Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Education in Mechanical Engineering


Career Education in Mechanical Engineering

Planning for your career as a mechanical engineer

Engineers must combine a good understanding of science, mathematics, and computers with a good knowledge of current technology. At the high school level, the emphasis is on mathematics. Two years of algebra plus courses in geometry and trigonometry generally are required.

In addition to the sciences and math, engineers need good communication skills, so don't neglect the liberal arts and humanities. In addition, remember that many of the large industrial firms that employ mechanical engineers are multinational. That means a second language can be extremely valuable.

At the university level, mechanical engineering majors can expect to learn advanced mathematics, calculus, chemistry, and physics. After some of these core courses, mechanical engineering majors take specialized courses in:
  • Fluid dynamics
  • Materials science
  • Robotics
  • Manufacturing processes
  • Thermodynamics and heat transfer
  • Environmental science
They will also take advanced computer classes that deal with design.

A typical Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering will require communications classes (composition, technical writing), humanities (history language, political science), basic science (chemistry, physics), business (accounting, marketing), mathematics, and basic engineering and computer skills. Usually the core mechanical engineering classes (fluid mechanics, engineering design, heat transfer) begin in the sophomore year.

Evaluate your potential future as a mechanical engineering major by asking yourself these questions:
  • How are your grades in math and science? If you struggle, choose another specialty. If you do well and ask for more, mechanical engineering might be the right choice.
  • Do you have a curiosity about how things work? Have you found yourself taking things apart and putting them back together? This is a natural attribute of the mechanical engineer.
  • If you live to discover new or better ways to do things, you are definitely on the right track.
  • Are computer games, mazes, and jigsaw puzzles fun for you? What could be better than doing work you enjoy?
  • Do people turn to you for advice or trust your decisions? That means you think clearly and have demonstrated decision-making abilities in the past. It is an important requirement for a mechanical engineer.

    Tuesday, May 18, 2010

    Engineering Careers

    Trends in Mechanical Engineering Careers

    According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), mechanical engineers hold over 226,000 jobs, more than half of which are in manufacturing: machinery, transportation equipment, computer and electronic products, and fabricated metal products manufacturing industries. Emerging fields like biotechnology, materials science, and nano-technology are expected to create new job opportunities for mechanical engineers; the BLS predicts an increase of nearly 10,000 mechanical engineering jobs by 2016.

    In particular, medical biotechnology is gaining more attention from mechanical engineers who specialize in design mechanics. This area involves the design of artificial limbs and organs. Mechanical engineers must work along with medical doctors to develop these products that will withstand stress and yet be compatible with the human body.

    A degree in mechanical engineering often can be applied to other engineering specialties, such as manufacturing engineering or aerospace engineering. In addition to those increased job opportunities, many openings will result from the natural replacement of workers who transfer to other occupations or retire.

    Wednesday, May 12, 2010

    Mechanical engineers are constantly being asked to make decisions

    What Do Mechanical Engineers Do?

    The diverse mechanical engineering field can be divided in a variety of ways in terms of job functions. Some of the most common functions relate to these areas of technology, but not all do. Among these fields are:
    • Product Design -- developing products ranging from biomedical devices to gasoline-powered engines. A mechanical engineer designs anything that uses mechanical motion.
    • Research and Development -- discovering new solutions to human needs or improving older methods.
    • Manufacturing -- developing the machines that process materials into products. Designing and building machines and systems of machines that improve operating efficiency is of prime importance.
    • Systems management -- overseeing operations of a large system, such as a power plant, as well as supervising the people who work there.
    • Energy -- planning how energy is generated, stored, and moved. Industries that produce and deliver electrical power, such as natural gas, oil and alternative energy, employ mechanical engineers to develop more fuel-efficient cars, motors, and appliances.
    • Marketing -- determining the need for a new or modified product, and calculating product availability, market size, cost structure, profitability, specifications, and distribution channels. 
      In most of these fields, the mechanical engineer is concerned with heat utilization or machine design--in other words, harnessing or creating energy. Heat utilization techniques are applied in boilers, air conditioners, and refrigeration units. Machine design is more focused on hardware, including automobile engines, computers, and washing machines.

      Mechanical engineers are constantly being asked to make decisions. The size, shape, and material of every part of every mechanical product created must be decided by a mechanical engineer. They also have to determine the best and most efficient ways to manufacture the products. Often those decisions are made in conjunction with other types of engineers. Some of the decisions they make can mean the difference between life and death: the safety features of automobiles, for example, are the responsibility of mechanical engineers.

      Monday, May 10, 2010

      What is Mechanical Engineering?

      The mechanical engineer has been called the general practitioner and the jack-of-all trades among engineering professions. This is because he requires education and skills that span a broad range of technical, social, environmental, and economic problems. In general, however, the mechanical engineer is concerned with controlling the principles of motion, energy, and force through mechanical solutions.

      A mechanical engineer designs the tools and processes used for satisfying the needs of society through a combination of material, human, and economic resources. She might work on electric generators, internal combustion engines, steam and gas turbines, and other power-generating machines. She might also develop machines such as refrigeration and air-conditioning equipment, power tools, and other power-using machines.

      Thursday, May 6, 2010

      Structures, Fabricated

      Plasmonic properties of Fischer's patterns: polarization effects

      We report the fabrication and the optical study of Fisher's patterns inscribed on glass slides. Such structures, fabricated by electron beam lithography, consist of gold nanotriangles, organized in a hexagonal arrangement. By changing the fabrication conditions, it is possible to control precisely the size of the structures and the gap distance between facing triangles but most importantly, to finely tune their localized surface plasmon resonance. In addition to the experimental studies, the plasmonic properties of the Fischer's patterns were characterized as a function of the polarization of the incoming light. Finite difference time domain (FDTD) method was used to support the experimental results and to investigate the electromagnetic field enhancement on a Fischer's pattern lattice unit for different wavelengths and polarization of the irradiation source.
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      Smowtion ...
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