Mechanical engineering covers a diverse range of engineering fields with five major areas of study: solid mechanics and dynamics, fluid mechanics, thermodynamics, mechanical design, and engineering management. Examples of more specialized areas of work are acoustics, aerodynamics, biomechanical engineering, combustion engines, energy conversion systems, environmental engineering, and material science including fracture and fatigue, robotics and vehicle design.
The undergraduate program initially exposes students to a wide range of topics covering the fundamentals. Advanced courses and electives provide more specialized knowledge and emphasize applications. Many courses include experimental lab sections to give students hands-on experience with current engineering and measurement equipment. Throughout the program, several courses are devoted to design in mechanical engineering. Students apply engineering principles to challenging design projects. Working in groups and individually, students develop communication skills through oral and written presentations. Students use engineering analysis software and design packages to prepare drawings for fabrication in the department's machine shop.