One of the application areas we spend a lot of time covering is automotive. The reason is that so many engineering disciplines and sub-application areas go into building a car (or truck, RV, or other moving vehicle).
The mechanical engineers make moving parts move (obviously), and the electrical engineers tie in all the various subsystem, ranging from motor control to climate control to the infotainment section. The software engineers get heavily involved in that space, too.
Then there are the thermo-dynamic and materials engineers, who clearly play key roles on the design of a vehicle that needs to continually get lighter, while being able to withstand extreme hot and cold temperatures.
To that end, we recently published a Technology Roundup, which consists of a series of articles that help that multi-disciplined engineers get their jobs done. Regardless of which subsystem you’re responsible for, we all know that there’s a “need to know” on just about the entire vehicle. Hence, you’ll likely find this series of articles quite informative.
For many years, I used to hear the automotive EEs complain that the MEs moved up in the system more readily. There was a reason for that -- electronics were considered a specialty that didn't provide a big-picture view of the vehicle. But I think that has changed, largely because every part of the vehicle now uses electronics. GM CEO Mary Barra studied electrical engineering.
Richard i totally agree with you that in vehicle manufacturing not only just mechanical engineer is involved instead it is a team comprised of different engineers and as the concept of vehicle is changing initially it was just to carry a person from one place to another but now people are taking vehicles as luxury then are so many different types solar, hybrid, electric , hadraulic and so on that it definitely requires team of different engineers to work on different aspects .
Although automakers are trying to break down the walls between disciplines, automotive is still very much functionally-oriented. A few years ago (alright it was more than a "few"), when we used to publish the Design News 100 Biggest Engineering Employers, GM had 33,000 engineers. When you have that many engineers, you have to organize them somehow, and disciplinary organization seems like a logical way to do it.
Rich, you are right on with this. It reminds me of my days in aerospace. Most organizations were functional (by engineering discipline). The program office would would pull in the engineers from each function based on the needs of the project. Tying it all together were the Systems Engineers.
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