What do Mechanical Engineers Do?
Mechanical engineers apply their expertise to the design, development and mass production of everything from rocket propulsion systems to appliances. Professionals in the industry use mathematics, computers, sophisticated modeling and analysis to solve problems associated with energy usage, propulsion, power generation, sound and vibration, machinery design and manufacturing. Some examples of products and processes developed by mechanical engineers include engines and control systems for automobiles and aircraft, electric power generation plants, lifesaving medical devices, robots and consumer products such as air conditioners, refrigerators and washing machines. In short, mechanical engineers play a part in designing mechanical devices and systems that are a part of our everyday life.
How Much Do They Earn?
The median annual wage for mechanical engineers was $83,590 in May 2015.
Employment of mechanical engineers is projected to grow 5 percent from 2014 to 2024, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Job prospects may be best for those who stay abreast of the most recent advances in technology.
*Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 2016 – 17 Occupational Outlook Handbook.
Where Do They Work?
- Industrial equipment design
- Consulting firms
- Government agencies
- Energy and environmental solutions
The Department of Mechanical Engineering offers integrated undergraduate programs on two campuses to prepare students for careers in mechanical engineering. Students can pursue a B.S. degree at the Lexington campus, or at the Paducah campus through the College’s Extended Campus Program. The undergraduate program offers flexibility, as well as sufficient depth and breadth of study through its variety of course offerings. Specific components of undergraduate study include not only the fundamentals of engineering, but also advanced coursework in specialized areas. Students will conclude the program with a two-semester senior capstone project incorporating elements of design, creation and collaboration with participating companies under real-world conditions.
The Mechanical Engineering Program is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET.
Jesse Hoagg, Ph.D.
Director of Undergraduate Studies
Christine Trinkle, Ph.D.