The Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering offers ME, MS, and PhD degrees in Mechanical Engineering, with specializations in Aerospace Engineering and Mechanical Engineering. An MS degree in Aerospace Engineering is also offered.
Aerospace Engineering addresses atmospheric and space flight. Included are such disciplines as computational fluid dynamics, experimental fluid mechanics, aerodynamics, aircraft flight dynamics, aircraft design, spacecraft orbital mechanics, spacecraft navigation, guidance and attitude control, aircraft and spacecraft propulsion systems, space system design, and the space environment. Mechanical Engineering graduates choosing the aerospace engineering specialization may pursue careers in such areas as aircraft design and development, aircraft flight testing, spacecraft GN&C systems and space systems design, and spacecraft trajectory design and analysis, as well as the broader, traditional mechanical engineering fields.
Mechanical Engineering deals with the mechanical systems and machines that serve society. Areas of emphasis include solid mechanics, thermal/fluids, and dynamics and control. The solid mechanics emphasis is concerned with the mechanics of displacement and stress analysis combined with material science for selection of an optimum design. Students learn to use the finite element method as well as classical methods for the determination of stresses, strains, and displacements. Included are studies of elasticity, plasticity, and failure in traditional metals and high-tech composite materials. The thermal/fluids emphasis is concerned with the transport of mass, momentum, and energy in solids, liquids, and gasses. Included within its scope are the fundamental studies of thermodynamics, heat transfer, and fluid mechanics. The dynamics and control emphasis is concerned with describing and controlling the motion of mechanical systems. Included within its scope are the fundamental studies of dynamics, kinematics, vibrations, control theory, hydraulics and pneumatics, electromechanical systems, and machine design. Graduates who select the broad mechanical engineering specialization are prepared to pursue careers in such widely diverse disciplines as aerospace, automotive, building, chemical, defense, electronics, environmental engineering, food processing, heating and air conditioning, heavy equipment, machine tools, manufacturing, nuclear, petroleum, public utilities, and solar energy.