College of Engineering

Department of Mechanical Engineering

Policy

Programs

Mechanical Engineering offers a broad spectrum of career choices.  Mechanical engineers can be found in every sector of our technologically complex society.  There are jobs in manufacturing, power generation, materials processing, ship building, aircraft, automotive, and construction companies; as well as with government organizations and consulting firms, to name a few.  Opportunities are available in the design of machinery, product design, plant design, system integration, testing, analysis, research and development.  In addition to these traditional activities, mechanical engineers are deeply involved in problems of the future such as the development of new power systems, advanced composite materials, and new methods of productivity and quality enhancement in manufacturing.  In view of this broadness, mechanical engineers as the general practitioners of the engineering profession have the flexibility to move into a wide variety of fields.  The mechanical engineering program is structured to offer this flexibility.

There are three primary components to the mechanical engineering program. The first is comprised of the mathematical, physical, and engineering sciences. These form the permanent bedrock upon which the program is built and, provide the necessary basis for lifelong learning and adaptation to a changing technologically based society. The second component involves the application of these principals in conjunction with modern computer aided design tools, to the design, testing, and manufacture of products, systems, devices, etc. These technological tools change continually as a result of advances in computer software and hardware, and also as a result of changing demands from the marketplace (for example, there is more emphasis on manufacturing and commercialization and less emphasis on defense than there was only a few years ago). The third component is comprised of the humanities and social sciences that are so necessary for students to continue their growth as citizens and as professionals in a global economy. These subjects enhance the student's ability to communicate with and understand a diversity of individuals both on and off the job. 

The curriculum is designed to graduate engineers who can apply fundamental principles of Mechanical Engineering with competence and sensitivity to meeting the needs of society and to continue a lifelong process of learning and growth in the profession. To achieve these goals, the program begins with a heavy concentration in mathematics, physics and chemistry. These courses form the foundation upon which the engineering curriculum is built. In addition the student is introduced to computational tools and to basic engineering practice. Subsequently, there is an emphasis on engineering science and design courses where the principles of mathematics, physics, and chemistry are applied and expanded upon in the context of engineering analysis, design, and practice.  Students are exposed to experimental methods for testing and evaluation of materials, thermal/fluid processes, and equipment. The senior year offers an introduction to the multiplicity of technical areas with which mechanical engineers are concerned. Through technical electives and the capstone design experience the student can explore various specialties according to their interest.  

A unique feature of the program is the dispersion throughout the curriculum of the design-build-test process. Relatively simple team projects are executed in the freshman year. The complexity of the designs, the use of analytical tools, the fabrication methods, and testing techniques required, increase with each subsequent year. Students learn, hands-on, about different manufacturing techniques, about design methodologies, testing techniques, teamwork, and how to communicate their designs and work. Additionally they learn the importance and the place of applying the principals of the engineering sciences in accomplishing successful designs.

Students take a number of courses in the humanities and social sciences. A considerable choice of subjects is allowed. These subjects broaden the student's outlook and serve to focus attention on the importance of non-technical knowledge in being successful professionally and as a person.

The program is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, http://www.abet.org, which sets the standards for all engineering programs in the US.