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Five Unexpected Places your Mechanical Engineering Graduate Degrees Could Take You

If you think mechanical engineer just work on cars or troubleshoot heating and cooling systems, think again. Mechanical engineering is the most versatile discipline of engineering. When you graduate with an advanced degree in mechanical engineering, the options for where you can work are limited only by your imagination.

Here are five places you probably never thought a graduate degree in mechanical engineering could take you:

1. Deep Inside the Human Body

Mechanical engineer Amit Pathak, of Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, received a $1.9 million grant to fund his research into human cells. He’s using his knowledge of how systems work to investigate how cells within the human body work together. His lab has already created a patent-pending device to measure cell “memory.”

This specialty is called mechanobiology, a field of science that combines biology and engineering to investigate human development and disease.

2. To the Middle of the Ocean

Mechanical engineers at Scotrenewables Tidal Power in Scotland are testing solution that will use the ocean to harvest renewable energy. Their invention looks and moves like a boat, but it’s actually a turbine. The power from the turbine currently costs more to produce than using wind power, but the equipment is only in the testing stage. Mechanical engineers are hard at work to make their turbine more efficient.

In its first year of testing, the turbine supplied enough power for 830 households. With its easy maintenance and low cost to build, the mechanical engineers’ innovative turbine looks like a truly valuable solution.

3. Into Space

Three of nine astronauts who will be first to fly on commercial SpaceX and Boeing spacecraft are mechanical engineers. Nicole Aunapu Mann is a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps. She earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering and a master’s degree in mechanical engineering with a speciality in fluid mechanics.

The other two astronauts, Robert Behnken and Chris Ferguson, have undergraduate degrees in mechanical engineering.

4. On a Quest for Perfection

Mechanical engineers designed a hook. It might not sound very exciting at first, but this hook could revolutionize the delivery industry.

Mechanical engineer Andre Prager has created a hook that will allow drones to drop packages from the sky without landing or damaging the packages. He and his teammates at Wing (owned by the same parent company as Google) designed the delivery drone first. The hook was the last piece, and it took lots of trial and error. But now, it works!

5. Into the Art Gallery

Artist Gregory Vernitsky uses engineering principles to make art. Vernitsky is a mechanical engineer with the Ivaldi Group in San Leandro, California. In his art, he uses the concepts and ideas he learned in engineering school to make beautiful and surprising objects. His creation have appeared in art exhibitions and galleries all over the United States.

A mechanical engineering degree can take you anywhere, from the depths of space to the middle of the ocean.

Source: by Emma Rose Gallimore

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