There’s no denying that engineering has been at the forefront of societal progression through the ages, from the very first humans to walk the earth to the today’s growing world of 7.6 billion people.
Whether this has been building innovative animal traps to find food or designing self-driving cars to reduce congestion in modern cities, engineering has provided the stepping stones for mankind to thrive both as a collective and as individuals.
Allowing us to utilise the materials around us, engineering enables humans to go a step beyond our physical environment to solve problems and maximise our potential as we progress and evolve.
Of course, times have changed tremendously since the first feats of engineering were achieved. And thanks to rapid advancements in technology in the 21st century, the rate of this change has only increased with time. One problem solved equals a new challenge to overcome, a new “first” to achieve, a new record to beat, and so it goes – such is mankind’s insatiable thirst for progress.
As we charge forward into Industry 4.0 – a time in which automation and disruptive technologies will rewrite the rules of production – the field of engineering has not only remained in vogue, it has expanded, demonstrating its inexhaustible potential to drive cities, countries and their communities even farther beyond what was previously thought possible.
This means mechanical engineers will be at the forefront of the world we only know today as “tomorrow”, creating strong job security for those looking for opportunities in the field. It may remain unclear exactly how new technologies will influence economies, or how society will be impacted, but regardless what their trajectory, mechanical engineers will remain in high demand to create these changes for the foreseeable future.
And it’s not just the technology industry that’s in need of mechanical engineers.
Many fields including healthcare, robotics, transport, nanoscience and rocket science rely on mechanical engineers to apply their interdisciplinary knowledge to the industry.
Graduates in mechanical engineering have a unique skillset that are valuable to a range of areas, meaning they are not digging themselves into a niche that could be unlucrative in the future, but instead specialising in a field that is always going to be in demand, both for guiding society forward and progressing individual sectors.
This also broadens the career opportunities for mechanical engineers, not only in what areas they can work in but in which countries their skills will be needed. Every developing or developed country has its own set of unique challenges that rely on mechanical engineering to overcome, meaning there are a plethora of opportunities available to graduates after their studies.
So, as important as mechanical engineering has been to getting to where humanity is now, it will be even more instrumental in solving global challenges, harnessing new technologies and promoting innovation across all industries as we look towards the evolving Industry 4.0.
If you want to be part of this mechanical engineering movement, consider these four leading mechanical engineering school in North America to kick-start your career…
The Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at The University of Central Florida offers top-tier master’s degrees in mechanical, biomedical and aerospace engineering and a doctorate degree in mechanical engineering, creating a diverse, multi-disciplinary learning environment.
The department provides many GTAs, GRAs and doctoral fellowships, meaning doctoral students are 100 percent financially supported while fulfilling their academic aspirations.
“Located in a high-tech industrial, space exploration and medical hub and with more than US$136 million dollars awarded just this year (US$8 million to the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering), our graduate students work on real-world problems that are important to a range of industries as well as federal and state agencies,” says Yoav Peles, Chair of the department.
Students here have the chance to work with over 40 industry leaders from a diverse range of backgrounds, giving them exposure to a broad spectrum of engineering practices. From experienced engineering researchers to medical doctors, students work alongside these experts to solve problems related to energy, aerospace and manufacturing, or create medical simulations, devices and more.
“Students are exposed to real-life problems and gain valuable working experience through internships and co-ops with industry sponsors,” adds Peles.
This hands-on approach prepares students to enter the fast-paced technological world upon graduation, with experience in the research and development sectors that are central to societal progression.
The Drexel Department of Mechanical Engineering and Mechanics is responding to the pressures of today’s digital world by creating mechanical engineering graduates with diverse interdisciplinary skills, a global outlook and managerial abilities.
Both undergraduate and postgraduate programmes equip learners with the right skills at the Drexel Department of Mechanical Engineering and Mechanics through industry-focused degrees that are designed to respond to societal changes.
The department is actively engaged in forward-thinking research initiatives that help to progress society in areas such as biomechanics, bio-fluids, smart materials, combustion, fuel cells, alternative energy system, composite materials, robotics, computer integrated manufacturing, and satellite engineering.
Driven to succeed, Drexel students evolve into confident and intelligent mechanical engineers. Typically, graduates end up in interesting roles that are relevant to the fields of law, business, information technology and any other disciplines where technological and analytical skills play an important role.
To find out more about what Drexel delivers, you can explore their news page for important updates and revolutionary discoveries. And as their saying goes, ‘ambition can’t wait’, so it’s time to join forces.
With a mission to create socially conscious, well-rounded mechanical engineers with the ability to contribute to applied research in interdisciplinary areas and add value to government projects, communities, education and professional societies, the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering at The City University of New York is committed to producing graduates who make a difference.
“Our educational program is carefully designed to meet industry’s criteria for successful engineers. It stresses fundamentals as well as practice. It focuses on creative thinking and problem-solving skills. It emphasizes written and oral communication, teamwork, design, time management, computer utilization and communication through graphics,” explains the faculty’s academic philosophy.
“Its primary goal is education for career-long learning, giving students the educational tools to enable them to deal with rapidly advancing technologies.
With over 40 undergraduate courses to choose from ranging from computer methods in engineering to aircraft and rocket propulsion and more than 15 specialised postgraduate courses, there is an educational path perfect for anyone interested in mechanical engineering no matter where their passions lie.
York University Canada is committed to producing industry-prepared graduates by integrating classroom learning with work placements and research projects from undergraduate level until PhD qualifications.
Undergraduate students are encouraged to take part in the summer research assistant placements at the university to get a taste for life as an engineer beyond their studies, allowing them to develop a unique edge against other graduates in the field.
State-of-the-art facilities including the machine shop and student workshop and the design studio mean students gain a hands-on education with experience in technological innovation to respond to the emerging market they will enter.
Graduate students can also take advantage of more specialised machinery including an electrical conductivity analyser, an infrared imaging system, a compression moulding machine as well as a transmission and fluorescent microscope to propel student’s research projects forward.
Postgraduate degrees at the school are also geared towards preparing students for Industry 4.0 as they will graduate with an experiential learning focus ready to use their studies to tackle global problems and design innovative solutions with their academic knowledge.
*Some of the institutions featured in this article are commercial partners of Study International