Department of Mechanical Engineering

ME Graduate Program

The Department of Mechanical Engineering offers programs leading to Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees, both in mechanical engineering and engineering mechanics. An individualized plan of study can be designed from a wide range of courses and research experiences to suit the professional aspirations of graduate students. A plan of study typically includes courses within and external to the department. The Mechanical Engineering Department offers research experiences in four broad areas: Fluid Thermal Science & Engineering, Biomechanics Engineering, Dynamic Systems & Controls, and Solid Mechanics, Design, & Manufacturing. The research opportunities are diverse, and they can range from working closely with an individual faculty member and/or as part of a team in a large interdisciplinary research center. Graduate students are expected to engage in research that pushes the boundaries of science and engineering and leads to new knowledge creation.

MS degree program students complete 30 credits of graduate work, including in most cases a Master’s thesis requiring 6-8 credits. The MS program can be completed in four semesters. Students with BS degrees in Mechanical Engineering, Engineering Mechanics or a related area can be admitted into the MS program.

The PhD Degree is a research-based degree with specific course requirements set by a research adviser and committee to support the student's area of research. Students complete both coursework and research requiring 2 to 5 years beyond the MS degree. Students with an MS degree, or equivalent, in Mechanical Engineering, Engineering Mechanics, or a related area can be admitted into the PhD program. By special consideration students without an MS degree can be admitted directly into the PhD program.

Most of our graduate students receive some form of financial aid, the majority of them in the form of research or teaching assistantships and fellowships. Graduate students appointed as Research Assistants (RAs) work in funded research projects sponsored by various industrial and federal agencies. This work is typically the basis for the student’s MS or PhD thesis. In addition to research assistantships, some students have appointments as Teaching Assistants (TAs). Teaching assistantships enable many of our students to obtain both laboratory and classroom teaching experiences. Many of our graduate students start in their program as TAs, but quickly move to RA positions.

Almost all of our graduate students are involved in a research project. Most research activity in the department is organized around one of several world-class research laboratories which support a variety of experimental, computational, and analytical activities. Graduate courses and research opportunities are available in fluid mechanics, combustion, heat transfer, thermodynamics, biomechanics, internal combustion engines, turbomachinery, computational fluid dynamics, system dynamics, controls, vibrations, nonlinear dynamics, mechatronics, manufacturing, computational design, computational solid mechanics, mechanics and processing of composite materials, elasticity, plasticity, experimental mechanics, and micromechanics.

Course Projections for the Education and Research Groups

Solid Mechanics, Design & Manufacturing (SMDM) Four-Year Graduate Course Projection

Biomechanics Four-Year Graduate Course Projection

Dynamics Systems and Control Four-Year Graduate Course Projection

Fluid-Thermal Science and Engineering Four-Year Graduate Course Projection

Master of Science (MS) Program Components


Master’s Plan A
There is a Master’s plan A for degrees in either Engineering Mechanics or Mechanical Engineering. Master’s plan A has these components: (1) prescribed course work, (2) research, (3) a master’s thesis, and (4) the oral defense of the master’s thesis.
MS Degree Examination Committee
 

Master’s Plan B
There is a Master’s plan B for degrees in either Engineering Mechanics or Mechanical Engineering. The Master’s plan B has two components: (1) prescribed course work, and (2) a final evaluation by the academic advisor and graduate advisor.

Sample Programs

Possible Tracks (Sample MS programs for EM and ME in Bio):

Soft tissue mechanics/Cardiovascular mechanics (for EM degree option)

Fall   (9 credits)

  1. Math class (core requirement for EM requirement)
  2. ME 820 Continuum Mechanics (core requirement for EM requirement)
  3. Choose one from:

PSL 431 Human Physiology 

ECE 802 Medical Imaging  

Spring   (9 credits)

1. ME 821 Linear elasticity  (core requirement for EM)

2.  ME 825 Experimental Mechanics  (core requirement for EM)

3.   Choose one from

ME 495 Tissue Mechanics  

ME 872 Finite Element Method  

ME 922 Viscoelasticity  (even year)

ECE 447 Biomedical Imaging  

ECE 849 Digital image processing

PSL 432 Human Physiology II

PSL 828 Cellular & integrative physiology I

CMSE 801 (or NSC801) Introduction to Computational Science: Tools for prediction, visualization, analysis and understanding

Summer   (6 credits of research)

Fall   (6 credits)

  1. Choose one from:

ME 830 Fluid Mechanics  

ME 891 Cardiovascular Mechanics  (even year)

