Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering
What do mechanical engineers do?
Mechanical engineers put machines to work for people. We made the steam engines that powered the industrial revolution; we still use steam power to generate most of the electricity in the USA. We also make better use of energy by designing more efficient buildings, vehicles, and even washing machines. We design hip implants for aging people, toys for kids, and kitchen utensils for people with disabilities. We make factories work by making machines that make things and by leading multidisciplinary teams. We design airplanes, helicopters, and space vehicles. Mechanical engineers design robots in every industry we work in: we make robots for surgery, cleaning, manufacturing, and space exploration. Some of us wind up doing things that don’t look like engineering but still require compassion, teamwork, creativity, and curiosity; we are scientists, clergy, social workers, managers, teachers, and physicians. Mechanical engineering is a broad field so mechanical engineering graduates can find fulfilling work in any industry.
What’s great about careers in mechanical engineering?
Mechanical engineers have high career satisfaction because they get to be creative and work together to help people. Because ME is the broadest engineering discipline, we have options for career growth including technical specialization, management, and entrepreneurship. Our work stays interesting because technology is always changing and because we can move between fields; our flexibility helps us be resilient to changing market conditions. Many ME jobs have a family-friendly combination of salary and working hours.
What makes the King’s Mechanical Engineering program different?
- Engineering by people, for people. Our work is animated by a desire to meet human needs and it is done collaboratively and creatively. Because we start with people, it’s natural for us to be ethical and responsible to society, and for us to help everyone on the team be better. At King’s College, small class sizes enable close interactions with faculty who can guide students on how to start design with understanding the people we’re serving.
- Authentic engineering experiences. Our students do design throughout the program. In class, students don’t just use textbook knowledge; they use engineering handbooks, codes, standards, and catalogs. Most courses in our engineering curriculum have hands-on labs. In labs, students solve complex, open-ended problems by using the tools that real engineers do, such as solid modeling and finite element analysis software, measurement tools, and fabrication equipment.
- Industriousness. Our students take initiative to tackle challenging problems. When they experience setbacks, they determine what went wrong and figure out how to make it work.
- Integration of professional and technical skills. Mechanical engineers don’t just size gears or heat exchangers—they start by understanding people’s needs, then work in teams to do the research, experimentation, and design to meet those needs. Therefore, our students don’t just learn technical skills, they practice those skills in a professional context.
Mechanical engineering is one of the oldest and broadest of the engineering disciplines. Mechanical engineers research and create designs, develop tools and processes, and conduct tests for engines, machines, and other mechanical devices. The many industries and technologies that depend on the skills of mechanical engineers include heating, ventilating, air-conditioning, and refrigeration (HVAC) systems, machine design, automatic control and instrumentation technologies, robotics, material handling, and computer-numerical control systems.
Mechanical engineers are becoming more involved in the incorporation of environmentally considerate principles and practices, including green design, alternative energy development, and pollution prevention.