I would like to know whether mechanical engineering is
only mainly about engines ?
I am interested in physics but i am not sure whether to pursue my studies
in mechaniocal or electrical engineering.
Could you tell me about both the courses and some guidelines to me so that
I am able to make a decision?
I can assure you that mechanical engineering is much more than just engines.
I have been a mechanical engineer for about 10 years now, and I have yet to
design an engine. I have, however, been involved with design of mechanical
components, worked with CAD and finite element analysis software for design
and heat transfer problems, and I have design and implemented data
acquisition programs just to name a couple of high lights. If you were to
go into mechanical engineering, you would be introduced to a broad range of
subjects including design, mechanics of materials, fluid flow, heat
transfer, thermodynamics, HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning),
computer programming, control systems, and engineering economy. From that
point it would be up to you to "concentrate" in an area, but you are by no
means bound to it. For instance, I started in fluid mechanics when I got
out of school, but now I do mainly design and data acquisition for research
purposes. The job I had before this, I used finite element analysis for
verification of designs along with building of components for testing of the
So, you can see that there is a wide range of options available. I think
you will also find this the case in electrical engineering as well. But, it
will ultimately be up to you to find what you are comfortable with and
interested in when you get to school. For the first 1 to 1.5 years, you
will take the basics in that all engineers take. Maybe by that time you
will have a better idea that interests you.
A simple answer to your question regarding mechanical engineering and
engines- No. Mechanical Engineers deal with everything from "A"irplanes to
"Z"ippers. Mechanical Engineers cover the entire spectrum- another aspect
is Heating ventilation and air conditioning- which deals with thermodynamics
as opposed to mechanical systems. As a mechanical engineer I am slightly
biased but will try and give an overall perspective to help you choose.
M.E.'s tend to stay towards the material end of physics with such courses as
dynamics, statics, thermodynamics, vibrations, strength of materials etc
etc. Mechanical engineering also deals a lot with electrical engineering so
you would take many courses along with electrical engineers. Electrical
engineering seems to stay more towards the non-physical end of physics
dealing more with electrons, charge, voltage etc.
I chose Mechanical Engineering since I feel it is easier to comprehend and
understand the physical side of physics much easier. Choose what you feel
you would like to do, in the end you will find that both Mechanical and
Electrical Engineers work very close together. Although I am a mechanical
Engineer, I also do electrical work and control systems. Just because you
receive a degree in a certain discipline doesn't mean you have to stay in
that profession the rest of your life! I hop this has helped somewhat.
Click here to return to the Engineering Archives
Update: June 2012