Mechanical engineering degrees and research provide new opportunities for engineers advancing in mechanical engineering. This is for engineers advancing their education. The article explores practical methods for knowledge. Mechanical engineers can acquire it through advanced degrees and R&D experience.
Why Pursue a Mechanical Engineering Degree Masters?
Pursuing postgraduate degrees like a Master’s in Mechanical Engineering expands the knowledge and skills of mechanical engineers advancing in mechanical engineering. This degree allows one to specializing in a particular field or subfield. It matches individual interests and career goals. Through the Master’s curriculum, students develop technical expertise and leadership. The hands-on coursework and projects lead to real-world experience. Graduates apply this immediately in engineering workplaces. A Master’s typically takes 1-2 years full-time. It enables focused study and preparation. Mechanical engineers advancing in mechanical engineering can take on advanced roles and opportunities.
Mechanical engineering degree standard options:
MS in Mechanical Engineering
An MS in Mechanical Engineering is a comprehensive degree. It enables advanced study in core areas like thermodynamics, mechanics, materials science, and controls. Students can customize their learning to match their interests. These may be in aerospace, robotics, automotive engineering or other concentrations. Through electives and a thesis or capstone project, students tailor the mechanical engineering degree to a speciality. The broad expertise and transferable skills gained make graduates adaptable. They thrive in diverse technology roles and sectors. The mechanical engineer degree produces versatile capabilities applied across engineering industries. Graduates are prepared to take on challenging technical and leadership positions.
MS in Aerospace Engineering:
A Master’s in Aerospace Engineering specializes in aviation and space tech. The curriculum covers aerodynamics, propulsion, lightweight materials, orbital mechanics, vehicle design, systems integration, testing, and more. Through advanced coursework, research, and hands-on projects, students gain deep aerospace engineering knowledge. Graduates are prepared for careers designing, analyzing, simulating, and developing aircraft, spacecraft, satellites, and systems. An MS in Aerospace Engineering opens doors to joining leading companies or agencies advancing cutting-edge aviation and space technologies.
MS in Automotive Engineering:
A Master’s in Automotive Engineering provides an in-depth study of vehicle systems and technologies. Coursework covers engines, emissions, fuel economy, vehicle dynamics, safety, autonomy, connectivity, and more. Hands-on labs and projects give practical experience. Graduates gain expertise to design and develop road cars, race cars, trucks, and automotive systems. An MS in Automotive Engineering prepares students for careers advancing vehicle research, innovation, and future mobility. Graduates are sought after by automotive companies and motorsports teams working on cutting-edge transportation technologies. This degree provides focused preparation for engineering roles driving the future of mobility.
MEng/MSE in Engineering Management:
For engineers looking to take on leadership roles, these programs combine advanced technical engineering content with business, strategy, and management skills—ideal preparation for engineering project managers overseeing multidisciplinary teams.
Earning a master’s in mechanical engineering can unlock new career opportunities, higher salaries, and the chance to gain expertise in an exciting technology area. Be sure to look for thesis or capstone project options to apply your learning in a research environment.
As a mechanical engineering degree holder looking to pursue a career in research or academia, a PhD is the ultimate credential. Earning a PhD takes approximately 5+ years of intensive study and research.
While specific focus areas depend on the university, standard PhD programs for mechanical engineers include:
PhD in Mechanical Engineering: The premier advanced degree for mechanical engineers. Doctoral research allows specialization into a particular field through technical electives and an original dissertation. Graduates become experts in areas like nanotechnology, biomechanics, heat transfer, robotics, and more based on their research.
PhD in Aerospace Engineering: An aerospace PhD focuses research on advancing the design and engineering of aircraft, spacecraft, satellites, and related systems and technologies. Dissertations involve modelling, simulation, and developing new aerospace systems or subsystems.
Ph.D. in Automotive Engineering: Automotive engineering doctoral research dives deep into advancing vehicle technology through topics like combustion engines, electric propulsion, autonomous systems, safety, mechanical design, and testing. Graduates go on to lead automotive and motorsports R&D teams.
Earning a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering requires commitment and perseverance, but offers unparalleled research experience for those seeking to be innovation leaders in academia or industry.
Gaining Hands-On Skills with Mechanical Engineering Degree Research
Beyond formal graduate degrees, mechanical engineers can develop expertise and practical research skills through co-ops, internships, lab tech positions, and more.
Great hands-on R&D opportunities for mechanical engineers include:
Research Assistantships: Work under professors and principal investigators at universities to assist with mechanical engineering research projects. Build skills in areas like proposal writing, experimentation, data analysis, and presenting research findings.
R&D Internships and Co-ops: Major companies like GE, Toyota, Pratt & Whitney, GM, SpaceX, and more offer internships and co-ops for mechanical engineering students to gain experience solving real R&D challenges. Work on product development teams and get your hands dirty in test labs.
National Labs: Labs like Sandia, Oak Ridge, Argonne, and Lawrence Livermore hire mechanical engineers to operate major experimental labs and facilities and assist with sophisticated R&D projects in areas like renewable energy, aerospace, nuclear technology, and more.
Government R&D Agencies: Agencies including NASA, the Air Force Research Laboratory, Army Research Lab, Naval Research Lab, and DARPA all hire ME’s to tackle research aligned with national priorities. Work on launching rockets, developing hypersonic vehicles, autonomous marine tech, and more!
Getting hands-on mechanical engineering R&D experience cultivates practical skills and can help determine fields of interest before pursuing a graduate degree. The connections made can also lead to long-term positions after graduation.
The Future of Advancing in Mechanical Engineering is Yours
For driven engineers advancing in mechanical engineering degrees, options are endless to promote education. It’s through graduate degrees, research assistantships, internships and innovative job focus. Postgraduate mechanical engineering opportunities allow for pursuing exciting new career pathways. It also allows reaching the frontiers of technology.