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Driving the Future

The School of Mechanical and Automotive Engineering

Innovating and educating in the areas of mobility, energy, aerospace, and advanced manufacturing.

A student in the Automotive Engineering department.

About the School

The School of Mechanical and Automotive Engineering puts the departments of mechanical engineering and automotive engineering under one umbrella, positioning Clemson University for high-impact research, innovation, and education while also addressing critical societal needs, including energy and sustainable mobility, autonomous systems, advanced materials and manufacturing, and human-technology integration.

Combining Clemson’s preeminence in the automotive sector with the breadth provided by mechanical engineering creates a once-in-a-generation opportunity for growth of both the undergraduate and graduate programs, as well as the research enterprise.

Additional information about the School can be found in the Message From The School Director.

Video Transcript


An aerial view over campus buildings is shown on a sunny morning.


Two men in hard hats and safety vests look up at a wind turbine.


Two men discuss the interior of a large conduit with light coming in from outside the large opening.


Many students walk across the Library Bridge. The bridge is often crowded with students as they make their way between classes.


Purple letters spelling "Clemson University Civil Engineering" are on the side of a golf cart. Two graduate civil engineering students are using the cart as they prepare to survey the campus sidewalks for an accessibility project. They both help to set up the surveying equipment.


Four females are in a lab, looking over a blue device that holds samples.


The same device is seen again with two males and one female sitting in front of it, with a pen, paper, and a calculator. The students fade as a white Tiger Paw comes into focus in the center of the screen. The video concludes.

Meeting Global Needs

Student discussing design features with industry members.

The School of Mechanical and Automotive Engineering embodies Clemson’s vision for elevating student experience, the ascension of research, and meeting evolving societal needs statewide and beyond.

The pooling of resources on the main campus in Clemson and the award-winning Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research (CU-ICAR) in Greenville elevates the student experience in both mechanical engineering and automotive engineering and strengthens the foundation for collaborations and trans-disciplinary research.

The B.S. in mechanical engineering program is already the largest in the College of Engineering, Computing and Applied Science. Furthermore, the nation's first undergraduate degree program in automotive engineering will meet the rapidly changing needs of an industry that is transforming itself at an unprecedented pace as a fast-growing number of vehicles become electric and autonomous.

Our graduate students enjoy working side-by-side with faculty on a broad range of research; at the M.S. level, both the mechanical and automotive programs offer hands-on learning through internships.


Our diverse range of programs is unified by an unwavering commitment to outstanding teaching and research aimed at creating a global impact through engineering and scientific approaches. The school actively disseminates information through newsletters, hosting seminars, and organizing conferences that bring experts together.

    Mechanical in the News

    Automotive in the News

    Research Thrusts

    An image of advanced manufacturing

    Advanced Materials and Manufacturing

    Investigating next-generation materials, advanced modeling, characterization, testing and manufacturing technologies to enable the efficient development of innovative, high-performance, high-quality products for energy, transportation, communication, health and sustainability applications. Particular emphasis is placed on extreme materials and manufacturing, lightweight and durable materials, functional materials, meta-materials, circular materials, and biomaterials/biomanufacturing.

    autonomous vehicle

    Connectivity, AI, Autonomous Systems and Robots

    Developing modern theories, innovative methods and algorithms for analysis, interpretation, and utilization of vast quantities of data with applications in automated vehicles, robotics, infrastructure communication, intelligent control systems, manufacturing, human-machine interactions and more. Robotics for manufacturing emphasizes automated technologies for assembly lines, quality control and logistics to bring efficiency to production.

    person interacting with robot

    Data Science, Machine Learning and A.I.

