Choosing the Right Mechanical Engineering Program

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    Aug 26, 2014
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Choosing the Right Mechanical Engineering Program Photo by Pamela Wendell

Mechanical engineering technology is a discipline that is concerned with the application of engineering principles to the manufacturing, production, installation, troubleshooting, repairing and maintenance of mechanical equipment, devices, systems or machinery. The coursework is less theoretical and more hands-on; and students are generally engaged in additional laboratory coursework in comparison with those studying other engineering programs.

A post-secondary mechanical engineering program typically runs for three years through six semesters and covers basic engineering skills and sciences as well as specialized subjects related to modern manufacturing and production processes. A strong emphasis is laid on providing students with experience in machine shop operation, tool design and computer numerical control programming. With this, training is also provided in computer-aided drafting (CAD) and computer-aided manufacturing (CAM), which are widely used in industry today.

Program Structure

Students study the foundations of materials, mechanics, electrical, energy and computer programming; acquire technical skills in material testing, machine designing, facility planning, quality testing, project construction and tool designing.

During the first year (Semester 1 & 2), they study basic subjects, including Technology Mathematics, Machine Shop, Properties of Materials, Auto CAD/ Blueprint Reading, Physics, Applied Statistics, Applied Electricity, Mechanical Drawing and Manufacturing Processes. They study Differential Calculus and Analytical Geometry, CAD/CAM and CNC Programming, Strength of Materials, Fluid Mechanics, Tool Design, Quality Assurance, Applied Dynamics, Project: Design and Control and Hydraulics and Pneumatics in the second year (Semester 3 & 4).

The third year (Semester 5 & 6) of the program covers more advanced subjects, such as Machine Design, Integral Calculus, Operational Excellence, Advanced Quality Concepts, Project Management, Shop Floor Management and Continuous Improvement, Manufacturing Automation, Facility Planning and Workcell Design and Principles of Accounting and Financial Management. The program also incorporates industry field placement, allowing students to put their classroom learning into practice.

Admission Criteria

Students applying to this program need to submit:

  • Secondary school diploma certificate or equivalent, or mature student status;
  • Scores of English Grade 12 C or University, or equivalent or take the college's English Skills Assessment for Admission; and
  • Scores of Mathematics Grade 11 M or 12 C or University, or equivalent or take the college's Engineering Math Skills Assessment for Admission.

Students who are currently in high school can also apply for this program. Their midterm and final term scores will be automatically transmitted to the college.

Choosing the Right College

A large number of colleges offer post-secondary mechanical engineering courses in Canada. A program is worth considering only if it

  • Is accredited
  • Offers practical experience in designing, building, and testing equipment
  • Incorporates actual workplace assignments
  • Incorporates practical hands-on experience
  • Offers excellent employment prospects

Centennial College's program in mechanical engineering technology fulfills all the above mention criteria. It makes the right choice for students who wish to build careers in the areas of mechanical product design and manufacturing, quality control, plant expansions and layouts and planning new facilities. The program is CTAB nationally accredited and allows qualified students to work three terms as paid employees in the field. The co-op component helps them enhance their learning and gain practical experience even before they are graduates.

Author's Profile

Author discusses about what students study in a post-secondary mechanical engineering programs in Toronto. In the second part of his article, he discusses the factors that should be considered when selecting a college.

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