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A Complete History of Mechanical Engineering 13 December, 2020   

Mechanical engineering primarily focuses on applying physics principles to design, analyze, manufacture, and maintain various mechanical systems. It requires a concrete understanding of concepts, which include thermodynamics, mechanics, and engineering design. Not only that, but it also requires you to have a solid ground both in maths and physics as well. Mechanical engineers are known to apply these principles in the analysis and design of heating and cooling systems, automobiles, industrial equipment, and more.

Today, more than a million students worldwide have taken mechanical engineering as their career choice. Several well-known institutes are known to impart the knowledge of mechanical engineering to the candidates.
If you have taken mechanical engineering e as your career choice, then you shall dig into the history of your preferred choice!

Well, we have outlined the history of mechanical engineering in detail below. If you are willing to travel back in time, then you can give this article a read.


History of Mechanical Engineering

Mechanical engineering existed from the time when humans created the first tool for themselves. It existed from the time when basic machinery powered by animal labor and human, wind or water energy or their combination. However, mechanical engineering as a degree course did not start before the industrial revolution. Mechanical engineering started to gain importance with the demand for a steam engine. In 1847, the very first professional society of mechanical engineers, the Institute of Mechanical Engineers, came into existence in the United Kingdom. That was the beginning of mechanical engineering in the real sense.

Since the formation of the professional society for mechanical engineers, mechanical engineering started to grow. One of the main breakthroughs in mechanical engineering is in the form of an internal combustion engine. The internal combustion engine was more popular than air powered flight. It made the development of air conditioning systems, automobiles, robotics possible.

The steam engine's invention back in the 18th century provided the main support for the Industrial Revolution, which gave a huge impetus to developing various machinery of all types. It resulted in a new engineering classification known to deal with the development of various types of machines and tools. It received formal recognition in the year 1847 with the foundation of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in Birmingham, England.

Mechanical engineering began with the art of practicing design and production following scientific methods followed by intensive research. The demand for mechanical engineering is increasing with each passing day as the need for efficiency is increasing. The quality of work is also expected to improve, and for that, proper training and education are required in the concerned field. Now you know about history and how it developed to be a degree course learned by millions of students today. As the need for machines and tools is rising, the demand for mechanical engineers is also growing. 


Mechanical Engineering Functions

There are four main functions of mechanical engineering that can be cited. Before you plan to take the course as your career choice, you must know the details about it —

The first main function of mechanical engineering includes dealing with an understanding of mechanical engineering bases. It includes dynamics concerned with the relationship between motion and forces such as automatic control, vibration, and thermodynamics. Thermodynamics deals with the relations among the different forms of energy, heat, and power; heat transfer; fluid flow; properties of materials and lubrication.

The second function includes the sequence of research, development, and design. This particular function mainly focuses on bringing the necessary changes to meet the present and future needs. This kind of work requires a complete understanding of mechanical science and its concepts. It also requires you to have the ability to analyze a complex system into simple factors and also the originality to invent and synthesize.

Third comes the production of various products and power are known to embrace planning, maintenance, and operation. The main objective is to produce the maximum value with minimum cost and investment while enhancing or maintaining the institution and its long-term reputation and viability.

Lastly, the fourth function includes coordination among mechanical engineers. It includes consulting, management, and also marketing in some cases.

These functions include a continuing trend of using scientific methods instead of intuitive or traditional methods. Some of the typical titles of rationalized approaches are Problem Analysis by logical approach and Operations Research, value engineering. However, creativity is something that cannot be rationalized at all. Mechanical engineers should have the ability to take important decisions and steps to pave the way to new solutions. It is one of the most important characteristics that every mechanical engineer should have in them. Without this particular characteristic, it is not possible to rise higher in the field. If you are interested in learning about mechanical engineering historyyou can get many books. You can even avail some of the e-books on the internet to read to learn the history in detail.


Branches of Mechanical Engineering

Mechanical Engineering is such a vast course that is divided into different branches. If you are planning to pursue the course in the future, it is important for you to first know about the different branches to choose the branch you want accordingly. The main branches of mechanical engineering include:

  1. Development of machines for the production of goods: One of the main needs of mechanical engineering is developing machines that are used to produce various goods used by common people. It can be said that the comfortable lifestyle that we lead is because mechanical engineers are taking care of our needs. 
  2. Development of machines for the production of power: This is yet another important branch of mechanical engineering. This mechanical engineering branch uses different power sources, which are then applied to run different machinery types. All of the energy sources are explored, from wind energy to nuclear energy, and used by a mechanical engineer team for various purposes.

  3. Development of military weapons: Yes, mechanical engineers also contribute to the development of military weapons. Because of the mechanical engineers, today, our militaries can use advanced weapons in the war field. The main purpose of mechanical engineers in this field is to increase the destructive power of the weapons. The weapons are designed based on the needs of the military and the war zone. Some of the main examples are nuclear reactors and jet aircraft.

The history of mechanical engineering is an interesting topic to learn if you will take a particular course as your career choice. After going through the details provided in this article, you at least have some information about it. But if you want to go deeper into it, you need to refer to the books of history of mechanical engineering available out there. You can also check the internet for more details.



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