MECHANICAL ENGINEERING

INTRODOCTION:

Mechanical engineering is one of the broadest and oldest branches of engineering. Mechanical engineers are involved with the design, analysis, testing, manufacturing, control, operation and maintenance of mechanical system that is any system that has a moving part. Mechanical system can vary greatly in complexity and magnitude, from the valve in an artificial heart to a car engine to a mammoth nuclear plant.it deals with all aspects of the conversion of thermal energy into useful work and the machines that make this possible.

The scope of mechanical engineering is so wide and its service, so universally needed as a basic part of all kinds of engineering work that the mechanical engineer is in demand in all industries. Mechanical engineers are required in the field of power generation, where they deal with steam, diesel, or other internal combustion engines and with hydraulic or gas turbines, in the field of heating, ventilation and refrigeration, material handling equipment, automobiles, locomotives, marine vessels furnaces, boilers, pressure vessels, heat exchangers motors, generators and machine tools. They are employed in industries whose function is concerned with manufacturing, steel production, mining, transportation, communication, oil refining, chemical manufacture, paper, sugar, textiles, aerospace, nuclear energy, natural gas production and transmission and construction.

 PHILOSOPHY OF THE MECHANICAL ENGINEERING PROGRAMME

The mechanical engineering programme is designed to reflected a FUNCTIONAL philosophy of education, while seeking to achieve academic excellence and promote the furtherance of knowledge, the mechanical engineering programme also seek to aid’…..the acquisition of appropriate skills and abilities and competence, both mental and physical as equipment for the individual to live in and contribute to the development of his/her society……….

The programme is therefore committed to the production of quality and competent technicians who will be able to face the challenges concomitant with the aspiration of the country to be technological developed

OPTIONAL FOR STUDY IN POLYTECHNIC NEKEDE

Power and plant Engineering technology option

The programme is designed to produce a power and plant technologist for the manufacturing, transportation and power generating industries such as NEPA,NPA,NRC, REB, Diplomats of the programme should be able to:

a)  Interpret information in mechanical and technical literature and specify requirements for mechanical system.

b)  Install, maintain, and repair industrial plant.

c)  Install, maintain, diagnose and repair power generating units such as internal combustion engines, gas and steam turbines, hydraulic and pneumatic equipment, e.g., forklift, compressors and steam boilers.

d)  Supervise mechanical engineering technicians, craftsmen and artisans in a manufacturing and other process and industrial plants.

e)  Plan and executive maintenance operation in industries

Manufacturing engineering technology is aimed at producing technologists with knowledge and skills for manufacturing and maintenance of the mechanical engineering and similar industries. Diplomats of the programme should be able to:

a)  Use and operate various machine tools and equipment in the manufacturing of engineering components

b)  Understand the principles and application of manufacturing management techniques

c)  Design tools and jigs and produce proto-type of such items

d)  Fabricate mental products using various techniques and processes

e)  Plan and carry out installation, maintenance and repair of plant, machines and equipment

f)  Manage materials and human resources in the manufacturing industries at this level.

Entry requirements

As determined by the admission department of Federal Polytechnic Nekede

HOW TO BECOME A MECHANICAL ENGINEER

Traditionally, mechanical engineers have to deal with concepts such as machines

Thermodynamics, robotics, kinematics, structural analysis, fluid mechanics, design, system analysis, control analysis, vibration and machine design. These concept are applied in the process of designing state of the art manufacturing unit, different types of motor vehicles, aircraft and aerospace parts and a vast assortment of industrial machinery.

STEP BY STEP

Passing SSCE with a minimum of 5 credits in English, Mathematics’, Physics, Chemistry and any other science or technical course is the first step to becoming a mechanical Engineer. To be eligible for a graduate program (HND, B.TECH) in a college, you should obtain these credits and after that you can sit for the various entrance examination such as:

  • JAMB UTME-this qualifies the student to sit for individual college entrance examination.
  • POST UTME-this is administered by different colleges as their need may be and is used to select/qualify students to begin a program in the institution.

These graduate programs may be in form of a program, the student can go for the two years master program (M.Tech) in the universities

IS IT THE RIGHT CAREER FOR ME?

A   like other career paths, the entry into this particular branch of engineering also requires you to possess certain basic traits. First and foremost, you must have a penchant for mechanical component and machinery and how these machines work. Then you must be good at physic, chemistry and mathematic. You must have also have skills such as an analytical bent of mind, logical reasoning and problem solving.

