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Mechanical Engineering BS

Edward C. Hensel, Department Head
(585) 475-7684, echeme@rit.edu

http://www.rit.edu/kgcoe/mechanical/

Program overview

Mechanical engineering is perhaps the most comprehensive of the engineering disciplines. The mechanical engineer’s interests encompass the design of automotive and aerospace systems, bioengineering devices, and energy-related technologies. The spectrum of professional activity for the mechanical engineering graduate runs from research through design and development to manufacturing and sales. Because of their comprehensive training and education, mechanical engineers often are called upon to assume management positions.

The mechanical engineering department offers professional courses in bioengineering, energy systems, applied mechanics, manufacturing, materials science, systems analysis, computer-aided graphics and design, robotics, and automotive and aerospace engineering. The department’s laboratories are equipped to provide extensive experimentation in these areas. Laboratory facilities include a well-instrumented wind tunnel, a particle imaging velocimetry laser system for flow visualization, advanced heat transfer systems, robotics, a proton exchange membrane fuel cell, engine dynamometers, fluid flow loops, refrigeration systems, tensile testers, compression testers, torsion testers, hardness testers, X-ray diffractometer, atomic force microscope, dynamic system simulators, a spectrum analyzer, and a well-equipped machine shop.

Educational objectives

The objectives of the mechanical engineering major are to prepare graduates to:

  • practice mechanical engineering in support of the design of engineered systems through the application of the fundamental knowledge, skills, and tools of mechanical engineering.
  • enhance their skills through formal education and training, independent inquiry, and professional development.
  • work independently as well as collaboratively with others, while demonstrating the professional and ethical responsibilities of the engineering profession.
  • successfully pursue graduate degrees at the master's and/or doctoral levels, should they choose.

Activities and professinal organizations

Students have an opportunity to participate in regional and national design competitions such as the Formula SAE Autosports Competition team, the SAE Aerodesign Club, and the Human-Powered Vehicle Competition team. They also are encouraged to participate in the student chapters of professional societies such as the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the Society of Women Engineers, the National Society of Black Engineers, the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, and the Society of Automotive Engineers.

Curriculum

The major provides students with a broad academic base complemented by hands-on laboratory activities and cooperative education experience. Students devote their first two years to the study of mathematics, physics, chemistry, liberal arts, and engineering sciences, while the third and fourth years emphasize engineering science, design, and systems.

A student may then specialize by choosing appropriate technical and free elective courses in an area of interest. Each of the listed technical electives includes a significant design project. In the fifth year, each student is required to complete the capstone design courses, Senior Design I and II (MECE-497, 498).

Students complete liberal arts general education courses in the social sciences and the humanities to round out their education. In the third year, all students must demonstrate writing competency in the English language by successfully completing a college writing exercise evaluated by faculty from the Institute Writing Committee. For some students, this may require work with the Academic Support Center, the English Language Center, or additional course work in the College of Liberal Arts.

Accreditation

The BS in mechanical engineering major is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, http://www.abet.org.

