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What does a Mechanical Engineer do? | Trevilla Engineering

What does a Mechanical Engineer do?

When you hear the term “mechanical engineer,” what comes to your mind? Machines?

Mechanical Engineers work throughout the products lifecycle, including research, design, development, installation, testing and maintenance. Mechanical Engineering is one of the most diverse engineering disciplines which includes, power, manufacturing, construction, aerospace, food processing, material science and thermodynamics.

Let’s list a few more things that Mechanical Engineers do. They can create a product from beginning to end, focusing on aesthetics, functionality, and durability. Transmission systems, engine parts, aircraft engines, control systems, prosthetic devices, disk drives, printers, semiconductor tools, sensors, gas turbines, wind turbines, fuel cells, compressors, robots, and machine tools…There is an almost endless list of items they can design and manufacture.

So, what does a Mechanical Engineer do? Well, the simplest way to put it is that they deal with anything that moves. They analyse problems and also design, develop, test, install and maintain products and machines for many industries around the globe.

This article will discuss the essential work of a Mechanical Engineer. 

The Origins of Mechanical Engineering

Mechanical Engineering can easily be classified as one of the oldest branches of engineering. It started with the inventions of the simplest things like the wheel, and with time it grew along with the progress of mathematics, physics and other branches of science. More and more sophisticated inventions came into being, and humanity’s very survival is greatly dependent on this science. 

Today, almost every industry in the World has a need for Mechanical Engineers. The most common sectors are manufacturing, energy, aerospace, automation, automotive, rail, defence, food processing, agriculture, and mining.

You may find a Mechanical Engineer reviewing products using software such as ANSYS, Spacegass and RFEM or even supervising a manufacturing plant as a production engineer. Moreover, if that product needs to be installed, they can help with its installation while serving as a project engineer. 

Almost all industrial sectors need Mechanical Engineers to inspect their equipment, plants, vessels, and machinery. The primary function of such an assessment is to ensure public safety. Mechanical inspection involves multiple phases of a long process, but due to sophisticated technologies, Mechanical Engineers can perform inspections using handheld scanners that provide a complete 3D virtual model of the machine under observation. 

Skills and Qualifications of a Mechanical Engineer

Mechanical Engineers will usually study for around four years to obtain their degree. Their studies will revolve around mathematics and physics, as well as cover different branches of mechanics, thermodynamics, and engineering design, such as computer-aided drafting (CAD) and computer-aided manufacturing (CAM). The basics of CAD and CAM are included in engineering courses since most of the manufacturing and designing around the globe depends on CAD. 

Like all industries, there have been some exciting developments in Mechanical Engineering due to advancements in technology. Today, a Mechanical Engineer is greatly dependent on computer-aided design. A drawing that used to be produced through very manual efforts in the past, can now be produced with absolute accuracy.

A Mechanical Engineer’s skills are extensive. Depending on the industry or department, they may include engineering design, testing, maintenance, inspection, risk management, stress analysis, estimation, metallurgy, mechanical supervision, overhauling and production planning, just to name a few. It goes to say that most people in Mechanical Engineering specialise as they can’t be proficient in all sectors. 

Many industries rely on Mechanical Engineers to ensure everything is working smoothly by inspecting and maintaining plants, machinery, and equipment. Even within the inspection domain, there are many subfields, including various types of mechanical inspections. Those are online inspection, offline inspection, contact inspection and non-contact inspection.

Also, risk analysis of machinery is a vital part of the job. Use of modern technology, such as non-contact 3D inspection performed using handheld scanners, has revolutionised inspection sectors. 3D inspection scanners provide a detailed 3D model of the machine under observation. 

Different Types & Roles of Mechanical Engineers

The role of a Mechanical Engineer can vary considerably, from technical and production, to purchase and sales, or even project management, safety, and dispatch. Mechanical Engineers share a variety of titles, such as Technical Engineer, Draftsman, Project Engineer, Production Supervisor, and even Sales Engineer. It all comes down to your skillset and field interest.

Here’s just a few types of Mechanical Engineers:

  • Structural Engineers, a subclass of civil engineers, aim to improve the structural integrities of various assemblies.
  • Design Engineers are the primary think tanks behind the designs of parts, components, or machines.
  • Weld Engineers excel in welding processes, including large and small structures, machines or installations.
  • Risk Management Engineers perform risk assessments. 
  • Planning Engineers work with software such as Primavera and use high functioning computing systems. They plan everything.
  • Reverse Engineers are responsible for deconstructing an existing machine, component or part to extract design information to recreate or reconstruct them.

Conclusion

Over the past three decades, immense industry growth has seen the term “Mechanical Engineer” evolve. So, what exactly is a Mechanical Engineer? It’s more than just machines. Look around for almost anything that moves to find examples of their skilful work.

At Trevilla Engineering, we specialise in Mechanical Engineering. Our company services a range of industries, such as manufacturing, automotive, mining, aerospace, defence, food processing, agriculture, and risk inspection.

As experts in this highly specialised field, we don’t just design things, but certify many parts from small machinery components to large plant steel structures and equipment. Inspection prevents the potential for failure of machinery and steel structures and prevents loss or injury by ensuring mechanical parts are compliant with safety standards.

Contact us today for all your engineering project needs.