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Bachelor Degrees T - Z

Mechanical Engineering Degree Facts

May 25th, 2014

A degree in Mechanical Engineer is for the individual who wants to be challenged with learning how to control the various principles involved in force, energy, and motion. Known as the most versatile field of all the engineering sciences, a degree in mechanical engineering requires education, skills, and training to deal with a wide spectrum of technical, environmental, economic, and social issues.
A Mechanical Engineering degree enables you to design tools as well as processes to meet particular societal needs using human, economic, and material resources. A mechanical engineer will typically study how electric generators, gas and steam turbines, internal combustion, and power generators work. Often, the mechanical engineer also develops mechanisms for air conditioners, power tools, and refrigerators.
What Can You Do with a Mechanical Engineering Degree?
Generally, functions of technology are relegated to mechanical engineering requirements but there are several fields which are non-technology based which require this type of engineering such as:

  • Research and development. Improving existing methodologies and developing new solutions.
  • Product design. Designing mechanisms using mechanical motion and developing products such as engines powered by gasoline and biomedical devices.
  • Manufacturing. Designing, developing, and building machines/equipment which is able to process raw materials into products, as well as systems that help improve operational efficiency of equipment/machines.
  • Systems management. Overseeing the operational functions of large systems like power plants and supervising the personnel there.
  • Energy. Industries engaged in the production and delivery of electricity, oil, alternative sources of energy, and natural gas are dependent on mechanical engineers in developing more efficiency in fuel-powered motors, appliances, and vehicles by planning the generation, storage, and movement of energy.
  • Marketing. Mechanical engineers help in determining modifications in a product, calculating its availability, cost structure, specifications, market size, distribution channels, and profitability, as well as deciding whether there is a need for the creation of an entirely new product.

A mechanical engineering degree is applicable to other specializations as well such as aerospace or manufacturing engineering. A mechanical engineer’s main concern is machine design (harnessing energy) or heat utilization (creating energy). Machine design focuses on hardware such as computers, washing machines, and automobile engines while heat utilization comes in the form of techniques applied in refrigeration units, air conditioners, and boilers.
A mechanical engineer makes decisions on the material, its shape and size, for use in a mechanical product; determines best practices to apply in the manufacture of a product; and ensures that mechanical equipment/machines/gadgets have all been certified safe for use. Emerging fields of specializations such as materials science, nanotechnology, and biotechnology are opportunities for new graduates of mechanical engineering, according to statistical projections of over 10,000 mechanical engineering job opportunities by 2016.
The Best Schools to Get a Mechanical Engineering Degree
Future mechanical engineers are required to have a thorough understanding of mathematics, computers, and science, including current available and developing technology.
Algebra, trigonometry, and geometry are typically required as pre-requisite subjects, while chemistry, calculus, advanced mathematics, and physics are expected to be learned to obtain the degree.
Here are the top 10 schools offering mechanical engineering degrees:

  1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cambridge, Massachusetts)
  2. Stanford University (Stanford, California)
  3. University of California-Berkley
  4. University of Illinois (Urbana, Illinois)
  5. Purdue University (West Lafayette, Indiana)
  6. University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
  7. Cornell University (Ithaca, New York)
  8. Georgia Institute of Technology (Atlanta, Georgia)
  9. Princeton University (Princeton, New Jersey)
  10. California Institute of Technology (Pasadena, California)

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