Mechanical engineering, BS degree, typical course sequence

Course Sem. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
  LAS Foundation 2: First Year Writing 3
MATH-181, 182 LAS Perspective 7A: Project-based Calculus I, II 8
  LAS Perspective 1, 2, 3 9
MECE-102 Engineering Mechanics Lab 3
MECE-104 Engineering Design Tools 3
  LAS Foundation 1: First Year Seminar† 3
MECE-103 Statics 3
  YearOne 0
  Wellness Education* 0
Second Year
  LAS Perspective 4 3
MATH-219 Multivariable Calculus 3
MECE-205 Dynamics 3
MECE-110 Thermodynamics I 3
MECE-210 Fluid Mechanics I 3
  LAS Immersion 1 3
MATH-231 Differential Equations 3
MECE-203, 204 Strength of Materials I and Lab 4
MECE-305, 306 Materials Science with Applications and Lab 4
  Immersion 1 3
EGEN-099 Cooperative Education Preparation 0
Third Year
MECE-499 Cooperative Education (fall or spring) Co-op
MECE-348 Contemporary Issues (WI) 3
MATH-326 Boundary Value Problems 3
EEEE-281 Circuits I 3
MECE-317 Numerical Methods 3
MECE-211 Engineering Measurements Lab 2
  Immersion 2 3
MECE-499 Cooperative Education (summer) Co-op
Fourth Year
MECE-499 Cooperative Education (fall or spring) Co-op
MATH-241 Linear Algebra 3
MECE-320 System Dynamics 3
MECE-310 Heat Transfer I 3
MECE-301 Engineering Applications Lab 2
MECE-3xx ME Extended Core Elective 3
  Physical Science Elective II 3
MECE-499 Cooperative Education (summer) Co-op
Fifth Year
MECE-497, 498 Multidisciplinary Senior Design I, II 6
  ME Applied Elective 3
STAT-205 Applied Statistics 3
  LAS Immersion 3 3
  Free Electives 6
  ME Electives 6
PHYS-212 University Physics II 4
Total Semester Credit Hours 129

Please see New General Education Curriculum–Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS) for more information.

(WI) Refers to a writing intensive course within the major.

* Please see Wellness Education Requirement for more information.

† The First Year Seminar requirement is replaced by an LAS Elective for the 2014-15 academic year.

Options

Students may select a number of course options to gain specialized study in a particular discipline of mechanical engineering. Options include aerospace engineering, automotive engineering, bioengineering, and energy and environment. Participation in one of these options is not required. However, they are offered for those students who seek to pursue a career in one of these specialized fields of mechanical engineering. Students must maintain a GPA of at least 2.0 within the option sequence of courses to remain in the option. The degree requires students to complete four technical electives and three free electives.

Students may elect to complete the major without an option and instead customize their academic study in support of their career plans. The mechanical engineering major is relatively flexible and allows students to pursue options, minors, and even multiple degrees.

Aerospace engineering

The aerospace engineering option allows for specialized study in the engineering aspects of air- and space-borne vehicles and starts with a course introducing students to the aerospace field. The sequence starts in the third year with students taking a variety of electives focused on aerospace. In addition, students are expected to work on an aerospace engineering design project in Multidisciplinary Senior Design I and II (MECE-497, 498) and to pursue co-op employment in a related field.

Automotive engineering

The automotive engineering option offers a series of specialized technical and free elective courses during the fourth and fifth years that provide an introduction to vehicle power plants, dynamics, and control systems. In addition, students are expected to work on an automotive senior design in the fifth year and to pursue co-op employment in a related field.

Bioengineering

The bioengineering option provides an introduction to engineering sciences and design based upon a foundation of biological sciences. The course sequence starts with a biological science elective, which counts as a free elective. Students are expected to work on a bioengineering design project in their fifth year and to pursue co-op employment in a related field.

Energy and environment

This option provides students with exposure to a wide range of opportunities and careers associated with energy-intensive systems and how they relate to the environment. This option increases the number of opportunities students have for careers in the fields of building energy systems, alternative and renewable energy, and direct energy conversion. Students are expected to work on an energy systems design project in senior design and to pursue co-op employment in a related field.

Accelerated dual degree options

Three accelerated dual degree options are available for outstanding mechanical engineering students who wish to earn a both a bachelor's and a master's degree within approximately five years.

  • A BS/MS in mechanical engineering has a strong research focus and is primarily directed toward students who plan to continue their education in the pursuit of a doctoral degree.
  • A BS/ME in mechanical engineering has a strong career focus for students who plan to seek employment immediately after graduation.
  • A BS in mechanical engineering and an MS in science, technology, and public policy has a public policy research focus and is designed for students interested in using their technical preparation as an engineer to help shape future policy decisions.

All students enrolled in the dual degree options are required to complete a graduate thesis and conduct scholarly research.