    Applying advanced methods, algorithms, processes, and systems to extract knowledge and insights from structured and unstructured engineering data to tackle challenges in various domains such as cyber-physical systems, sensors, controls, autonomy, mobility, manufacturing, sustainability, and bio-medical applications. Collaborative research under this theme exploits the synergy between the particulars of the mechanical and automotive engineering domains and the theoretical and algorithmic foundations of data science and machine learning methods.

    two researchers looking at computer screen

    Design, Modeling and Simulation

    Building approaches and computational tools to support the design, analysis, optimization, and deployment of multi-scale and multi-physics complex systems. Research emphasis areas include multi-scale multi-physics modeling of complex materials, structures and systems, optimization, generative and AI-assisted design, digital twins, uncertainty quantification, high-performance computing for simulations, physics-informed machine learning methods, human-in-loop simulations, and cybersecurity simulations.

    electric car

    Energy, Sustainability and Propulsion Systems

    Addressing global energy challenges through collaborative research activities in the areas of energy conversion and storage, thermal transport and management, renewable energy sources and production technologies, and sustainability in design, materials, and manufacturing processes. Propulsion systems research focuses on developing propulsion system architectures, including hybrid and pure electric systems, simulation-based methods for optimization of design and operating strategies, and use-case-inspired investigations of advanced powertrain concepts and control, alternative fuels, thermal management, power electronics, battery aging along with the vehicle to grid interaction and model-based control algorithms for improving energy efficiency using vehicle connectivity.

    wearable assistive technology

    Human Factors and Biosystems

    Understanding human-machine interaction, integrating biomechanics, human psychology, and anthropometry to develop intuitive interfaces, adaptive control systems, and assistive technology. Use cases include automated vehicles and Cyber-Collaborative Intelligence for future manufacturing. Biomedical engineering focuses on the application of engineering principles to problems in medicine and biology, including research efforts in the physical and virtual modeling of circulatory systems, medical devices, and exercise performance optimization.

    particulate matter research

    Particulate Matter

    Investigating concepts for controlled manipulation of particulates in unit operations, such as sorting, separation, and transfer, for applications including healthcare diagnostics and therapeutics, materials processing, manufacturing, environmental detection, and remediation.  Research relies on acoustic, electric, magnetic, hydrodynamic, and mechanical phenomena to conceive innovative approaches for particulate manipulation.

    Degrees Offered

    CE & EEES Academic Majors
    Degree B.S. M.S. M.S. Online Ph.D. Certificate
    Automotive Engineering X X X X X
    Mechanical Engineering X X X X

    Beyond the main campus, we have state-of-the-art facilities across the state. From the bachelor's level to graduate certificates, our academic offering allows us to focus on industry needs and continue to produce highly sought-after graduates.

    Automotive Degrees Mechanical Degrees
    Aditya Bhagat profile

    “I think what’s most unique about Clemson is the way the curriculum is set up to ensure students get hands-on experience on projects, along with theoretical knowledge. This helps us understand and tackle the challenges associated with application of the theory, which is a crucial skill needed in the industry. ”

    Aditya Bhagat
    Automotive Engineering, MS ’20

    School Mission

    Our guiding principles

    The mission of the school is to produce top talent for the region and the nation; create a powerful research enterprise with unprecedented opportunities for Clemson’s faculty and students; create high-impact research addressing society’s most pressing needs; and foster economic growth by emphasizing industry relevance of fundamental research and innovation through translation.

    Student works under the hood of a Deep Orange car

    Message from the School Director

    Zoran Filipi

    Zoran Filipi

    It is my deep honor to welcome you to the School of Mechanical and Automotive Engineering as the inaugural Director and to do that during the very exciting times marked by the rapid growth of Clemson’s engineering programs amid transformative changes sweeping the industry, thus creating needs for the next generation of talent. Merging of the two programs, Mechanical and Automotive, already successful in their own right, creates critical mass in more areas and positions us well for elevating student experiences and scholarly contributions even further.

    On the research side, teaming of faculty and pooling of resources across two campuses, the main campus in Clemson and the award-winning Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research (CU-ICAR) in Greenville, opens new horizons for collaborations and trans-disciplinary research addressing pressing societal and economic challenges.

