Mechanical engineers work on a wide variety of mechanical systems including:
- industrial systems and processing (for example, in refineries, petrochemical facilities, mines)
- manufacturing systems, plants and products
- environmental control systems (heating, ventilating and air conditioning)
- transportation equipment (land, sea, air, 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.
There are many different specializations in mechanical engineering. The following illustrate some of the possibilities:
Design engineers create the plans for new products, machines, industrial equipment, instruments, processes and systems and provide technical support for changes to existing ones.
Development engineers analyze proposed products or processes, test them out and attempt to improve them.
Manufacturing engineers plan, develop and research the tools, processes, machines and equipment needed to produce quality products economically (for more information, see the Manufacturing Engineer occupational profile).
Sales engineers are involved in technical sales and service (for more information, see the Technical Sales Representative profile).
Research engineers investigate and develop new materials, processes, engineering tools and phenomena that may enable the creation of new products, systems and applications.
Project engineers are responsible for the design, purchasing, installation and startup of mechanical equipment.