Mechanical engineering influences our lives in many ways. The different fields of mechanical engineering try to make use of force, energy, and motion to build machines or gadgets to make our lives easier.
Mechanical engineering impacts our daily lives without us noticing it. When you turn the switch of your light, ride a train or bus, when you cross a bridge, and many more day to day activities – are all under the discipline of mechanical engineering.
The Different Disciplines of Mechanical Engineering
Like any other engineering fields, mechanical engineering has many subfields where people can specialize. The set of skills learned under these subspecialties are applied to practical use so our existence can be more productive and meaningful.
Here are some of the disciplines under mechanical engineering:
o Mechanics- this field entails the study of forces and its effects on things. This involves the analysis and prediction of how objects will react to the different stresses it may be subjected to. There are several sub disciplines in this field like statics, dynamics, fluid mechanics, mechanics of materials, and continuum mechanics
o Kinematics- under this discipline one will learn about the motion of bodies and system of bodies. The pistons of you cars or the crane that lifts heavy loads are practical uses of the principles of kinematics
o Robotics- involves the collaboration of different engineering disciplines like electrical engineering and software engineering with mechanical engineering. The fancy robots that we see being developed to help man assemble cars and other things primarily depend on the application of skills learned under this mechanical engineering discipline
o Structural Analysis- mechanical engineering shares this discipline with civil engineering and is primarily focused on why objects fail. It will decipher why structures will break or why they will not function as supposedly designed.
o Thermodynamics- this is a shared study with other fields of engineering. It deals with energy applied through building of power plants, ventilations, refrigeration, radiators, and anything that involves transformation of energy from one form to another.
o Drafting- this involves the instructions used to build machineries. Drawings are now aided by computers in a three dimensional representation.
What Lies Ahead
Mechanical engineering is a field that doesn’t stop on looking for answers to make life easier for us.
Boundaries are being crossed and minds pushed to their limits so mechanical systems can be safer, cost effective, and more efficient. Computer aided engineering is continually being developed to create more detailed and accurate models of products, assembly parts, and other interfaces.
There are recent advancements in the design and production of composite materials. Some good examples of these are carbon composite materials which are used in cars, airplanes, spacecrafts, and the simple high technology fishing rods.
There is also a considerable effort to build more machines which helps the automation of assembly lines and other things. Mechanical engineering helps build cars, automated parking lots, and simple automated dispensing systems.
Aside from the big things mentioned above, mechanical engineering also focuses on the small things. Nanotechnology interplays with molecular engineering which primarily aims to produce molecular assemblers. This field of engineering has big dreams that will have big impact on warfare, exploration, and health but is still on the exploratory stage.