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mechanical engineers & automotive industry

mechanical engineers & automotive industry

mechanical engineers & automotive industry

Hello to you all.

a somewhat vage question:

What do you guys think of future prospects for purely mechanical engineers in the automotive industry ?

The reason i ask this is because there seems to be a particular demand for electrical engineers currently, and a lot less for the classical mechanical engineer.
It kind of seems the classical mechanical engineering is slowly but steadily giving up it's seat (under the spotlight) for other branches.


Would like to hear your stands on this


RE: mechanical engineers & automotive industry

When your average car has about 10 times the computer power of Apollo 11 that landed on the moon - guess where it is going.

MEs are still going to be needed - but how many times can you design a U-joint??

Just a thought.

RE: mechanical engineers & automotive industry

U-joint designs are stable for now, but there are plenty of opportunities for mechanical engineers working on structures, materials, manufacturing methods, heat transfer (from the electronics for one), sensors, actuators, controls, and not to put too fine a point on it, cleaning up after the electrical engineers when they stray too far from the electricity.


Mike Halloran
Pembroke Pines, FL, USA

RE: mechanical engineers & automotive industry

Mike has it.
Not to mention robots. The mechanicals of a robot designed by an electrical is a sad sight so see...
Robots are the future chaps...


RE: mechanical engineers & automotive industry


I would disagree with some of the other posters.  There is a greater need for ME's in the auto industry now more than ever. Cars still have suspensions, steel chassis, piston engines, geared transmissions, etc.  However, today's ME's need to be more specialized in various disciplines, such as metallurgy, FEA/FEM, manufacturing processes, structural dynamics, heat transfer, etc.  

Unfortunately, the automotive industry is a victim of its own success with regards to performance, reliability and cost.  Car buyers now expect better, less expensive products from one year to the next.  And most people fail to appreciate just how much engineering effort now goes into even the most mundane of parts (such as a U-joint).  

Many years ago, making cost, weight or performance improvements to an automotive mechanical component was not too difficult.  But today, there is no longer any "low-hanging fruit", so the improvements require exponentially more effort.  Personally, I am very impressed by the clever engineering that goes into production automotive components.  Think about powdered-metal connecting rods, or a perfectly smooth, crash-resistant, 500lb. steel unibody chassis, that must be produced by the 100's of thousands, for a fixed cost.

It is no great engineering challenge to make some mechanical component relatively lightweight or high-performance.  But it is a huge challenge to make that same lightweight/high-performance component for low cost in large quantities.



RE: mechanical engineers & automotive industry

I'm currently sat in a large room full of ME's doing pure ME work for the auto industry (structural, dynamic, NVH, design, other).  There's no shortage of work either and there is a whole range of ages here.  Sure there are some systems guys and some project management types, but ME is not dead in this business.

- Steve

RE: mechanical engineers & automotive industry


When your average car has about 10 times the computer power of Apollo 11

Ten times?  Maybe 10,000.

I suspect that the part of the computer that controls the windshield wiper on my car has more than 10 times the computer power of Apollo 11.

RE: mechanical engineers & automotive industry

There is ALWAYS going to be a need for "EXCELLENT" engineers in any field - be it civil, structural, electrical, mechanical, etc.

Follow your dreams and desires.  Work hard.  Listen a lot.  God gave you two ears and one mouth - use proportionally.

Do some professions pay more - sure. Sometimes, the oil guys have it "fat" and then ten years later can't find a job.  Sometimes aeronauticals have it "hot" and then can't find a job.

It cycles.  Try to get cross trained - so you can slide back and forth if need be.  Works for me.

RE: mechanical engineers & automotive industry

We have doubled our design engineering staff in the last year, all ME's.  Everything we make is automotive electromechanical or electrical but does not involve microchips.  Most ME's have a wide enough background & can understand the entire continuum of physical effects and interactions.  EE's seem to be too narrowly focused for our products.  

The Help for this program was created in Windows Help format, which depends on a feature that isn't included in this version of Windows.

RE: mechanical engineers & automotive industry

Even if it were products involving microchips, there are still plenty of needs for MEs. Electronics housings, harnesses, brackets, mechanical drawings. Depending on the size of the project, I will do some of the mechanical work myself, but it always works out better if I can hand off mechanical stuff so that I can focus just on the electronics.

  Even at several of the places I've worked for that are heavy in the auto/motorcycle electronics field, they still have more MEs for the supporting stuff, than EEs.

RE: mechanical engineers & automotive industry

In the automotive work I did over the last 20 years, the thing I saw most was for the need of engineers that could do real 'systems' work.

If you're an electrical, you need do understand some mechanical and vice versa.
Many mechanical systems depend more heavily on electronics to fulfil their functions and most electrical/electronics systems have a mechanical interface somewhere.

Whichever discipline you are, you cannot afford to ignore the other.


RE: mechanical engineers & automotive industry

Systems people?

In my experience, these are the people who want to move into management.  They prefer meetings to equations.  In my perfect (auto) engineering world, engineers would appreciate what their counterparts in other disciplines do and talk to them more.

- Steve

RE: mechanical engineers & automotive industry

LPS for you, SG... I agree with every word (except seeing things from my world, EE).

Dan - Owner

RE: mechanical engineers & automotive industry

Yes, SG, I agree. Most Systems Engineers I came across were suits with a desire to have a more epensive suit.

That is why I emphasis REAL systems people. I always had to do my own.


RE: mechanical engineers & automotive industry

I think a team leader or coordinator with good cross discipline experience and knowledge is an asset to any project where detailed specialist knowledge is required from different disciplines.

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RE: mechanical engineers & automotive industry

"In my experience, these are the people who want to move into management.  They prefer meetings to equations."


Sad but true.  

Most meetings are usually nothing more than a bunch of self-important people that love to hear themselves talk.....sitting in a room......talking.

Personally, I don't know why any decent engineer would go into management.  In most companies, it's nothing but accounting and paperwork.  

I've had good managers and bad managers.  The good ones have left me alone to do my work.  The bad ones constantly ask me to help them with their endless Powerpoint engineering. Preparing briefings, technical write-ups, etc. of my work because they lack the expertise to do so themselves.  One level of management giving Powerpoint briefings to the next level of management, and so on, and so on.

RE: mechanical engineers & automotive industry

I have a meeting tomorrow with my controls contemporary.  We will be discussing equations (chemical reactions in catalysts).  I like these meetings.

- Steve

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