Mechanical engineering involves the design, development and manufacture of machinery and devices at all scales to transmit power or to convert energy, mainly from thermal or chemical to mechanical. Its current practice has been heavily influenced by recent advances in computer hardware and software.
Mechanical engineers use basic principles and computational tools to formulate preliminary and final designs of systems or devices, to perform calculations that predict the behavior of the design, and to collect and analyze performance data from system testing or operation.
Traditionally, mechanical engineers have designed and tested such devices as heating and air-conditioning systems, machine tools, internal combustion engines, and steam power plants. Today the expanded role of mechanical engineering reaches well beyond these traditional fields and into biomedical device design, MEMS and nanosystems, as well as into the development of new technologies in a variety of fields such as energy conversion, solar energy utilization, environmental control, transportation, manufacturing, and new materials development.
The core of the curriculum in mechanical engineering focuses on three areas: applied mechanics, thermofluids engineering, and materials science. Applied mechanics is the study of the motion and deformation of structural elements acted on by forces in devices that range from rotating industrial dynamos to dentist drills. Thermofluids engineering deals with the motion of fluids and the transfer of energy, as in the cooling of electronic components or the design of gas turbine engines. Materials science is concerned with the relationship between the structure and properties of materials and with the control of structure, through processing, to achieve the desired properties. Practical applications are in the development of high-performance composite materials, metallurgical process industries and green manufacturing. Traditionally, mechanical engineers have designed and tested such devices as heating and air-conditioning systems, machine tools, internal combustion engines, and steam power plants. Today the expanded role of mechanical engineering reaches well beyond these traditional fields and into biomedical device design and nanosystems, as well as into the development of new technologies in a variety of fields such as energy conversion, solar energy utilization, environmental control, transportation, manufacturing, and new materials development.
Courses in each area form the foundation for advanced analytical and creative design courses that culminate in a two-semester capstone senior design project. Faculty encourage and train students throughout the curriculum to use computer-based design and analysis tools.
Students must complete a minimum number of semester hours in the categories of mathematics/science, engineering topics and general education courses consistent with University-wide requirements. Completing all courses in the prescribed curriculum will automatically satisfy these requirements. Students with transfer credits or course substitutions must meet with an academic adviser to plan appropriate course work to ensure that these requirements are fully satisfied. For detailed program information, including official graduation policies and current curricula, please refer to the University course catalog.
Accelerated Master’s Degree
The College of Engineering offers a number of bachelor’s/master’s degree programs that allow students to accelerate the attainment of the master's degree by applying graduate credits taken as an undergraduate toward both the undergraduate and graduate degrees. These degrees may be earned either simultaneously in five years, or sequentially, with the bachelor's degree attainment followed by a PlusOne year to complete the master's degree. You might be interested in one of the combined bachelor’s/master’s degree programs listed below:
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Biomechanics, material science, engineering mechanics
Cooperative education assignments increase in responsibility and technical challenge as students progress through the program. Initial positions may involve computer intensive CAD/CAM assignments or programming tasks, while more advanced jobs will place students in charge of quality control systems and performance testing of equipment.