I study engineering, more specifically mechanical engineering, to which I get commonly get responses such as “oh you’re smart then” or “that sounds complicated” with a slight variation, but overall people seem to have some conception in their head that it’s really complex. So I thought I’d write this blog to give people a small insight into how amazing it is to be an engineer.
I’ll start by saying Mechanical engineering at current is a dying branch of engineering – not because it’s not required – but because people don’t seem to be getting into it and less students every year are coming into engineering. Sadly at a time where engineers are in such high demand. It is one of those courses at university where you can pretty much leave university and pick a job up straight away because mechanical engineers are in such high demand.
In a nutshell, engineering is all around us and everyone encounters it every day in every aspect of our life’s from the toothbrush we use in a morning to the car, road and bridge we use at night to get home. Nearly everything we use or see was designed or had input from an engineer. For me personally, it’s the broadest subject you could study with possibilities that are endless. Below I’ve included just one definition of mech engineering that I think sums up what I do quite well…
“Mechanical Engineering, is the discipline that applies engineering, physics, and materials science principles to design, analyse, manufacture, and maintain mechanical systems. It is the branch of engineering that involves the design, production, and operation of machinery” (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mechanical_engineering)
Within all of those areas, you have further sub topics which you study such as thermodynamics, material science, physics (gravity…newtons laws of motion etc.) So at the end of your studies, an engineer should or will have a vast knowledge of the world and how it works.
What makes a good mechanical engineer?
Aside from the knowledge and understanding side which you would learn at university, I have also discovered through work experience and talking to current people in the field that characteristics within a person are key:
– A decision maker: As an engineer, you’ll be making tough decisions sometimes on the spot and these decisions are critical so you have to back yourself and be confident that what you’re choosing is correct… because sometimes other people’s lives depend on it.
– Problem solver: It’s no secret that in engineering, nothing is straight forward! You will often be faced with a problem that is no where close to straight forward and will sometimes have you pondering for days.
– Creative: In this career, it’s your job to think and develop the future. It’s all about making life easier and more enjoyable for people. If you can come up with an idea that a company could do something easier or more cost effective… you’ll be invaluable. However, as a good man once said to me; “always remember “KISS Keep It Simple Stupid” the less moving parts the better because 9 times out of 10 times it’s those parts that fail.”
There are many more characteristics, however, I just feel those 3 are key to have if you are considering becoming and engineer or studying engineering. So if you want a degree that will keep you on your toes, challenge you in ways you never thought possible, surprise you with a world of knowledge, and give you a real career with opportunities that are endless… study mechanical engineering, because I did and I’ve never looked back!