What is Mechanical Engineering?
Mechanical Engineering is one of the oldest engineering disciplines, having culminated from the industrial revolution of the 19th century. Traditionally concerned with harnessing and converting energy forms, mechanical engineers are inherently multi-disciplinary. For example, the design of a car engine combines the fields of chemistry, thermodynamics, heat transfer, fluid dynamics, electronic controls, dynamics and vibrations, materials science, and mechanical design. Although the mechanical engineer may specialize in one of these fields, a cursory knowledge of each of these fields is necessary to interact with other engineers.
What do Mechanical Engineers do?
Mechanical engineers design machines, devices, various products and control systems, and work with the generation, conversion, transmission, and utilization of mechanical and thermal power. Assignments often include analysis and synthesis of mechanical, thermal, and fluid systems.
Mechanical engineers are also responsible for characterization, specification, and analysis of materials used in design and manufacturing. Manufacturing systems, robotics, electromechanical devices, and control systems are also the purview of the mechanical engineer. Graduates in mechanical engineering are among the most versatile engineers and enjoy professional employment in industry, government, consulting, and research organizations.
Where do Mechanical Engineers work?
Mechanical engineers work in almost every industry that employs engineers. The work of mechanical engineers varies from general engineering to numerous, narrow specialties. In general, mechanical engineers work in one of the following areas: design, construction, controls, materials specification and evaluation, analysis of thermal systems, fluid and solid mechanics, manufacturing, plant engineering, research and development, and technical sales.
Why study Mechanical Engineering at Texas A&M?
The mechanical engineering curriculum at Texas A&M educates students in logical thinking - a prerequisite for professional competence. The curriculum consists of basic theory courses complemented by laboratory experiences in dynamic systems and controls, design, experimentation, fluid mechanics, heat transfer, manufacturing, and materials.
Elective courses are offered in several areas including air conditioning, automotive engineering, computer aided design, controls, energy conversion, internal combustion engines, manufacturing, materials, polymer processing, nondestructive evaluation, metallurgy, power generation, stress analysis, fluid mechanics, turbomachinery, and others. The selection of elective courses is dictated by the interests and goals of the student with the aid of the department advisors.
Many students enhance their education by participating in cooperative education, which offers opportunities for employment in engineering positions while working toward a degree. Numerous study abroad programs are also available for gaining experience and perspectives in the international arena. Many students also participate in research projects through individual directed studies courses with a professor. The program culminates with a senior capstone design course sequence highlighted by real-life projects sponsored by various industries. Students benefit from the challenge and gratification that come through direct interaction with practicing engineers.