History of Mechanical Engineering
Engineering in one form or another is among the oldest of professions. The Egyptian pyramids are examples of ancient engineering feats and many of the bridges, roads and aqueducts constructed by the ancient Romans are still use today. Engineers were originally simply builders who worked with stone and other basic materials. They were either self-taught or learned their craft from more experienced workers. The military operations of the early nations of the world created a demand for engineers capable of planning fortifications and the machines and means necessary to overcome such fortifications. Engineering seems to have developed along two lines. First, with an expanding population and the advance of civilization, it became necessary to develop roads, harbors, buildings, bridges and canals. The second development came with the increased application of power to mechanical operations that called for people capable of designing and constructing such machinery. The history of mechanical engineering can be traced directly to the ancient world, to the designers and inventors of the first mechanisms which were powered by human or animal labor, water or wind energy, or a combination of these. Although many of the mechanisms had a purely peaceful application, such as for flight, irrigation or building, the word "engineer" originally meant "military engineer" because it was derived from the term "engines of war". These were machines such as catapults, floating bridges and assault towers. The invention of the steam engine in the latter part of the 18th century provided a key source of power for the Industrial Revolution and gave enormous impetus to the development of machinery of all types. As a result, a new major classification of engineering dealing with tools and machines, namely mechanical engineering, received formal recognition in 1847. Today's mechanical engineer is heavily involved in the development and use of new materials and technologies, especially in computer aided engineering. A rapidly growing field for mechanical engineers is environmental control, comprising the development of machines and processes that will produce fewer pollutants, as well as the development of new equipment and techniques to reduce or remove existing pollution. Although mechanical engineers may occasionally work alone on a small project, they are more likely to be working on large, multi-disciplinary projects, liaising with specialists from other areas. In almost every sphere of modern life, from the air-conditioned office or home to the modern industrial plant or mode of transport, one sees the work of mechanical engineers who continue to develop and apply new knowledge and technology to improve the quality of life for society as a whole. Importance and relation to society
The professional discipline of mechanical engineering is concerned with the design, development and manufacture of machines and mechanical engineering systems. These include engines and turbines of various kinds, land transport vehicles, ships, aircraft, pumps and fans, air-conditioning and refrigeration systems, building services, industrial plants, and manufacturing processes. However, practically all areas of engineering make use of the skills of the mechanical engineer to some extent. Mechanical engineers offer expertise in the fields of energy technology, combustion, acoustics, noise and vibration control, biomedical engineering, fluid mechanics and aeronautics, automatic control, manufacturing, robotics, quality management, plant layout and process simulation. Good mechanical engineering is built on a strong foundation of theory, reinforced by an amalgam of experience and innovation. Today's mechanical engineer is heavily involved in the management of people and resources as well as the development and use of new materials and technologies, especially computer-aided...
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