About the MechSE Department

First referenced as Mechanical Science and Engineering in 1870, the department has long been a leader in research and education. After a few reorganizations through the decades, mechanical engineering combined with theoretical and applied mechanics in 2006 to create the current MechSE department. This combination of science and engineering provides a uniquely excellent education for the department’s students.

The MechSE Department offers top-ranked degree programs in engineering mechanics, mechanical engineering, and theoretical and applied mechanics. Our curricula offer students unparalleled strengths in key fundamental areas, such as fluid and solid mechanics, thermodynamics and heat transfer, dynamics and controls, biomechanical sciences, computational science, applied math, applied physics, and chemistry. MechSE integrates basic sciences and engineering to address the critical societal needs of today and to identify and respond to emerging needs and issues. MechSE faculty members are deeply involved in emerging and high-profile research areas such as energy, big data, digital manufacturing, and bioengineering. MechSE has a vibrant research-focused program, operating at about $35M/year.

The department has more than 14,000 living alumni, 60 full-time tenured and tenure-track faculty members, and more than 40 staff members. The degrees offered are BS, MS, and PhD in Mechanical Engineering (ME); BS in Engineering Mechanics (EM); MS and PhD in Theoretical & Applied Mechanics (TAM); and M.Eng. in Mechanical Engineering. The department has about 1,400 students (1,000+ undergraduates and 400+ graduate students).

Incoming MechSE freshmen boast a median ACT score of 32.6. MechSE undergrads begin the design-based education their first semester, take advantage of the interface between curricular and extra-curricular activities, and experience a strong laboratory component in their education. MechSE graduate students contribute an annual average of 200 refereed journal articles with their MechSE faculty advisors, and present even more papers at conferences around the world. One in four (25%) recent PhD graduates go on to Assistant Professor positions. Other graduates earn exciting opportunities in industry, at national labs, and as postdocs.

Within the Mechanical Engineering Building, Mechanical Engineering Laboratory, and Talbot Laboratory, the department contains a total of approximately 139,000 net assignable square feet. In addition, faculty members have offices and laboratories in Beckman, Coordinated Science Laboratory, and Micro-Nano Technology Laboratory.

The MechSE Department is home to several center directors among its faculty, and a large number of other faculty are involved with these centers.