QUESTION: Do people often get confused about what mechanical engineering is?



I am tired of getting upset.

The generator fails to start (We still generate our own power in Africa) ; everyone looks at your direction!

There’s a flat tyre. Not to worry. ‘We have a mechanical Engineer in our midst’

Especially when most of they are not well enlightened, you can’t appease them. I’m like I learned thermodynamics, fluid dynamics , material science etc, in school. I know how these things work but I’m yet to learn how to repair them. They chuckle and feel you’re simply wasting your time in school. Even when you proffer solutions, It is common to here ‘Theoretical engineer’

Even the learned folks don’t know what mechanical engineering entails.

I’m not taking anything from mechanics, but the difference is very clear.

I know the person who posted this question, knows the difference but for the purpose of those reading who don’t know, I will explain.

Let me paint two scenarios for better understanding :

  • The painter who painted your house and Pablo Picasso both know how to paint. Pablo Picasso is regarded as one of the most influential artists of the 20th century, He is known for co-founding the cubist movement, the invention of constructed sculpture the co-invention of collage, and for the wide variety of styles that he helped develop and explore. (Pablo Picasso – Wikipedia ) Your house painter simply knows how to prime and apply coating. He might also know the rules but does he know artistic styles and expressions?
  • In high school, I Played football with my classmates . I was good at it ( to the best of my knowledge). Alex Iwobi is a professional footballer with Arsenal FC. Because I can kick a ball and I watch footballers regularly, am I now a professional footballer just like Alex Iwobi ? Alex Iwobi knows the rules and has been trained to be a professional footballer.

In summary,

Mechanical engineer is a professional who applies the principles of engineering, physics, and material science for the design, analysis, manufacturing, and maintenance of plants, equipment and systems.His knowlege isn’t limited to automobile

A Mechanic is a technician who uses tools and equipment to repair and maintain automobiles. Anyone can learn to repair anything

One of the reasons there’s usually this mix up is due to the poor standard of teaching in many colleges and universities across the world. Many engineering graduates can’t tell what’s going on in a vehicle or even mention the function of key car parts. This Might be harsh but that’s the stark truth. Also, Mechanical engineering shouldn’t be confused with Automobile engineering.

Link to answer on Quora

You can follow me on Quora: Samuel Alfred

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