Mechanical engineers work on a project from the initial brief, through the design and development stage, to the testing of one or more prototypes, right through to final manufacture and implementation.
Projects can vary significantly, from researching and developing medical products (such as mechanical hearts) to improving production processes in large oil refineries or designing services within buildings.
Tasks will generally include:
- designing and implementing cost-effective equipment modifications to help improve safety, reliability and throughput;
- developing a project specification with colleagues, often including those from other engineering disciplines;
- developing, testing and evaluating theoretical designs;
- discussing and solving complex problems with manufacturing departments, sub-contractors, suppliers and customers;
- making sure a product can be made again reliably and will perform consistently in specified operating environments;
- managing projects using engineering principles and techniques;
- planning and designing new production processes;
- producing details of specifications and outline designs;
- recommending modifications following prototype test results;
- using research, analytical, conceptual and planning skills, particularly mathematical modelling and computer-aided design;
- considering the implications of issues such as cost, safety and time constraints;
- working with other professionals, within and outside the engineering sector;
- monitoring and commissioning plant and systems.