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School of Mechanical Engineering
SA 5005



What Does a Mechanical Engineer Do?

pistons The professional discipline of mechanical engineering is concerned with the design, development and manufacture of machines and mechanical engineering systems. These include engines and turbines of various kinds, land transport vehicles, ships, aircraft, pumps and fans, air-conditioning and refrigeration systems, building services, industrial plants, and manufacturing processes. However, practically all areas of engineering make use of the skills of the mechanical engineer to some extent. Mechanical engineers offer expertise in the fields of energy technology, combustion, acoustics, noise and vibration control, biomedical engineering, fluid mechanics and aeronautics, automatic control, manufacturing, robotics, quality management, plant layout and process simulation. Good mechanical engineering is built on a strong foundation of theory, reinforced by an amalgam of experience and innovation.

Today's mechanical engineer is heavily involved in the management of people and resources as well as the development and use of new materials and technologies, especially computer-aided engineering. A rapidly growing field for mechanical engineers is environmental control, comprising the development of machines and processes that will produce fewer pollutants, as well as the development of new equipment and techniques to reduce or remove existing pollution. Mechanical Engineers are committed to the use of technology to improve the quality of life for society as a whole.

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