RE: What are the most mind blowing ideas in mechanical engineering?
The car manufacturer has developed a new type of petrol driven car which is cheaper to run than a hybrid or electrical car.
To me some of the greatest achievements are in material engineering where materials are becoming lighter and stronger. There are also materials which can take on various forms based on an electric charge. These materials are solutions looking for a problem.
Nano-bots are another challenging area of engineering in the medical field. These little robots can do remarkable things. They are mechanical but not your usual design.
Mechanical engineering is the application of techniques and many of the yet to hit the engineering world are waiting in the physics labs. Look there.
It is also true that many mature designs are going through a revolution as new understanding is coming into play through new design techniques and materials. Just look at bicycle frame and wheel development. (Which, by the way, have higher stressed parts than aeroplanes.)
The developments of the integration of mechanical limbs onto the human body are amazing. That blows my mind totally. Integrating a electro-mechanical device onto a life form which is powered by nerve impulses is out of this world. Just think of the implications. It is huge. (I have enough trouble getting myself to move correctly and I am blessed with all of my limbs. )
Hopefully this gives you a good listing of ideas of ideas which deserve a ‘wow’. Others, I am sure, will come up with radially mind blowing ideas.