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How much should a mechanical engineer know about electronics and communication system?

I would like to know what is the necessary background to understand it and apply it in the field. Is it good if I am well versed with electronics, electrical and communications system? Will I get a chance to apply it in projects?engineering electrical-engineering electrical mechanical-engineer electronics mechanical-engineering

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Jaehun’s Answer

Well I would say that would depend on your interest field. As a undergraduate student in mechanical engineering, you would go over the basics of electronics and communication system. However, If your interest is in for example HVAC systems you would probably not go over much. In case of Mechatronics (Robotics) field you would go over more in deep in you elective courses.
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Dennis’s Answer

Hello Rainer,
In general, it is an advantage to know a lot about any one topic or another. So, if Electronics or Communication is not your first love, you can still offer it as part of your skill set. I studied Mechanical Engineering, but, along the way, I learned quite a bit about computers and electronics. I am also a musician, but that is more for relaxation than for vocational activities. Another expert noted that the ME curriculum often includes some forays into electronics, control systems and the like. If you are already well-versed in these topics, you might find some alternative course of study to pursue.
An ME in pretty much any business today will encounter some amount of interaction with an electronic or communication system or control system. Here are some examples: Diesel or gasoline engines, jet engines, automobiles, trucks,trains, airplanes, ships, space ships, elevators, HVAC systems, construction and agricultural machines...... Virtually all significant structures have built-in sensors that broadcast their status to a central location....

Dennis recommends the following next steps:

If you have a strong background in a certain field, see if you can get credit or test out of that requirement
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Steven’s Answer

In a nutshell, not much is required for you to know about electronics. You will however, be required to know quite a bit about electrical systems.
A mechanical engineer needs to understand enough about electrical systems to have an educated discussion with electrical engineers.
Electronics is more about controls, which is low voltage and may be heavy in programming.
Electrical is more about power and motors and VFDs.
Hope that helps.

Steven recommends the following next steps:

Go to the library and get a book on electrical engineers careers.
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Steven’s Answer

In a nutshell, not much is required for you to know about electronics. You will however, be required to know quite a bit about electrical systems.
A mechanical engineer needs to understand enough about electrical systems to have an educated discussion with electrical engineers.
Electronics is more about controls, which is low voltage and may be heavy in programming.
Electrical is more about power and motors and VFDs.
Hope that helps.

Steven recommends the following next steps:

Go to the library and get a book on electrical engineers careers.
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Dennis’s Answer

Undergraduate mechanical engineering students usually study some basic electronics. ... It entails light current electrical engineering, electronics, robotics, control systems and automation
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Rodney’s Answer

This is somewhat dependent on the industry and products that you desire to be a part of in the future. Some industries and products are very heavy in Electro-Mechanical devices and engineering. In this case, some background education of electronics is very useful as a mechanical engineer.
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karthik’s Answer

First understanding basic concepts ,Math's and Science are important to understand concepts of electronics . Mechanical students has to focus on Electronics since all the device which are designed and developed are through Automation eg: Mechatronics So in todays World its necessary for Mechanical student to learn Electronics
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karthik’s Answer

First understanding basic concepts ,Math's and Science are important to understand concepts of electronics . Mechanical students has to focus on Electronics since all the device which are designed and developed are through Automation eg: Mechatronics So in todays World its necessary for Mechanical student to learn Electronics
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Joshua’s Answer

A lot, I'm an electronics engineer, I do a lot in the HVAC business regarding automation, I face in my day-to-day a lot of mechanical engineers, even though they are experts in mechanical systems, they get lost when they face an electronics system, from that experience will come in handy to know about:

1- Thryristors and Transistors- The great devices that enable the Variable Speed Drives and the Solid State Starters
2- Networking: IP Networks rule the world, and Mech Engineering Systems are no exception, a lot of control devices use a lot of Layer 1, 2 & 3 networking protocols and standards: RS-232, RS-485, Ethernet, BacNET, CAN, etc, and I see many engineers struggling setting a network address in a network device, a Cisco CCNA R&S Certification will help a lot.
3.- Binary and Hexadecimal Numeric Systems and digital logic: This one correlates a lot with the previous one, once you relate with these technicalities, your experience as a Mech Engineer dealing with such systems will be smoother.
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