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How to become a mechanical design engineer

Mechanical design engineers are trained in a variety of engineering disciplines and can apply their skills to a wide range of applications, from gearbox design in small robotics applications to thermodynamic analysis of the engines in an oil supertanker. This article will show you how to go about training as a design engineer and where you can look for jobs in this exciting and dynamic industry.

Training

Mechanical engineers are experts at applying maths and physics to real world applications. As such, anyone hoping to train as an design engineer should be competent in both of these subjects. Mechanical design engineering Mechanical design engineering is more of an academic pursuit than a practical one and as such, applicants should be educated to degree or HND level. During degree level training, undergraduate engineers will be trained in a range of methods of applying maths and physics to engineering problems. This will include an understanding of statics, the application of forces within a non-moving structure, dynamics which involves analysing vibrations and damping in moving systems and thermodynamics. In engineering terms, thermo-fluids and thermodynamics is the understanding of how liquids and gases behave and how they can be controlled in engineering systems like turbines and engines. Although an engineer will learn mostly academic subjects on their degree, it is important they have a range of practical skills too so that they can work with skilled workers to accomplish projects. Undergraduates can expect to become competent CAD draftsmen and gain a basic understanding of working with engineers tools and materials.

Job hunting

During the degree, it is essential that undergraduates seek out intern work during holidays. This can be helpful in getting a "foot in the door" of a company. It also helps to develop useful workplace skills related to engineering such as the ability to deliver presentations and manage small projects. Undergraduate engineers will be able to browse trade publications in their university buildings which have the latest graduate jobs. Additionally, engineering jobs can be found on internet job sites such as Monster and even the Job Centre website. Applying for an engineering post Application for an engineering vacancy will usually be a three-stage process. The first being to submit a CV which should detail any recent internships or related work. Next will come psychometric testing followed by a final round of interviews. From this point, the graduate engineer can then expect to change jobs up to three times before finally achieving chartered status and being able to advance up the career ladder.

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