The BS and MS or ME degrees are awarded simultaneously. A student may apply for admission to this options during their second year of study. A transfer student may apply after completing one semester of study at RIT. Admission is based on a cumulative grade-point average of at least 3.4, letters of recommendation from faculty, and a letter of application from the student. Students are admitted first to the BS/ME option but may change to the BS/MS option upon approval of a thesis proposal. While pursuing a dual degree option, students are required to maintain a cumulative grade-point average of at least 3.2.

Mechanical engineering, BS/MS degree, typical course sequence

Course Sem. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
  LAS Foundation 2: First Year Writing 3
MATH-181, 182 LAS Perspective 7A: Project-based Calculus I, II 8
  LAS Perspective 1, 2, 3 9
MECE-102 Engineering Mechanics Lab 3
MECE-104 Engineering Design Tools 3
  LAS Foundation 1: First Year Seminar† 3
MECE-103 Statics 3
  YearOne 0
  Wellness Education* 0
Second Year
  LAS Perspective 4 3
MATH-219 Multivariable Calculus 3
MECE-205 Dynamics 3
MECE-110 Thermodynamics I 3
MECE-210 Fluid Mechanics I 3
MECE-305, 306 Material Science with Applications and Lab 4
MATH-231 Differential Equations 3
MECE-203, 204 Strength of Materials I and Lab 4
  Physical Science Elective 3
EGEN-099 Cooperative Education Preparation 0
Third Year
  Immersion 1, 2 6
  Free Elective 3
MATH-326 Boundary Value Problems 3
EEEE-281 Circuits I 3
MATH-241 Linear Algebra 3
MECE-348 Contemporary Issues (WI) 3
MECE-211 Engineering Measurements Lab 2
MECE-317 Numerical Methods 3
MECE-310 Heat Transfer 3
  Extended Core Elective 3
MECE-499 Cooperative Education Co-op
Fourth Year
MECE-601 Math I for Engineers 3
MECE-602 Math II for Engineers 3
MECE-301 Engineering Applications Lab 2
MECE-320 System Dynamics 3
PHYS-212 University Physics II 4
  LAS Immersion 3 3
STAT-205 Applied Statistics 3
  Physical Science Elective 3
  Free Elective 3
MECE-499 Cooperative Education Co-op
Fifth Year
MECE-497, 498 Multidisciplinary Senior Design I, II 6
  Grad Focus Area Courses 9
  Graduate Electives 9
MECE-790 Thesis 6
Total Semester Credit Hours 150

Please see New General Education Curriculum–Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS) for more information.

(WI) Refers to a writing intensive course within the major.

* Please see Wellness Education Requirement for more information.

† The First Year Seminar requirement is replaced by an LAS Elective for the 2014-15 academic year.

Mechanical engineering, BS/ME degree, typical course sequence

Course Sem. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
  LAS Foundation 2: First Year Writing 3
MATH-181, 182 LAS Perspective 7A: Project-based Calculus I, II 8
  LAS Perspective 1, 2, 3 9
MECE-102 Engineering Mechanics Lab 3
MECE-104 Engineering Design Tools 3
  LAS Foundation 1: First Year Seminar† 3
MECE-103 Statics 3
  YearOne 0
  Wellness Education* 0
Second Year
  LAS Perspective 4 3
MATH-219 Multivariable Calculus 3
MECE-205 Dynamics 3
MECE-110 Thermodynamics I 3
  Physical Science Elective 1 3
MECE-210 Fluid Mechanics I 3
MATH-231 Differential Equations 3
MECE-203, 204 Strength of Materials I and Lab 4
MECE-305, 306 Material Science with Applications and Lab 4
  Free Elective 3
EGEN-099 Cooperative Education Preparation 0
Third Year
  Free Elective 3
  Immersion 1, 2 6
MATH-326 Boundary Value Problems 3
EEEE-281 Circuits I 3
MECE-348 Contemporary Issues (WI) 3
MECE-317 Numerical Methods 3
MECE-211 Engineering Measurements Lab 2
MATH-241 Linear Algebra 3
  Extended Core Elective 3
MECE-310 Heat Transfer I 3
MECE-499 Cooperative Education (summer) Co-op
Fourth Year
MECE-601 Math I for Engineers 3
MECE-602 Math II for Engineers 3
MECE-320 System Dynamics 3
MECE-301 Engineering Applications Lab 2
MECE-730 Design Project Leadership 3
PHYS-212 University Physics II 4
STAT-205 Applied Statistics 3
  Physical Science Elective 3
  Immersion 3 3
MECE-499 Cooperative Education 0
Fifth Year
MECE-497, 498 Multidisciplinary Senior Design I, II 6
  Graduate Focus Area Courses 9
  Graduate Electives 12
Total Semester Credit Hours 150

Please see New General Education Curriculum–Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS) for more information.

