Not only that, you can do almost anything too. Here are just some of the industries you could be working in as a mechanical engineer.
Aerospace engineers are all about flight, whether that’s planes, missiles or rockets. They design more fuel-efficient aircraft that cut emissions, build the fleets of satellites that power modern GPS technology, and create the next generation of spacecraft for missions to Mars and beyond.
Mechanical engineers drive the automotive industry. From 80-seater buses to single seat F1 cars, they design bodyshells, wheelsets and combustion systems for every type of moving vehicle. It’s not all traditional fuels either – automobile engineers work with solar panels, hydrogen cells and other technologies to find better ways to keep people moving.
Working in the biomedical industry, mechanical engineers change lives. They create better, more lifelike artificial limbs to improve quality of life for injured and disabled people. Pacemakers, artificial valves and even robotic surgical assistants are all the work of mechanical engineers, as are the running blades used at Paralympic events.
Construction and Building
Major construction projects depend on mechanical engineers to focus on the details. This could mean designing the heating, cooling and ventilation systems for a 28-storey hotel, choosing the best way to deliver mains gas to an entire housing estate, or making sure a new metro tunnel project incorporates other services to make the most of under-city space.
Mechanical engineers make manufacturing happen. Whether it’s high-volume, mass-produced goods, or specialist, ultra-tech equipment, they create the machines and technology that design and produce the goods our growing population relies on.
The work of mechanical engineers powers the world. It is up to them to generate and deliver the energy we need. This could mean designing nuclear power plants or biomass boilers, planning new long-distance grid connections, or storing power sustainably in solar storage cells or giant hydroelectric ‘batteries’ buried under mountains.
Process engineers specialise in improving the way we do things. They assess mechanical processes and find ways to make them more efficient, safer, and deliver better quality. This means they directly affect almost every major mechanical industry in the world, from water supply and oil & gas through to pharmaceuticals and food manufacturing.
Almost every aspect of the railway relies on mechanical engineering. From track, signals and trains, to ticket barriers and tunnels; even elaborate control systems are the responsibility of engineers. New solutions are needed to deal with record passenger numbers worldwide, build thousands of miles of high speed railways, and develop faster propulsion methods.