Posted tagged ‘mechanical engineer’

Mechanical Engineering-What is It? / What Mechanical Engineers do?

September 16, 2011

Mechanical engineers design and develop everything you think of as a machine – from supersonic fighter jets to bicycles to toasters. And they influence the design of other products as well – shoes, light bulbs and even doors. Many mechanical engineers specialize in areas such as manufacturing, robotics, automotive/transportation and air conditioning. Others cross over into other disciplines, working on everything from artificial organs to the expanding field of nanotechnology. And some use their mechanical engineering degree as preparation for the practice of medicine and law. The mechanical engineer may design a component, a machine, a system or a process. Mechanical engineers will analyze their design using the principles of motion, energy, and force to insure the product functions safely, efficiently, reliably, and can be manufactured at a competitive cost.

Mechanical engineers  work in the automotive, aerospace, chemical, computer, communication, paper, and power generation  industries. Mechanical engineers will be found in virtually any manufacturing industry. Increasingly, mechanical engineers are needed in the environmental and bio-medical fields. Indeed virtually every product or service in modern life has probably been touched in some way by a mechanical engineer.

Design and Dynamic Systems Area

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This area emphasizes modeling and control of dynamic processes in engineering systems. Current research activity is in engineering acoustics and noise control, NVH, vibrations and modal analysis, system modeling and identification, control systems, system dynamics, computer simulation of material-forming processes, off-line programming of robots, automobile crashworthiness, computer-aided strain analysis, software sensor development, optimal control of automated manufacturing, application of artificial intelligence in interactive design software, environmentally conscious design, and design of orthotic devices for gait rehabilitation.

Energy Thermo-Fluids Area

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Emphasizes thermodynamics, heat transfer, and fluid mechanics. Current research activity is in combustion processes, internal combustion engines, transmissions, heat and mass transfer, fluid mechanics, computational fluid dynamics, and emissions and air quality control.

Manufacturing/Industrial Area

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Current research activity is in metal cutting, metal forming (with specific thrusts in sheet metal deformation), grinding, tribological aspects of forming and machining, computer-aided design of dies for forming metals and polymers, robotics and automation, metrology, data-dependent system analysis, industrial engineering, and environmentally conscious manufacturing. The manufacturing systems engineering program emphasizes the integration of design, materials, computers, and manufacturing with an exposure to business and engineering administration, and is particularly suitable for those who have a bachelor’s degree in mechanical, electrical, metallurgical, or chemical engineering.

Solid Mechanics Area

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Emphasizes topics in mechanics and materials science. Current research activity is in mechanics of materials with microstructure, experimental mechanics, plasticity, wave propagation and dynamic fracture, biomechanics, micromechanics, ceramics, crashworthiness, polymer matrix composites, and computational mechanics.

Mechanical Engineers study:

  • Statics: How are forces transmitted to and throughout a structure?
  • Dynamics: What are the velocities,accelerations and resulting forces for a system in motion?
  • Kinematics: How does a mechanism behave as it moves through its range of motion?
  • Strength of Materials: Is the component strong enough to support the loads? Is it stiff enough?
  • Materials Science: Which material has the optimum properties?
  • Thermodynamics : How does energy get converted to useful power? What are the losses?
  • Fluid Mechanics: What is the pressure drop due to the fluid flow? What are the aerodynamic drag forces?
  • Heat Transfer: How do you calculate heat transfer rates from temperature data?  How do you predict the temperature distributions?
  • Manufacturing: What manufacturing processes do you select?
  • Machine Design: How do you synthesize all of the above?
  • Electrical Circuits: How do you integrate electronic controls into your design?
  • Laboratory Methods: How do you make and interpret both thermal and mechanical measurements?
  • Vibrations: How do you predict and control vibrations?
  • Engineering Economics: How do you estimate manufacturing costs?

