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Outlining Mechanical Engineering

Aug 17, 2007
Although maybe not one of the most "glamorous" of trades, mechanical engineering is definitely one of the most important, and also frequently used, though you may not realize just how frequent and common. Take the chair you're currently sitting on reading this article - you can bet there's at least some kind of mechanical engineering process in its design to make it as comfortable as possible. Or the car you drive to work; it's not just the engine that benefits from engineered design, but the smallest things like the door hinges, window mechanisms and safety belts.

That's the surprising thing about mechanical engineering - it's a feature of everyday life and yet many people won't even realize it. Yet without it, much of the stuff we take for granted would simply grind to a halt. So what kinds of mechanical engineering are there? The breakdown and their uses are:

- Mechanics - perhaps the most common, this is where the effect of stress on objects. So for instance, a mechanical engineer designing a dam would need to know how rushing water would affect the structure of the dam wall.

- Kinematics - used in the motion of an object, as opposed to what makes that object move. For example, making the piston in a car engine move without needing to know why it has to move.

- Robotics/mechatronics - a combination of many facets of mechanical engineering, this lets different objects "talk" to each other to work. A mechatronic engineer may design robots for a car plant, to save time and expense, and this is the process known as robotics.

- Structural analysis - simply put, this field of mechanical engineering looks at why objects and structures stop working.

- Thermo science/thermodynamics - this is where engineers look at how heat is used in engineering, so is most usually found in areas that use both opposites of engineering, such as power plants, cooling plants, etc.

- Drafting - the beginning of the engineering process, this is where a technical drawing is put together for the different engineering needs on a project.

Even though mechanical engineering is used in the simplest of everyday products, it's a highly skilled trade and therefore requires a great deal of study and education. Before you can be accredited as a fully qualified engineer, you will need to study for a Bachelor of Science / Bachelor of Arts in Mechanical Engineering. These can take up to five years to achieve, and you will only be accepted on these courses should you attain a high grade in maths and science.

In the workforce, mechanical engineering is one of the fastest growing areas in engineering overall. Accounting for almost twenty per cent of all engineers and with a salary to match, it is a wonderful and enjoyable career path to take.

So the next time you relax on a comfortable chair, or even just open the microwave to heat up a pizza for you and some friends, it's worth keeping in mind that even these simple tasks would not have been possible without the skills of a mechanical engineer.
About the Author
http://www.kimpton.ltd.uk/ have a breadth of experience that spans every aspect of the
construction industry, including mechanical engineering and air-con hire.
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