Many engineering companies now host their own LinkedIn group, and it’s relatively easy to find LinkedIn groups devoted to not just engineering disciplines, but to sub-subtopics. There are currently over 25,000 groups related to some aspect of engineering. Some of the groups we like are for members only, but becoming a member is usually as easy as sending a request to the group administrator.

Bicycle design and engineering

This is a members-only group for engineers who are impassioned by the design and engineering of bicycles. It has about 3,400 members and several active discussions when we checked.

Forensics and failure analysis

This discussion group concentrates on structural failure analysis and accident reconstruction. It had about 1,200 members when we checked it. It is a locked group but anyone can view the discussions.

3D Printing Group

The biggest and most active 3D-printing Group on LinkedIn, with nearly 12,000 members and hundreds of discussions every month, belongs to Paul Cesak of ModernTech, Knoxville, Tenn., a rapid-prototype shop and reseller of SolidWorks software and Stratasys 3D printers and equipment. But the Group is decidedly manufacturer agnostic and questions get answered
quickly. Another Group called 3D Modelers
and Designers is equally large but unmanaged
and littered with spam.

Machine Design magazine

Machine Design’s own LinkedIn group now has over 7,500 members and hosts discussions about a variety of product-design technologies and issues. Job-board and promotion areas are pretty active as well.

Automation engineers

This is one of the most-active LinkedIn groups covering automation, with over 39,000 members. Lots of discussions covering current standards and motion issues. The day we checked there were also 27 jobs listed and numerous promotional entries as well.

Motion-control association

With about 2,600 members, this group hosts discussions of such motion-related topics as Sercos, motion-control basics, and announcements from companies in the motion-control space.

Motion-Control fundamentals

About 760 members and pretty active, with about 75 discussions going in any given month, about subjects spanning the basics of motion-control engineering.

Hydraulics & Pneumatics

The LinkedIn group maintained by our sister publication Hydraulics & Pneumatics is among the most active in fluid topics with about 11,000 members.

Automation engineers technical group

This group maintains a strict policy of technical discussions only: no job postings and no promotional material allowed. It has about 6,300 members. Typical discussions center on Profibus, motion-tuning tools, PLCs, and similar topics.

Motor-control and motor-drive professionals

Like other groups in this area, this 6,000-member group hosts a lot of technical discussions on motion and motor control, though it tends to be less active than other groups operating in this space.

Mechanical-Engineering Forum

This is a subgroup of Engineering Wall – knowledge network for engineering profession. It is a private group with about 50 active discussions when we checked and has about 34,000 members.

Engineering leadership and management

This group bills itself as a talent network for engineering managers, directors, chief architects, and other technical leaders. There are about 8,000 members and a few dozen active discussions when we looked it over.

Mechanical-Engineering Professionals

This group of about 9,600 members hosts mechanical-engineering specialists and features a lot of discussions about new technologies and jobs. There were 20 active discussions when we checked it out.

Freelance design engineering

This is an open networking group for mechanical, electrical, and sustainable-design engineers; thermal modelers; and many others. About 5,500 members and 80 discussions active when we checked.

Maker

The folks who produce Make Magazine maintain a LinkedIn group. Like the publication, it is dedicated to creating, building, and hacking things. This group is billed as being for those wishing to identify themselves to each other, share ideas, solve problems, and work on projects in the truest sense of the word “hobby.” This private group had 611 members when we checked.

Factory automation

This group is billed as a gathering place for people interested in factory automation. It features numerous posts on automation jobs when we checked. It has about 1,200 members.

TPS +1 engineering

This group covers the Toyota Production System in strategic planning, product planning, cost planning, purchasing, training, IT development, and engineering including new application development, pioneering application for other industries such as health care, servicing, mining, logistic and others. The concept of TPS+1 is that of building on the evolving development of TPS + added elements, i.e., TPS+1. About 4,900 members and several active discussions.

Ethical hacking

This group targets what it calls ethical hackers, gray hats, and others who wish to share ideas, techniques, and discuss the latest in security measures. This is a big group with about 6,500 members and has an active discussion area. There were 122 active discussions when we checked.

Arduino playground

This is one of the most active LinkedIn groups devoted to the Arduino processor, an open-source electronics prototyping platform based on flexible, easy-to-use hardware and software. It is a relatively active group with 35 discussions when we checked and about 8,200 members.