The main challenge of the mechanical engineer is to analyze, design and solve problems in the traditional areas of Mechanical Engineering, such as manufacturing, automation and robotic processes, thermal systems and mechanical systems. Mechanical engineers also work in an interdisciplinary way in other areas of engineering: aerospace, automotive, naval, ocean, chemical, environmental, metallurgical, petroleum, materials, among others. Their activities include the design of machinery for the transformation of raw materials into finished products, the development of other machines, the solution to mass and energy transport problems, the scientific research and teaching.
To qualify students for this career, the Mechanical Engineer program starts with core courses in Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics, Drawing and Computer Science. Then, the student goes on to take specific courses, such as Thermodynamics, Solid Mechanics, Fluid Mechanics, Mechanical Construction Materials, Machine Elements, Hydraulic and Pneumatic Systems, Aerodynamics, Heat Exchangers, Manufacturing Processes, Welding, Vibration and Acoustics, Robotics, Automation and Control, Vehicles, Pumps, Internal Combustion Engines, Product Design, among others. The majority of these subjects are taught in mandatory courses and others, focused on more specific issues, are offered as electives.
The program also provides students with the ability to use computers in their engineering studies and projects. Another possible emphasis is the field of production management. In the final year, the student does an internship in a company, in Brazil or abroad, or even in the university’s laboratories. Overall, UFSC Mechanical Engineer graduates do not face difficulties to enter the job market.
The volume and quality of the Department of Mechanical Engineering research groups’ activities have increased considerably in the past years, with the improvement in the qualification of both faculty and technical administrative staff, the acquisition of new equipment and the opening of new areas of research. Today, more than half of the Mechanical Engineering students are engaged in activities in these or in other research groups at the School of Technology, awarded with Scientific or Technology Initiation scholarships.
The current curriculum was established in 2006 and, since then, it has been receiving constant updates so as to better qualify graduates for the current job market.