Mechanical Engineering

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Mechanical engineering involves the design and manufacture, as well as operation of all kinds of components, products, machines, and systems. A project could be a new coffee maker to a robotic manufacturing line. Mechanical engineers are necessary in the production of most inventions and developments.


There are many options for students interested in Mechanical Engineering. These include higher certificates and degrees at levels 6, 7, and 8. Your options include:

  • Mechanical & Electrical Engineering
  • Mechatronics
  • Mechanical Engineering & Renewable Energies
  • Aeronautical Engineering
  • Automation Engineering
  • Mechanical & Manufacturing Engineering

Firstly, mechanical engineering students study Maths and Science. They specialise as the course continues. Typical subjects include:

  • Materials Science
  • Engineering Mechanics
  • Production Technology
  • Mathematics & Computing
  • Thermodynamics
  • Engineering Design
  • Engineering Drawing
  • Robotics
  • Mechanics of Machines

Students also move from the analysis of established designs and theories to working on their own designs and ideas. Group work is common. Students also spend lots of time in the laboratory testing and working on engines and machinery.

One-year, Level 5 Certificates offer an excellent introduction to mechanical engineering. Greenhills College, Coláiste Stiofáin Naofa, and St Kevin’s College Crumlin all offer this course. Students can go on to degree programmes. Alternatively, they can work as machine operators, toolmakers, and maintenance fitters.

The Work

Mechanical engineering graduates should have a wide range of options once they finish their studies. There are opportunities in almost every industry as well as all types of manufacturing.

Mechanical engineers design, build, and install new products or machinery. They may also improve existing models or products. Whether you end up working on jet engines, prosthetic limbs, or software programmes, the principles are basically the same.

The research and development route can involve lots of time spent in the laboratory, carrying out tests and feasibility studies. You will also use complex machinery and computers to work out which material is ideal, how the device should work, which components are required, and so on.

Mechanical engineering is always developing and therefore making use of new technology and theories. You will probably use a computer mouse much more than a hammer if you pursue a career in this area.

Computer-Aided Design (CAD) and Computer-Aided Manufacturing (CAM) software, along with computer modelling, are often used to develop ideas, research findings as well as draw up technical plans and specifications.

Mechanical engineers can also be involved in the production process and oversee the building of the finished product, machine, or technology. These can range from one-off projects such as power stations, to mass-produced products such as microchips.

Further Resources

Engineers’ Week

Robotics Ireland is a national database of universities, colleges, institutes and providers of third level and PLC courses in Ireland. We operate a national search database of courses at certificate, diploma and degree level as well as providing information about career paths and directions.


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