Mechanical engineers are not only good in working for businesses that use manufacturing or production machineries. There are actually diverse disciplines that their skills are very useful so they are also very significant participants when it comes to many modern scientific breakthroughs such as in aeronautics, robotics, biomechanics, nanotechnology and aerospace engineering. But did you know that mechanical engineers also play very important roles when it comes to mining industry?
Mining is a very vital part of our trade and industries because this is where we source out our ores, precious metals and stones and even coal which power up power plants that create electricity. Gold is a very important component for our electronics and being used as efficient conductors not to mention it is the best metal for jewelries. Silver on the other hand is being used for the manufacture of solar panels, silver coins and wares and even in medicine like in the treatments of wounds. The precious stones led by the diamonds are nonetheless the greatest commodities that we can unearth from mining. So what are the specific roles then of mechanical engineers in mining? To name a few here are the things they regularly do within mining production.
Roles of Mechanical Engineers in Mining Industry
- They help design and construct machines, equipment and systems that are specifically for mining. Along with geologists and other scientists, they play important roles in the design of giant and powerful machines intended for digging while they also install them.
- They evaluate installed digging machineries and monitor mining processes. Since they are part of the teams in designing drilling machines, they are also some of the most capable personnel that can evaluate, analyze and propose enhancements or adjustments with the machines and even to mining operations if needed.
- They are highly skilled in the use of CAD (Computer Aided Design) which is a software for designing manufacturing and processing plants.
- They supervise maintenance and manage coal handlers and power stations personnel while setting up work control systems.
- They are taking part in the accountabilities of costs and needs of materials.
- They conduct research and development in the utilization of various fuels and energy including the research processes on heating, handling, extracting of liquid and storage.
- They conduct daily project planning, monitoring and inspections of the dragline and drill.
- They communicate with suppliers for the needed equipment and responsible in watching over safety standards to ensure all materials, supplies and equipment will pass quality control.
With these tasks, the roles of mechanical engineers are almost irreplaceable. Because mining relies heavily with the use of drilling and digging equipment, this is where the mechanical engineers are at best. Incidentally, what makes majority of the mechanical engineers feel satisfied with their jobs even though mining is a hard and dirty job is seeing things moving from the initial planning stage up to the completion of their mining projects.
The work of mechanical engineers is very demanding and require going out into the field rather than staying in the office. However, though mining job can be rigid and even sometimes dangerous, there are a lot of opportunities that make these engineers satisfied. Opportunities to travel are a lot and even working abroad become very much possible because other countries have so much natural minerals that need to be sourced out.
And do you know that mechanical engineers especially those who work on mining industry have some of the most luxurious earnings compared to other engineers who practice different disciplines? According to survey on mining companies in Australia, a mechanical engineer who has more than three years experience in mining engineering can earn from US$75,000 to $130,000 a year. For a site engineer, he may get almost the same rate or higher. But for a project engineer, he could earn from $85,000 to $140,000 a year. These rates are still without the benefits and performance bonuses.
So for those students whose favorite subjects are mathematics, physics and chemistry or biology and love challenges and are never anxious to get their hands dirty while doing tough job, mechanical engineering can be right for them. However, in college a mechanical engineering student must enroll on courses that relate to mining such as earth science, mining engineering and metallurgy.