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How does a day of mechanical engineer look like?

Sophomore student in UF mechanical-engineer

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Glenn S.’s Answer

Gil, you got 2 great answers. First off, it depends what you actual job is. You have a lot of opportunities on what you do with a degree in mechanical engineering. I do product development for consumer electronics of medical devices. Just in design space, you can work on components, subsystems, large things like ships or airplanes. Out side of the design side, there are role in New Product Integration which provides input between the design team and the factory. There are jobs in manufacturing, power plants, HVAC, Sales support, CAD support or administration, and Analysis like FEA or CFD. The list is endless.

For me, when working on all encompassing projects that take up all of my time, I move through phases of what I do over a 6 month to 2 year cycle. We start with requirements and concepts, move to detailed design and costing, then it is on to prototyping to proof of concept, then testing. And you may have guessed it, we take the data and circle back to detailed design and verified we fixed the issues. Eventually we move to tool release to make production parts, and we are back at testing and debug. Then we do pilot builds and test. And back again to testing and debug. Eventually you hit production release. More issues show up when you hit high volume ramp up that also need to be resolved. Depending on the company size and organization, you may own the product until end of production.

Short answer is that every day is a bit different and will change project to project.
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David’s Answer

I am not an mechanical engineering graduate but I did work with and study mechanical engineer back when I was in college for about 5 semesters. So to answer your question as a typical day of an mechanical engineer, there is really no typical day for most mechanical engineers. Most engineering projects are multi-disciplinary organizational efforts often involving scores of people inside and outside the company. Project life cycles call for different skills and people at different times. To engineer literally means 'to make things happen'. Most of what engineers do on a daily basis can fall into four categories: communicating, problem solving, analyzing, and planning. Depending on an engineer's industry and role, their day will typically consist of a various mix of these functions. I hope this answer your question, simply said it means the four categories I had mention communicating, problem solving, analyzing, and planning for porject.
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Jason’s Answer

This is a very hard question to answer because this is a very broad industry.

Being an engineer involves balancing many requirements for a project. As a mechanical engineer, you may have to design a part that goes into a larger system. There will be many factors to that part:
What material to use?
How precisely does the part need to be?
How expensive can the part be?
What materials can it be made out of?
What is the best shape?
What forces does it need to resist, and for how long?

This is only a small list, and being an engineer is finding the best place on the sliding scale of each of those factors for the thing you're designing. It is a long process that you will usually be working closely with other engineers from similar and different disciplines.
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Aman’s Answer

A typical day for a Mechanical Engineer will also include:

Design integrated mechanical or alternative systems, such as mechanical cooling systems with natural ventilation systems, to improve energy efficiency.
Research, design, evaluate, install, operate, or maintain mechanical products, equipment, systems or processes to meet requirements.
Read and interpret blueprints, technical drawings, schematics, or computer-generated reports.
Specify system components or direct modification of products to ensure conformance with engineering design, performance specifications, or environmental regulations.
Recommend the use of utility or energy services that minimize carbon footprints.
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