Saturday, February 14, 2009

Mechanical Engineering for Millenium

According to engineering area, mechanical engineering is one of the top ten in demand for industry. It is one of the most dynamic and exciting engineering disciplines.The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects an increase of more than 10 percent in the number of mechanical engineering positions through 2014 and the demand for engineers in general is likely to increase during the next 20 years as industrial machinery and processes become increasingly complex. Emerging technologies in biotechnology, materials science, and nanotechnology will also contribute to new job opportunities for mechanical engineers as the skills acquired through earning a degree in mechanical engineering often can be applied in other engineering specialties.Mechanical Engineering is by far the most popular undergraduate degree in engineering. At the graduate level, Mechanical Engineering ranks first in popularity among engineering doctoral students. The field of Mechanical engineering covers the design and analysis of all kinds of systems and technologies with mechanical components, and has applications in energy production, environmental systems, materials, composites, transportation, robotics, manufacturing, machine design, and many more areas. Several key emerging technologies fall fundamentally within the domain of mechanical engineering expertise.

Among these technologies are micro- and nano-scale fabrication processes, energy, and the environment. Modern mechanical engineers can navigate virtual design environments and are adept in computing so they play a significant role in the future development of information technology. Mechanical engineers interested in biotechnology obtain an understanding of life sciences at the undergraduate level and contribute to multi-disciplinary research and industrial projects. Students earn mechanical engineering degrees not only to practice careers in engineering, but also as preliminary training for many other fields such as law, medicine, and business. The demand for mechanical engineers in today's increasingly complex society is growing rapidly, and projections indicate it will stay that way far into the future.The future depends on solving the worldwide problems of energy shortages, environmental pollution, world health, and inadequate food production. Mechanical engineers are heavily involved in finding those solutions. Jobs in mechanical engineering include developing products to improve air and water quality, inventing more efficient energy sources, designing farm equipment to improve crop yield throughout the world, and developing systems for biological research as well as lifesaving medical equipment. In addition to biotechnology, new job openings for mechanical engineers are being created in the emerging areas of micro- and nano- technologies, information technology, and the environment. A mechanical engineer, now more than ever, is someone who can translate scientific theories into real products to improve the quality of life.

Consider design, produce, maintain and improve all kinds of mechanical devices, components, engines and systems. Examples include transportation equipment, environmental control systems, materials handling systems, machine tools, robots, and automated manufacturing equipment. Mechanical Engineers are also involved with

power conversion systems ranging from internal combustion engines to large power-generating stations. They need to know about all forms of energy needed to produce motion or heat - solar, water, wind and nuclear energy as well as conventional fuels. The field is diverse, and Mechanical Engineers can work in different areas including: design,

testing, manufacturing/plant engineering, sales or teaching.

Mechanical Engineers played a very important part in the creation of the mass production factories of the 1920's. Today, manufacturing industries are turning to cost-saving technologies including automated processing and robotics to improve their competitiveness and productivity. Once again Mechanical Engineers are playing a major role.Using CAD (computer-aided design) they are developing new types of automated systems utilizing laser-processing and machining and advanced sensor and imaging technologies. Mechanical Engineers also design and develop service, or mobile robots, and automated guided vehicles,

including space exploration vehicles. Many Mechanical Engineers work in machinery and systems design. Design engineers are mainly concerned with new product development but also upgrade existing designs to achieve desired performance goals.Computers have become an integral part of the design engineer's job. Using CAD systems, engineers create realistic geometric models of objects on a computer terminal screen. They can rotate these images to

view them from any desired angle, and even simulate and analyze the effects of different operating conditions and try out alternative designs. Computer-models are eliminating the need for handmade drawings and experimental physical prototypes.

Testing of products in order to verify or improve their quality is an integral part of both design and manufacturing. Test engineers select or develop the testing apparatus and procedures to be used. If problems arise during testing, or if the product does not perform according to

specifications, test engineers may recommend changes in overall design, in particular components or materials, or in certain manufacturing procedures.Mechanical Engineers who work in manufacturing are responsible for all aspects of production from development or selection of manufacturing methods to overseeing day-to-day operations on the factory floor.

Engineers must be able to design, install and operate complex manufacturing systems made up of people, materials, robotics and other automated equipment. Along with this, they develop and monitor preventive maintenance programs. They may work on teams with design and test engineers, and often develop the product and the production process concurrently. Sales of sophisticated technical products frequently require knowledge

of how the device or system operates. Therefore, Mechanical Engineers are sometimes employed as sales representatives. They solicit new business and furnish technical assistance to customers; they also provide feedback to design engineers on customer problems and needs.

Mechanical Engineers are employed in virtually every industry, with most working for manufacturing firms and a substantial number employed by consulting services. Although some engineers spend most of their time in an office, many jobs require working part of the time in a plant, testing laboratory, machine shop, or installation site. Engineers also travel to professional conferences and training sessions to keep abreast of recent advances in the field.

.Engineering is normally not a physically strenuous job. However, the pressure of deadlines or the need for emergency repairs can cause considerable stress.The employment outlook for Mechanical Engineers nationally is expected to increase about as fast as the average for all other occupations. Some growth will occur as US manufacturers turn to cost-saving

technologies, including robotics and automation to improve their productivity. Other opportunities will occur in high tech fields such as bioengineering, computer mechanics, composite materials, cryogenics and thermosciences. Engineers with skills in CAD, computer-integrated-manufacturing (CIM), robotics and other forefront technologies will be

the most competitive.

Wages vary somewhat between geographical areas and kind of employer. Recent surveys for both the public and private sectors indicate that starting wages are at the $2,500-$3,300 monthly range. Experienced engineers have a monthly range of $4,100- $4,300 and higher. Top wages for a supervising engineer can top $8,000 per month.Fringe benefits usually include paid vacation, sick leave, retirement, health, dental and vision insurance plans. Some employers also offer stock option and/or profit-sharing plans.A bachelor of science in mechanical engineering (BSME) or a related engineering degree is the minimum requirement for most entry-level positions. Some employers prefer a master's degree; others hire only

those who have at least two years' experience.Mechanical Engineers whose work may affect the public welfare (such as consulting engineers and those in decision-making positions in certain governmental agencies) must be registered by the State. To obtain registration, engineers must have at least a BSME degree and two years' engineering experience. They must pass the Engineer-in-Training examination and, later, the professional examination in mechanical engineering. While registration is not required for all jobs, a registered engineer may have a competitive edge for advancement to more responsible positions. Important college preparation courses include algebra, geometry, trigonometry, and physics. Courses in mechanical drawing and drafting, computer science, machine shop and business administration are helpful.

Mechanical Engineers must keep up with new technologies and developments in their field through reading, advanced courses, conferences and professional society seminars. Those who are hired with bachelor's degrees may be expected to work toward their master's. Most companies pay some or all of the costs for career-related education. Experienced engineers may promote to senior or project engineer. Some move into management after several years of technical


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