CAREER DEVELOPMENT / APR. 19, 2014
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The Best Topics for a Mechanical Engineering Presentation

Whether you are making a presentation to potential investors, an organization’s management or a general audience, it’s essential to not only select a topic you’re passionate about but also one that enlightens and captures your listeners’ imaginations. The topic could be based on a controversial issue or a trending or newly-invented product. In the mechanical engineering field, there are a variety of good topics, ranging from “green” mechanical systems and trends in mechanical engineering careers to nuclear energy production and firefighting robots.

Going Green

With many organizations in the construction and manufacturing industries looking for green engineering solutions to conserve energy and reduce environmental pollution, delivering a presentation on green mechanical systems can be a perfect idea. For example, you can discuss how mechanical engineers can apply principles of green designs to develop and integrate high performance and cost-effective mechanical and plumbing systems into construction projects. Possible subtopics include energy optimization and water conservation, increasing indoor air quality through superior ventilation and importance of ensuring system and equipment maintenance.

Getting the Job

When your audience comprises prospective and current mechanical engineering students, a topic on trends in mechanical engineering careers can fit. Your job is to provide information on the job outlook, average salaries, licensing requirements, typical duties and top employers of automotive, robotics, nuclear, heating, ventilation and air conditioning engineers, as wells as mechanical engineering consultants, researchers and university instructor. To make the presentation authoritative, you can use the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics as your chief source of information, especially when citing national employment statistics.

Fighting Fires

Government agencies and other profit and nonprofit organizations are looking for more efficient ways to battle fires that might cause huge losses. There can’t be a better way to get them a solution other than delivering a presentation on the role of mechanical engineers in fighting fires. An effective presenter might focus on informing the audience how mechanical engineers with concentrations in robotics engineering develop computer-controlled firefighting robots that can, for instance, scale houses, find and extinguish sources of fire within a short time.

Hitting the Road

Giving a presentation on consumer products that use mechanical engineering systems can appeal to any audience. You can, for instance, focus on the role of mechanical engineering in the manufacture of lighter, safer and fuel-efficient motor vehicles. This will involve explaining how mechanical engineers use composite materials -- a mixture of high-performance fiber and carbon -- to produce vehicles with these qualities. You also can highlight the various disadvantages of composite motor vehicles, including high product costs. In the end, your audience, especially prospective vehicle buyers, will be well-informed on the features to look out for.

Along with choosing a topic that suits your audience, having superior verbal communication skills helps deliver a successful presentation. Although mechanical engineering topics might involve use of complex engineering terms, using a friendly language keeps your presentation clear and understandable. It’s also advisable to keep the audience engaged by asking spontaneous questions, responding to clarifications and being animated -- moving around -- during the presentation.

References

Forbes: The Three Basic Secrets of Successful Presentations 

http://www.forbes.com/sites/carminegallo/2013/02/22/the-three-basic-secrets-of-all-successful-presentations/

Edufive: Mechanical Seminar Topics

http://www.edufive.com/seminartopics/Mechanical.html

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