Mechanical Engineers in the Workplace

red-cog-leading.jpgRegardless of the skills shortages we are currently facing in South Africa, engineering is a booming industry in our country. Practically every company that designs and manufactures a product employs a mechanical engineer. But mechanical engineers can also be found in research labs, government, and in other line of works such as medicine, law or teaching.

Mechanical Engineers work in many different settings, most often as a matter of choice and career planning. They differ in the type of workplace, the problems to be solved, and work schedule. Some mechanical engineers work in design centers and headquarters facilities of high-tech companies; some prefer working in the field, and some travel overseas to serve clients and to develop new markets for products and services. There's a good chance that you won't spend all your waking hours sitting at a workstation.

Mechanical Engineers don’t really have a typical day in the workplace. The issues and challenges are numerous and evolve throughout the project. It is difficult to characterize a typical day under these circumstances. It takes more than technical knowledge to be a good mechanical engineer; you need attributes like thinking out of the box, dealing with difficult situations and the list goes on, to compliment your practical ability.

Problem solving mentality
Mechanical engineers thrive on solving difficult problems. These are not only technical problems, mechanical engineers deal with management requirements, unique customer needs, budget and legal constraints, environmental and social issues, as well as changes in technology. It is the mechanical engineers training in mathematics, the sciences, engineering fundamentals, and computer applications that provide them the ability to anticipate and respond to change. For the working engineer, the key is staying up to date with emerging technologies.

Most mechanical engineering jobs require design experience. When a need comes about for a new or better product, companies call upon mechanical engineers to do the job. Engineers have to push beyond the limits of their previous work knowledge and use modern technology to meet project requirements successfully.

Environmental issues
Mechanical engineers can also create the controlled indoor environment that people need in order to work in comfort. Factors such as humidity, temperature and cleanliness of the air in the workplace are monitored, adjusted and controlled by these engineers.

Mechanical engineers are also involved in the social responsibility of engineers and engineering organizations, which includes effective development issues such as:

  • water supply and sanitation,
  • cleaner production and recycling,
  • energy efficiency and conservation, renewable energy and clean coal technology,
  • emergencies and disaster preparedness and response including urban security,
  • post disaster and conflict restoration, rehabilitation and reconstruction and
  • engaging engineers in decision-making, policy-making and planning.

Engineering continues to grow in terms of the gender, ethnicity, and national origins of students and graduates entering the engineering workforce.  The workplace constantly changing and one need to have the skill to adapt to different work environments and be able to work with different people from different backgrounds, ages and gender.

Professionalism is supposed to be a given attribute, but fraud and corruption is affecting the ethos of the engineering industry and ultimately on our country. Being trustworthy and not taking bribes are a rare skill to have nowadays. One indication of a true profession is the existence of a code of ethics and a clear sense of professional responsibility and loyalty.
For that reason the South African Institution of Mechanical Engineering exists to serve the interests and needs of its members, to advance the science and practise of mechanical engineering, and to promote high standards in the profession.

Are you currently in the mechanical engineering field and looking for engineering jobs?

Do you enjoy solving complex problems as well as spending the day dreaming up solutions? Then let us help you showcase your skills and talent!

We are a specialist recruitment company in the engineering field with available job opportunities in mechanical engineering, design engineering, civil engineering, structural engineering and so much more. Visit our vacancy page and apply now!

Credit: by nokhoog_buchachon