Mechanical engineering involves the design, development, and manufacture of machinery and devices to transmit power or to convert energy from thermal to mechanical form in order to power the modern world and its machines. Its current practice has been heavily influenced by recent advances in computer hardware and software.
Mechanical engineers use computers 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 devices, such as heating and air-conditioning systems, machine tools, internal-combustion engines, and steam power plants. Today they also play primary roles in the development of new technologies in a variety of fields—energy conversion, solar energy utilization, environmental control, prosthetics, transportation, manufacturing, and new-materials development.
The curriculum in mechanical engineering focuses on four areas: applied mechanics, thermofluids engineering, materials science, and controls. 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 dentists’ 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 desired properties. Practical applications are in the development of composite materials, metallurgical process industries, and advanced functional materials. Controls are critical to any engineered system in which sensors and actuators of several types communicate and function.
Courses in each area form the foundation for advanced analytical and creative design courses that culminate in a two-semester capstone design project. Faculty encourages students throughout the curriculum to use computer-aided design tools and high-performance computer workstations.
Accelerated Master’s degrees 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. Current students apply to enroll in the Accelerated Master’s Program. With the PlusOne program, students attain their bachelor’s degree followed by a PlusOne year to complete the master’s degree.
For support with academic questions, contact the academic advisor assigned to this program.
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