(WI) Refers to a writing intensive course within the major.

* Please see Wellness Education Requirement for more information.

† The First Year Seminar requirement is replaced by an LAS Elective for the 2014-15 academic year.

Mechanical engineering, BS degree/Science, technology and public policy, MS degree, typical course sequence

Course Sem. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
  LAS Foundation 2: First Year Writing 3
MATH-181 LAS Perspective 7A: Project-based Calculus I 4
  LAS Perspective 1, 2, 3 9
MECE-102 Engineering Mechanics Lab 3
MECE-104 Engineering Design Tools 3
  LAS Foundation 1: First Year Seminar† 3
MATH-182 LAS Perspective 7B: Project-based Calculus II 4
MECE-103 Statics 3
  YearOne 0
  Wellness Education* 0
Second Year
  LAS Perspective 4 3
MATH-219 Multivariable Calculus 3
MECE-205 Dynamics 3
MECE-110 Thermodynamics I 3
MECE-210 Fluid Mechanics I 3
  Physical Science Elective 3
MATH-231 Differential Equations 3
MECE-203, 204 Strength of Materials I and Lab 4
MECE-305, 306 Material Science with Applications and Lab 4
  Free Elective 3
EGEN-099 Cooperative Education Preparation 0
Third Year
  Immersion 1, 2 6
MECE-310 Heat Transfer I 3
MATH-326 Boundary Value Problems 3
MATH-241 Linear Algebra 3
EEEE-281 Circuits I 3
MECE-348 Contemporary Issues (WI) 3
MECE-317 Numerical Methods 3
MECE-211 Engineering Measurements Lab 2
  Extended Core Elective 3
MECE-499 Cooperative Education (spring) Co-op
Fourth Year
MECE-320 System Dynamics 3
MECE-301 Engineering Applications Lab 2
  Immersion 3 3
PHYS-212 University Physics II 4
  Graduate Electives 6
  Physical Science Electives 6
PUBL-700 Readings in Public Policy 3
MECE-499 Cooperative Education (spring, summer) co-op
Fifth Year
MECE-497, 498 Multidisciplinary Senior Design I, II 6
STAT-205 Applied Statistics 3
  Graduate Elective 3
PUBL-701 Graduate Policy Analysis 3
PUBL-702 Graduate Decision Analysis 3
PUBL-703 Evaluation and Research Design 3
STSO-710 Graduate Science and Technology Seminar 3
PUBL-790 Thesis 6
Total Semester Credit Hours 150

Please see New General Education Curriculum–Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS) for more information.

(WI) Refers to a writing intensive course within the major.

* Please see Wellness Education Requirement for more information.

† The First Year Seminar requirement is replaced by an LAS Elective for the 2014-15 academic year.

[arrow] Click to view program requirements in the Quarter Calendar

Quarter Curriculum - For Reference Only

Effective fall 2013, RIT will convert its academic calendar from quarters to semesters. The following content has been made available as reference only. Currently matriculated students who began their academic programs in quarters should consult their academic adviser for guidance and course selection.

Program overview

Educational objectives

The objectives of the mechanical engineering program are to prepare graduates to:

  • practice mechanical engineering in support of the design of engineered systems through the application of the fundamental knowledge, skills, and tools of mechanical engineering.
  • enhance their skills through formal education and training, independent inquiry, and professional development.
  • work independently as well as collaboratively with others, while demonstrating the professional and ethical responsibilities of the engineering profession.
  • successfully pursue graduate degrees at the master's and/or doctoral levels, should they choose.

