MATLAB is an extremely useful tool for all engineers. It is quite popular in and out of India and is used by a lot of companies and research organisations. Here are some areas where MATLAB plays a vital role:
Finite element analysis – Structural Analysis
MATLAB is used in areas that involve matrices. If you are working on FEA or building your own FEA solver, you will be mainly dealing with stiffness matrix. It is time-consuming to assemble a stiffness matrix manually. Learning MATLAB will help you to assemble the stiffness matrix with ease and gives you time to focus on other parts of your projects.
Rotational matrices are very common in the field of robotics. MATLAB is primarily used to solve rotational or any matrix problem involved.
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These kinds of projects can be mentioned in your resume. They would be vital in securing a funded admit in Post Graduation or job in a prime company.
Any simulation in the field of engineering involves solving a set of linear equations or matrices or arrays. MATLAB is used for such purposes. In the industry, people don’t pay attention to how you solved a problem but only to how efficiently you solved it. So, when you are presented with a problem and you spend too much time trying to solve equations or assemble a matrix, it imparts an aura of inefficiency onto you. Learning a programming language like MATLAB will save your time and help you focus on more important aspects of your projects. With MATLAB you can also do 2D, 3D, and surface plots faster than you can do it manually or in C++, thus further saving valuable time.
Software companies like Google and Facebook hire Mechanical/Thermal engineers to ensure efficient and safe thermal management of their database and cluster computers in their respective companies. These engineers use programming languages like MATLAB/Python to write scripts and then import them to CFD software to test numerous designs.
MATLAB can be used to solve PDEs and ODEs. In the following video, you can see our instructor solving a PDE in MATLAB using Jacobi’s iterative solver.
It is important to familiarize yourself with numerical simulation tools such as MATLAB and Python because that’s what the industry demands today. A look at the snapshot below will show you that:
Core companies are looking for mechanical engineers who can code. As we move towards the age of automation, the future jobs are for engineers who can integrate their technical prowess in mechanical engineering with an automation tool. An engineer who can code and perform numerical analysis can expect a salary of a minimum of 6 Lakh per annum. The industry expects engineers to have knowledge in programming and simulation but in 4 years of education, we are not trained for this. We are expected to take an idea out of our heads, convert it into a program, and get desired results. This is why it is important for mechanical engineers to learn programming languages like MATLAB or Python.
Whether you are an automobile engineer doing vehicle dynamic simulation or you are a thermal engineer performing autocycle simulations, MATLAB comes in handy. With MATLAB, you can do a computational project for every subject you learn. An average engineer in America/Europe does about 36 projects while we struggle with 2. If you learn a programming language, you can do your own independent projects. These projects can help you build your portfolio.
Here is a list of industries that uses MATLAB:
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