Mechanical Engineers find their need in almost all industries. Here are some streams you can specialise in!
Mechanical Engineering is one of the oldest fields and is popularly known as an “Evergreen” field for engineers. Although it might not be the most popular choice among engineers, experts in this field as they progress in their career, are usually paid very high for their skills and in depth-knowledge- especially in the coming future as there is shortage of skilled engineers in this stream.
Here are some popular fields that Mechanical Engineers can choose to specialise in during their master’s study.
Fluid Mechanics or Hydraulics: This is a part of Physics. But, it has its applications everywhere. It is concerned with the mechanics of fluids. From building dams to studying plasma, there are many domains that use Fluid Mechanics.
Heat Transfer, Thermodynamics, and Energy Systems:It is a study of efficient forms as well as transport of thermal energy. Also, heat transfer plays a vital part in transitioning to renewable (a very high potential industry) and sustainable energy systems. It has applications in industries such as Solar energy, Nuclear Energy, HVAC Systems etc..
Materials Engineering: Transistors and chips that are used in military grade weapons are different from those that are used in consumer electronics. The obvious reason is military grade chips need to have more tolerance for temperature and other parameters. Now, that’s just one of the areas where materials engineers come in. From Aerospace to biomedical, wherever a chip is to be tailor made, materials engineers weigh in.
Sound and Acoustics; An overlap of physics and Mechanical engineering, sound and acoustics engineers deal with applications of principles of Sound in noise control and sound quality (of machinery, in jet engines, automobiles etc..), in high-fidelity sound system design, design of musical instruments, design of hearing aids, hearing test equipment (also called bioacoustics) and many other areas.
Nanotechnology: Most of this emerging field is filled with buzz words. It is essentially the manipulation of an atomic scale. It’s a combination of Materials science,chemistry and surface science.
Automobiles: This specialization needs no introduction. With increasing demand and Advancement of technology, for environmentally Cleaner and Automated automobiles, in the Automobile sector, there will be high demand for experts who have the skill-set of the future.
Robotics, Automation & Control: How does a robot have an idea about its surroundings? Will the same code apply for a 5kg robot or 50 kg robot? Don’t you think the dynamics change. Who fixes the mechanical parameters such as torque,rpm,etc and gives operating ranges? Well, that’s where mechanical folks come in.
Industrial Engineering: Ever wondered how companies manufacture millions and millions of products (like phones, laptops, toys, cars etc..) with the least amount of defects? How is the quality of the products controlled? Well, Industrial Engineers deal with such cases and many more in manufacturing companies across many sectors.
Oil and Gas: From digging for oil using manual labor to detecting oil using seismographs, we have come a long way. Now, tech giants are using AI to detect oil spills.Algorithms don’t work by themselves. It takes subject matter experts to tweak the algorithm according to a scenario.
There are other specializations such as Ocean Engineering, Turbo-Machinery, etc.. that mechanical engineers can choose from, which all have good job prospects across the world.
Additionally mechanical engineers can choose non-core specializations such as Supply Chain Management, Operations research, Engineering Management etc.. which are all popular choices among engineers. In fact, Mechanical Engineers are popular for taking leadership roles in Multi-National companies in not just core-Industries, but also in IT, BioMedical, Electronics, Pharmaceutics etc.. as the applications of concepts learnt in Mechanical Engineering are widely applicable acorss all sectors.
Expert tip: When you’re applying to universities for Mechanical engineering related fields, don’t just apply for the “popular branded” ones as there are many State and Public universities across the world which have very good faculty and resources for Mechanical engineering stresm (as this stream is one of the oldest engineering streams ever to be established by universities). Don’t just blindly follow rankings or brands as quality of the university changes as per the specialisation you’re interested in.