3 answers

What kind of people do mechanical engineers work with?

Asked

I want to be a mechanical engineer because i like working with my hands. #engineering #work #mechanical #people

3 answers

Wael’s Answer

Updated Redford Charter Township, Michigan

I like working with my hands too! I service all my vehicles and built my racing car myself. However, mechanical engineering is way more than that. Mechanical engineering is all about designing components and systems. I designed a propulsion system for Shell Ecomarathon competition vehicle, an inlet manifold for my racing car, and coded a program for engines emissions evaluation. In short, mechanical engineering is vast and extremely fun. However, going into it because you like working with your hands isn't enough. Being a technician is an easier way if that what you are interested in.

Kelly’s Answer

Updated Vienna, Virginia

I work with mechanical engineers all the time. The great thing about mechanical engineering, which can also be a curse for mech e students in their senior year, is that mechanical engineers can go into so many different fields. I work in building design, so I am constantly coordinating fire suppression and fire alarm equipment with mechanical equipment interfaces. We also work with mechanical engineers to design smoke control systems. Other fields mechanical engineers work in are the automotive industry, electronics, robotics, aeronautics, construction, energy, and many many more.

Besides working with other types of engineers to coordinate and design systems and products, mechanical engineers will often work with clients or project managers who may or may not understand the technical work that goes into their job. This makes communication skills very important, and it applies across nearly any and every field engineers work in. If it sounds cliche, it's because it's true.

If you like working with your hands, that is great! Even if you don't end up working with your hands in your career path, I have found that tinkerers and makers are some of the best engineers I have collaborated with. Engineering is a great field to get in, and one of the best ways you can make your love for working with your hands into a high-earning career. Best of luck to you!

Jodee’s Answer

Updated Portland, Oregon

Mechanical engineers have many career options! And each will have a somewhat different set of people that you will get to work with. I come from a family of mechanical engineers: my mother, my sister, me. Each of us have had different kinds of jobs, and worked with different people. Mech E's can have roles in design, manufacturing, testing, ...

I've had the opportunity to work in telecommunications, designing the physical packaging for electronic systems. There, I worked a lot with electrical engineers, who were selecting or designing electronic components that would be housed inside the physical packaging that I designed. I worked with people who were building my designs - some were building individual parts like sheet metal brackets or plastic labels or metal frames or plastic molded parts. Some were people who were assembling all the pieces together into final product. I also worked with testing, who made sure that my designs and the final product could survive an earthquake or shipping vibration and shock loading. They also tested that my physical packaging also provided enough conduction or convection so that the electronics did not overheat. I worked with product managers, who were responsible for taking the customer and market perspective, and identifying the requirements of my designs. I have also worked with industrial designers who take a very user-centric view and focus on making the product compelling and easy to use.

Hold on to your desire to be hands on, there is need for engineers to get deeply involved in building product mock-ups, standing with people that are building your product on the manufacturing floor, and getting involved with real tests! Good luck!

Jodee recommends the following next steps:

  • Review mechanical engineering job postings