Fundamentals of Mechanical Engineering





Fundamentals of Mechanical Engineering

By definition, mechanical engineering is the study that implements the principles of materials science, physics, and engineering in the development, analysis, manufacturing, and repair of mechanical systems. It is the aspect of engineering that is concerned with designing, producing, and operating equipment. Within college, the role of this course is to initiate the learner to the study of mechanical engineering using an explanation of its disciplines, counting fluid flows, mechanism design, structural analysis, and thermal systems. By employing methods and principles of analysis created in lectures, learners are expected to finish two major objectives. These goals begin with conceptualization, continue with the investigation of candidate designs, and conclude in the development and experimentation of a prototype. All through this process, creativity and flexibility is encouraged.

Academic Perspective of Mechanical Engineering

At the freshman level in the standard university or college, mechanical engineering students mostly concentrate on the following areas. Mechanical design and analysis units allow them to learn about stress, bearing and burden compensation and distribution. They also learn about kinetics and vibrations. Data collection and measuring units are similarly included in the first year (Bird and Ross 78). The remaining units include heat transfer, fluid mechanics, and refrigeration. The successive sections of the essay will analyze the context, stakeholders and efforts being done to ensure that areas where thermodynamics has been implemented remain safe and sustainable (Bird and Ross 17).

Within the mechanical engineering discipline, thermodynamics, which is sometimes referred to as heat transfer, plays a major role in the academic and practical world. Thermodynamics is a sub-discipline within physics that primarily addresses issues such as heat, temperature and their correlation to power and energy. The branch elaborates diminutive variables, for instance, internal energy, force, and entropy that partially define a body of matter. Thermodynamics claims that the reaction of these variables is affected by general limitations that are universal to all materials, not the unique features of specific materials (Bird and Ross 25). These general limitations are articulated in the four laws of thermodynamics. This sub-discipline defines the general reactions of the body, not the minute behaviors of the massive numbers of its microscopic components.

Examining the discipline that is mechanical engineering using an academic perspective or simply be a member of the fraternity is complicated. It demands objectivity, creativity and the ability to factor in different industrial demands. Students in the course are instructed on the best way to combine environmental concerns with their industrial demands (Bird and Ross 33). For instance, the current trend within universities offering the course is to ensure elements of environmental conservation are included in the process of designing any project regardless of the scope and purpose. Therefore, designing an ordinary skyscraper involves much more that basic architectural drawings and structural considerations (Bird and Ross 67). It also incorporates city environmental requirements that may greatly influence the overall construction cost and time allocated for the project.


Industrial Perspective of Mechanical Engineering

From an industrial viewpoint, mechanical engineers implement engineering, mathematics, and scientific approaches to complicated systems and operations. Given that these systems are massive and multifaceted, it is necessary for mechanical engineers to posses the knowledge and expertise in a broad diversity of disciplines, the capacity to cooperate with colleagues, and an open viewpoint. Within the mechanical engineering industry, there is a great need for creativity and flexibility (Kropiwnicki, Lipiński, and Szkodo 14). Translating the theoretical principles and theories taught within the lecture context into actionable and relevant solutions that can be implemented in the field demands unique transition efforts. The scope of the mechanical engineering field gives students room for a variety of career alternatives that are different from the traditional ones listed within colleges. In spite of the particular career path engineers see for themselves after the completion of their education, mechanical engineering furnishes students with a wide variety of skills and experiences that will benefit them in other unrelated fields (Kropiwnicki et al. 17). The mechanical engineering industry is very lucrative and this can be attributed to the breadth of the field. Within each of the sub-fields, there are numerous advancements made towards improving the quality and efficiency of service provision (Hodgson 34). For instance, the building of highways, bridges, and drainage systems has been enhanced greatly to ensure that the processes are sustainable and affordable. In the manufacturing sector, companies have enhanced the use of processes, machinery, and systems to increase their production margins (Kropiwnicki et al. 23).

