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I think the title says it all. I'm filling out a job application that asks

How many years of experience do you have in an engineering related field, including: academic projects, internships, or professional work experience?

If we are only counting internship-wise, I have 2 years of experience, but with Ph.D. research I have 6 years. Thoughts?

I'm getting a Ph.D. and doing my research in Mechanical Engineering

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It seems that the application states:

How many years of experience do have you have in an engineering related field, including: academic projects, internships, or professional work experience?

Ph.D research can be considered as "academic projects". Plus, you mention it was on Mechanical Engineering, so definitely would be a good candidate as valid work experience in an engineering related field. Therefore, I see no problem with you including that in your application, good luck with your job searching process.

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