Mechanical engineering is perhaps the most comprehensive of the engineering disciplines. The mechanical engineer’s interests encompass the design of automotive and aerospace systems, bioengineering devices, and energy-related technologies. The spectrum of professional activity for the mechanical engineering graduate runs from research through design and development to manufacturing and sales. Because of their comprehensive training and education, mechanical engineers often are called upon to assume management positions.

The mechanical engineering department offers professional courses in the areas of bioengineering, energy systems, applied mechanics, manufacturing, materials science, systems analysis, computer-aided graphics and design, robotics, and automotive and aerospace engineering. The department’s laboratories are equipped to provide extensive experimentation in these areas. Laboratory facilities include a well-instrumented wind tunnel, a particle imaging velocimetry laser system for flow visualization, advanced heat transfer systems, robotics, a proton exchange membrane fuel cell, engine dynamometers, fluid flow loops, refrigeration systems, tensile testers, compression testers, torsion testers, hardness testers, X-ray diffractometer, atomic force microscope, dynamic system simulators, a spectrum analyzer, and a well-equipped machine shop.

Students have an opportunity to participate in regional and national design competitions such as the Formula SAE Autosports Competition team, the SAE Aerodesign Club, and the Human-Powered Vehicle Competition team. They also are encouraged to participate in the student chapters of professional societies such as the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the Society of Women Engineers, the National Society of Black Engineers, the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, and the Society of Automotive Engineers.

Curriculum

The program provides students with a broad academic base complemented by hands-on laboratory activities and cooperative education experience. Students devote their first two years to the study of mathematics, physics, chemistry, liberal arts, and engineering sciences, while the third and fourth years emphasize engineering science, design, and systems.

A student may then specialize by choosing appropriate technical and free elective courses in an area of interest. Each of the listed technical electives includes a significant design project. In the fifth year, each student is required to complete the capstone design courses, Senior Design I and II (0305-630, 631).

The liberal arts component of the mechanical engineering program consists of 36 credit hours of study in accordance with the university’s liberal arts general education requirements. In the third year, all students must demonstrate writing competency in the English language by successfully completing a college writing exercise evaluated by faculty from the Institute Writing Committee. For some students, this may require work with the Academic Support Center, the English Language Center, or additional course work in the College of Liberal Arts.

Accreditation

The BS in mechanical engineering program is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, http://www.abet.org.

Mechanical engineering, BS degree, typical course sequence (quarters)

CourseQtr. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
1720-050, 051 Discovery 1
1720-052 Pathways‡ 1
Students will be enrolled in one of the two calculus sequences below:  
1016-281, 282, 283     Calculus I, II, III 12
1016-271, 272, 273     Calculus A, B, C  
1011-208 Chemistry I 4
0304-343 Materials Processing 3
  Liberal Arts* 12
1017-311, 312 University Physics I, II 10
0304-214 Engineering Design Graphics 2
0304-280 Measurements, Instrumentation, Controls Lab 2
0304-342 Problem Solving with Computers 3
  Wellness Education† 0
Second Year
  Science Electives 8
1016-305 Multivariable Calculus 4
1016-306 Differential Equations 4
1016-318 Matrices and Boundary Value Problems 4
1017-313 University Physics III 4
0304-413 Thermodynamics 4
0304-415 Fluid Mechanics 4
0304-336 Statics 4
0304-347 Mechanics of Materials 4
0304-348 Mechanics of Materials Lab 1
0304-359 Dynamics 5
  Liberal Arts* 4
  Wellness Education† 0
Third Year
1016-314 Engineering Statistics 4
0304-344 Materials Science 4
0304-437 Design of Machine Elements 4
0304-440 Numerical Methods 4
0304-514 Heat Transfer 4
0304-416 Thermal Fluids Lab I 1
0301-381 Circuits I 4
  Liberal Arts* 8
  Cooperative Education Co-op
Fourth Year
0304-518 Advanced Computational Techniques 4
  Liberal Arts* 4
0304-543 Systems Dynamics 5
0304-550 Transport Phenomena 4
0304-551 Thermal Fluids Lab II 1
  Cooperative Education Co-op
Fifth Year
  Technical Electives 16
  Free Electives 12
  Liberal Arts* 8
0304-630, 631 Senior Design I, II 8
Total Quarter Credit Hours 195

* Please see Liberal Arts General Education Requirements for more information.

