraft). It is the mechanical engineer’s task and challenge to take products from ideas to the contemporary marketplace. To be able to accomplish this goal, several years of high-class education are required and mechanical engineers are required to have a wide range of well-rounded skills.

Mechanical engineers need to acquire, develop, and maintain specific knowledge and skills. They need to understand the thermal environment and forces that a specific product and its parts ( or some subsystems) will be met with. The must be able to design these products for functionality, aesthetical looks, as well as the ability to keep functioning if they’re met with the thermal environment and sometimes extreme forces they are expected to be subjected to. Mechanical Engineers must be able to decide on the best way to manufacture these products and make sure they will be operating without failure even in extreme circumstances.

Because this sort of skills is required for practically all things that are designed and produced, mechanical engineering may well be the most diverse and broadest of all engineering disciplines and many schools offer top education in this field. Mechanical engineering plays a crucial and central role in industries like automotive (from the chassis to all subsystems such as engine, transmission, and sensors); aerospace (aircraft engines, airplanes, spacecraft, and all sorts of control systems); biotechnology (prosthetic devices, implants, or fluidic systems for the pharmaceutical industry; electronics and computers (semiconductor tools, disk drives, cooling systems, or printers); micro-electromechanical systems (sensors, micro power generators, actuators); energy conversion (wind turbines, gas turbines, fuel cells, solar energy); environmental control (air-conditioning, HVAC, refrigeration, or compressors); automation (data and/or image acquisition, robots, control, or recognition); manufacturing processes (machine tools, machining, prototyping, tools, or microfabrication).

Simply put, mechanical engineers deal with anything that’s moving, including our human body, the most complex machine we know. Mechanical engineers need to learn everything about materials, fluid and solid mechanics, heat transfer, thermodynamics, design, instrumentation, control, and manufacturing to be able to understand all sorts of mechanical systems and in the contemporary high-tech world, many startups are constantly looking for the brightest mechanical engineers. 

Specialized mechanical engineering subject areas include cartilage-tissue engineering, biomechanics, energy conversion, combustion, laser-assisted material processing, MEMS, fracture mechanics, microfluidic devices, nanomechanics, micropower generation, mechanisms, vibrations, and tribology (friction & wear). There are currently some 36 technical divisions that relate to mechanical engineering, from aerospace engineering and advanced energy systems to textile engineering and solid-waste engineering.

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