What Is Mechanical Engineering | Career , Salary ,Skill Needed , Colleges
What Is Mechanical Engineering
Mechanical engineering is the discipline that applies the principles of engineering, physics, and materials science for the design, analysis, manufacturing, and maintenance of mechanical systems. It is the branch of engineering that involves the design, production, and operation of machinery.It is one of the oldest and broadest of the engineering disciplines.
The mechanical engineering field requires an understanding of core areas including mechanics, kinematics, thermodynamics, materials science, structural analysis, and electricity. Mechanical engineers use these core principles along with tools like computer-aided design, and product lifecycle management to design and analyze manufacturing plants, industrial equipment and machinery, heating and cooling systems, transport systems, aircraft, watercraft, robotics, medical devices, weapons, and others.
Technically, mechanical engineering is the application of the principles and problem-solving techniques of engineering from design to manufacturing to the marketplace for any object. Mechanical engineers analyze their work using the principles of motion, energy, and force — ensuring that designs function safely, efficiently, and reliably, all at a competitive cost.
Mechanical engineers make a difference. That’s because mechanical engineering careers center on creating technologies to meet human needs. Virtually every product or service in modern life has probably been touched in some way by a mechanical engineer to help humankind.
What do mechanical engineers do? / What are the duties of an engineer?
Mechanical engineering combines creativity, knowledge and analytical tools to complete the difficult task of shaping an idea into reality.
This transformation happens at the personal scale, affecting human lives on a level we can reach out and touch like robotic prostheses. It happens on the local scale, affecting people in community-level spaces, like with agile interconnected microgrids. And it happens on bigger scales, like with advanced power systems, through engineering that operates nationwide or across the globe.
Mechanical engineers have an enormous range of opportunity and their education mirrors this breadth of subjects. Students concentrate on one area while strengthening analytical and problem-solving skills applicable to any engineering situation.
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Disciplines within mechanical engineering include but are not limited to:
- Autonomous Systems
- Computer Aided Design (CAD)
- Control Systems
- Cyber security
- Human health
- Manufacturing and additive manufacturing
- Production planning
- Structural analysis
Technology itself has also shaped how mechanical engineers work and the suite of tools has grown quite powerful in recent decades. Computer-aided engineering (CAE) is an umbrella term that covers everything from typical CAD techniques to computer-aided manufacturing to computer-aided engineering, involving finite element analysis (FEA) and computational fluid dynamics (CFD). These tools and others have further broadened the horizons of mechanical engineering.
What careers are there in mechanical engineering?
Society depends on mechanical engineering. The need for this expertise is great in so many fields, and as such, there is no real limit for the freshly minted mechanical engineer. Jobs are always in demand, particularly in the automotive, aerospace, electronics, biotechnology, and energy industries.
Here are a handful of mechanical engineering fields.
In statics, research focuses on how forces are transmitted to and throughout a structure. Once a system is in motion, mechanical engineers look at dynamics, or what velocities, accelerations and resulting forces come into play. Kinematics then examines how a mechanism behaves as it moves through its range of motion.
Materials science delves into determining the best materials for different applications. A part of that is materials strength — testing support loads, stiffness, brittleness and other properties — which is essential for many construction, automobile, and medical materials.
How energy gets converted into useful power is the heart of thermodynamics, as well as determining what energy is lost in the process. One specific kind of energy, heat transfer, is crucial in many applications and requires gathering and analyzing temperature data and distributions.
Fluid mechanics, which also has a variety of applications, looks at many properties including pressure drops from fluid flow and aerodynamic drag forces.
Manufacturing is an important step in mechanical engineering. Within the field, researchers investigate the best processes to make manufacturing more efficient. Laboratory methods focus on improving how to measure both thermal and mechanical engineering products and processes. Likewise, machine design develops equipment-scale processes while electrical engineering focuses on circuitry. All this equipment produces vibrations, another field of mechanical engineering, in which researchers study how to predict and control vibrations.
Engineering economics makes mechanical designs relevant and usable in the real world by estimating manufacturing and life cycle costs of materials, designs, and other engineered products.
How much do mechanical engineers earn?
Like careers in many other engineering fields, mechanical engineers are well paid. Compared to other fields, mechanical engineers earn well above average throughout each stage of their careers. According to salary.com, the median starting salary for a Mechanical Engineer I in the United States is just under $63,000, with the top ten percent earning close to $75,000.