5 Job Areas to Consider
in Advanced


Mechanical engineering already presents its share of employment possibilities, but combine it with the white-hot field of advanced manufacturing and the opportunities only widen. ASME.org looks at five job areas for MEs to consider in this expansive category.

Medical Device Design and Manufacturing

Healthcare is a field that will likely grow as time goes on, and medical device development and manufacturing has opportunities within it. “It’s not just whether you can create something but can you make sure it will meet regulations,” reminds Dr. Nabil Nasr, associate provost and director of the Golisano Institute for Sustainability at the Rochester Institute of Technology. “For a company like a Johnson & Johnson, GE Medical, or Siemens, there are a good amount of suppliers that work with them to set up manufacturing processes and will also need expertise from the production side as well.” In addition, many with a mind for engineering often have an interest or an aptitude for medicine—here’s a chance to combine both without all those years of medical school.

Sustainability Manufacturing

With growing demand and rising consumption in many countries around the world today, we need solutions to be environmentally conscious and for products to be disposable at the end of life. “Sustainable manufacturing design is extremely valuable here—if an engineer can find ways for products, even electronic games, that end up in the trash or recycled to be recovered, it’s huge,” Nasr says. “Think of the demand to do this even with small appliances. To see a product to the very end—rather than just its function during use—that’s a different level of being a visionary.”

The Google driverless car. Image: Steve Jurvetson / Wikimedia Commons

Control Sensors Development

This area is the one Nasr is highly involved in. Developed at the Rochester Institute of Technology, he says, a group called Vnomics Corp. has been able to take advantage of embedded sensors. “Looking at aspects such as autonomous vehicles and advanced safety, we see mechanical engineers in this work area are in high demand,” he says. The company has around 75 mechanical and electrical engineers to show for it, according to Nasr.

Welding Engineer

Richard Trillwood, CEO and Founder of Electron Beam Engineering, says welding engineers are in strong demand, with lasers and electron beam work among the leading areas of opportunity. “Laser is expanding at a very high rate and you have to consider fusion welding as on the move as well,” he says. “This involves electron beam, friction, projection resistance, and more. For someone who takes to the subject matter, there is a lot of potential.”

Supply Chain Strategy

When it comes to the manufacturing environment, you often hear that learning how to qualify a supplier production is key, Nasr says. Here, he believes mechanical engineers can have an edge. “It’s how you deal with the mechanics of having a supply chain that ultimately results in getting the final product produced at the right specification,” he says. “Mechanical engineers have the background to hone in on problems that get in the way.”

Eric Butterman is an independent writer.

Learn more about the latest technologies in additive manufacturing at ASME’s AM3D 2015 in India and Boston.

To see a product to the very end—rather than just its function during use—that’s a different level of being a visionary.

Dr. Nabil Nasr, associate provost and director, Golisano Institute for Sustainability


April 2015

by Eric Butterman, ASME.org