ME 921 Nonlinear elasticity (odd year)

2. Choose one from:

PSL 431 Human Physiology

PSL 829 Cellular & integrative physiology II

ECE 802 Medical Imaging

Musculoskeletal / Biodesign / Rehabilitation (for EM degree option)

Fall   (9 credits)

  1.  Math class (core requirement for EM requirement)
  2. ME 820 Continuum Mechanics (core requirement for EM requirement)
  3. Choose one from:

          ME 496 Biodynamics

          ME 491 Biomechanical analysis of human movement

          ECE 802 Medical Imaging

          ECE 802 Biosensor Instrumentation, Processing, and Design

PSL 431 Human Physiology

CMSE 801 (or NSC801) Introduction to Computational Science: Tools for prediction, visualization, analysis and understanding

Spring   (9 credits)

  1. ME 821 Linear elasticity  (core requirement for EM)
  2. Choose either (core requirement for EM):

          ME 825 Experimental Mechanics

          ME 861 Advanced Dynamics

3.   Choose one from:

ME 495 Tissue Mechanics

ME 872 Finite Element Method

PSL 432 Human Physiology II

KIN 862 Neural basis of human movement

BME 444 Biosensor

ECE 447 Biomedical Imaging

Summer   (6 credits of research)

Fall   (6 credits)

     3. Choose one from:

          ME 496 Biodynamics

          ME 491 Biomechanical analysis of human movement

ME 891 Cardiovascular Mechanics  (even year)

ME 921 Nonlinear elasticity (odd year)

       4. Choose one from:

          ECE 802 Medical Imaging

          ECE 802 Biosensor Instrumentation, Processing, and Design

          PSL 431 Human Physiology

Biofluids and Micro-Thermal Fluidics (for ME degree option)

Fall   (9 credits)

  1. ME 830 Fluid Mechanics (Fulfills first MSME breadth requirement in fluids area)
  2. Choose one from the following so as to fulfill second MSME breadth requirement:

           ME 810 Advanced Classical Thermodynamics, (thermal science breadth area)

           ME 812 Conductive Heat Transfer, (thermal science breadth area)

           ME 820 Continuum Mechanics,  (solids and structures breadth area)    

          ME 860 Theory of Vibrations, (dynamical systems breadth area)

      3. Choose one from:

          ME 494 Biofluid Mechanics and Heat Transfer

          ECE 802 Medical Imaging

          PSL 431 Human Physiology

Spring   (9 credits)

     4. Choose one from the following so as to fulfill third and final breadth requirement in an area different from that taken above in (2):

         ME 811 Microscale Transfer, (thermal science breadth area)

         ME 814 Convective Heat Transfer,(thermal science breadth area)

         ME 861 Advanced Dynamics (dynamical systems breadth area)

     5. Choose two from:

ME 832 Fluid Mechanics II (even year)

ME 840 Computational Fluid Mechanics and Heat Transfer

ME 872 Finite Element Method

PSL 432 Human Physiology II

BME 444 Biosensor

ECE 447 Biomedical Imaging

            PSL 828 Cellular & integrative physiology II

CMSE 801 (or NSC801) Introduction to Computational Science: Tools for prediction, visualization, analysis and understanding

Summer   (6 credits of research)

Fall   (6 credits)

        6. Choose one from:

            ME 891 Microfluidics: Fundamentals and Application  (even year)

ME 836 Experimental Methods in Fluid Mechanics (even year)

ME 835 Turbulence Modeling and Simulation (even year)

        7. Choose one from:

            ECE 802 Medical Imaging

            ECE 802 Biosensor Instrumentation, Processing, and Design

            PSL 431 Human Physiology

            PSL 829 Cellular & integrative physiology II

CMSE 801 (or NSC801) Introduction to Computational Science: Tools for prediction, visualization, analysis and understanding

 

Possible Math Courses (ONE IS REQUIRED for EM track)

STT 464 Statistic for biology (F)

STT 808 Biostatistic (F)

STT 814 Advanced statistic for biologist (S)

STT 802 Statistical computation (F)

ME 800 Mechanical Engineering Analysis (F)
MTH 451 Numerical Analysis I
MTH 415 Applied Linear Algebra

 

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) Degree Components


The components of the doctoral programs in Engineering Mechanics and Mechanical Engineering are very similar. In each case, the student first finds an advisor and forms a committee. Subsequently, the components of the doctoral degree programs consist of a qualifying exam, a comprehensive exam, prescribed course work, research, the dissertation, and a final oral defense and examination.