Areas of Mechanical Engineering

Areas of Mechanical Engineering

Mechanical engineering has many fields within it; fluid mechanics, design, materials science, thermodynamics, heat transfer, control, manufacturing, and robotics.

Using an airplane as a reference, many problems that need to be studied in order to create an airplane and the fields of mechanical engineering that relate to those problems can quickly identify. Fluid mechanics is used to study air flow over the wing and determine whether the plane will fly. A study of the air flow will determine the general shape of the wing and aircraft body which will lead to an aircraft design. The wings and body of the aircraft must be strong enough so that they don't collapse or break in flight, but they ought to be as light as possible so that the plane will be able to get off the ground easily and will be as fuel efficient as possible.

The design of jet engines involves all fields of mechanical engineering. The two fields particularly important to engine design are thermodynamics and heat transfer, which are concerned, respectively, with the ability of the engine to produce power to move the airplane, and with the actual combustion or burning of the fuel.

Finally the airplane must have controls so that the pilot can maneuver the airplane.

After all of these systems are designed the airplane must be manufactured (i.e. how to make all of the parts and how to assemble them). In a modern manufacturing plant robots would be used to make and assemble the parts of the airplane.

Mechanical Engineers would be responsible for all of these tasks in airplane design and manufacture.

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