Mechanical Engineering


Mechanical Engineering is the innovative application of science and technology to the design, production and operation of mechanical devices, machinery and systems. Mechanical engineers are good at designing things, especially complex items like racing yachts, robots, sawmills and aeroplanes.

Mechanics, energy and heat, mathematics, engineering sciences, design and manufacturing form the foundation of mechanical engineering. Mechanics includes fluids, ranging from still water to hypersonic gases flowing around a space vehicle; it involves the motion of anything from a particle to a machine or complex structure.

They also design industrial machinery and processes, which in turn make other things such as paper mills or car assembly plants. Mechanical Engineering also involves the efficient use of energy, for example, in processes such as a heating system for a hospital or a refrigeration plant for food exports.

Areas of study

You will take compulsory courses in several core areas.

  • One area covers the relevant engineering sciences – mechanics, mathematics, dynamics, fluids, heat transfer, thermodynamics, industrial engineering, control systems, solid mechanics and materials.
  • A second area based on design teaching applies these sciences to practical problems.
  • A third area covers essential aspects of professional engineering such as economics, management and sustainability issues.

You can study Mechanical Engineering in the following programmes:

What you will learn

You will develop a good understanding of the engineering sciences, combined with the ability to communicate effectively and apply your knowledge to new problems.

A strong emphasis is given to design and project work, in which you will acquire the ability to apply your knowledge to the development of new products and develop skills in teamwork and communication.

Career opportunities

Mechanical engineers employ their knowledge and skills in a remarkable range of New Zealand industries. You could be involved in the design and operation of major primary process plants such as wood pulp, dairy and meat products, aluminium, steel, petroleum and electricity generation.

They are also employed in many of the numerous companies which make up the manufacturing industries – washing machines, furniture, packaging, plastic products, agricultural machinery, carpets and wood processing to name just a few. Other engineers are employed in the transport industry to ensure the efficient and reliable operation of trains, aircraft and buses.

Many engineers work as consulting engineers; they are commissioned by other companies to provide engineering services in design, construction and technical advice. For example, a company wanting a new brewery, an airport baggage handling system or an air-conditioning system for a new building would usually turn to a consulting mechanical engineer.

Because Mechanical Engineering graduates are valued for their analytical and problem-solving skills, there are also opportunities for them in commercial areas like insurance assessment, banking and management consulting.

More information

Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) in Mechanical Engineering