Mechanical Engineering: Emergence Of Novel Research Areas

One of the oldest branches of engineering science is mechanical engineering. It is a comprehensive branch of engineering that deals with various types of tools and skills for operating and designing machines. Mechanical engineering is the top priority of students in India who choose engineering as a career. This is also the most sought-after branch in top private engineering colleges in UP and central India. The job opportunities that are available in this field far exceed the ones that are available in other fields.

Over a period of time, mechanical engineering has undergone a large number of changes. New subjects have been incorporated into the curriculum and new fields of research have emerged in this domain. Let’s dig deeper into this field.

The new phase of mechanical engineering

Mechanical engineering has undergone a lot of transformation in the last few years. The scope of this branch of engineering has increased by a large extent. The interdisciplinary nature of mechanical engineering has forged its integration with electronics engineering. As such, mechatronics as an entity within the branch of mechanical engineering has seen the light of the day. There have also been advancements in tool design as well as manufacturing. These advancements have directly or indirectly contributed to a strong research relationship between mechanical engineering and material science. In addition to this, the overlapping areas of research of mechanical engineering with subjects like nanotechnology and smart materials have attracted renewed attention of researchers in this field. Needless to mention, robotics engineering has emerged as an offshoot of mechanical engineering with immense popularity over the last five years. In one word, mechanical engineering has acquired the center stage in the age of industry 4.0. Ranging from the design and development of autonomous vehicles and self-driving cars to the advancements in humanoid technology, the applications of mechanical engineering are numerous. Thus, mechanical engineering has proved itself to be an unparalleled branch of engineering science.

Automobile engineering

Automobile engineering was earlier studied within the domain of mechanical engineering. Advancements in automobile technology led to the development of automobile engineering as an offshoot of mechanical engineering. The need for electrical vehicles and other modes of transportation that use hydrogen as a fuel is the innovation of automobile engineering. Hybrid modes of automobile that use different types of fuel and can traverse over difficult terrains are notable innovations of automobile engineering. The new forms of transportation that include intelligent vehicles like self-driving cars also come within the domain of automobile engineering.

Robotics engineering

Robotics engineering was earlier studied as a subject within mechanical engineering. The rapid advancements in fields like robotic process automation paved the way for the development of robotics engineering as a separate branch of engineering. Robotics engineering is one of the profound branches in the best private colleges in India. The job prospects of this branch are also very lucrative in nature. Robotics engineering deals with human-computer interaction as well as other cognitive sciences. It has a strong correlation with deep learning and artificial neural networks form an important component of different robotic processes.

Humanoid technology is also an important research area within robotics engineering. In the last few years, the scope of humanoid technology has grown immensely as humanoids are being seen as a commercially viable alternative for automating redundant processes.

Design thinking

Design thinking is not a standalone branch of engineering but has been integrated into the curriculum of mechanical engineering in different colleges. Design thinking is one of the latest additions to the scope of mechanical engineering and involves the development of AI-engineered products. In one way, design thinking acts as a bridge between mechanical engineering and artificial intelligence.

In the future, the scope of design thinking would further increase as artificial intelligence scales new heights and mechanical engineering expands its domain.

The way ahead

In the age of the fourth industrial revolution, the scope of mechanical engineering would be further increased by a large extent. This is because new generation technologies like Artificial Intelligence and machine learning would lead to the development of intelligent mechanical systems. So, we may witness a great overlap of research areas between artificial intelligence and mechanical engineering in the time to come. It is high time that we introduce artificial intelligence and machine learning as important subjects in our mechanical engineering curriculum. This will motivate the students in developing intelligent machines and systems that thrive in a smart future environment.