Oregon State University

School of Mechanical, Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


Mechanical Engineering

Mechanical engineers are known for their broad scope of expertise. They study the properties of energy, fluids, forces, materials, and motion so they can create products and processes that advance society and improve people's lives. Their jobs may focus on power generation, robots, nanotechnology devices, environmental problems, internal combustion engines, machine tools, jet and rocket design, artificial limbs, windmills--literally anything that involves energy and motion.

What Mechanical Engineers do...

  • Build satellites, space stations, and autonomous vehicles
  • Design miniature heat pumps for use in protective clothing
  • Develop new materials for medical and dental products and sports equipment
  • Design wind turbines, photovoltaic panels, and other "green" energy sources
  • Create processes and instruments to assess stream and forest health

Industrial Engineering

Industrial engineers focus on improving complex system integrations and operations. They use their knowledge and skills to improve systematic processes through the use of statistical analysis, interpersonal communication, design, planning, quality control, operations management, computer simulation, and problem solving.

What Industrial Engineers do...

  • Implement new hospital processes to improve health care
  • Redesign workstations and tasks to reduce repetitive stress injuries 
  • Create information systems for manufacturing operations
  • Design cockpit controls to improve pilot performance
  • Improve company operations by determining where a new facility should be located

Manufacturing Engineering

Manufacturing engineers focus on the design and operation of integrated systems for the production of high quality, economically competitive products. These systems may include computer networks, robots, machine tools, and materials-handling equipment.

What Manufacturing Engineers do...

  • Automate a chemical manufacturing facility through computer integrated technology
  • Design circuit board manufacturing processes to reduce costs and improve product quality
  • Develop the best assignment of machines and equipment to various manufacturing cells in discrete parts manufacturing
  • Develop and implement fabrication processes for nano-/micro-devices
  • Identify the most cost-effective material handling and facility layout alternative for an aerospace manufacturing company

Energy Systems Engineering

Energy engineering managers oversee complex energy conversion and distribution 
systems, work to improve energy storage systems and manage energy efficiency in 
building, manufacturing and processing systems. They also assess the secondary effects of 
energy use, including environmental impact and climate change. 
What Energy Systems Engineers do… 
  • Manage a wind turbine farm 
  • Analyze the efficiency of hydroelectric systems
  • Oversee production of fuel-cell technologies 
  • Evaluate the economic viability of new solar power installations 
  • Assess the environmental impact of alternative energy systems


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