Mechanical engineers work on a variety of mechanical systems, including:
- industrial systems and processing (such as in refineries, petrochemical facilities, mines)
- manufacturing systems, plants, and products
- environmental control systems (such as heating, ventilating, and air conditioning)
- transportation equipment (for land, sea, air, or space)
- utility systems and infrastructure (delivering water, gas, oil, and power)
- emerging fields (such as robotics, biomedical engineering, commercial space travel, lasers, nanotechnology, telecommunications, and computer components and systems).
Mechanical engineers specialize in many areas.
Design engineers create the plans for new products, machines, industrial equipment, instruments, processes, and systems. They provide technical support when making changes to existing systems.
Development engineers analyze, test, and improve proposed products or processes.
Manufacturing engineers plan, develop, and research tools, processes, machines and equipment. Their goal is to create the best products at the best prices (to learn more, see the Manufacturing Engineer profile).
Sales engineers work in technical sales and service (to learn more, see the Technical Sales Representative profile).
Research engineers explore and develop new materials, processes, and engineering tools. These may lead to the creation of new products, systems, and applications.
Project engineers design, purchase, test, inspect, approve, install, and start mechanical equipment.
Piping engineers ensure safe operation of pipe and pipelines. They design and maintain piping and pipeline systems (within and between industrial sites, and within commercial buildings). They also perform stress analysis of piping systems.