Education is one of the keystones of mechanical engineering. The breakthroughs and changes that continually beset the industry can leave you on the outside looking in real fast if you don’t take the initiative to keep up with the changes. The technology age means greater innovations, so you’ll need to make sure you have a few aces up your sleeve to keep you relevant.
Of course, the internet is almost always your greatest ally in that fight, as there are engineering resources all around that can keep you in the know. However, some of the slightly off-the-beaten-bath resources may just give you that edge that helps you move from just another engineer to being a top-notch professional. Here are a few of those hidden gems.
In this video: Profile of Joanna Gleeson, a 28-year-old Mechanical Engineer who works for Corus Steelworks.
Yes, YouTube is good for more than just watching videos of ice cream-eating kittens getting brain freeze and movie trailers. The IMechE folks have built themselves quite a tremendous online portal for mechanical engineers, spotlighting things like career profiles and stories of working mechanical engineers, student projects and events, and practical applications and lessons, such as how engineering has advanced health care, and the effects of volcanic ash on plane engines. Resources like this are how young engineers develop into great ones, guiding you to the cutting edge of the industry in gentle, easily-accessible bite-sized chunks. This is a site you’ll want to bookmark, whether you’re a student, a working engineer, or just a tech geek.
Continuing education is vital in most professions, particularly if you want to stay in the forefront of the industry’s changes. Few fields of endeavor advance as quickly as mechanical engineering, meaning staying on top of the latest changes and advances is particularly important.
Sure, you could head over to Lynda.com and find some courses, but we’ll take The Great Courses and their enormous lineup of courses like Thermodynamics: Four Laws That Move the Universe and Understanding the Science for Tomorrow: Myth and Reality, among 74 others in the field. If online truly is the future of higher education (and it is), this type of coursework will be something you’ll want to be sure you are caught up on, and invest some time and even a little money in going back to from time to time.
If you’re a UK engineering student, where better to get all the resources you need to get your National Diploma/Certificate? For students, perhaps the greatest achievement of the internet is eliminating the constant need to hang out in the library. This no-frills site is full of links that cover pneumatics, manufacturing techniques, materials, and mechanical principles, Engineer Student is a one-stop shop.
If you’re NOT a UK engineering student, don’t worry, you can still use it to brush up on scientific basics like Boyles law, thermal conductivity, and wave properties. I guess you could just Google aluminum's boiling point, but this place...this place has a chart. You know you love charts.
In what is surely the most obvious and pick on the planet, I still don't think any list like this would be worth anything if it didn't mention MIT OpenCourseWare. I won't lecture you with the ethos behind OpenCourseWare (although you should familiarize yourself with it if you haven't already). I doubt very seriously there's a more thorough and free resource out there for teaching yourself a lot more than just the fundamentals.
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