I am currently studying mechanical engineering technology here at New York City College of Technology. Mechanical engineers are on the forefront of innovation and refinement. We both directly and indirectly contribute to climate change as a result of our creations. In the past, we have created and developed fossil-fuel-powered machinery and technology. For instance, the creation and development of automobile, truck, and aircraft engines that release greenhouse gasses and exacerbate climate change. Additionally, we are engaged in constructing and running energy-intensive infrastructure, such as pipelines, power plants, and refineries. In addition to requiring a lot of energy to develop and run, these infrastructure systems also produce greenhouse gasses. The past reputation of mechanical engineers is built on machines that pump massive amounts of carbon emissions as well as other greenhouse gasses. They have recently been brought to the public’s attention.
With recent mass studies on carbon footprints, engineers’ tasks have been geared towards more clean and green projects. There have been advances in different technologies, such as alternative energies. Examples of these in the automotive field are electric vehicles and hydrogen ion powered cars. This wasn’t attainable by just engineers alone, but engineers are still key players in making this possible. We can also develop and create energy-efficient goods and operations. For instance, they can produce better insulating materials, build more energy-efficient heating and cooling systems, and optimize industrial processes. The possibilities seem endless with what can be done from just the mechanical engineering side.
By far the most important aspect today is the ability to educate younger audiences that are interested in engineering. What is also important is to inform the public and decision-makers of the necessity of addressing climate change and the contribution that mechanical engineering can make to doing so. They can seek to spread knowledge of the effects of climate change and promote laws and regulations that encourage sustainable development.
I personally have to take into account how certain manufacturing processes affect the atmosphere as well as the overall effect on the environment of the mass production and development of parts. I am currently also learning about and doing some research on carbon capture, which is the procedure of preventing atmospheric emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) from industrial activities, power plants, and other sources. The CO2 is then moved and stored in a safe area, usually underground, where it is kept from causing climate change and global warming. Carbon capture is just one effective method for lowering greenhouse gas emissions and addressing climate change. It is still a fairly new technology, and there are several obstacles preventing its mainstream adoption. Obstacles include price, energy use, and the requirement for secure storage facilities. I am also working on a machine that would autonomously construct homes on the moon; this would utilize solar energy and produce no emissions, so there would be no harmful chemicals released on the moon.
In conclusion, the vast engineering field pioneered both the creation of carbon emissions and other harmful chemicals being released into our atmosphere but is also responsible for the modern technologies for new forms of sustainable “green” energy source alternatives. As the years go by and more technologies are modernized as well as invented, perhaps the day will come that we will start to live in a world where there are no harmful chemicals or greenhouse gasses being dumped into our atmosphere.
Over the last three years, I have worked as a Mechanical engineer and have spent a lot of time studying and learning about electrical and plumbing engineering designs. During this time I have seen how they play a crucial role in mitigating climate change through the design and operation of energy-efficient buildings and infrastructure. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, buildings account for 39% of energy use and 38% of carbon dioxide emissions in the United States. MEP engineers can contribute to reducing these numbers by implementing energy-efficient building designs, using renewable energy sources, and optimizing HVAC systems.
One of the most effective ways for MEP engineers to reduce energy consumption in buildings is through passive design strategies. Passive design strategies use the building’s natural resources such as sunlight, wind, and shade to maintain a comfortable indoor temperature without relying on active systems such as HVAC. These strategies include the orientation of the building, shading devices, natural ventilation, and high-performance insulation.
Another way MEP engineers (mechanical, electrical and plumbing) can contribute to mitigating climate change is by designing and implementing renewable energy systems. Sources such as solar, wind, and geothermal energy can be incorporated into building designs to generate electricity and reduce reliance on fossil fuels. Engineers can also design and implement energy storage systems to store excess renewable energy for later use.
MEP engineers can contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by optimizing HVAC systems. These systems account for a significant portion of energy use in buildings. Mechanical engineers can optimize HVAC systems by selecting energy-efficient equipment, designing efficient duct systems, and implementing controls that adjust temperature and ventilation based on occupancy and outdoor weather conditions.
MEP engineers can contribute to mitigating climate change by designing and implementing energy-efficient building systems, using renewable energy sources. I too believe that a mechanical engineer role is crucial in reducing energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions from buildings, which can have a significant impact on mitigating climate change.