Archive for the ‘Mechanical Engineering’ Category

If you do choose to study Engineering at the University of Melbourne you will make a new home out of the Old Engineering Building pictured below, not to mention becoming part of a committed team of uni students focused of learning the key concepts of engineering, participating in all manner of lab and workshop classes, tutorials and attending lectures taken by leaders in their field.

I find that a standard ‘study day’ (where few classes are scheduled) generally involves me arriving at uni at 9:00AM finding a suitable spot in EDS5 spreading my work across the entire table and settling in for the day apart from leaving to maybe get food when I have run out and not really moving until a.) my productivity has dropped to a point where any more attempts at work are futile b.) I have managed to somewhat clear the backlog of work that had to be done or c.) I have got training in the evening, dinner is especially good and I want to get home because I’m starving or finally d.) it is dark outside and I’ve realised that its kinda depressing being at uni after dark as it implies that you just spent a whole day doing work and only managed to barely scratch the surface of the amount of work that you should have already completed by now….

Just another standard day at Unimelb for the Mechanical Engineers 😉 With 9 computers on the one desk I’m pretty sure we can figure out the answer. This photo was taken in Engineering Design Suite 5, a general study and hangout area in the Old Engineering Building where you will generally find someone who can help answer any of your questions.

Upstairs is the Engineering Lounge, a more relaxed area with more study room if you feel cramped.

As a first year student if you decide to take the engineering pathway, you will find yourself enrolled in the subjects ESD 1 and 2 where your workshops will be held in other design studios very similar to the one above, albeit larger and with cool drop-down TV screens to show everyone around the room exactly what they should be doing.

These design studios are open almost all the time, unless other workshop classes are scheduled in them, so there is always somewhere where a group of mates can sit down and discuss anything from the big party coming up on the weekend to the mechanical dynamics assignment that is due tomorrow by 5:00PM that you haven’t even really looked at yet.

Simply put, Mechanical Engineering (or ‘Mech Eng’ as the students call it) is the study of energy transfer to create movement and power to complete a desired task.

Mechanical Engineering encompasses many other engineering disciplines leading to studies in fluid mechanics, turbulence, thermodynamics, control and biomechanics just to name a few. Being an engineering course, computer skills are a necessary part of weekly uni life.

We use a wide range of programs that simplify pages of written work into succinct lines of code that solve complex problems that real people face every day or make 3D representations of what we are working on. Keeping in mind that Mechanical Engineering definitely isn’t the only faculty on campus (although it’s definitely high on the ‘to check out list’) I’m positive that there is something that will interest every single individual despite the wide array of future careers or employment that you may have in mind.

As I started at The University of Melbourne in 2009 I went straight into the new ‘Melbourne Model’ for the Bachelor of Science and took the engineering pathway from there. After my undergraduate course I plan to undertake the Masters of Mechanical Systems, hopefully involving some degree of aerodynamics and jet propulsion into my final year project. For those that are interested in some field of engineering I highly recommend going to all the uni open days and graduate fairs, just to get an idea of some of the things that engineering students are working on, and where your future studies may take you.

The above shows a typical production process from concept to completion, that is testing, modelling and finally production

(omitting a few steps here such as the countless hours debugging or correcting errors in the model 🙂 however the end product is definitely worth it!!)

One of the final year projects undertaken every year is the Formula SAE Championship – a scaled up version of go-karting where uni students design the vehicle from the very beginning all the way to eventually racing it against other universities in Australia and the Pacific. This final year project like many others involves a group of students committed to completing a task and then getting graded on their performance and the end product. These projects can be viewed at the Endeavour Expo annually (27th October 2011, 11am-4pm @ Wilson Hall University of Melbourne) where groups present their projects to prospective employers, members of industry as well as current and future students.

Like any fulltime commitment be it school, work or in my case uni, there is always a bunch of must -attend annual events. For uni students this well-known time to ‘let off some steam’ would be the numerous club hosted and organised balls and functions that occur during the year. With something for everyone, from the formal Commerce Ball with obligatory full suit attire to the more relaxed and colloquial costume driven Engineering Ball. The latter of which I attended before the Easter Break. In a few words it was awesome, something to definitely check out as a first year.

It was quite a sight to behold, entering the San Remo Ballroom to see costumes of every description, pirates and convicts to toga-clad ancient Greek men and women. Honestly, some of the costumes were  top notch with the costume of the night going to the individual with the full parrot suit on the pirates table (he got free drinks and crackers as a prize :)) and the winning table being awarded to the hessian bag-wearing-chain-gang slavery table complete with multi-billionaire master.

Like any uni social event once everyone had arrived, some 500 of us costume-wearing uni students, the food served, the first round (of many) drinks finished and music cranked up it really was a good night. Not only  is it a awesome opportunity to forget the numerous study hours and assignments due but also a great chance to meet heaps more people that you will inevitably see again on campus.

However, this was only part of the night the after party was still yet to come, but I will let you discover those extra details for yourselves…

Some of the engineering girls in Ancient Greece theme

Members of the ‘Glam Rock’ table

More members of the Glam Rock table a bit later on….after the first round of drinks and strutting their stuff on the dancefloor

Some of the awesome costuming, introducing the Cavemen