One branch of engineering which has survived the economic gridlock successfully is mechanical engineering. This field of engineering deals with the innovative application of physical sciences, mathematics and technology to the design, production and operation of mechanical devices, machinery and other systems.
Innovation and designing go hand in hand with mechanical engineering and many complex products in use today right from aeroplanes to ships are the result of the hard work of mechanical engineers. This branch of engineering also deals with the design of industrial machinery and associated processes, which make other things, such as shipyards, paper mills and car assembly plants. It also involves ideas related to the efficient use of energy in various processes and design of complete systems like heating and cooling systems. It is thus one of the broadest branches of engineering with remarkable applications in the design, development and manufacture of a variety of energy conversion and machine systems. Other subsidiary forms of specialization under mechanical engineering include mechatronics engineering, bio-mechanical and marine engineering.
Opportunities for mechanical engineers thus abound in a number of sectors like aerospace, automotive, marine, manufacturing, biomechanics, power generation, oil-exploration, oil rigs, heating and ventilation, air conditioning and robotics. Even emerging industries like nano- technology and particle technology have mechanical applications and many mechanical innovations are being developed to tap alternative fuel sources like geothermal, wind, tide, solar and hydroelectric energy. These engineers are well paid in the industrial sector and since it offers a wide range of opportunities, mechanical engineers are usually unaffected by any economic turmoil.
Polytechnics are one of the basic institutions from where mechanical engineers graduate. They must however have an excellent faculty and well equipped labs for practical sessions. Since mechanical engineering is more hands on, no effort must be spared to set up additional workshops and labs like lathe and machine workshops, auto and thermal labs, welding and foundry shops and fitting, carpentry and sheet metal shop.
Every year industrial visits and in plant training sessions must be arranged to expose the students to the various industrial processes and relate better between the theory and practise. Career guidance programmes, self assessment programmes and seminars should also be organised to open the eyes of the students towards future opportunities.
Co-curricular and extra-curricular activities must also be encouraged to ensure that the students have a wholesome development. An exclusive training and placement cell should be in place to make the students industry ready and earnest efforts have to be taken by the management to ensure that all the students are placed in various companies.

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