Undergraduate student work in engineering lab

What Do Mechanical and Nuclear Engineers Do?

What is a Mechanical Engineer?

Mechanical engineering is one of the broadest engineering disciplines. It provides the foundation for almost all other engineering majors. Mechanical engineers are people who think outside the box to develop solutions to everyday problems. Mechanical engineers design everything from athletic equipment, medical devices, theme park rides, and personal computers to engines and powerplants. Mechanical engineers contribute to our health, happiness and safety, and often change the way we think about the world.

Where do Mechanical Engineers Work?

Mechanical engineering graduates go on to work in a diverse range of industries for large multinational companies and small local firms. Mechanical engineers are well prepared to work as managers due to their broad backgrounds and creative problem-solving skills. Our graduates regularly accept positions at Fortune 500 companies, such as Ingersoll Rand, Boeing, Toshiba-Westinghouse, General Electric, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Dow Chemical, ExxonMobil, Procter & Gamble, United Technologies Corporation, and Johnson & Johnson. Some of the industries where mechanical engineers may work are:

  • Aerospace
  • Automotive
  • Bio-technology
  • Chemical
  • Computers
  • Construction
  • Consumer Products
  • Energy
  • Electronics
  • Engineering Consulting
  • Entertainment
  • Government
  • Nano-technology
  • Robotics

What is a Nuclear Engineer?

Nuclear engineering is a multidisciplinary field that goes beyond providing nuclear power for electrical production. Nuclear technology touches our lives in many ways and nuclear engineers solve everyday problems and contribute to our health and safety. Nuclear engineers may apply radiation in disease treatment and food supplies, operate nuclear energy systems, develop regulations to ensure safety, or facilitate space exploration.

Where do Nuclear Engineers Work?

Becoming a nuclear engineer gives you the opportunity to help mold the future in exciting new ways. Many nuclear engineering graduates work for electric power companies that use nuclear power plants or help service and maintain these plants. Other graduates go on to work in industries that use radioactivity or radiation, such as medicine, food, and agriculture. These fields need nuclear engineers to detect problems, monitor processes, and protect the public. The federal government also hires nuclear engineers to design next generation reactors for submarines, aircraft carriers, and space probes; regulate nuclear power or radiation uses; and develop advanced technologies that will be used in future power plants. Some of the industries where nuclear engineers may work are:

  • Energy
  • Government
  • Medicine
  • Agriculture
  • Space
About Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering
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The Department of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering at Penn State is one of the nation’s largest and most successful engineering departments. We serve more than 1,000 undergraduate students and more than 330 graduate students

We offer B.S. degrees in mechanical engineering and nuclear engineering as well as resident (M.S., Ph.D.) and online (M.S., M.Eng.) graduate degrees in nuclear engineering and mechanical engineering. MNE's strength is in offering hands-on experience in highly relevant research areas, such as energy, homeland security, biomedical devices, and transportation systems.

Department of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering

137 Reber Building

The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16802-4400

Phone: 814-865-2519