Mechanical engineering refers to a field that applies the principles of materials, energy, and mechanics in the design and subsequent manufacture of machines and industrial devices of all sorts. It remains the oldest and the broadest among the engineering disciplines. The output of application of the skills and principles of mechanical engineering spearheads the growth in industry and technology (Carter and Norton 60). Mechanical engineering is not only broad and old but also has broad individuality and great flexibility.
It suffices to assert that all engineering sciences, mathematics, mechanics, designing, and manufacturing technology have their roots in mechanical engineering. The field deals with almost everything ranging from a tiny particle to large machines. The most innovative machines are built by applying the principles of mechanical engineering. Thus, mechanical engineer deals with designing, manufacturing, developing, and testing devices that we use in various activities. During their career engineers work on various project related to power generating machines including generators, internal ignition engines and both steam and water driven power generating turbines. They manufacture not only power generating devices but also power driven devices such as refrigerators, escalators, elevators, and air conditioners among others (Novak et al. 93). This essay seeks to dig deep in this field of mechanical engineering to find out what it takes to become a qualified mechanical engineer and the careers relevance to humanity.
Activities in Mechanical Engineering
Engineers design, develop, and manufacture robots mostly used by the manufacturing industries in automated services. They also come up with machines and devices that other engineers use in accomplishing their tasks. For instance, they design hydraulic machines that physical and structural engineers use for lifting heavy materials during construction of profound structures such as bridges. Mechanicals engineers not only design, develop, and manufacture equipment but also take part in their maintenance (Novak et al. 63). They conduct routine checkups of these machines to ensure they function properly for greater efficiency and output.
Manufacturing and production companies employ the services of mechanical engineers to ensure that the industrial processes are not disrupted by machines’ breakdowns since this has a negative impact on production (Carter and Norton 56). The construction companies also rely on the services of mechanical engineers. They use computer modeling, visualization, and other modeling techniques to analyze and test the solutions. In designing, mechanical engineers reckon with many factors. For instance, if they work on a car design, they reckon with weight, size, reliability of the materials used, and, most importantly, the shape. They pay special attention to shape, weight, and safety because at the end of the manufacturing process the outcome must please the consumers and guarantee their safety. Safety stands out because if the users of the manufactured car have no guarantee of their safety, then it is obvious the customers might not be interested in the offer (Novak et al. 63). Most of the customers remain cautious of their safety and place safety before all other things.
The second activity that mechanical engineers reckon with in their line of duty is synthesis. Synthesis involves assembling all factors to establish a design that can have successive manufacture. All the elements of design are brought together in a manner that will come up with machine or a device that works efficiently. However, it is worth noting that mechanical engineers not only work in designing and development of machines and systems but also in the medical field. They help solve medical problems by analyzing the mechanics and functioning of bones and their respective joints (Suess 27). They analyze the liquid dynamics with regard to the circulatory system. The world of economics also relies on the knowledge of mechanical engineers in that they help in analyzing the cost of production of a single component to the economic effect of the entire manufacturing plant.
The field of bioengineering also relies on the principles of mechanical engineering. It is believed that every part of the human body can have mechanical description. Both the knee functioning and the blood circulatory system that encompasses fluid movement have their explanations well rooted in mechanical engineering (Carter and Norton 85). They also manufacture artificial organs, biomaterials, bio transport process, biomechanics, medical devices, and, lastly, biological systems. In medicine, mechanical engineers help in cancer treatment through the designing and manufacturing of chemotherapy machines used to treat cancerous cells.
They also manufacture genetic components that help to fight cancer-causing cells. The embryo transplant technologies as well as test tube fertilization have taken things to a different level. Mechanical engineers advance all these technologies. They have used their knowledge to come up with drugs that modify genetic makeup of individuals, thus, making them resistant to various diseases. This has reduced the cost of treatment and time wasted in searching for the same treatment. The invention of the incubators has helped to save many lives of children born before completion of nine months. These incubators provide the kids with the same conditions as those of the mothers’ wombs, thus, sustaining it to maturity period (Carter and Norton 16). Before this innovation, many babies born before their actual time of birth died and, thus, these machines came in handy. Medical advancement provides one of the areas where the mechanical engineering has been used extensively to improve livelihood and the services delivery.
The society also benefited a lot from the knowledge of mechanical engineering in that it led to the establishment of genetically modified foods. These crops take a short period to mature and produce a superior yield. The crops remain resistant to both viral and bacterial infections and survive severe weather conditions. This has ensured that food production meets the ever-growing consumption demand despite the shortage of land as a factor of production remaining constant (Carter and Norton 81). The advancement of both hybrid plant and animals was a boost to agriculture. Mechanical engineering is also the mind behind farm mechanization. Farm mechanization has enabled the replacement of human labor with mechanical labor (Avgoustinov 133). Machines work for long periods without fatigue unlike human beings who experience fatigue. This approach improves the overall output in agriculture.
