Mechanical engineering is one of the oldest and broadest engineering disciplines. It applies basic principles of physics and materials science to analyze, design, manufacture, operate, and maintain mechanical systems. Some examples of mechanical systems are cars, trains, steam and gas turbines, elevators, bulldozers, air conditioner, washing machines, etc. The field requires a solid understanding of core concepts including mechanics, kinematics, thermodynamics, materials science, and structural analysis. Mechanical engineers use these core principles along with tools like computer-aided engineering.
Mechanical engineers generally specialize in one area of engineering. For example, they may work with automobiles or aircraft engines. Other fields of specialty include fluid power (pumps, water turbines, and hydraulics), instrumentation, and bioengineering. Some work in a particular industry, such as petroleum or plastics.
Within each branch of mechanical engineering there are specific jobs. Some engineers design products. They must determine the needs of the user, the physical problems of building the equipment, the cost of the equipment, and its effect on the environment. Other mechanical engineers supervise the production and installation of equipment or are in charge of its maintenance and operation. Still other mechanical engineers are involved in sales, research and development, or teaching at the university level. Mechanical engineers also work as administrators and as consultants.
In order to meet the standard requirements, mechanical engineering students should take compulsory subjects such as engineering drawing, statics and dynamics, strength of materials, materials engineering, instrumentation, mechatronics, thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, heat transfer, mechanical vibration, control theory, engineering design, and manufacturing process to build their strong knowledge as future mechanical engineers. Students are facilitated by a number of laboratories to do practical work, research, and experiment to back up their knowledge and sense of engineering. Physical metallurgy laboratory, basic manufacturing processes laboratory, thermal energy laboratory, mechanical design laboratory, and computational laboratory are some of the laboratories within the Department of Mechanical Engineering.
Mechanical Engineering students are very active in various engineering contests. ITB is sending several teams to 2010 Shell-Eco Marathon Asia contest, a world level competition where students are challenged to design, build, and test energy efficient vehicles. Some mechanical engineering students join these teams and play important roles in the above teams. In the future, ITB will continuously send teams to participate in this competition. Mechanical engineering students also succeed in a number of national competitions. They are the champion of National Innovation Contest, a competition where university students from all over Indonesia send their innovative products. Another event held by the Mechanical Engineering Student organization (HMM: Himpunan Mahasiswa Mesin) is engine tune up. In this event, students apply their skills to carry out tune up and minor repairs to cars and motorcycles.