Further, you must have immense patience, physical strength, ability to work for long hours and an inventive spirit that are essential ingredients for becoming a successful mechanical engineer. 

B  To make Mechanical engineering your chosen career path, you must have affinity for the way different machines function. This trait can be observed from early childhood when children try to tinker around with different machinery in their immediate vicinity. Such kids often tend to take apart mechanical toys, clocks, bicycles and then try to assemble them back again.

These children are so innovative that they may even try to make things. Here, parents have a special role to play. They must understand that the child possesses an inquisitive mind that is interested in gaining knowledge about machinery and not in breaking or destroying things. Parents must encourage the child’s curiosity to know more about different gadgets and machines in and around the house.

During schooling, the quest to play around with machinery increases all the more. This curiosity often culminates with the child opting for science combination while in secondary school.

AREA OF SPECILIZATION

Fluid mechanics: Environmental Fluid Mechanics: The courses in this area of specialization deal with a broad range of applications of the principles of thermodynamics and fluid mechanics, with emphasis on topics of industrial significance- for example aerodynamics. Internal flows with heat and mass transfer, turbo-machinery, and flows in the natural environmental such as air and effluents in water.

  • Designing and prototyping new products
  • Learning to program CNC Machines
  • Robotics
  • Using computer graphics to model new products and systems
  • Material Engineering and processing
  • This area of specialization consists of a comprehensive series of courses in metallurgy,
  • Including heat treatment casting, welding, and cold and hot forming. Non-metallic materials, including plastics and ceramics, and composites such as fibreglass and sandwich structures are also considered

Welding and Joining Specialization 

  • learning to efficiently harness energy from raw materials,
  • learning how to efficiently heat, ventilate and cool structures
  • The uses of turbo-machinery

Applied Mechanics: Applied mechanic is a theoretical, numerical and experimental study of the response of solids and fluids to external forces. Students who concentrate in this area can take courses in finite element analysis, fracture mechanics, advanced strength of materials system and system vibration. It’s the concentration for you, if you are interested in

  • Understanding the forces in structural component such as a truss or crane
  • Smaller scale component such as prosthetic joint
  • understanding why and how object break and how to prevent failure

  8  Dynamics, vibration and control 

  A specialization in dynamics vibration and control prepares student to understand various   system components and how they interact as parts of mechanical system. Students in this  specialization can take courses in control system design, mechatronic, fracture mechanics, and engineering acoustics. It’s the concentration for you, if you are interested in;

  • learning how mechanical, electrical thermal and fluid systems work together
  • Controlling these systems and preventing unwanted system vibration and noise.

9  Nuclear Engineering 

The field of nuclear engineering is resurgence as we investigate the option of nuclear power as an alternative to our society’s dependence on fossil fuel. Student who specialize in this area take an introductory course in nuclear science and engineering ,and can take courses in rector theory,nuclear power plant,and radiological safety, as well as reliability engineering .its the specialization for you, if you are intrested in;

  • helping to develop nuclear energy as a safe and affordable alternative to fossil fuel
  • studying how nuclear power plant affect their surrounding environments
  • the possible user of radiation in medicine
  • using radiation to make measurement.

10  Biomechanical system 

Biomechanical is the science that examines forces acting upon and within a biological structure and affects produced by such forces. A specialization in biomechanical systems prepares students for work in the medical industry or in any other area wher there is a need to study the effects forces on the human body. It’s the specialization for you, if you intrested in;

  • Understanding the mechanical functions of muscle, tendons, ligament, cartilage and bones.
  • Physical disabilities and how to design products to help people with disabilities.
  • Understanding how different injury mechanism (impact, sport, trauma) affect the huimazn body.
  • Design of medical devices

JOB PROSPECT

Since, mechanical engineering is the broadest of all engineering fields, job prospect on offer for skilled mechanical enginers are plenty and unending. Mechanical engineers are required to design, test, manufacture, install, operate and mentaing a wide array of mechine and mechanical system that are used in countless industry. These professional vcan find employment both in gogernment and private sectors undertaking.

Major industries that employ mechanical engineers include automobile, space research,aeronautical, energy and utilities, air conditioning, bio-mechanical industry,other major employers include giant manufacturing plants, oil and gas exploration and refining and refining industry and other agricultural sector. 

