The field of mechanical engineering is a broad branch of engineering science that deals with, in the most basic of terms, anything that moves. More specifically, this field encompasses all of the aspects of mechanical systems, including the design and manufacturing of the parts as well as the actual production and maintenance of systems. The general goal of mechanical engineering is to improve upon the current quality of life by developing new technologies and improving the efficiency of current mechanical designs.
The development of mechanical engineering can be traced back at least as far as ancient Greece with the work of Archimedes, but it is said to have been recognized as true field of science some time between the 18th and 19th centuries. It was largely impacted by the industrial revolution (1750-1850) and took further shape as a result of advances in physics that occurred in the 19th century (1801-1900.) Mechanical engineering as it is known today is a field of science that is constantly evolving.
The field of mechanical engineering is generally split up into five subdivisions. The first is mechanics, which is subdivided further into statics, dynamics, mechanics of materials, fluid mechanics, kinematics and continuum mechanics. As a whole, mechanics deals with the study of forces and the effects those forces have on matter. The second subdivision of mechanical engineering is mechatronics and robotics, which concerns not only mechanical engineering, but electrical engineering and software engineering as well. Mechatronics and robotics deals with the integration of these three fields to create hybrid systems.
The third subdivision of mechanical engineering is called structural analysis and examines structural failure with the goal of fixing objects and their performance. The fourth subdivision is thermodynamics and thermo-science. This subdivision includes other branches of engineering and is the study of energy and what happens to that energy when it is used in a system. The fifth and final subdivision of mechanical engineering is design and drafting. Engineers engaging in this study use technical drawing to create models or schematics to design products.