The world-class education our students receive is at the heart of the MechSE Department. Today, engineering education is being revolutionized with new ways of integrating instruction and technology. We teach advanced concepts for solving the world’s grand challenges and assign hands-on design projects that reinforce classroom learning. Rooted in the fundamentals of engineering, our curriculum emphasizes teamwork, creativity, and the skills to thrive and grow in a technology-intensive world. The new facility’s inspiring and innovative environment—featuring active-learning classrooms and a state-of-the-art complex of integrated, instructional, and project laboratories—will set a new standard for engineering departments everywhere.

Transformed Classrooms

Classroom spaces in the transformed Sidney Lu Mechanical Engineering Building will be built on the principles of flexible, reconfigurable design. They will enable the creation of optimal learning environments, incorporating technology that displays student work to small groups or to the whole class. New spatial configurations will reorient the relationship between students and instructor, and among students themselves. This environment encourages students to take ownership of and become more engaged in the learning process, resulting in enhanced educational outcomes.

Additionally, our 24/7 Innovation Studio makerspace provides students with state-of-the-art prototyping equipment and tools—wood-working, 3D printing, and metal-working, to name a few—to realize their designs.

The new complex will include lab space for many MechSE disciplines, including:
  • Biomechanics
  • Combustion
  • Controls systems
  • Dynamical systems
  • Fluid dynamics
  • Heat transfer
  • Manufacturing
  • Materials testing
  • Mechatronics
  • Metrology
  • Micro-Nano Mechanical Systems
  • Robotics

At Illinois, I learned through my courses and research, individual study, and interactions with others. The practice I received on presenting to groups has served me well in my career at Xerox, and the teamwork skills I learned through study groups and lab groups have proven to be invaluable. Having a space that encourages such interaction and enables collaborative efforts is essential, and will definitely enhance students’ experience and prepare them to thrive in their careers.

Marina Tharayil (BSME ’99, MSME ’01, PhD ME ’05)
Ford Motor Company

MechSE at Illinois was a tremendous experience and really exposed me to the best education, the greatest amount of competition, collaboration with intelligent people, and really is the foundation from which I've been able to build a career. I'll be eternally grateful for that.

Dave Wright (BSME ’82)
Sargent & Lundy