In the government sector, mechanical engineers can provide their knowledge to various government run project in the role of technical expert and consultants; they can also work in private engineering companies that provide technical consultancy to both government and coporate firms. 

These engineers can also hold high managerial positions in government as well as private sector  organizations according to their field of expertise and educational qualifications.

DEMAND, SUPPLY AND MARKET

There is great demand for skilled mechanical engineers in different segment of the industry.

Their expertise is required in traditional manufacturing industries such as automobile,aerospace, power plants and machinery manufacturing.in recent times,the services of expert mechanical engineers have been sought in fields such as nanotechnology, biomedical engineering, energy conservation and environmental engineering .

There is also great requirement for  mechanical engineering consultants who have management skills along with technical proficiency.the primary role of such professionals is to manage both technology and people and firms that provide engineering consultancy require them .

The job market foe mechanical engineer is perennial;they not only have countless option in the industrial sector but they can also make foray into new realm of technology and even get into management and technical consultancy

ROLE OF MECHANICAL ENGINEERS

Mechanical engineer work on variety of assignments,one of the primary areas of work is the energy field where mechanical engineers are responsible for generating and distributing electricity, designing  heating and air conditioning system, and developing refrigeration system.

A second area of activity is in the design of a wide range of products such as vehicles of all types, appliance, office equipment and machinery, thirdly, mechanical engineers works in production facilities developing manufacturing processes and overseeing production.

Also, mechanical engineers may be found in conventional research and development institutes and also in polytechnics and universities where their primary function include teaching and research.

Also mechanical engineers not only design new mechanical system but are also responsible for testing, maintaining and manufacturing them.

The aforementioned are the conventional roles and responsibilities of mechanical engineers.

However, times have changed. Nowadays the scope of mechanical engineering is expanding beyond its traditional boundaries. Mechanical engineers are focusing their attention toward new area of research such as nanotechnology, development of composite materials biomedical applications, environmental conservation etc.

The ever increasing scope of particular job profile now requires professionals to get into people and resource management. All in all, mechanical engineering offers a wide bouquet of job options to students who are looking for a stable and stimulated career.

DIFFERENT ROLE, DIFFERRENT NAMES; 

Mechanical engineering is considered the ‘mother’ of all branches of engineering.in this context the roles and responsibilities held by a mechanical engineer are different and depend on their area of specialization and the industry they are working for.

  • In broad term, the job profile of mechanical engineers can be classified into the following function segments.
  • Research and development (R&D); Engineers whose role is to do research and then plan for  new machines and their constituent parts.
  • Design; professional whose responsibilities is to draft technical drawings, manually or with the aid of computers.
  • Production; Engineers who supervise the manufacturing of mechanical components and machines.
  • Analysis and testing; Engineers who analyse and test different type of machines and their parts to ensure that they function flawlessly
  • Installation; professional who install machines and mechanical parts at the client location.
  • Maintenance; Engineers whose primary role is to ensure that machinery is working as per specification.

TOP COMPANIES THAT EMPLOY MECHANICAL ENGINEERS 

1  Automobile and auto part manufacturers 

2  Aerospace industry

3  Various governmental sector undertakings

4  Aviation companies

5  Steel plants

6  Thermal plants and gas turbine manufacturer

7  Air conditioning and refrigeration industry 

8  Shipping industry

9  Engineering consultancy

10  Armed forces

NON-ENGINEERING CAREERS FOR MECHANICAL ENGINEERS

A mechanical engineering degree is a great passport to a huge variety of on-engineering grad

Ute jobs, both within the engineering industry and outside it.

Outside the engineering industry, many employers welcome mechanical engineering graduates for their high level of numeracy and problem-solving mentality. In particular, it companies and technical consultancies are well worth exploring if you have some programming skill, as are patent attorneys. Your skill set will also down well with recruiters for finance, management and business or management consulting graduates schemes, while teachers with technical backgrounds are always in demand.

REFERENCES

HND curriculum and module specification in mechanical engineering, NBTE KADUNA, 2001

MECHANICAL ENGINEERING, career &career option. http//www.jagranjosh.com/career.retrieved on 18/02/2015

Mechanical engineering career,uwaterloo.ca/o708/mech.retrieved on 23/02/2014

Mechanical and aerospace engineering,www.mae.osu.edu/why.mechanical-engineering retrieve on 18/02/2015

What jobs can a mechanical engineer do?www.tragetjobs.co.uk/career sector/engineering?