† Please see Wellness Education Requirement for more information.

‡ Students are required to complete one Pathways course. Students may choose from Innovation/Creativity (1720-052), Leadership (1720-053), or Service (1720-054). These courses may be completed in the winter or spring quarter.

Options

Students may select a number of course options to gain specialized study in a particular discipline of mechanical engineering. Options include aerospace engineering, automotive engineering, bioengineering, and energy and environment. Participation in one of these options is not required. However, they are offered for those students who seek to pursue a career in one of these specialized fields of mechanical engineering. Students must maintain a GPA of at least 2.0 within the option sequence of courses to remain in the option. The degree requires students to complete four technical electives and three free electives.

Students may elect to complete the program without an option and instead customize their academic study in support of their career plans. The mechanical engineering program is relatively flexible and allows students to pursue options, minors, and even multiple degrees.

Aerospace engineering

The aerospace engineering option allows for specialized study in the engineering aspects of air- and space-borne vehicles and starts with a course introducing students to the aerospace field. The sequence starts in the third year with students taking a variety of electives focused on aerospace. In addition, students choosing this option are expected to work on an aerospace engineering design project in Senior Design I and II (0304-630, 631) and to pursue co-op employment in a related field.

Automotive engineering

The automotive engineering option offers a series of specialized technical and free elective courses during the fourth and fifth years that provides an introduction to vehicle power plants, dynamics, and control systems. In addition, students choosing this concentration are expected to work on an automotive senior design in the fifth year and to pursue co-op employment in a related field.

Bioengineering

The bioengineering option provides an introduction to engineering sciences and design based upon a foundation of biological sciences. The course sequence starts with a biological science elective, which counts as a free elective. Students choosing this option are expected to work on a bioengineering design project in their fifth year and to pursue co-op employment in a related field.

Energy and environment

This option consists of electives that provide students with exposure to a wide range of opportunities and careers associated with energy-intensive systems and how they relate to the environment. This option increases the number of opportunities students have for careers in the fields of building energy systems, alternative and renewable energy, and direct energy conversion. Students choosing this option are expected to work on an energy systems design project in senior design and to pursue co-op employment in a related field.

Accelerated dual degree options

Three accelerated dual degree options offer outstanding mechanical engineering students an opportunity to earn bachelor of science and master of science degrees within approximately five years. Two dual degree options are available—a bachelor of science/master of engineering degree (BS/ME), which has a strong career focus for students who plan to seek employment immediately after graduation; and a bachelor of science/master of science degree (BS/MS), which has a strong research focus and is primarily directed toward students who plan to continue their education in the pursuit of a doctoral degree. All students enrolled in the BS/MS options are required to complete a graduate thesis and conduct scholarly research.

The ME department also offers a dual degree option enabling students to earn a BS in mechanical engineering and an MS in science, technology, and public policy. This dual degree option has a public policy research focus and is designed for students interested in using their technical preparation as an engineer to help shape future policy decisions. It is a cliche that technology has become a major driver, perhaps the most important driver, of social, political, and economic change. It follows then that engineers will increasingly shape the direction of those changes, and it is important that engineers understand how their future actions directly and indirectly affect all of our lives.

The BS and MS or ME degrees are awarded simultaneously. A student may apply for admission to this program in February of the second year. A transfer student may apply after completing one quarter of study at RIT. Admission is based on a cumulative grade-point average of at least 3.4, letters of recommendation from the faculty, and a letter of application from the student. Students are admitted first to the BS/ME option but may change to the BS/MS option upon approval of a thesis proposal. While in the program, students are required to maintain a cumulative grade-point average of at least 3.2.