Designing vehicles, in general, is a task for mechanical engineers. A vehicle designer is concerned with the aerodynamics of a moving vehicle against the elements to provide optimal speed and safety. Also, the automobile engineer is responsible for designing comfortable and adjustable seats based on the vehicle’s type and function. A female engineer would take into account the practical needs of a woman driver. If the driver is a mother, she would need easy access to her children which may include infants in assigned seats.
A vehicle has many moving parts and each one works in sync with the others via gears and belts. From the motor to the transmission to the compressor, a mechanical engineer ensures that all parts are functioning according to design and specifications. Designing the appropriate wheels to support the vehicle that will withstand harsh weather and distance is crucial. As more parts of a modern vehicle are computerizing, an automobile engineer has to be proficient with software engineering as well.
With the advent of self-driving and autonomous vehicles, mechanical engineers who can program complex algorithms to drive these unmanned vehicles are in demand. Some may need to supplement their education with an advanced mechanical engineering online degree to advance their skills.
Machines with intelligence play an important role in product manufacturing. Factories employ robots to help assemble complicated parts as well as interact with less than optimal working conditions. Robots come in various sizes and people control them remotely to perform their functions. NASA regularly sends robots in space to explore uncharted territories and gather data without having to worry about their safety. Although these robots are expensive and funds are from taxpayers, they are worth sacrificing than human lives.
Like vehicle engineers, robotic engineers need software development skills to command and control the robots in addition to designing them. With artificial intelligence and machine learning, engineers can design intelligent robots to replace military combat soldiers or function as service robots in the healthcare industry. A shortage of human nurses in Japan to meet the needs of its elderly population has caused the rise of robotic nurses in hospitals.
No longer playthings, UAV or Unmanned Aerial Vehicles are remote-controlled drones that serve in various capacities. In place of flying pigeons; both military and commercial organizations are using these. Because of their size, these UAVs are good for surveillance and transporting light cargos. They have been used in rescue missions in dangerous terrains to locate missing persons or to infiltrate enemy territory.
Thanks to mechanical engineering, the printing industry was able to mass-produce hand work originally in scroll form into paper. The once-massive printers using plates and dies have been replaced with compact printers and scanners to transform the book publishing industry. Desktop publishing has enabled the collaborative work of writers, editors and graphic designers to produce beautiful works of art.
Printing, no longer limited to paper, extended to textiles and other pliable material. 3D printing is a household keyword today that enables amateur designers to produce prototypes of their work and create social fundraising events to garner financial support. All this is due to the brilliance of the mechanical engineering team.
If you are inventive, have an aptitude in science, mathematics and art and want to contribute your mind toward creating time-saving tools, consider studying the principles of mechanical engineering design. Inventing something does not happen overnight but the process is rewarding as you embark on the journey of a product from conception to reality.