Mechanical Engineers know about machines. They design engines, robots and generators. But they also design everyday items like kitchen appliances, refrigerators. Whatever the device, if it has moving parts, you can be certain that mechanical engineers were involved in creating it. Mechanical Engineering is the broadest of all the engineering disciplines. Some mechanical engineers research to create a product, others design the product itself, while still others design the machines to make the product. You’ll read more about what mechanical engineers do, how you can become a mechanical engineer and how you can explore the field of mechanical engineering.
WHAT DOES A MECHANICAL ENGINEER DO?
Every day you come in contact with many machines. There’s the bus you take to school, the phone you use to make calls, the refrigerator which you use to keep the food cold, the washing machine which you use to wash clothes etc. In this world where the dependence on machines is more than ever before, mechanical engineers keep things running. They have made our life a lot easier by designing and building these tools.
Mechanical Engineering, due to its popularity, is always in high demand. Students who do not manage to secure seats in Mechanical Engineering often opt for allied courses such as Production Engineering or Industrial Engineering. Many students start with an undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering and then pursue a Masters in any of these subfields for their specialization after they have understood more about each of the fields.
To get a fair idea of the things a Mechanical engineer does have a look at the table below:
|Situation from your day-to-day life||What Mechanical Engineers do?|
|You have always fancied sports cars and are thinking what goes into designing it.||Mechanical Engineers design sports cars and other automobiles. They create sketches and then create 3D models, finalize materials and move towards production.|
|You are surprised how the air conditioning works so well in the large movie halls.||Mechanical engineers ensure that movie halls are airtight so that cooled air doesn’t escape. They develop a ventilation plan so that warm air exits easily. They supervise the technicians installing the air conditioning units and may supervise the operation and maintenance of air conditioning units in movie halls.|
|You’ve read that Amazon may be using drones to deliver products to your home now.||A drone, like all machines has many parts. Not all parts can be manufactured in one step. There are different processes for making each part and it’s the job of the mechanical engineer to define what processes will be used and what will be the order of the processes.|
|You use the refrigerator on a daily basis but have no idea how it works||Mechanical Engineers design several such machines that work on thermal, fluid and pressure properties, and design machines for our day to day use.|
TOP COMPANIES WHICH HIRE MECHANICAL ENGINEERS
KEY QUALITIES REQUIRED
- Creativity: Mechanical engineers develop new equipment and products used by customers to optimize production or improve their work processes. Creativity is an essential part of developing or improving devices so they are of good quality, meet space or weight limitations and achieve the cost objectives of customers.
- Problem solving: Mechanical engineers are, above all else, problem solvers. They use math skills and analytical abilities to spot problems and resolve them. This is important in the development process so you can ensure that the devices you create do what clients need them to do. It is also important when you are called on to repair problems with existing devices.
- Knack for machines: While some skills can be learnt and developed over time, this is an innate knack that can’t be ‘developed’ in a sense. If you have, since childhood, wanted to open up machines to see how they work, played with spare parts of automobiles, repairing a puncture isn’t a challenge for you, you would enjoy Mechanical Engineering.
MECHANICAL ENGINEERING MARVELS
HOW TO BECOME AN MECHANICAL ENGINEER?
Step 1 : Choose Science with Mathematics after 10th (PCM) and prepare for Engineering Entrance Exams
As the name suggests, becoming a Mechanical engineer requires studying “Engineering”. Most of the colleges require students to compulsorily take Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics during 10+2.
All engineering colleges in India admit students on the basis of competitive entrance exams – JEE Mains, JEE Advanced, BITSAT, MHT CET, ComedK as of February 2017. Currently, score in JEE Mains is also used by many States, (e.g., Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh etc) for admission to government and private engineering colleges at the state level.
Step 2 : Take admission in Mechanical Engineering or related Engineering disciplines
In addition to Mechanical Engineering, you can also enroll in Production & Industrial Engineering, Automobile Engineering which are being offered by some IITs, NITs and other colleges. Refer to the section later on related careers to understand the relationship between Mechanical Engineering and related streams.
EXPLORE THE FIELD
|Thermal Engineering||This field focusses exclusively on heat energy, how heat energy is transferred from one medium to another and how heat energy can be converted to other useful forms of energy (e.g., electrical). Thermal engineers design and develop Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning systems (HVAC) in homes, offices and large factories.|
|Production Engineering||Day to day products like your toothbrush, water bottle etc are manufactured in a factory. Production Engineers study the product details to decide what processes should be used to make these in the least amount of time and minimum cost. As the products get bigger and more complex, deciding the sequence in which different parts of the product will be made also becomes the responsibility of the production engineer.|
|Design Engineering||In the same way that an architect imagines a building first in their head, a design engineer also imagines how a product or machine will look like. Then they create 3D models of these products, analyzing what should be the shape and size of the product, what materials should be used etc.|
|Industrial Engineering||After the design engineer has created the design and the production engineer is all set to start manufacturing, the industrial engineer is the one who “optimizes” the whole operation. They ensure the economical and safe use of materials, machines and people. They focus on improving productivity, planning logistics and inventory, and resource utilization.|
|Watch Nivay Anandarajah talk about a day in his life as mechanical engineer in this YouTube video||Design your own smart car using simple materials and learn about principles of engineering design||Understand the latest trends in Automobile Industry by reading this report from India Brand Equity Foundation||See trend in college placement of Mechanical Engineering students using graphs from this AICTE website|