I began to compile bits and pieces to form my research paper. I also went to the library and found they had little information on mechanical engineering. I called numerous libraries to find enough material to research. I ended up visiting three libraries to check out three books. I found the Internet sources were more useful and current; however, the books did help me to gain some insight. The first website I researched was from Columbia University. Interestingly, my brother-in-law just graduated from Columbia with an economics degree. This site helped to define what a mechanical engineer is. “Mechanical engineering is a diverse subject that derives its breadth from the need to design and manufacture everything from small individual parts and devices (microscale sensors and inkjet printer nozzles) to large systems (spacecraft and machine tools)”.1 This site made my understanding of mechanical engineering broader and more insightful. Anything that moves and has parts falls under the field of mechanical engineering whether it is a yo-yo or an entire Boeing airplane. The biggest skill required for mechanical engineering according to Columbia is the “ability to analyze and design objects and systems in motion”.2 The skill set that Columbia University says to be the most important helped me to understand that mechanical engineering is not just building new things, but fixing machines and systems that have already been built. .
I also discovered that mechanical engineers are problem solvers. “They analyze problems to see how mechanical and thermal devices might help determine a solution, design and redesign mechanical and thermal devices or subsystems using computer aided design, develop and test prototypes, analyze the results of their tests and make the changes needed, and even oversee the manufacturing process for the device or machine”.3 I was impressed by the diversity of products and systems that mechanical engineers design.