What is mechanical engineering?

Shahzad Masood

What is mechanical engineering

Mechanical engineering is a type of engineering that focuses on the design and creation of machinery. Most people might envision motor vehicles, however there’s more to mechanical engineering than meets the eye. The premise of this sector is that it involves working with things that move, from vehicles to machinery and much more. If it moves, it was likely created by a mechanical engineer.

Engineers in this sector will typically see a product through its entire product cycle. They’ll create the initial design, bring it to life, run tests and take ownership of product maintenance and repairs where necessary.  

Industries that rely on mechanical engineering include:

  • Automotive
  • Aerospace
  • Construction
  • Computing
  • Energy
  • Food production
  • Manufacturing
  • Medical
  • Transport

These industries tap into mechanical engineering for machinery, engines, robots and other tools that can assist with day-to-day work in these fields.

Examples of the type of machinery they work on range from 3D printers to cutting-edge cars that tap into the latest innovations. As a result, there is a large demand for mechanical engineers worldwide, making it a rewarding career to follow if you’re an ambitious individual. They’re fundamental to helping us tackle some of the world’s most complex issues. For example, they could work within green technology in a bid to help combat climate change. There’s a large amount of funding in areas such as these, which makes work in this field highly appealing to many.

Typically, mechanical engineers will use specialist software to build and test projects they’re working on. They could be tasked with redesigning an existing set-up or they might need to build a machine from scratch to improve industry operations. Being able to turn concepts into reality is a big part of a mechanical engineer’s role.

Beyond this, safety testing is a big part of the job. This typically involves lots of data analysis, alongside physical tests to determine whether a piece of equipment should continue to be used.

In terms of work locations, you could be onsite or in an office, depending on the project you’re working on, as well as the stage you’re at. You could be in the research and analysis stage that requires you to work at the computer using specialist CAD design software and other data analysis software. Or, you could be conducting repairs to a piece of machinery in a factory or another location.

So, how do you become a mechanical engineer? It’s worth looking at local colleges and university courses to see how you can enter the industry. You may have transferable skills from other areas of engineering that could give you a head start, or you might be starting this venture from scratch with little to no experience. Either way, so long as you are analytical, mathematically minded and good at problem-solving, there’s no reason why you can’t flourish in this sector.

Does mechanical engineering sound like a career path you’d be interested in?

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