Graduate Programs

Degrees Offered

Master of Science (Mechanical Engineering)
Doctor of Philosophy (Mechanical Engineering)

Program Overview

The Mechanical Engineering Department offers the Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in Mechanical Engineering. The program demands academic rigor and depth yet also addresses real-world engineering problems. The department has four broad divisions of research activity that stem from the core fields of Mechanical Engineering: (1) Biomechanics, (2) Robotics, Automation, and Design, (3) Solid Mechanics and Materials, and (4) Thermal-Fluid Systems. In many cases, individual research projects encompass more than one research area and elements from other disciplines.

Divisions of Research:

Biomechanics focuses on the application of engineering principles to the musculoskeletal system and other connective tissues.  Research activities include experimental, computational, and theoretical approaches with applications in the areas of rehabilitation engineering, computer assisted surgery and medical robotics, patient specific biomechanical modeling, intelligent prosthetics and implants, and bioinstrumentation.  The Biomechanics group has strong research ties with other campus departments, the local medical community, and industry partners.

Robotics, Automation, and Design merges research from multiple areas of science and engineering. Topics include the design of robotic and automation system hardware and software, particularly for tasks that require some level of autonomy, intelligence, self-prognostics and decision making. Such capabilities are built upon integrated mechatronic systems that enable pro-active system responses to its environment and current state. These capabilities are applied in applications such as advanced robotics and manufacturing systems. Research in this division explores the science underlying the design process, implementation of mechanical and control systems to enable autonomy, and innovative computational analysis for automation, intelligence and systems optimization.

Solid Mechanics and Materials develop novel computational and experimental solutions for problems in the mechanical behavior of advanced materials. Research in the division spans length scales from nanometer to kilometer and includes investigations of microstructural effects on mechanical behavior, nanomechanics, granular mechanics, and continuum mechanics. Material-behavior models span length scales from the nano- and micro-scale, to the meso- and macro-scale. Much of the research is computational in nature using advanced computational methods such as molecular dynamics, finite-element, boundary-element, and discrete-element methods. Strong ties exist between this group and the campus communities of applied mathematics, chemical engineering, material science, metallurgy, and physics.

Thermal-Fluid Systems  incorporates a wide array of multidisciplinary applications such as advanced energy conversion and storage, multi-phase fluid flows, materials processing, combustion, alternative fuels, and renewable energy. Research in thermal-fluid systems integrates the disciplines of thermodynamics, heat transfer, fluid mechanics, transport phenomena, chemical engineering, and materials science towards solving problems and making advances through experiments and computational modeling in the broad areas of energy conversion, fluid mechanics, and thermal transport. Research projects in this area specialize in some aspect of mechanical engineering but often have a strong interdisciplinary component in related fields such as Materials Science and Chemical Engineering.

Learn more about our graduate degree programs by viewing our Graduate Recruiting Flyer.

For more information about Mechanical Engineering Graduate programs please contact our Graduate Program Administrator, Lori Sisneros at


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Last Updated: 11/29/2017 12:06:18