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Why Mechanical Engineering?

Mechanical engineering is one of the broadest and oldest branches of engineering. Mechanical engineers are involved with the design, analysis, testing, manufacturing, control, operation, and maintenance of mechanical systems - that is, any system that has a moving part! Mechanical systems can vary greatly in complexity and magnitude from the valve in an artificial heart to a car engine to a nuclear power plant. It deals with all aspects of the conversion of thermal energy into useful work and the machines that make this possible.

This seems awfully broad, right? Although that is one of the great advantages to mechanical engineering (and why the world always needs mechanical engineers!) our students have the ability to take specialized courses throughout the curriculum. Students can choose to take elective courses related to a specific area, or can choose to maintain a slightly broader background. 

We offer courses in these specialized areas:  

Applied Mechanics
Automotive Engineering
Biomechanical Systems
Design and Manufacturing
Dynamics, Vibrations, and Controls
Energy Systems
Nuclear Engineering

Applied Mechanics
Applied Mechanics is the theoretical, numerical, and experimental study of the response of solids and fluids to external forces. Students can take courses in finite element analysis, fracture mechanics, advanced strength of materials, and system vibrations. 

Applied Mechanics courses can help students: 

  • understand the forces in structural components such as a truss or crane.
  • learn about smaller scale components such as a prosthetic joints.
  • identify why and how objects break, and how to prevent failure.

Automotive Engineering
Automotive Engineering courses will prepare you for work in the automotive industry, one of the traditional branches of mechanical engineering which remains of great importance. It is concerned with the design and operation of all kinds of engines and vehicle dynamics, and is rapidly expanding to include the research, design, and testing of alternative energy sources for vehicles. Students can take courses in land vehicle dynamics, powertrain dynamics, the study of internal combustion engines, modeling of hybrid-electric vehicles, and fuel cell systems.

Automotive Engineering courses can help students:

  • understand the operation of an internal combustion engine, and making it efficient.
  • study hybrid electric vehicles.
  • understand fuel cell systems.
  • learn about automobile dynamics.

Biomechanical Systems

Biomechanics is the science that examines forces acting upon and within a biological structure and the effects produced by such forces. Courses in Biomechanical Systems prepares students for work in the medical industry or in any other area where their is a need to study the effects of forces on the human body.

Biomechanics courses can help students:

  • identify the mechanical functions of muscles, tendons, ligaments, cartilage, and bones.
  • learn about physical disabilities, and how to design products to help people with disabilities.
  • study how different injury mechanisms (impact, sport, trauma) affect the human body.
  • design medical devices.

Design and Manufacturing
Courses in Design & Manufacturing are appropriate for students who are interested in the design, testing, and manufacturing of consumer products. Students can take courses in product design, tool engineering, machine tool control and programming, and rapid prototyping. 

Design and Manufacturing courses can help students:

  • design and prototype new products.
  • learn to program CNC machines.
  • study robotics.
  • use computer graphics to model new products and systems.

Dynamics, Vibrations, and Controls
Courses in Dynamics, Vibrations, and Controls prepares students to understand various system components and how they interact as parts of a mechanical system. Students can take courses in control systems design, mechatronics, fracture mechanics, and engineering acoustics.

Dynamics, Vibrations, and Controls courses can help students:

  • learn how mechanical, electrical, thermal, and fluid systems work together.
  • understand how to control these systems and prevent unwanted system vibrations and noise.

Energy Systems
The study of Energy Systems concentrates on the production of useful energy from raw materials (i.e. electricity from coal) as well as the process of transforming energy into useful work (i.e. electricity driving a motor), and the optimization of these processes. Students can take courses in turbomachinery, HVAC (heating, ventilating, and air conditioning), combustion and jet propulsion.

Energy Systems courses can help students:

  • study how to efficiently harness energy from raw materials.
  • learn how to efficiently heat, ventilate, and cool structures.
  • understand the uses of turbomachinery.

Nuclear Engineering
The field of Nuclear Engineering is experiencing a resurgence as we investigate the option of nuclear power as an alternative to our society's dependence on fossil fuels. Students can take courses in reactor theory, nuclear power plants, and radiological safety, as well as reliability engineering.

Nuclear Engineering courses can help students:

  • develop nuclear energy as a safe and affordable alternative to fossil fuels.
  • study how nuclear power plants affect their surrounding environments.
  • learn about the possible uses of radiation in medicine.
  • use radiation to make measurements.