Nuclear engineering is also another application area of mechanical engineering where the nuclear engineers apply their knowledge of fluids, heat, mechanics, and machinery. They design and produce reactors as well as components, pressure vessels, heat exchangers, radioactive waste, and clean energy technologies (Avgoustinov 200). Operating nuclear reactors plants is a new field where the mechanical engineers split nuclear by use of fission and fusion to obtain energy. Though nuclear materials manufacture energy, it can also be used for manufacturing nuclear weapons. Nuclear technology attempts to provide an alternative to the use of fossil fuels. This is a move that aims at reducing air pollution. In terms of energy resources, mechanical engineering ventures in the production of clean energy through the design and manufacture of geothermal systems, wind powered turbines and windmills, and the manufacture of solar panels that tap solar power commonly used in our homes (Carter and Norton 97).
As discussed above, the career offers the society experts in a wide range of fields. It offers the society experts in the field of medicine where the mechanical engineers design medical equipment that helps patients while undergoing treatment. It also provides experts that manufacture artificial organs required by patients, who suffer from different ailments such as dialysis machines for patients with kidney problems (Davim and Charitidis 123). The society benefits a lot from these experts because they provide alternative energy solutions to fossils fuels, thus, limiting air pollution and reducing the effects of global warming. They provide clean energy solutions to the society that also come at a reduced cost, for instance, the solar panels. The solar panels provide lighting and heating solutions to the remote areas with no electricity, thus, enabling those individuals to access cheap and safe power.
Benefits of Mechanical Engineering to the Society
The society benefits from mechanical engineers because they provide solutions to daily problems and, thus, make life more convenient. They design and manufacture automobiles that meet the needs of the consumers (Avgoustinov 111). They design vehicles that are economical in fuel consumption and offer safety to the users. They design and build planes and electric trains that have brought efficiency in transportation industry. The society benefits also from the fact that this career has provided experts who have helped much in the exploitation of natural resources. The exploitation of gas and oil using hydraulic pressure in both onshore and offshore exploitation had enhanced the production and manufacture of oil for the production of energy. Mechanical engineers also benefit the community through the application of their knowledge in recycling waste products and materials (Madihally 123). They offer expert knowledge and design machines that facilitate recycling of waste industrial products and even such resources as water.
Recycling reduces hazards in the environment, thus, supporting the ongoing conservation efforts. Recycling also reduces wasted of resources. Designing of water recycling plants is one of the major benefits of this career to the society. This recycling ensures that the society has access to clean and safe water for domestic and agricultural use. It also suffices to say that the field creates employment opportunities to members of the society (Obert 89). As discussed earlier, mechanical engineering forms the basis of many engineering careers. Thus this fields has created a range of experts who earn a living by providing their vital services.
These engineers are employed in manufacturing and production industries as well as in hospitals and construction companies in particular among other areas. Employment provides a stable source of income, which translates to stable living and overall economic development. Lastly, it is also worth noting that the mechanical engineering science has improved human lives and advanced knowledge generation in many other spheres (Perelmuter and Slivker 1:51). The advancements in the science have given rise to inventions. The inventions bring comfort and enhance the living conditions of people. For instance, the invention of life support machines in medicine has helped to save lives of millions of people over the world. Invention of machines has facilitated the movement of goods and performance of tasks that would otherwise be impossible to perform in the absence of the very machines.
Mechanical engineering has benefited the society through the enhancement of production in the manufacturing industry. The innovation of robots that replaced the human labor increased the output because the robots do not experience fatigue in comparison to employees. This has led to massive production that overwhelmed the consumer demand (Carter and Norton 36). The robots have facilitated exploration activities as they transmit vital information to other planets such as Mars. This has increased our understanding of the extraterrestrial bodies and even considerations of transferring populations from the Earth to other planets.
Why Individuals Might Be Interested in the Course
The individuals may develop interest in this job because of its applicability. First, the job applies almost in all the spheres of our lives. It provides opportunities for those would want to work in the field of energy production, biomedical engineering, physical, and structural engineering among others. This job in essence may open a gateway to many careers as it provides the basis of all technology and engineering related courses (Leach 43). Second, individuals may develop interest in this job because it directly serves human interests and needs. There is great satisfaction in a career that serves the humanity. Mechanical engineering provides real life solution to human problems, for instance, designing and manufacturing of solar panels to provide lighting and heating benefits to the marginalized individuals who cannot access electricity (Avgoustinov 97). Constructing of profound bridges has facilitated transportation of goods and services from one place to another.
Designing and manufacturing robots allowed working in industries that emit poisonous gases, which might cause health complications to human beings. This not only enhances production volumes but also provides safety to humanity. Such factor might make an individual to develop interest in the career. Additionally, the job is practical unlike most other jobs that cause people to stay in offices for long hours to the extent of developing health complications. Mechanical engineers work in the field situations and spend less time idle as most of their activities involve performing activities (Carter and Norton 156). They work at the construction sites and operate heavy machinery. Thus, their job revolves around inspiring and practical activities.
