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About this book

What is mechanical engineering? What a mechanical engineering does? How did the mechanical engineering change through ages? What is the future of mechanical engineering? This book answers these questions in a lucid manner. It also provides a brief chronological history of landmark events and answers questions such as: When was steam engine invented? Where was first CNC machine developed? When did the era of additive manufacturing start? When did the marriage of mechanical and electronics give birth to discipline of mechatronics? This book informs and create interest on mechanical engineering in the general public and particular in students. It also helps to sensitize the engineering fraternity about the historical aspects of engineering. At the same time, it provides a common sense knowledge of mechanical engineering in a handy manner.

Table of Contents

Frontmatter

Chapter 1. What Is Mechanical Engineering?

Abstract
Mechanical engineering is one of the oldest disciplines of engineering, although it gained separate identity in the nineteenth century. The word engineer itself means the constructor of military engines, which falls in the scope of modern day mechanical engineers. Scope of mechanical engineering is quite wide. It finds applications in many fields. Mechanical engineers perform a variety of tasks starting from design to management of machines and equipment. They also perform supportive role in other engineering disciplines. Several engineering disciplines have undergone successful marriage with mechanical engineering. A number of disciplines have emerged as offspring of mechanical engineering, e.g., production engineering, industrial engineering, manufacturing engineering, automobile engineering, aerospace engineering, and mechatronics. Mechanical engineering education has been continuously evolving with the changing level of technology.
Uday Shanker Dixit, Manjuri Hazarika, J. Paulo Davim

Chapter 2. Landmark Revolutionary Inventions in Mechanical Engineering

Abstract
In this chapter, important inventions in mechanical engineering since the advent of human civilization are discussed. The emphasis is on those inventions, which had long-lasting effect on the human civilization. Notable among them are wheel, cutting tool, internal combustion engine, railway, aircraft, refrigeration, and air-conditioning. These revolutionary inventions are still in use and have been undergoing through evolutionary changes. Inventions such as steam engine and Wootz steel are no longer used in the original form. Nevertheless, these inventions have paved the way for future inventions. The underlying principles of these inventions are also briefly described.
Uday Shanker Dixit, Manjuri Hazarika, J. Paulo Davim

Chapter 3. History of Mechanics

Abstract
Mechanics is the integral part of mechanical engineering. As a field of education, it started from the time of Aristotle. Many of the concepts provided by Aristotle are proven wrong, for example, his concept that the motion continues only as long as a force is applied on it. However, he started a tradition of logic in understanding the dynamics of bodies. During the third century BC, Archimedes contributed a lot to mechanics and invented many machines. His principle of buoyancy is taught in schools nowadays. The breakthrough in mechanics came since the time of Galileo. The principles of Galileo and Newton are used by mechanical engineers profoundly. Later on, a lot of developments took place in mechanics, notably the development of methods based on energy formulation, strength of materials and plasticity. Einstein developed a theory of relativity and established that Newton’s laws are not valid in all circumstances. Nevertheless, for the most of the day to day applications, Newton’s laws are good enough.
Uday Shanker Dixit, Manjuri Hazarika, J. Paulo Davim

Chapter 4. History of Thermodynamics and Heat Transfer

Abstract
Thermodynamics and heat transfer became important for mechanical engineers since the advent of steam engines. Sadi Carnot is considered as the father of thermodynamics. However, seeds of thermodynamics were sown before, particularly during the time of Boyle. There are four important laws in thermodynamics. Thermodynamics finds applications in many fields of mechanical engineering, e.g., automobiles, power plants, and refrigeration and air-conditioning. Heat transfer started much earlier. Newton provided a law of cooling. Heat can be transferred via three modes—conduction, convection, and radiation. Earlier only physicists and mathematicians were working in the area of heat transfer. Nowadays, heat transfer is a very important subject of mechanical engineering.
Uday Shanker Dixit, Manjuri Hazarika, J. Paulo Davim

Chapter 5. Manufacturing Through Ages

Abstract
Manufacturing is integrally linked with the development of civilization. Some of the important manufacturing processes are machining, metal forming, casting, joining, powder metallurgy, and 3D printing. Power-driven machines for manufacturing became common since the first Industrial Revolution. In the nineteenth century, attempts were made to understand the physics of manufacturing processes. The predictive formulae for some of the processes were also developed. In the twentieth century, particularly in the second half of it, various advanced manufacturing processes were developed; notable among them are the laser-based manufacturing processes. In the twenty-first century, 3D printing technology has gained importance and is being further developed through continued research efforts. In the near future, mechanical engineers are expected to contribute a lot in developing green and sustainable manufacturing technologies.
Uday Shanker Dixit, Manjuri Hazarika, J. Paulo Davim

Chapter 6. Emergence of Production and Industrial Engineering

Abstract
Production and industrial engineering are the offspring of mechanical engineering and started with factory system. The pioneers of these disciplines are Adam Smith, Eli Whitney, H.R. Towne, Henry Ford and Frederick Winslow Taylor. Taylor is often called the father of scientific management. After World War II lot of developments took place in the areas of operations research, quality and productivity. A lot of techniques were invented for enhancing the quality of products and services starting from quality guru Deming to Taguchi. Concepts of lean and agile manufacturing have given boost to productivity. Nowadays, there is increasing emphasis on the automation and use of information technology. Education and practice of production and industrial engineering is adapting to the rapid changes in technologies.
Uday Shanker Dixit, Manjuri Hazarika, J. Paulo Davim

Chapter 7. History of Mechatronics

Abstract
In late twentieth century, a new discipline of engineering emerged as an offspring of mechanical engineering and electronics. The term mechatronics was coined by Tetsuro Mori and was trademark of Yasakawa Electric Corporation from 1971 to 1982. In order to understand the evolution of mechatronics, one needs to understand the evolution of mechanical, electrical, electronics, and computer engineering. A brief history of electrical, electronics, and computer engineering is presented in this chapter. The discipline of mechatronics is evolving. Some discussion about latest trend in technology is also presented.
Uday Shanker Dixit, Manjuri Hazarika, J. Paulo Davim

Chapter 8. Future of Mechanical Engineering

Abstract
Mechanical engineering is one of the oldest but evergreen branches of engineering. It is continuously evolving and adapting to new developments in science and technology. In the near future there will be more emphasis on developing sustainable technologies. Micro and nano technologies, biotechnology, mechatronics, and 3-D printing are some of the technologies that will grow tremendously in the twenty-first century. The world has become a global village now. The development of mechanical engineering will continue tackling global challenges.
Uday Shanker Dixit, Manjuri Hazarika, J. Paulo Davim

Backmatter

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