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Mechanical Engineers can take the following career paths:

  • Industry (the most common)
  • Graduate School
  • Entrepreneur/Business Owner
  • Research Labs
  • Military
  • Government
  • Preparation for other Professions (law, medicine, teaching, etc.)
Mechanical Engineers are engaged in the following activities:

  • Conceptual design
  • Analysis
  • Presentations and report writing
  • Multidisciplinary teamwork
  • Concurrent engineering
  • Benchmarking the competition
  • Project management
  • Prototyping
  • Testing
  • Measurements
  • Data Interpretation
  • Developmental design
  • Research
  • Work with suppliers
  • Sales
  • Consulting
  • Customer service
Skills that help Mechanical Engineers to be successful in their careers:

  • Problem solving (The essence of engineering!)
  • Creativity
  • Hands-on understanding
  • Networking
  • Leadership/conflict resolution
  • Knowledge management
Mechanical Engineering careers can have the following stages:

  • Early years – technical work most important
  • Middle years – project management and product expert knowledge (still technical) become more important.
  • Senior years – corporate, market, and global understanding become important.
  • Communication and team skills remain important throughout.

Mechanical Engineer

September 16, 2011

What is the Mechanical Engineer?

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Mechanical engineering is a broad field of engineering that involves the use of physical principles for analysis, design, manufacture and maintenance of mechanical systems. Traditionally, it has been the branch of engineering that through the application of physical principles has enabled the creation of useful devices, as tools and machines.

Mechanical engineers use principles such as heat, force and the conservation of mass and energy to analyze static and dynamic physical systems, helping to design objects. Mechanical Engineering is the branch of machinery, equipment and facilities bearing in mind ecological and economic aspects for the benefit of society. To do their job, mechanical engineering analyze needs, formulate and solve technical problems through an interdisciplinary, and relies on scientific developments, translating into elements, machines, equipment and facilities to provide adequate service through the rational use and efficient use of available resources.

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Engineering is dedicated to designing, building, negotiation and component maintenance. It required new devices with complex functions in the movement or that withstand large forces, so it was necessary that this new discipline to study the movement and balance. It was also necessary to find a new way of running the machines as originally used by human or animal power. The use of machines that run on energy from the steam, coal, gas and electricity brought great progress.

Pilot to Mechanical engineer-the story so far.

August 23, 2011

“What do you want to become when you grow up, a doctor or an engineer?” asked my grandpa when I was a four year old. A question that evolved from a typical malayali mindset. Most of the mallu kids are taught to reply either doctor or engineer if somebody asks. My answer was pilot. A couple of trips to Trivandrum airport and my favorite toy aeroplane might have struck the spark in me. The ‘pilot bug’ gradually died down as it was replaced by police,inspired by some action movies.


I imitating a policeman ( Cops never aim & salute simultaneously :-P)

Quite ironically another movie which I saw when I was 7-8 years old, made me quit the desire to become a policeman. The movie was ‘Nanma niranjavan sreenivasan’ ( a Malayalam movie, Jayaram starrer). The hero of the movie was a police constable and in one particular incident the hero had to guard a deadbody, alone throughout a night. The next morning he was shivering with fever. That scene made an impact on my ‘weak heart’.

I fell in love with science @ school in 3rd or 4th standard. I dreamt of becoming a scientist . I stood odd in my class when teachers asked about ambition. The funniest part of ‘scientist story’ was that I did some experiments hoping serendipity.I still remember trying to burn various shrubs and grasses to discover biofuels when the hyped story of Ramar Pillai’s biopetrol was at its peak. Though I wanted to become a scientist, my mind wandered between astronomy, biology and geology.

I wrote the entrance exam for admission in Sainik school (9th std) and got shortlisted for the interview and medical checkup. To be frank I was more interested in the discipline , the sports and games and the huge campus, than becoming a defense personnel. The ‘scientist bug’ didn’t leave me. It was time for the interview and I had to strike a balance between ‘scientist’ and ‘defense personnel’. The interview panel consisted of three people, all of them defense staff. They shot the ‘ambition question’ and my answer was scientist in defense sector. They asked ” what do you mean ?” . I answered ” just like A.P.J Abdul Kalam”. Pokhran II and my interview happened in the same week and I went not stop about fission, fusion etc. They asked “what will you do if you don’t become a scientist?”. I replied ” I will join the defense services”. It didn’t convince them and finally I didn’t make it. They were interested in future soldiers, not scientists.