    Pillars of the research ascension already underway are the proven strengths in fundamental disciplines, reputation established through impactful efforts for NSF, DoE and DoD, as well as our unique model for bridging the fundamental science and use-case-driven engineering research. The success of the latter can be judged among other things by the established long-term partnerships with industry. Virtual Prototyping of Autonomy-Enabled Ground Systems (VIPR-GS) and the Clemson Composites Center are just two examples of how the critical mass of talent and expertise can garner attention on the national stage and create unparalleled opportunities for cross-cutting efforts and convergence.

    In the business world, mergers are an opportunity to increase efficiency through consolidation and reduction in workforce. However, in the case of our two academic programs, increased efficiency will create a stronger base of resources and people and lead to expansion. I am excited and proud to announce that we have just launched a first-in-the-nation Bachelor of Science degree program in Automotive Engineering. A true multidisciplinary systems integration degree addresses the need for a new generation of talent, comfortable operating in the space spanning several disciplines, with exceptional software skills and an understanding of human factors. Clemson is already positioned as a leader in graduate education, but fierce competition is ahead. Therefore, a combination of the preeminence in Automotive Engineering and breadth in Mechanical Engineering, the largest undergraduate program in the College, is what it takes to remain on the forefront.

    We’ve learned that experiential learning is highly valued by students; hence, we plan to leverage the experience gained with Deep Orange, a hallmark of Clemson’s approach to graduate engineering education, and offer a chance to undergraduates to work alongside M.S. students to build a one-of-a-kind vehicle prototype. Alternatively, they can engage in research under faculty mentors in state-of-the-art lab space in EIB on the main campus or research centers at CU-ICAR.

    Let me summarize where we are before closing and offer a glimpse into the future. There are 75 faculty in the School at this point, out of which 45 are tenure or tenure track. We are proud of our successes in improving diversity and inclusion; currently, 5 female faculty and 4 minorities hold full-time appointments in the School. We also achieved success in hiring graduate students through the STEM All In program. Research expenditures amounted to $20M last year, and funding sources include NSF, DOE, DoD, DoT and SCRA, as well as prominent industry partners such as BMW, GE, Boeing, Bosch, Ford, Honda, etc. More than 169 archival articles were published in one year, and 149 refereed conference publications. The total number of undergraduate students stands at 1012, and this includes 35 first-year students in the new B.S. in AuE program. The graduate student cohort stands at 436, out of which 152 are Ph.D. students, 131 are enrolled in M.S. in ME, and 153 are currently in the M.S. in AuE. The complete picture looks truly inspiring to me, so let me offer that glimpse into the future. We are a contender for Top 20 in the nation among the programs in public universities. The trajectory is already set, and goals are very much aligned with the Clemson Elevate strategy.

    On a personal note, this is the eleventh year in the Upstate for me and my wife. This is home, and Clemson has become our family. It has been amazing to witness the transformations over the years, all of them positive, at Clemson and in the Upstate. We made friends and built relationships that inspire and elevate the quality of life. The weather is not bad either.  What else to say? We really look forward to what’s ahead and are all in when it comes to Clemson and the community.

    Go Tigers!

    Zoran Filipi, founding director of the School of Mechanical and Automotive Engineering

    By the Numbers

    Our school is strongly positioned for growth to meet the fast-rising need for a new breed of engineer and to become a Top-20 program that is well aligned with the ClemsonElevate strategy. Consider the following:

    Faculty strength

    • Total faculty: 75
    • Tenure or tenure-track faculty: 45

    Research strength

    • Annual research expenditures: $20M
    • Archival articles (annually): 169
    • Conference publications: 149

    Student strength

    • Undergraduates: 1012
    • Graduate students: 426
    • Ph.D. students: 152
    • Masters students in mechanical engineering: 131
    • Masters students in automotive engineering: 153