Mechanical Engineering is known as the evergreen branch of engineering amongst all the other branches. The application of Mechanical Engineering is broad and is found right from manufacturing devices to medical devices. Mechanical engineers deal with concepts such as Thermodynamics, Robotics, Kinematics, Structural Analysis, Fluid Mechanics and their applications in the Automotive sector, Power sector, Air Conditioning sector and even Aerospace.
The history of Mechanical engineering is noble and interesting like all of the other fields. Steam engines which were used during Archimedes’s times to the recently invented 2 stroke – 4 stroke switchable engine are all part of this great field and its members.
However one might always wonder what the new technologies in the field are. They include Mechatronics, Micro-Electrical Mechanical Systems (MEMS), Biotechnology, Nanotechnology, Additive Manufacturing and so on.
- Aerospace industry: Research, design, manufacture, operation, and maintenance of aircraft
- Chemical industry: Covers oil companies, chemicals manufacturers and the businesses that support them (e.g. to build new plants or develop new process technologies)
- Construction industry: Design and building of infrastructure, building construction and buildings services i.e HVAC.
- Defence industry: Provides equipment, support, and services for the armed forces and national security
- Fast moving consumer goods industry: Manufactures products such as household cleaning items, personal hygiene goods, and convenience foods
- Marine industry: Develops and helps operate vessels.
On the other hand, Mechanical Engineers are also expected to bring in and foster new technologies that contribute towards a cleaner, safer and greener tomorrow. Engineers will need to work with partners worldwide in order to apply innovative solutions and best quality practices to improve the quality of life for all people.
Top cutting-edge fields are:
- Alternative energy:
Most of the energy sources used in the present are fossil fuels. As we know, these fossil fuels do nothing towards environmental sustainability and are on the verge of being exhausted. And Nikola Tesla’s proposed technology of producing electrical energy at very low costs, of course, is only a myth. As per the need of the hour, alternative energy sources are very much in demand in the present day world.
Nanotechnology is the branch of technology that deals with very small objects of the order of nanometres, which can be used in fields like biology, physics, material sciences and engineering. Nanotechnology is a very promising field and can bring about changes like lightweight of cars to use of nano-additives to provide lightweight ballistic deflection in armors. Mechanical engineers are required for designing equipment for manufacturing processes in the field. Top companies hiring include Adnano Technologies and Auto Fibre Craft.
- Biotechnology is the exploitation of biological processes for industrial and other purposes, especially the genetic manipulation of microorganisms for the production of antibiotics, hormones, etc. Biotechnology has helped in various fields from wastewater treatment using microalgal bacteria, to increase electrical conductivity using microbial aggregates. It may be used to boom agricultural production and may even help synthesize designer babies one day. Mechanical engineers will be required in various aspects of biotechnology, including designing of the manufacturing units and the choice of materials used for the construction of products. Companies hiring in India include Biocon and Shantha Electronics.
- Automotive sector:
Even though the need for alternative energy sources is high, there are no significant advances in the case yet. This brings the need for more fuel-efficient and better performing engines and machinery. An evergreen sector, Mechanical engineers are always in demand here. Some of the top companies in the automotive sector are Tesla and Volvo, who come up with great sustainable technologies.
- Additive manufacturing:
- Additive manufacturing (AM) is an appropriate name to describe the technologies that build 3D objects by adding layer upon layer of material, whether it may be plastic or metal. One day, synthetic organs could be grown this way. This is a very significant field of research and needs Mechanical engineers for designing and also for the choice of materials for the construction of proposed products. Top AM companies include Concept Laser and XJet.
Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems, or MEMS, is a technology that can be defined as miniaturized mechanical and electro-mechanical elements that are made using the techniques of micro-fabrication. The field has seen a recent number of breakthroughs like demonstration of micro-valves for control of gas and liquid flow and independently controlled micro-mirror arrays for displays. Manufacturing and processing of micro electric materials like microprocessors are part of the Mechanical engineers’ job here.
So guess what?
You being a Mechanical engineer no longer means you only have work comparable to that of a mechanic. You have an entire plethora of options laid out before you. You want to work with electronics as well? You got Mechatronics. You want to do your part for the world? You have Biotechnology and Nanotechnology. The list goes on.
If you have been taunted for choosing the noble branch of Mechanical Engineering, despair no more. You have plenty of areas to diversify into.
The world is your oyster.