The Future of Robotics: What you need to know
03 Aug 22
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Have you heard of Kate Gleason? Known for setting the mechanical engineering world alight for female engineers by becoming the first member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers; she quickly became a pioneer woman in her field. What about Javier Ravines? A mechanical engineer and entrepreneur who runs a company providing engineering services including prototyping, research and development, testing, and product development.
For most of us, the answer is probably not. But it’s not the fame or fortune that drives people like Kate and Javier to break boundaries. It’s the boundaries themselves.
If you like pushing technology and human ingenuity to do new things, or old things faster, better, and safer, then emerging technologies could be a home for your talents. We can help you start your journey towards following in the footsteps of these mechanical engineers by looking at some emerging technologies in mechanical engineering that are transforming the nature of the industry; you can also learn about them from a business model perspective during the management and enterprise in engineering module on our BEng (Hons) Mechanical Engineering degree at the University of Bolton.
The Internet of Things
The Internet of things (IoT) is a common term to hear recently when talking about computing and technology, but it is also having an impact on the nature of mechanical engineering. IoT is defined as the network of physical objects that are embedded within electronics to collect and exchange data. IoT applications are then typically used to drive interactions either between people and objects, or between multiple items themselves; something which is referred to as machine-to-machine.
From a mechanical engineering perspective, it is important to understand how the Internet of Things is relevant to the industry. A mechanical engineering career is a larger concept than just fixing a car, for example. We need to understand the technological developments that allow mechanics to complete their job. Let’s look at some of the ways that IoT is applied to mechanical engineering:
- Better Communication – IoT can implement commercial systems that allow for effective communication with the product and production line. Adding more value to the work completed by mechanical engineers. In time this will transform the industry by enhancing the quality and reliability of the products
- Digital Twin Technology – IoT acts as a pillar of the ‘digital twin’ type of technology that contributes to the new digital engineering solution
- Easing the governance of machinery – Motors, pumps, and multiple traditional components are quickly being adapted through the development of new software; so IoT means that these can be controlled safely and remotely, while also increasing the operational efficiency of the machine
4D Printing Technology
Remember trying the art of origami as a child? 4D printing is a bit like a living origami system. It shows the capability of fabricating intelligent components through the active design of smart materials and structures. But how would this benefit the future of the mechanical engineering industry? The ability to dramatically alter how we design and manufacture objects. Innovating from the processes of 3D printing, enabling the self-assembly and reshaping of objects using smart materials, and informing shape that the production lines of the future will take.
4D printing is still in its research and development stage. However, it is already being used for prototyping in the industrial, medical, and aviation industries. If you are someone with a passion for engineering and have a technical brain, then a mechanical engineering degree would be a thrilling career choice.
Nanotechnology refers to a branch of technology that deals with dimensions and tolerances of 100 nanometres. It is a useful term to remember if you are aspiring to a mechanical engineering career, as the potential for materials to be enhanced using nanotechnology will make it a part of many future innovations. Being able to revolutionise electric products, procedures, and applications, nanotechnology will be beneficial to multiple industries. A mechanical engineering degree is a valuable asset if you are looking to venture into a career involving nanotechnology.
Why choose Bolton University for your mechanical engineering degree
If you’re looking to build a career that focuses on the Internet of Things, 4D printing, nanotechnology, or any other emerging technologies in mechanical engineering, we can help you. Our BEng (Hons) Mechanical Engineering degree is accredited by the Institute of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) and it gives our students career focussed, lifelong skills including leadership, team management, and professional communication to enhance their employment prospects. As a mechanical engineering degree student, you will gain the opportunity to prove the value you could add to the industry upon graduation by competing against other universities in the IMechE Undergraduate Challenge (or equivalent).
We are proud to offer a supportive learning environment that puts our students and their needs first; one of the reasons why we have been voted first for Student Satisfaction for the past five years*.
If you are technically driven and want to use your engineering passion in a challenging mechanical engineering career, look at our full course details and find out how to join the Bolton family.
Apply through Clearing
Is Bolton the right place to secure your career ambitions? Applying through Clearing is a fantastic opportunity to start your journey towards a mechanical engineering career in a fast-paced and challenging environment.
Clearing is open until 19 September so there is still time to apply! If you have any questions, then feel free to give our Clearing team a call on 01204 903030; we are happy to tell you all about the friendly and inclusive campus that our students love.
*Complete University Guide – 2023, 2022, 2021, 2020, 2019 – Northwest