Consumer (Ordinary) Perspective of Thermodynamics

Thermodynamics and Sustainability

The exploration, extraction and generation of energy using natural resources is the world’s single leading cause of pollution, climatic change and destruction of the ecosystem. The consequences of these industrial activities have created significant interest in innovative ways to reduce the environmental destruction (Hodgson 17). One of these ways is through the implementation of solutions based on physics by focusing on the study of thermodynamics. Implementing scientific methods has proved useful and cost-effective in enhancing industrial and household activities and realizing the key objectives of reducing the carbon footprint. The environment is one of the biggest beneficiaries of the achievements made in understanding and exploiting thermodynamics (Bird and Ross 89). There is a close relationship between thermodynamics and environmental sustainability especially in the face of widespread pollution and climate change. For many years, industrial stakeholders have benefited from the inventions that manipulate thermodynamics. This sector has implemented technology that uses thermodynamics with drastic consequences that include increasing the carbon footprint and exploitation of natural resources. A significant motivation for industrial innovation is created by the need for resourceful and eco-friendly procedures (Kropiwnicki et al. 89). The augmented utilization of molecular theories in thermodynamic appliances has ensured that this discipline becomes a main field for innovative ideas and applications. The thermodynamic fundamentals combined with statistical mechanical models and accessible computer capacity allows a comprehensive understanding of atomic and molecular scale experiences, using practical models. Thermodynamics also has its place in the daily life (Sigalotti, Jaime, and Sira 58). The daily activities for every individual that include traveling in vehicles, accessing air-conditioning in rooms, or watching films on television all have a common factor in that they are evidence of the thermodynamics application (Kropiwnicki et al. 56). Nearly all the different types of engines originated from the basic design presented by Carnot theorem and cycle. These innovations contributed towards the development of the automobile, the basic engine, and the study of thermodynamics (Bird and Ross 12).

Energy Production and Consumption

            This field in mechanical engineering is concerned with energy production and consumption, facility administration, power plant engineering, compliance with environmental standards and sustainable energy innovation. Energy engineering is a relatively new sub-sector that merges knowledge from the disciplines of chemistry, math, and physics with environmental engineering practices (Shigley and Mischke 45). Engineers in this sector use their skills to maximize efficiency and advance research in renewable energy sources. The job description for energy engineers is to discover the most resourceful and sustainable methods to maneuver structural and manufacturing procedures (Bolton 90). The relevance of energy engineering has taken on increased meaning after climatic change became a global concern. Other issues that have increased the significance of this particular field of mechanical engineering is the probable depletion of non-renewable energy sources as well as the increasing demand for energy by individual and industrial consumers (Sigalotti et al. 67). These professionals evaluate the consumption of energy in those procedures and propose ways to enhance the systems (Kropiwnicki et al. 55). This implies proposing sophisticated lighting, improved insulation, and efficient heating and ventilation provisions for buildings (Shigley and Mischke 85). While these energy engineers are charged with generating and consuming energy in the most environmentally sustainable ways, their profession is not restricted to simply renewable energy such as hydroelectricity, wind energy, biomass, or solar. They also feature primarily in the generation of non-renewable energy.


Mechanical engineering is a wide field that incorporates several other sub-fields such as energy, power plant, sports, vehicle, and thermal engineering. These disciplines are interrelated and their instruction within the academic context results in the production of skilled and competent professionals. In the initial years of studying mechanical engineering, most of the focus is on the fundamentals of the discipline. Consequently, the study of thermodynamics features prominently at this stage. The theoretical and practical aspects of the subject pave the way for deeper understanding into thermal factors and considerations within engineering. The course is an interesting one particularly for individuals with analytical and creative character traits (Bird and Ross 22). Apart from the lucrative monetary rewards, mechanical engineering also gives the professionals an ability to shape the world by infusing elements of environmental conservation into their practice. It is one of the appropriate disciplines to use in implementing climate change; global energy monitoring and sustainability objectives while generating income and employment opportunities (Hodgson 54).


Work Cited

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Bird, John, and C T. F. Ross. Mechanical Engineering Principles. , 2015. Print.

Bolton, William. Mechatronics: Electronic Control Systems in Mechanical and Electrical Engineering. Harlow: Pearson, 2015. Print.

Hodgson, P E. Energy, the Environment, and Climate Change. London: Imperial College Press, 2010. Print.

Kropiwnicki, Jacek, Krzysztof Lipiński, and Marek Szkodo. Progress in Mechanical Engineering and Technology: Special Topic Volume with Peer Reviewed Papers. , 2014. Print.

Shigley, Joseph E, and Charles R. Mischke. Mechanical Engineering Design. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1989. Print.

Sigalotti, Leonardo D. G, Jaime Klapp, and Eloy Sira. Computational and Experimental Fluid Mechanics with Applications to Physics, Engineering, and the Environment. Cham: Springer, 2014. Print.

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