Computers in Mechanical Engineering

Computers in Mechanical Engineering departmentMechanical Engineers use computers more extensively than any other physical scientists. Computers are used to help in the design process, computers control manufacturing equipment and robots, and computers are used heavily in the fields of fluid mechanics, solid mechanics and heat transfer.

Because many fields of mechanical engineering are so mathematically challenging computers are extremely helpful and are used constantly. We are not the engineers who build the computers, we just use them. If you like to use computers there is no better field than mechanical engineering.

The power of modern computers makes it possible for mechanical engineers to study proposed aircraft and car body designs before companies go the expense of actually building physical models. Using computer simulations engineers can visualize the fluid flow and temperatures in areas that are experimentally inaccessible such as the inside the heart and the inside of a car engine. Computers are used in research to extend investigation beyond the limits of an experimental setup. It is often much quicker to run a computer experiment than a physical one. When computer investigation is combined with careful experiments and sound theory the productivity of computer research can be tremendous.

UMass Dartmouth provides many computer clusters for students to use. Academic computing services (the central computer provider on campus) provides computers and help to students doing word processing, using spread sheets and other generic software. In addition to this, however, the mechanical engineering department has computer labs specifically dedicated to undergraduate students in mechanical engineering.

Our students take a freshman course specifically designed to introduce them to computer-aided engineering, and continued work with computers is integrated in the curriculum throughout our undergraduate program.