Department of Mechanical Engineering

Prospective Students

The Undergraduate Program

The ME Department offers a curriculum that combines a foundation in mathematics and science and a core of engineering science and mechanics based courses with the creative processes of engineering design and supports student groups engaged in design-intensive and entrepreneurial extracurricular activities. The program integrates individual mastery of core subjects in fluid mechanics, thermal engineering, mechanical systems, and solid mechanics with teamwork-based solutions to open-ended design problems, real-world experiences, and experimental techniques. Students learn the skills to develop ideas from concept to product.

The design program is a core pillar of the undergraduate curriculum that combines core instruction in design with hands-on experiences in design-build-test projects. A sequence of fourdesign intensive course courses culminates in a capstone course, underpinned by industrially-sponsored projects. Industrial sponsorship for the capstone design experience is strong. Over the last ten years, 130 companies, most from within the state, have sponsored 369 capstone design projects. In addition to industrially-motivated projects, students have the option to participate in humanitarian projects. Students present their work on Design Day, the last day of classes in fall and spring.

The Department has a long-established study abroad program in Germany (RWTH in Aachen) and study abroad programs in France (École Catholique d'Arts et Métiers), the United Kingdom (University of Edinburgh), Korea (Korea University) and Denmark (Technical University of Denmark).

The program also brings in a diverse group of international students to study with us. Included in the variety of activities open to students is the cooperative education program in which a student may participate after his/her freshman year.

The Graduate Program

The Department of Mechanical Engineering offers Master of Science(MS) and doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degrees in both Mechanical Engineering and Engineering Mechanics.

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, biomedical engineering, 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.