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East Los Angeles College

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Mechanical Engineering


Mechanical engineers design tools, engines, machines, and other mechanical equipment. They design and develop power-producing machines such as internal combustion engines, steam and gas turbines, and jet and rocket engines. They also design and develop power-using machines such as refrigeration and air-conditioning equipment, robots, machine tools, materials handling systems, and industrial production equipment.

The work of mechanical engineers varies by industry and function. Specialties include, among others, applied mechanics, design, energy systems, pressure vessels and piping, and heating, refrigeration, and air-conditioning systems. Mechanical engineers also design tools needed by other engineers for their work.

The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) lists 37 technical divisions.

Technical Divisions of the ASME
Applied mechanics Internal combustion engines
Bioengineering Fuels and combustion technologies
Fluids engineering Nuclear engineering
Heat transfer Power
Tribology Advanced energy systems
Aerospace Fluid power systems and technology
Environmental engineering Noise control and acoustics
Pipeline systems Computers and information engineering
Solid waste processing Information storage & Processing systems
Management Materials handling engineering
Solar energy Safety engineering and maintenance
Process industries Technology and society
Materials Nondestructive evaluation engineering
Petroleum Ocean, offshore, and artic engineering
Manufacturing engineering Pressure vessels and piping
Design engineering Electronic and photonic packaging
Rail transportation Dynamic systems and control
Textile engineering Micro-electro mechanical systems
  Plant engineering and maintenance