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Mechanical Engineering As An Academic Discipline-All You Need to Know

Mechanical engineering is a discipline that applies the principles of engineering, physics and materials science for the design, analysis, manufacturing and maintenance of mechanical systems. It is one of the broadest and oldest fields of the engineering practice. This field requires grasping
of core concepts that include thermodynamics, kinematics and kinetics, fluid mechanics, electromagnetism, materials science and structural analysis. Mechanical engineers use these core concepts to design analyze systems (combination of different machine components or single machines) and processes used for the benefit of mankind. Engineers in this field design, test, build, and operate machinery of all types; they also work on a variety of manufactured goods and certain kinds of structures. The field is divided into (1) machinery, mechanisms, materials, hydraulics, and pneumatics; and (2) heat as applied to engines, work and energy, heating, ventilating, and air conditioning. The field of mechanical engineering has so much evolved and so mechanical engineers’ are very much expected to have competencies in the other engineering disciplines. It overlaps with almost all the other fields of engineering. The stress areas of mechanical engineering include
  • Statics and dynamics
  • Strength of materials
  • Materials engineering
  • Thermodynamics, heat and mass transfer as well as energy conversion principles
  • Mathematics (differential equations, calculus and linear algebra)
  • Fluid mechanics
  • Mechanism and machine design
  • Manufacturing engineering
  • Vibration control theory
  • Fuels, combustion of fluids and internal combustion engines
  • Hydraulics and pneumatics
  • Mechatronics and robotics
  • Engineering design and competent use of computer-aided design.
Mechanical engineers are expected to understand and be able to apply basic concepts from physics, chemistry, civil engineering, electrical engineering and chemical engineering. Some mechanical engineers specialize in particular types of machines such as pumps or steam turbines. A mechanical engineer designs not only the machines that make products but the products themselves, and must design for both economy and efficiency. A typical example of the complexity of modern mechanical engineering is the design of an automobile, which entails not only the design of the engine that drives the car but also all its attendant accessories such as the steering and braking systems, the lighting system, the gearing by which the engine’s power is delivered to the wheels, the controls, and the body, including such details as the door latches and the type of seat upholstery.
The mechanical engineer, therefore, must be trained in mechanics, hydraulics, and thermodynamics and must be fully grounded in such subjects as metallurgy and machine design.

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