Mechanical Engineering

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What is Mechanical Engineering

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 for the production of most inventions and developments.

What Courses Are Available?

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

Studying Mechanical Engineering in College

Firstly, mechanical engineering students study Maths and Science. They specialize 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 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 programs. Alternatively, they can work as machine operators, toolmakers, and maintenance fitters.

Career Options

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 programs, the principles are 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 modeling, 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.

Related Jobs


Jobs directly related to your degree include:

  • Aerospace engineer
  • Automotive engineer
  • CAD technician
  • Contracting civil engineer
  • Control and instrumentation engineer
  • Maintenance engineer
  • Mechanical engineer
  • Nuclear engineer

Jobs where your degree would be useful include:

  • Acoustic consultant
  • Clinical technologist
  • Corporate investment banker
  • Land-based engineer
  • Mining engineer
  • Patent attorney
  • Production manager
  • Technical sales engineer
  • Water engineer

Further Study

Many students enroll in MEng programs for their first degree. These are integrated four-year Master’s courses, recognized as offering extended and enhanced programs of study. Others complete a separate Master’s after their first degree.

An EngD is essentially an industry-based Ph.D., combining Doctoral-level research with training in practical skills. Research engineers are usually placed with industrial (or sometimes academic) sponsors, and there is a possibility that you may be employed by your sponsor at the end of the program.


Am I suited to a career in mechanical engineering?

If you enjoy creating practical solutions to problems and like turning your ideas into reality, then a career in mechanical engineering could be for you. While having a passion for maths and science is important, the diverse nature of mechanical engineering means it’s a good fit for creative people with all sorts of interests.

What non-technical skills a mechanical engineer should have?

Some non-technical skills a mechanical engineer should have are:

  • Problem-solving skills
  • Creativity
  • Communication skills
  • Ability to work in a team
  • Commercial awareness

Where Can I Study Mechanical Engineering?

Explore your options here

Did You Know?

  • The snowboard was invented by an engineer! With some engineering twists and turns along the way, the snowboard has become a marvel of geometry, chemistry, and biomechanics. Since the snowboard allows deft turns, ski manufacturers have quickly adopted some of the snowboard innovations, enabling skiers to turn with less effort.
  • Engineering comes from the Latin word which means ‘cleverness’.
  • Mechanical engineering has been around in ancient Greece and China. The first machines which were created are screw, wheel and axle, inclined plane, and pulley system. They made them make the tasks easier. Then, simple machines were used to create tools such as carts, ancient seismographs, and wheelbarrows.
  •  Mechanical Engineers designed running shoes to distribute our weight evenly throughout the whole foot so that we can walk, run and play comfortably
  • The tallest wind turbine in the world has rotor tips that reach over 200 meters (656 feet) above the ground.

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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