Individuals may also develop interest in mechanical engineering as it offers a wide range or knowledge. As stated earlier in the discussion, this field provides basis knowledge in all the engineering courses. If one studies mechanical engineering then he or she will have knowledge of structural engineering, aerodynamics engineering, and mechanics among others. This in essence makes one an all-rounded person fit to work in many fields (Avgoustinov 57). It opens many career opportunity to an individual, which tackles the current problem of unemployment around the world. The job offers high rewards in terms of salaries. Mechanical engineers fall among the category of the most paid employees in the world. Companies and hospitals pay engineers higher than average for their services. The monetary reward, thus, may trigger interest for following the career path (Avgoustinov 117). This is in the hope that the good salary will enable one to live a better life and be able to satisfy all the basic human needs without much struggle.
Lastly, individuals may choose to pursue the career for satisfaction and self-fulfillment. This might trigger interest in the job because mechanical engineering is one of the most prestigious jobs in the world.. Human beings always long for gratification, praises, and adoration. Pursuing this job comes along with glory as only a few can master the science of mechanical engineering. The career is mostly reserved for the geniuses (“Advances in Mechanical and Electronic Engineering” 78). This explains why a graduate with a mechanical engineering degree is demanded more than any other graduate in a similar field.
Education Requirements and Degree
Mechanical engineering requires a strong foundation of sciences and mathematics at the basic education level because it utilizes principles of the same subjects in designing technical solutions required in construction, design, and manufacture of the internal ignition engines among other devices. The minimum requirement for a mechanical engineering career start is to obtain a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering. The programs usually include courses in computer programming, fluids mechanics, thermodynamics alongside hydraulics, civil engineering, chemical engineering, and electrical engineering among other courses.
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Continued Education Requirements
To advance to a graduate level either in masters or doctoral studies, mechanical engineers have to carry out extensive research projects narrowing down to specific areas in the field of mechanical engineering. The research projects should later lead to theses and dissertations. For the accreditation, mechanical engineers receive accreditation from Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (Carter, Barry and Norton 88).This accreditation affirms that one has undergone through the required programs and under the field and, thus, fits to offer competent services in the area as required by the employer.
The body of Professional Engineer issues licensing. To obtain the license, one is required to provide bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution that offer a minimum of four years of training in the area (Avgoustinov 167). One also has to pass several tests including engineering fundamentals, engineering principles, and practice among other tests. However, these requirements might differ from one state to another depending on their regulations and standards of education and examiners.
The legal requirements also differ from one state to another. However, passing and obtaining the jurisprudence test is common to all the states. The jurisprudence test ensures that mechanical engineers familiarize with the laws and regulations that guide the conduct of their job in every state (Avgoustinov 77). They familiarize with the legal requirement that act as a guide in their jobs. The jurisprudence test comes at the final stage of the course training and, in some instances, the graduates sit for the test under their own private arrangement, especially if the institution offering the course has no such arrangements provided by the programs.
A certificate is issued after a successful completion of the tests. The certificate is extremely helpful at the time of licensing individuals before they resume working with any employer. Some employers pay keen attention to one’s criminal record and may even demand a certificate of good conduct before offering a job (Avgoustinov 47). The licensing body does not pay much attention to one’s criminal record even with the advancement of nuclear technology and the ever-growing threat of nuclear terrorism. The license issuers have started tightening the noose on these requirements. This move is targeted at protecting the career from abuse by malicious practitioners or by individuals with malicious motives. In the past the terrorists have used mechanical engineers to manufacture nuclear weapons that pose threat to the humanity.
In some cases, an individual with a criminal background is restricted from advancing studies in nuclear engineering due to the security factors. The authorities and the licensing body might deny one a working license on the ground that his continued work or research might lead to his or her misuse of the career skills. Such individuals remain under surveillance and might be even subjected to criminal prosecution if sufficient evidence is presented to support the claims of career misuse (Carter and Norton 56).
It suffices to conclude that mechanical engineering remains one of the most outstanding jobs in the world today. The advantages that come with the job outmatch the challenges that come along with pursuing the course. Mechanical engineering is applicable to all spheres of human life. It has helped a lot in solving problems that humanity faces. The course has provided the solutions to a number of hindrances of the century such as global warming, unemployment, and environmental conservation among other. Mechanical engineering provides other sciences with a wide variety of knowledge and, thus, provide many challenges for those interested in that field.
It is also clear that this job provides a great opportunity for innovation. Most of the current innovations have their foundations in mechanical engineering. It is also worth mentioning that mechanical engineering provides well-paying jobs. This is one of the most paying careers in the world and its demand is always high. It is highly advised for individuals to pursue the course if they look forward to self-satisfaction and accomplishments. The world today operates because of the inventions of the mechanical engineers. The roads and bridges one sees today all stand as one of the benefits of this career. The legal requirements for licensing have a degree of flexibility that allows many graduates to start the career. The world today moves because of the knowledge and skills of the mechanical engineers.