Texas A&M University-Kingsville

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About Mechanical and Industrial Engineering

About Mechanical Engineering

Mechanical Engineering deals with power and the design of machines and processes used to generate power and to apply it to useful purposes. These machines and system/process designs may be simple or complex, inexpensive or expensive, luxuries or essentials. Items such as kitchen food mixer, the auto-mobile, heating/air-conditioning systems, nuclear power plants, practical autonomous and tele-operated robotics, and interplanetary space vehicles would not be available today were it not for the mechanical engineer. Important areas in which mechanical engineers work at this time also have to do with the use of solar, wind, and tidal energy and of cogeneration from wastes for domestic and industrial uses.

In general the mechanical engineer works with systems, subsystems and components that have motion. The range of work that may be classed as Mechanical Engineering is wider than that of any of the other branches of engineering. However, it may be grouped generally into two categories:

a. Work that is concerned with power generating machines, and

b. Work that deals with machines that transform this power in accomplishing their particular tasks

The major specialty areas of Mechanical Engineering are applied mechanics, dynamic systems and control, design, engines and power plants, energy, fluids, lubrication, heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning, materials, pressure vessels, and piping, transportation and aerospace/hydrospace. Click Here to read more about these areas of specialization.

About Industrial Engineering

Industrial engineering is a branch of engineering that concerns the development, improvement, implementation and evaluation of integrated systems of people, money, knowledge, information, equipment, energy, material and process. Industrial engineering draws upon the principles and methods of engineering analysis and synthesis, as well as mathematical, physical and social sciences together with the principles and methods of engineering analysis and design to specify, predict and evaluate the results to be obtained from such systems. In lean manufacturing systems, Industrial engineers work to eliminate wastes of time, money, materials, energy, and other resources.

Industrial engineering is also known as operations management, systems engineering, production engineering, manufacturing engineering or manufacturing systems engineering; a distinction that seems to depend on the viewpoint or motives of the user. Recruiters or educational establishments use the names to differentiate themselves from others. In healthcare, industrial engineers are more commonly known as management engineers, engineering management, or even health systems engineers.

Where as most engineering disciplines apply skills to very specific areas, industrial engineering is applied in virtually every industry. Examples of where industrial engineering might be used include shortening lines (or queues) at a theme park, streamlining an operating room, distributing products worldwide (also referred to as Supply Chain Management), and manufacturing cheaper and more reliable automobiles. Industrial engineers typically use computer simulation, especially discrete event simulation, for system analysis and evaluation.

The name "industrial engineer" can be misleading. While the term originally applied to manufacturing, it has grown to encompass services and other industries as well. Similar fields include Operations Research, Management Science, Financial Engineering, Supply Chain, Manufacturing Engineering, Engineering Management, Systems Engineering, Ergonomics, Process Engineering, Value Engineering and Quality Engineering.

There are a number of things industrial engineers do in their work to make processes more efficient, to make products more manufacturable and consistent in their quality, and to increase productivity.

This page was last updated on: June 11, 2014