See also Engineering
Mechanical engineers are committed to the use of technology to improve the quality of life for society.
Mechanical engineering covers a broad range of subjects. Mechanical engineers design and develop everything that you think of as a machine – from airplanes to wind turbines and dishwashers, and from the macroscopic down to the 'nanoscopic' world. Many mechanical engineers specialise in areas such as materials, dynamics and controls, product design, manufacturing, energy and thermodynamics, and mechanics.
Others cross over into other disciplines, working on everything from artificial organs in bioengineering enhancing the field of nanotechnology.
The mechanical engineer may design a component, a machine, a system or a process, and analyse their design using the principles of motion, energy and force to insure the product functions safely, efficiently, reliably, and can be manufactured economically. Central to a mechanical engineer's role is the design and the use of information technology.
Some of the areas in which mechanical engineers work include:
- power generation – fuel cells, wind turbines, engines, generators
- transportation – cars, ships, aircraft, trains
- medical technology – instruments, implants, artificial limbs
- building services – heating, ventilation, air conditioning
- manufacturing – machine tools, robots, assembly plants
- control systems, communications and electronics.
The first year of the BE(Hons) is called the Engineering Intermediate Year. See Engineering for more information on the Engineering Intermediate.
Mechanical Engineering – required Intermediate courses
- ENGR 101 Foundations of Engineering
- EMTH 118 Engineering Mathematics 1A
- EMTH 119 Engineering Mathematics 1B
- PHYS 101 Engineering Physics A: Mechanics, Waves and Thermal Physics
- EMTH 171 Mathematical Modelling and Computation
- ENGR 102 Engineering Mechanics and Materials
- At least two of:
- See all Mechanical Engineering courses
- See all courses required to complete a BE(Hons) in Mechanical Engineering
The first and second professional years consist of compulsory courses dealing with the fundamentals of engineering science and design, and include courses on dynamics, mechanics, thermo-fluids, materials, controls and manufacturing.
The third professional year has much more flexibility with a variety of electives available to specialise your degree. Students select options in areas of Mechanical Engineering, which are of particular interest to them. These include, but are not limited to, energy engineering, biomedical and bioengineering, computer-aided product development, robotics, aerodynamics, advanced materials and acoustics.
All final year students must take courses on mechanical system design, industrial management and the Honours Research & Development Project. The project gives students the opportunity to apply their education and learn professional practice in industry-sponsored projects. These are conducted within the department under the joint supervision of staff members and an industry sponsor. Most projects are sourced from New Zealand industry; however, some come from large, well-known international firms.
Most courses in Mechanical Engineering consist of lectures supplemented by laboratory classes. The purpose of laboratory work is to provide the opportunity to apply, test and consolidate theory in practical situations. In this way students begin to develop the engineering judgement they will need in their future careers as professional engineers.
A BE(Hons) degree in Mechanical Engineering equips graduates to meet the challenges of a rapidly changing world. Mechanical engineers are analytical thinkers with a sense of social responsibility that leads them to constantly seek better ways of doing things.
Most mechanical engineers choose a career in design, production, development, sales, research, management or maintenance. During the early years of a career, it is usual to gather experience in different engineering fields – organisations often make this their policy for recent graduates.
Mechanical Engineering graduates are valued for their analytical skills and some have found other career outlets, including insurance assessment, teaching, consultancy, civil service, accountancy, technical writing, banking and industrial archaeology.
Many graduates choose to continue their education by pursuing further study options here at UC or elsewhere in New Zealand. Other graduates choose to travel overseas to either gain industry experience or to study for a higher degree in a specialised area prior to returning to New Zealand.
For further career information, please go to www.canterbury.ac.nz/careers
Department of Mechanical Engineering
Telephone: +64 3 364 2596