Mechanical Engineers research, develop, design, manufacture, and test tools, engines, machines, and other mechanical devices. They work on power-producing machines such as electric generators, internal combustion engines, and steam and gas turbines. Mechanical engineers also develop power-using machines such as refrigeration and air-conditioning equipment, machine tools, material handling systems, elevators and escalators, industrial production equipment, and robots used in manufacturing. In addition, mechanical engineers also design tools needed by other engineers to accomplish their work. As one of the broadest engineering disciplines, mechanical engineers may work in production operations in manufacturing or agriculture, maintenance, or technical sales; many are administrators or managers. Recently the field of nanotechnology, which involves the creation of high-performance materials and components by integrating atoms and molecules, is introducing entirely new principles to the design process for mechanical engineers as well.

Aerospace Engineers design aircrafts, spacecrafts, satellites, and missiles. In addition, they test prototypes to make sure that they function according to design. Aerospace engineers typically direct and coordinate the design, manufacture, and testing of aircraft and aerospace products, assess proposals for projects to determine if they are technically and financially feasible, and determine if proposed projects will result in safe aircraft parts. Aerospace engineers also evaluate designs to ensure products meet engineering principles, customer requirements, and environmental challenges. In addition, aerospace engineers develop criteria for design methods, sustainment after delivery, and completion dates, so that projects meet quality standards. Lastly, aerospace engineers also inspect malfunctioning or damaged products to identify sources of problems and possible solutions.

Note: The undergraduate degree awarded at the successful completion of this program is in “Mechanical Engineering”. Graduate-level degrees are in “Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering”.