My grandpa’s question again came back when I finished 10th standard. This time from my parents. I changed my mind to engineer from scientist, but my parents wanted me to become a doctor( guess they were attracted by the social status and moreover my grandpa’s wish). I was in a reluctant mood , wrote the medical entrance and ended up in failure. After that I went for 1 year medical entrance coaching at a reputed coaching center . I neither gave 100% commitment to it nor dishearten my parents by saying a ‘no’ to the medical stream. I couldn’t get enough rank the second time also. The truth was that I often went in a ‘stealth mode’ practicing some maths problems which helped me fetch a fair rank in engineering entrance exam. Now there weren’t many options left other than joining bachelors degree course in engineering. I never blame my parents for the ‘lost’ 1 year, In fact I say I am responsible for the good or the bad that happen in my life.I should have taken a bold step. People (friends, relatives etc.) call it ‘lost’ year , but I never felt so and moreover learnt a couple of lessons in life.

Now it was time to choose the branch of engineering. The general trend was choosing electronics and communication . I was also in the mood until I got enlightened about Mechanical engineering by Dr. S. Jose , my relative and academic guru. Himself being a Mechanical engineer and Asst Professor, threw insight to the various aspects of mechanical engineering and I never thought twice to choose my stream. Mechanical engineering, being a ‘broad’ stream of engineering rendered me numerous options to choose- energy sector,oil and gas ,automobiles, aeronautical, aerospace,thermal.

I never had an interest in computer programming. I still remember, how tough the C++ programming was in 3rd semester for me, just managed to fetch a pass in that subject. 90% of the companies which came to my college for campus recruitment were IT companies. All the placement activities started in 7th semester. Though I wasn’t interested, just for the sake of attending tests and interviews, I participated in the drives. 3-4 companies came and I didn’t manage to get 1. Finally I got a job in a reputed IT company .I never wanted to join that company and told my intentions to parents. They advised it will be utter foolishness if I don’t join the IT firm, without having another job in hand. I was mentally preparing for a fight with them, thought of firing all guns to get a job in core field. I continued writing exams and attending interviews, and got a job in one of the fields which I dreamt of getting into- Oil & gas industry.My parents were happier than me. Thanks to all. Presently, striving hard to achieve my goals, and will be writing a part 2 to this post some years later. 🙂

My Rendezvous with Mechanical Engineering

August 23, 2011

I don’ quite remember the exact moment when I decided that I was going to be a mechanical engineer.Though I had always wanted to be an engineer, i had never ever thought of specialization (but i did have a great deal of interest in Aeroplanes and Spacecrafts) until I had undergone a career counselling programme.After being made to write tests for hours that gauged my aptitude,skills,personality and discovered my interests i was advised by the counsellor to take up careers in any of these streams-Architecture,Mechanical Engineering,Industrial Design,Genetic Engineering,Interior Designing,Astronomy/Astrophysics,Bookkeeping ,etc.I was suggested to choose a course that required artistic and clerical abilities.but I wasn’t much interested in career planning coz it was too early…i was in my 9th standard and there were a jolly good 3 years to think about joining a college! All I wanted was to be associated with the world of technology that had immensely changed my nation.

As i moved into my eleventh standard I felt very comfortable with science chapters related to mechanical engineering like statics, dynamics and fluid mechanics and the thermal sciences.As i moved into class 12 I started feeling uncomfortable with electricity and electronics primarily because it became difficult to imagine and visualize the concepts of these sciences as compared to the mechanical sciences.

I still loved Computer Science because I was good at programming and my CS Mam was an excellent teacher.But then young India was too obsessed with Software and electronics ….especially the top rankers chose these courses…and i wanted to be different..hence I decided – to go for Mechanical Engineering .I brooded over the topic and came up with umpteen no. of reasons and decided my career…

and joined a UG Bachelor of Engineering(Mechanical)course .

Top 10 reasons why I chose to be a Mechanical Engineer on my next post