The role of a mechanical engineer has significance in several industries, including automotive, aerospace, biotechnology, computers and electronics, micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS), energy conversion, environmental control and automation. Because of that it becomes a stepping stone for other specializations, should a person look into that direction.
As such in the field of mechanical engineering, these are the trends:
- A digital twin is a digital or virtual copy of physical assets or products. It connects the real and virtual world by collecting real-time data from installed sensors, which helps in optimizing the performance of the actual assets. It can be used in various industries such as manufacturing, utilities, construction, healthcare and automotive.
- Hyperloop Technology is a new form of ground transport currently in development by a number of companies, which could see passengers travelling at 700 miles an hour in floating pods within low-pressure tubes. It brings airplane speeds to ground level, safely. It will transform travel time from hours to minutes. It could be cheaper and faster than trains and cars, and cheaper and less polluting than air travel.
- 4D Printing Technology is the process through which a 3D-printed object transforms itself into another structure over the influence of external energy input as temperature, light or other environmental stimuli. Through computational folding, objects larger than printers can be printed as only one part. Since the 4D-printed objects can change shape, can shrink and unfold, objects that are too large to fit on a printer can be compressed for 3D printing into their secondary form.
If freshly out of college mechanical engineers are looking for prospective specialisations they can go for either a masters or job oriented courses. Master’s programmes can be done in:
- automobile engineering
- material technology
- thermal engineering
- industrial engineering
- product design and development
- mechatronics engineering
- engineering design
- computer-integrated manufacturing
Fresh graduates can also choose for job-oriented courses in:
- piping design and engineering course
- CFD (computational fluid dynamics)
- MBD (multi-body dynamics)
- simulation engineering course
- FEA (finite element analysis)
Those who are still confused with what to be done after a degree in mechanical engineering can also look at the career graph of these individuals who went to be on the top of their field:
- Romesh Batra: A professor in the Department of Engineering Science and Mechanics at Virginia Polytechnic Institute, Batra has made contributions to Continuum Mechanics and Nonlinear Elasticity.
- Suhas V. Patankar: Patankar is a pioneer in the field of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and Finite volume method. He is currently a Professor Emeritus at the University of Minnesota.
- Ravi Grover: An Indian nuclear scientist and mechanical engineer, Grover is the founding vice-chancellor of the Homi Bhabha National Institute. He is well known in India as a proponent of nuclear energy as can be seen from his publications related to nuclear energy.
- Sanjay Sharma: Sharma is a professor of mechanical engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is credited with developing many standards and technologies in the commercial RFID (radio-frequency identification) industry.
- Kumar Bhattacharyya: Known as the founder of Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG), Bhattacharyya played a pivotal role in engineering and manufacturing in the United Kingdom.