Despite their reliabilities on assembly lines and technicians, Mechanical Engineering is best understood as the backbone occupation behind automobiles, machinery, and other modern day mechanical objects because of the amount of well-built products designed by engineers today. Applications of Mechanical Engineering have appeared as far back as 10 a.d. in ancient Greece during the creation of things like the steam engine, although in today’s world they are applied in much more advanced ways, mechanical engineering is still structured off some of the same basic principles used back then.
Mechanical Engineering is essentially the design process behind everything you would think of as a machine. For example, a car, airplane engines, and even cell phones. For the most part, if an object has moving parts in it, most likely it used applications of Mechanical Engineering. Mechanical Engineering is also used in the design of shoes and other stationary objects because of the way the body moves and acts while in use.
Mechanical Engineers usually have a large academic background behind them; the average engineer usually finishes their bachelor program in 5 years. Coursework is usually quite difficult because the major requires you to take lots more math compared to other programs and both chemistry and physics. As well as core classes, there are also many related courses engineers take. Some of the most common ones are statics and dynamics, electronics, fluid dynamics, thermodynamics, strength of materials, and engineering/product design. As a requirement for most Universities as well, seniors must complete a final project where they apply the fundamentals that they learned in the class and build something related to there major. This project is also quite helpful when applying for a job and also figuring out what type of company to work for after college.
Mechanical Engineering is one of the most growing occupations in today’s world. In the U.S. there are currently 239,000 people employed as mechanical engineers as of 2009. According to the occupational outlook handbook, the number of employed mechanical engineers is predicted to rise 6% over the next decade. The average salary for mechanical engineers in the U.S. according to 2009 statistics is 75,000 dollars per year.
There are many different tools used in mechanical engineering, the most important tool used in todays society is the computer. In the past, engineers would sketch designs out by hand on a drawing table, or chisel the product out with clay, in todays world, the drawing table is obsolete because of CAD software. CAD stands for computer-aided design and essentially the most used program for engineers, contractors, and even landscapers. Before any product is made, it is designed through CAD to estimate dimensions and looks of the product before it is sent out. CAD is not the only program that engineers are trained to use, they also use Solid works, Mastercam, AutoCAD, Inventor, and many other programs that use design to create products. There is software that engineers are trained on to even simulate a product being dropped, or if a high temperature is applied to the product. With these types of programs, engineers can build products better and more efficiently.
Within the category of Mechanical Engineering, there are several sub disciplines that Mechanical Engineering is broken into. The first is Mechanics; Mechanics is the study of forces and how they react to matter, in engineering it is often used to analyze and predict he acceleration and deformation of objects under an applied force. The next sub discipline is Robotics; Robotics is a subcategory for not just mechanical engineering but electrical and software engineering as well. Robotics are used in industrial engineering but the design of the robot is created through mechanical engineers. The next sub discipline is structural analysis; structural analysis is essentially examining why and how objects fail and how to fix the object. Structural analysis is also studying how to build objects better and prevent breakage. The most common type of mechanical engineering is the design and drafting sub discipline, drafting is basically using CAD programs to design the product before it is mass-produced. Drafting also calculates the dimensions of the product before it is even built.
Mechanical Engineering is based around the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). ASME is an engineering society focused on mechanical engineering. ASME is also who sets the standard design process for engineering; they ensure that designs will be dimensioned the same way as another company. This is important because if each company designed and dimensioned differently, it would be impossible for engineers to understand blueprints. ASME is also the group that picks the course work for future engineering students. ASME is basically what keeps all engineering work consistent between different engineering firms.
Mechanical Engineering although has been around for many years, has shown so much progress in the past years. Between the rigorous course work and the update of ASME standards, it’s a profession that you must always be at the top of your game to be successful at it. Engineering is predicted to become even more rigorous due to the advancement of technology. Even though the course work seems so hard, more and more products built today are lasting longer, built more efficiently, and also use cheaper materials without reducing quality.
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