Work in teams with other professional mechanical engineers, helping to convert ideas into real products, systems, tools, engines and machines.
Mechanical engineers are involved in three main areas:
- Machine design
- Energy production (e.g., electricity from renewable and fossil fuels), energy consumption (by machines, appliances, lights, etc.) and energy efficiency
Mechanical engineering is one of the broadest engineering disciplines. For example, while an electrical engineer might design the electronics and circuitry of a microwave oven, a mechanical engineer will be involved in specifying the geometries and materials of all the oven parts and how they will be assembled. Another mechanical engineer might be involved in using a computer to perform mathematical analysis, while yet another might set up a laboratory testing rig to verify that the oven will perform as expected. Additional mechanical engineers will then be needed to design the machines that make the oven parts and oversee production to ensure the quality of the final product.
Virtually every product in our lives has been touched by mechanical engineers. They design many aspects of mobile phones, cars, furnaces, airplanes, sports equipment and computers. They run power plants, factories, and airports.
The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) lists just a few of the technical specialties of interest to mechanical engineers:
- Nuclear engineering
- Fuels and combustion technologies
- Microelectromechanical systems
- Noise control and acoustics
- Aerospace engineering
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