Monday, September 28, 2009

Overview of careers in mechanical engineering

For those looking for a career in mechanical engineering, we have good news! Jobs are in excess in today's job market। Overall, mechanical engineering is right behind civil engineering in terms of number of engineers in the workplace today, according to the Occupational Outlook Handbook. The Handbook adds that mechanical engineers are projected to have an average rate of employment growth through 2014. Although total employment in manufacturing industries is expected to decline, employment of mechanical engineers in manufacturing is expected to actually increase because the demand for improved machinery and machine tools will grow, and industrial machinery and processes will become increasingly complex. Also, emerging technologies in biotechnology, materials science and nanotechnology will create new job opportunities for mechanical engineers.
Opportunities Abound The need for mechanical engineers by EPC companies is in high demand, says Charles Nash, vice president of engineering for Yoh, a talent and outsourcing firm in the engineering community। And mechanical engineers have many options to apply their skill sets to the real world, he adds.
"As an example, in the chemical plant environment, they may work with the design or application of equipment or the stress characteristics of a process piping system," Nash says।
In the food industry, they may be involved with development and design of conveying systems, or packing and packaging systems। In research and development, they may be involved with systems related to jet propulsion, space-travel, land-travel and sea- and sub-sea systems."
In a sense, Nash says, a mechanical engineer is an inventor of mechanical components and systems involving the application of principles of physics for analysis, design and manufacturing, and maintenance of mechanical systems।
Build Your Backup
With all of these opportunities, the only way to get started in the industry is by getting the proper education. An undergraduate engineering program usually requires four to five years of सतुदी
"The coursework includes a foundational course in mathematics and physics, which provides the necessary background to study mechanical engineering," says Margaret Bailey, associate professor of mechanical engineering at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT)। "Core mechanical engineering courses are numerous and vary significantly in content, ranging from statics and dynamics to engineering design, heat transfer and numerical methods."
Bailey adds that in addition to core courses, students further explore their interest areas within mechanical engineering at RIT through completion of technical elective courses and completion of a capstone design।
For example, at RIT we have developed several option areas which are closely aligned with our students' technical interests, including aerospace, energy and the environment, bioengineering and automotive," she says। "Within each option there are numerous courses to help students develop a depth of understanding.
At some engineering colleges, including RIT, students are required to complete a series of co-op educational experiences, which complement and strengthen their mechanical engineering foundation," Bailey explains। At RIT, students work outside of the classroom as "engineers-in-training" at locations around the country and the world.
In the Real World
"Once in the workplace, mechanical engineers can take on a number of functions," says David Bonifacic, managing principal of WB, a Manhattan-based mechanical/electrical/plumbing firm। "Consulting mechanical engineers design, plan and supervise the construction of new buildings or the renovation of existing facilities," he says. "Mechanical consulting engineers work on the complete infrastructure in a facility, including any part that moves such as people, air and water."
In addition to design and construction, mechanical engineers often work on due diligence studies of facilities।
"This involves developing life cycle costs analysis to verify if a project is worth undertaking," says Bonifacic। "Mechanical engineers in one field often work closely with specialists in other building disciplines—for example electrical engineers, plumbing and fire protection engineers, architects, structural and civil engineers. A lot of our time is spent outside of the office or in the field. We conduct site surveys, attend meetings and during construction we regularly visit the project site in order to monitor or direct operations or solve onsite problems."
In order to be successful as a mechanical engineer, Bailey says that there are a number of personal characteristics you should have। Being able to work together in teams is just one of many of these characteristics.
"Engineers must be able to work effectively on teams which consist of engineers from other disciplines as well as non-engineers, such as scientists, researchers, architects, industrial designers and medical professionals," she says. "Therefore, an ideal personal characteristic for an engineer is someone who likes working with people who may be quite different from themselves as far as educational बच्क्ग्रौंद
Engineers also need to be able to creatively solve problems। "People who enjoy problem solving and who push themselves towards creative solutions should consider engineering," she adds. "The problems that engineers solve are usually focused on people and affect quality of life. Therefore, having an interest in improving the quality of life is also quite common among engineers."
Now's the Time
With the shortage of engineers entering the field, Nash says now is the time to become a mechanical engineer, if it appeals to you।
We currently are in short supply of all disciplines of engineering personnel as related to the typical energy engineering industry needs," he says. "This is in part due to the fact that many of our graduating engineers have chosen to focus their training in a different line of business, such as the information technology industry." Depending on the specific industry chosen, many mechanical engineers will earn six-figure salaries within a few years.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

New mechanical heart implanted at the MUHC

Surgeons at the MUHC have successfully implanted a new kind of mechanical heart in two patients, the first time this new technology has been used in Canada. This new mechanical heart will allow some patients' damaged hearts to recover their normal function, and will reduce the need for heart transplants. This "bridge-to-recovery" technology promises to revolutionize the management of heart failure The MUHC is one of only a handful of Canadian hospitals capable of installing the new mechanical hearts.

Until now, mechanical hearts were considered temporary devices designed to assist a diseased or damaged heart, in order to bridge the gap to a heart transplant. Patients who developed shock after suffering a heart attack were considered for mechanical hearts as a bridge to transplant for example। "This new technology allows the patient's own heart to recover its normal function, thereby avoiding a heart transplant altogether", says Dr. Renzo Cecere, Director of the Mechanical Assist Program and Surgical Director of the Heart Failure and Heart Transplant Program of the MUHC.
The new mechanical hearts, which were authorized for use in Canada two weeks ago, are designed to permit recovery of heart function in some patients with heart failure। The new devices are less damaging to implant than the previous options; they are also less expensive. "Over all the new mechanical hearts are vastly superior to the old, in every respect," says Dr. Cecere. "They can be easily removed from the patient when their heart recovers and they cut operating time from 2-3 hours to less than one hour, which also reduces bleeding and infection risk."

The MUHC has the largest mechanical heart program in Quebec, capable of conducting the most complex surgical procedures and implanting an array of specialized devices suitable for each patient's needs; it is also the first program in the country to implement this new "bridge-to-recovery" technology। "We have the kind of comprehensive multi-disciplinary program that is vital in order to successfully conduct this kind of procedure," noted Dr. Cecere.
The McGill University Health Centre is a comprehensive academic health institution with an international reputation for excellence in clinical programs, research and teaching. The MUHC is a merger of five teaching hospitals affiliated with the Faculty of Medicine at McGill University--the Montreal Children's, Montreal General, Royal Victoria, and Montreal Neurological Hospitals, as well as the Montreal Chest Institute. Building on the tradition of medical leadership of the founding hospitals, the goal of the MUHC is to provide patient care based on the most advanced knowledge in the health care field, and to contribute to the development of new knowledge
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