Mechanical engineering

Mechanical engineering
NamesMechanical engineer
Activity sectors
applied mechanics, dynamics, thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, heat transfer, production technology
Competenciestechnical knowledge, management skills, design (see also glossary of mechanical engineering)
Education required
See professional requirements below
Fields of
technology, science, exploration, military

Mechanical engineering is the discipline that applies engineering, physics, engineering mathematics, and materials science principles to design, analyze, manufacture, and maintain mechanical systems. It is one of the oldest and broadest of the engineering disciplines.

The mechanical engineering field requires an understanding of core areas including mechanics, dynamics, thermodynamics, materials science, structural analysis, and electricity. In addition to these core principles, mechanical engineers use tools such as computer-aided design (CAD), computer-aided manufacturing (CAM), and product life cycle management to design and analyze manufacturing plants, industrial equipment and machinery, heating and cooling systems, transport systems, aircraft, watercraft, robotics, medical devices, weapons, and others. It is the branch of engineering that involves the design, production, and operation of machinery.[1][2]

Mechanical engineering emerged as a field during the Industrial Revolution in Europe in the 18th century; however, its development can be traced back several thousand years around the world. In the 19th century, developments in physics led to the development of mechanical engineering science. The field has continually evolved to incorporate advancements; today mechanical engineers are pursuing developments in such areas as composites, mechatronics, and nanotechnology. It also overlaps with aerospace engineering, metallurgical engineering, civil engineering, electrical engineering, manufacturing engineering, chemical engineering, industrial engineering, and other engineering disciplines to varying amounts. Mechanical engineers may also work in the field of biomedical engineering, specifically with biomechanics, transport phenomena, biomechatronics, bionanotechnology, and modeling of biological systems.

W16 engine of the Bugatti Veyron. Mechanical engineers design engines, power plants, other machines...
...structures, and vehicles of all sizes.


The application of mechanical engineering can be seen in the archives of various ancient and medieval societies. In ancient Greece, the works of Archimedes (287–212 BC) influenced mechanics in the Western tradition and Heron of Alexandria (c. 10–70 AD) created the first steam engine (Aeolipile).[3] In China, Zhang Heng (78–139 AD) improved a water clock and invented a seismometer, and Ma Jun (200–265 AD) invented a chariot with differential gears. The medieval Chinese horologist and engineer Su Song (1020–1101 AD) incorporated an escapement mechanism into his astronomical clock tower two centuries before escapement devices were found in medieval European clocks. He also invented the world's first known endless power-transmitting chain drive.[4]

During the Islamic Golden Age (7th to 15th century), Muslim inventors made remarkable contributions in the field of mechanical technology. Al-Jazari, who was one of them, wrote his famous Book of Knowledge of Ingenious Mechanical Devices in 1206 and presented many mechanical designs. He is also considered to be the inventor of such mechanical devices which now form the very basic of mechanisms, such as the crankshaft and camshaft.[5]

During the 17th century, important breakthroughs in the foundations of mechanical engineering occurred in England. Sir Isaac Newton formulated Newton's Laws of Motion and developed Calculus, the mathematical basis of physics. Newton was reluctant to publish his works for years, but he was finally persuaded to do so by his colleagues, such as Sir Edmond Halley, much to the benefit of all mankind. Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz is also credited with creating Calculus during this time period.

During the early 19th century industrial revolution, machine tools were developed in England, Germany, and Scotland. This allowed mechanical engineering to develop as a separate field within engineering. They brought with them manufacturing machines and the engines to power them.[6] The first British professional society of mechanical engineers was formed in 1847 Institution of Mechanical Engineers, thirty years after the civil engineers formed the first such professional society Institution of Civil Engineers.[7] On the European continent, Johann von Zimmermann (1820–1901) founded the first factory for grinding machines in Chemnitz, Germany in 1848.

In the United States, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) was formed in 1880, becoming the third such professional engineering society, after the American Society of Civil Engineers (1852) and the American Institute of Mining Engineers (1871).[8] The first schools in the United States to offer an engineering education were the United States Military Academy in 1817, an institution now known as Norwich University in 1819, and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1825. Education in mechanical engineering has historically been based on a strong foundation in mathematics and science.[9]

Other Languages
azərbaycanca: Maşınqayırma
български: Машиностроене
bosanski: Mašinstvo
čeština: Strojírenství
Deutsch: Maschinenbau
Ελληνικά: Μηχανολογία
贛語: 工程學
客家語/Hak-kâ-ngî: Kî-hài Kûng-chhàng
한국어: 기계공학
hrvatski: Strojarstvo
Bahasa Indonesia: Teknik mesin
қазақша: Машинажасау
latviešu: Mašīnbūve
Lëtzebuergesch: Maschinnebau
magyar: Gépipar
Bahasa Melayu: Kejuruteraan mekanik
Nederlands: Werktuigbouwkunde
日本語: 機械工学
Plattdüütsch: Maschinenbu
Simple English: Mechanical engineering
slovenčina: Strojárstvo
slovenščina: Strojništvo
српски / srpski: Машинство
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Mašinstvo
svenska: Maskinteknik
тоҷикӣ: Мошинсозӣ
Türkmençe: Maşyn inženerligi
українська: Машинобудування
Tiếng Việt: Kỹ thuật cơ khí
粵語: 機械工程
中文: 机械工程