Prospective Undergraduate Students
For more information about the Undergraduate Program in Mechanical Engineering, contact the Office of Undergraduate Studies.
Why Mechanical Engineering?
“For me mechanical engineering isn’t just a major but it’s a passion of designing and building things, and knowing how things work, and the love of seeing the mathematical calculations work out in real life. As a mechanical engineer, not only are there a variety of job options available after you graduate, but it's the skills you develop throughout the years that makes it most attractive. You’ll learn how to be a strong team player, superbly organized and able to work to deadlines and perform under pressure. You’ll be juggling a varied workload, so you’ll also learn how to be a good planner, communicator and problem solver. With these skills and experiences, being a Mechanical Engineer can lead you to all types of opportunities in life!”
Michael Xue, Class of 2015
About the Major
Mechanical engineering is the broadest of the engineering disciplines. It is concerned with the design, manufacture, and operation of a wide range of components, devices, or systems. The field comfortably encompasses applications ranging from:
- micro-mechanical surgical systems to
- internal combustion engines for Formula One racecars or
- giant turbines for renewable energy wind farms.
A fitting adage for the discipline would be turning ideas into reality.
Graduates of the program will possess the skills and the knowledge-base critical for success in today’s marketplace, with the problem solving expertise and flexibility necessary to adapt as technology and society evolve. Students must be proficient in the traditional fundamentals of mechanical engineering such as solid and fluid mechanics, thermodynamics, transfer processes, materials engineering, electronic instrumentation and measurements, controls, and design. However, they will also explore new/emerging areas through a variety of electives such as smart structures, electronic packaging, information systems, Lean Six Sigma, reliability, and nano-electromechanical systems.
Attributes such as teamwork, ethics, and leadership are emphasized in the curriculum. The program is designed to integrate out-of-classroom experiences, helping students explore career options and apply what they are learning in the real world.
Students can work with faculty on research projects, serve as teaching fellows, pursue leadership opportunities through clubs, and participate in national competitions such as the Formula SAE/Baja SAE teams or the Department of Energy Solar Decathlon. Study abroad and cooperative education opportunities are also strongly encouraged.