One branch of engineering which has survived the economic gridlock successfully is mechanical engineering. This field of engineering deals with the innovative application of physical sciences, mathematics and technology to the design production and operation of mechanical devices, machinery and other devices.
Mechanical engineering is a discipline of engineering that applies the principles of physics and material sciences for analysis, design, manufacturing and maintenance of mechanical systems. It is the branch of engineering that involves the production and usage of heat and mechanical power for the design, operation of machines and tools. It is one of the oldest and broadest engineering disciplines.
The engineering field requires an understanding of core concepts including mechanics, kinematics, thermodynamics, material sciences, structural analysis and electricity. Mechanical engineers use these core principles along with tools like computer-aided engineering and product lifecycle management to design and analyze manufacturing plants, industrial equipment and machinery, heating and cooling systems, transport systems, aircraft, watercraft, robotics, medical devices and other equipments.
Innovation and designing go hand in hand with mechanical engineering and many complex products in use today right from aeroplanes to ships which are the results of the hard work of the mechanical engineers. This branch of engineering also deals with the design of industrial machinery and associated processes which make other things such as shipyards, paper mills and car assembly plants. It also involves ideas related to the efficient use of energy in various processes and design of complete system like heating and cooling systems. It is thus, one of the broadest branches of engineering with remarkable applications of design, development and manufacture of a variety of energy conversions and machine systems. Other subsidiary forms of specializations under mechanical engineering include mechatronic engineering, bio-mechanical and marine engineering.
Opportunities for mechanical engineers thus abound in a number of sectors like aerospace, automotive, marine, manufacturing, biomechanics, power generation, oil-exploration, oil rigs, heating and ventilation, air conditioning and robotics. Even emerging industries like nano-technology and particle technology have mechanical applications and many mechanical innovations are being developed to tap alternate fuel resources like geothermal, wind, tide and hydroelectric energy. These engineers are well paid in the industrial sectors and since it offers a wide range of opportunities, mechanical engineers are generally unaffected by any economic turmoil.
Polytechnics are one of the basic institutions from where mechanical engineers graduate. They must, however, have an excellent faculty and well equipped labs for practical sessions. Since mechanical engineering is more hands on, no efforts must be spared to set up additional workshops and labs like lathe and machine workshops, auto and thermal labs welding and foundry shops and fitting, carpentry and sheet metal shops.
Every year, industrial visits and in plant training sessions must be arranged to expose the students to the various industrial processes and relate better between the theory and practice. Career guidance programs, self assessment programs and seminars should also be organised to open the eyes of the students toward future opportunities.