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Engineering Mechanical Engineers: What's your job?

  1. Aug 15, 2016 #1
    I would like to hear the Mechanical Engineers on the forum, and discover some careers hat a MechE could follow. I would like to know what is your job like (on what field do you work: fluids, structures, thermo, controls..., which kind of company, is your job more technical or management, if it's fun or not). I think it would give me a good overview of the profession as a whole.
    So, how is your job like?
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 21, 2016 #2
    Thanks for the thread! This is an automated courtesy bump. Sorry you aren't generating responses at the moment. Do you have any further information, come to any new conclusions or is it possible to reword the post? The more details the better.
  4. Aug 21, 2016 #3


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    I find it hard to believe that all mechanical engineers active on this forum are unemployed.
  5. Aug 22, 2016 #4


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    I and probably others find it difficult to understand why a student of engineering needs to keep asking what engineers do .
  6. Aug 22, 2016 #5
    Is this not the type of question that would be appropriate in a "career guidance" forum?

    Young people can often have little exposure to "a day in the life" in industry. Not only that but many jobs that might employee folks with a mech eng background can be decidedly less glamorous than what you study in school. Chalk it up to "The difference between theory and practice is bigger in practice than it is in theory."

    I took aerospace eng in school and the overlap between aero and mech eng (especially structures and propulsion streams) was very large. Only two of my friends found very technical design work and they both had masters. One ended up designing landing gear for a subcontractor of a large US aerospace company and other I heard is doing engine design at Rolls-Royce.

    Others ended up doing less glamorous things like designing chassis' for telecom equipment (including thermal mitigation, aka fans, etc.) Another now works for a mechanical contractor who specializes in designing hvac systems for buildings (not the heating/air conditioning units themselves, more the system design needed for each particular building.) Several others had trouble finding mech work at all and ended up working in software.

    I can't offer much in the way of what it's like or the amount of management vs technical because I was in the electronics/systems stream and pursued a career in software.

    One thing the will highly constrain the nature of the work a mech eng will tend to do is where they are located in the world. Cities and countries vary widely in the nature of the work offered by local industry. For example, in Calgary, Alberta and some parts of Texas it'll be a good bet that the work will be related to oil drilling/extraction/refining.

    Last edited: Aug 22, 2016
  7. Aug 22, 2016 #6
    What you do in working life will likely be different than what you do in school.
  8. Aug 22, 2016 #7
    I'm indeed interested in knowing more about how is engineering outside school, since I'm aware that the kind of job that I will do after undergrad will be very different from what I see everyday in class. I started this post because I wanted to get a feeling of how's a mechanical engineer job on daily basis, and thought it would be an interesting post (I'm sure there are a lot of engineers with very different jobs here, and probably interesting experiences). Since it's a career forum, I thought it wouldn't be "irrelevant".
    I'm very interested in seeking a career in aerospace after undergrad. I have the idea of pursuing a master's degree in aerospace, in fact. As for what you said about how cities and countries vary in the nature of work, where I live, most mechanical engineers end up working with HVAC or maintenance of elevators (not the most glamorous job, I fear).
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