From the Nano Engine to the Chandra X-Ray Observatory, some of the most overlooked mechanical engineering marvels of the world almost defy the laws of physics and are true wonders that drive innovation and impact the lives of many.
Yet, behind every mechanical engineering marvel is a successful mechanical engineer or mechanist. But before these engineers could achieve success, they had to have the skills required to get the job done effectively.
If you're wondering how you can craft your own successful career path as a mechanical engineer, consider the inspiring stories and tips from the professionals who know what it takes.
What Do Mechanical Engineers Do?
If you're an aspiring mechanical engineer or a budding mechanist who wants to take your career to the next level, it's important to know what to expect in your daily routine on the job.
Mechanical engineers are responsible for a variety of tasks, including analyzing issues to determine how a thermal device can solve a specific problem and recommending remedies for faulty equipment.
You can also expect to work on duties that involve testing thermal and mechanical sensors. As a mechanist, your duties may also involve designing and building mechanical devices. Research is often an important part of the role of mechanical engineers, too.
What Skills Do Mechanical Engineers Need for Success?
If you to lead a successful career path as an engineer, then it's important to develop key skills to help you achieve your goals and daily tasks. Some key skills to develop include problem-solving skills, a thorough knowledge of engineering basics, analytical skills, and creativity.
Many of the most successful engineers also get a solid education from an ABET-accredited program to help develop the skills they need to be successful in their work. But the specific skills you'll need will typically depend on your role and your company.
For instance, Ohio State University alumnus Matthew Brady's job as a mechanical engineer at Amazon Robotics requires that he has a good understanding of engineering basics, make changes and put them into practice fast. He also needs to have technical skills to be successful in his roles, such as understanding how to use SolidWorks and good CAD modeling skills.
How Can Mechanical Engineers Achieve Success:
Some of the most successful mechanical engineers took different paths to achieve success in their careers. Whether they opted to work as a mechanist that explored their entrepreneurial side or enter the field of mechanical engineering via co-operative programs, the successful professional engineers of the past and present crafted their way to success in more ways than one. Here are some inspiring success stories from engineers:
Kate Gleason - As the first member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, Kate Gleason was known for being a mechanical engineering pioneer woman of her time. She was Cornell University's first female to study engineering. She also helped her father's company become one of the first manufacturers from America to expand its operations in Europe. She's also known for heavily promoting and improving the Gleason bevel-gear planer that her father helped develop.
Liz Duffy - Before Liz Duffy joined NASA as a full-time employee, she took advantage of Northeastern University's co-op program to get her foot in the door. Duffy studied mechanical and industrial engineer while at Northeastern and began her engineering career by optimizing and developing tools that collected samples of elements or objects in space. The co-op program gave her a chance to work at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. She performed various tasks while on the job, including helping engineers with SLA models, conducting research, and organizing and designing a large-scale testing procedure and test area. It was her third co-op program, but it was the one she needed that led to her dream job at NASA.
Javier Ravines - Javier Ravines is a mechanical engineer and entrepreneur who runs a company that provides engineering services, including prototyping, research and development, testing and product development. But before Ravines dived into running his own company, he was able to achieve his success by getting a sound education from the HAMK Hame University of Applied Sciences. Ravines earned both his bachelor's and master's degrees in mechanical engineering and production technology at HAMK by 2011 and focused on laser technology for his graduate studies. Ravines started his own company out of necessity when he realized at the time he was applying for jobs he only got a few responses. His journey as an engineer and entrepreneur wasn't easy but it was worthwhile. Ravines owes much of his success to his tenacity, persistence, and education. He believes that any new student should focus on getting a sound education in the field, participating in clubs to help develop your career and to make use of the laboratories on campus. By taking these steps, you can build the foundational skills and get the practice for the tasks you'll be doing as an engineer.
If you want to be a successful mechanical engineer, you'll need a plan. Luckily, you don't have to come up with one on your own. You can begin by using the tips and success stories of the engineers mentioned here as inspiration to craft your path to a successful engineering career. You can continue this pattern to your online and social networks, aiming to learn from other people's success stories.
While networking, feel comfortable to ask other mechanical engineers or mechanics about how they achieved success in the role they are currently in. You can ask: "I see you have been in your current role as a Mechanical Engineer at and I'm curious to know what it took for you to achieve that position and become successful?"
Networking is a great strategy for job search and social networking tools and platforms, such as LinkedIn, offer all types of engineers the opportunity to connect with one another, create new conversations, and build new professional relationships. It is those meaningful conversations and strong relationships that lead to job interviews and job offers.