Imagine living a day without machines. Humans in the 21st century are heavily dependent on machines. Be it a printer in your house or the engine of an aircraft, mechanical engineering has its roots everywhere. It is a field of innovation and creativity for those who are interested in machines and technology.
So what is mechanical engineering about?
In layman’s terms, mechanical engineering is the field of engineering that is concerned with the engineering of mechanical and thermal devices. The process includes designing, building, researching, and operating machinery. It is a very diverse field of knowledge that requires knowledge of not only physics and maths but also chemistry and biology in some cases. A mechanical engineer’s job is very demanding in terms of creativity and zeal to innovate. It is the job of a mechanical engineer to convert the idea of a mechanical device into a finished product. For this purpose, a lot of research is done by mechanical engineers, which emphasizes factors such as the condition under which the machine is going to be operated, required features, sustainability, and quality.
Mechanical engineering is closely related to other branches of engineering, such as civil, electrical, and metallurgical engineering. Since this field of engineering has such diverse scope, mechanical engineering is used in almost all of the major industries, such as aerospace, manufacturing, biotechnology, nanotechnology, robotics, and other industries.
Scope of mechanical engineering
From designing simple machines to be used in the manufacturing industry to designing heating systems, ventilation systems, and air conditioning systems, it has something or everything to do with mechanical engineering. While mechanical engineering has a specified subdiscipline of its own, it also creates an entirely new discipline of study when combined with other branches of engineering. Therefore, the scope of mechanical engineering can be understood by classifying it into several sub-disciplines, as follows:
Acoustical Engineering: –
It is a field that studies sound and vibration. An acoustical engineer deciphers the problem regarding sound and vibration in the mechanical system and offers a solution for the same so that noise generation can be dealt with.
As the name suggests, an aerospace engineer is one who designs, manufactures, tests, and develops aircraft, missiles, rockets, and products for the aerospace industry. This particular field is connected with fluid mechanics, thermodynamics, and control engineering.
Biomechanical Engineering –
Perhaps one of the unique sub-fields of mechanical engineering is biomechanical engineering, which deals with biomedical technology. An engineer in this discipline studies and conducts research in order to design, manufacture, test, and provide biomedical equipment such as sterilizers, infant incubators, pulse oximeters, and so on.
Designing engineering –
A design engineer uses CAD and CAM technology to design machines and come up with guidelines for the manufacturing of the same system. The architecture, automotive, and aeronautics industries are some of the specific industries that demand the application of design engineering.
Mechatronics and robotics:
This is a field that combines electronics and mechanical engineering. A mechatronics engineer designs and innovates a system that is viable through the lens of both electrical and mechanical engineering. When artificial intelligence is incorporated into a mechanical system, it gives birth to robotics as a subfield of mechanical engineering.
Structural analysis: –
It is a combined field of civil and mechanical engineering. An engineer in this domain studies the effect of loads on a structure with the help of principles of mechanics, force, and pressure. This particular field of mechanical engineering is critical since it studies the failure of a mechanical system and provides an efficient solution.
Since mechanical engineers are very significant in heating, ventilation, and air conditioning devices, it is thermodynamics that comes into play. It is a field that studies the practical application of principles of heat, temperature, and energy in mechanical systems and ensures their suitability and durability.
Mechanical Engineering as a Potential Career Domain
It would be unwise to think that in the era of the machine world, there are fewer opportunities available in the domain of mechanical engineering. A student with strong knowledge of physics and maths and a genuine interest in machines could go into mechanical engineering. As much as it can be a promising and rewarding career domain, it also requires people with the spirit of bringing positive change, creativity, and a scientific mind.
To make a career in this domain, a student can do an undergraduate degree or a postgraduate degree, as the case may be. A bachelor in technology, B.tech, is an undergraduate course for budding engineers. A UG degree can fetch decent and high-paying jobs for students across various industries. For students who want to go the extra mile to get specialization in this field, they may go for an integrated degree or a master’s, i.e., M.tech.
To enroll in these courses in India, a student has to give entrance exams like JEE, BITSAT, VITEEE, and KIITEE.
Inclusive learning for college students
An engineer is a helping hand in making a country. It goes without saying that engineering is for those who bring change and innovation with them. But how do these engineers do this? This is because of the knowledge and experience that they gained in college.
Therefore, it becomes imperative that learning should be wholesome and not just about theoretical knowledge of everything. In order to ensure this, project work could be a major help since it gives students hands-on experience and prepares them for the industry. Projects give students comprehensive knowledge of the concept and build scientific temper in them. It is without a doubt that when students practically experiment with things, they learn to be creative with their assignments. Such things not only boost their confidence but also bring the spirit of innovation. So it is important that the learning process of students should include project work that could make the process inclusive.
Mechanical engineering’s role in the development
With the development of modern physics, the scope of mechanical engineering has diversified over time. One of the most remarkable roles of mechanical engineering is that it has contributed immensely to the industrial revolutions of countries that have laid the foundation for their course of economic development.
Mechanical engineering provides a solution for innovating technology that is sustainable and suitable to drive human civilization in a safe and environmentally friendly way. With the rise of biotechnology, nuclear technology, and the energy industry, mechanical engineering strives to find an inclusive development that maximizes human benefits without endangering society.