What is Mechanical Engineering?
Mechanical engineers design and develop everything you think of as a machine - from supersonic fighter jets to bicycles to toasters. And they influence the design of other products as well - shoes, light bulbs and even doors. Many mechanical engineers specialize in areas such as manufacturing, robotics, automotive/transportation and air conditioning. Others cross over into other disciplines, working on everything from artificial organs to the expanding field of nanotechnology. And some use their mechanical engineering degree as preparation for the practice of medicine and law. The mechanical engineer may design a component, a machine, a system or a process. Mechanical engineers will analyze their design using the principles of motion, energy, and force to insure the product functions safely, efficiently, reliably, and can be manufactured at a competitive cost. Mechanical engineers work in the automotive, aerospace, chemical, computer, communication, paper, and power generation industries. Mechanical engineers will be found in virtually any manufacturing industry. Increasingly, mechanical engineers are needed in the environmental and bio-medical fields. Indeed virtually every product or service in modern life has probably been touched in some way by a mechanical engineer. In the ME-EM department these activities are reflected in the way we organize our teaching and research efforts. Faculty are organized in the following technical areas: Design and Dynamic Systems Area --This area emphasizes modeling and control of dynamic processes in engineering systems. Current research activity is in engineering acoustics and noise control, NVH, vibrations and modal analysis, system modeling and identification, control systems, system dynamics, computer simulation of material-forming processes, off-line programming of robots, automobile crashworthiness, computer-aided strain analysis, software sensor development, optimal control of automated manufacturing, application of artificial intelligence in interactive design software, environmentally conscious design, and design of orthotic devices for gait rehabilitation.
Energy Thermo-Fluids Area --Emphasizes thermodynamics, heat transfer, and fluid mechanics. Current research activity is in combustion processes, internal combustion engines, transmissions, heat and mass transfer, fluid mechanics, computational fluid dynamics, and emissions and air quality control.
Manufacturing/Industrial Area--Current research activity is in metal cutting, metal forming (with specific thrusts in sheet metal deformation), grinding, tribological aspects of forming and machining, computer-aided design of dies for forming metals and polymers, robotics and automation, metrology, data-dependent system analysis, industrial engineering, and environmentally conscious manufacturing. The manufacturing systems engineering program emphasizes the integration of design, materials, computers, and manufacturing with an exposure to business and engineering administration, and is particularly suitable for those who have a bachelor's degree in mechanical, electrical, metallurgical, or chemical engineering.
Solid Mechanics Area--Emphasizes topics in mechanics and materials science. Current research activity is in mechanics of materials with microstructure, experimental mechanics, plasticity, wave propagation and dynamic fracture, biomechanics, micromechanics, ceramics, crashworthiness, polymer matrix composites, and computational mechanics.