Breadth, individuality, and flexibility are inherent characteristics of the mechanical engineering profession. Mechanical engineers, in a broad sense, make major contributions to the creation of products and systems that benefit mankind. They work in a variety of areas including bioengineering, energy systems, environmental and life-support systems, propulsion and transportation systems, food production, materials processing, automated manufacturing and construction. A wide spectrum of career opportunities is open to them. The practice of mechanical engineering includes one or more of the following activities: manufacturing, testing, research, development, design, technical management, technical sales and marketing, construction and teaching.
Preparation for a 40-50 year professional career requires development of the whole person through a balanced program encompassing the humanities, social sciences, communication and computer skills, physical and engineering sciences, design, and laboratory experience. Students start with the physical sciences and communication skills and progress through the engineering sciences, ultimately applying the principles learned in such areas as energy conversion and transfer, mechanical design, and systems analysis. Throughout the curriculum, the fundamental nature of engineering as a problem-solving discipline is emphasized.
Most graduates take positions in industry, government, or business. Many, however, continue their formal education in a graduate program. The Department of Mechanical Engineering offers study leading to the Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees.
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To address the growing interest in nuclear energy and related fields by seniors in the College of Engineering & Science, the Department of Mechanical Engineering added ME 426/626 (Nuclear Energy)as a technical elective.