Department of Mechanical Engineering

Overview

From rockets to robots, power plants to biomechanical parts, mechanical engineers put both energy and machines to work. Wherever there is motion or energy, mechanical engineers have played a role in the innovations that define modern life.

Mechanical engineering is a broad discipline, covering topics that include aerodynamics, medical devices, energy systems, system control, robotics, new product development, materials development, structural integrity, manufacturing, automotive systems, and space vehicle systems. The mechanical engineering department offers a solid foundation in mechanical engineering fundamentals with options for students to concentrate their studies in several specific areas of engineering. 

Mechanical engineers work in many different industries and businesses as product developers, researchers, prototype designers, automotive engineers, aerospace engineers, management consultants, among many others. Because of their comprehensive training, mechanical engineers are often called upon to serve in senior leadership positions.

Well-equipped labs and facilities offer students the opportunity to build models and prototypes to demonstrate particular engineering design concepts. Experimentation and research are encouraged and there are opportunities for students to enrich their undergraduate and graduate experience by engaging in faculty-led research in areas such as sustainable energy systems, biomedical and assistive device technology, systems analysis, robotics, vibrations, and automotive and aerospace engineering. 

Accreditation

The BS degree in mechanical engineering is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, www.abet.org. For Enrollment and Graduation Data, Program Educational Objectives, and Student Outcomes, please visit the college’s Accreditation page.  
 

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Undergraduate options in aerospace, automotive, bioengineering, and energy and the environment

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Areas of research

1000+

Undergraduate and graduate mechanical engineering students

Degree Programs

Undergraduate Degrees

The aerospace engineering option allows for specialized study in all engineering aspects of air- and space-borne vehicles. Aerospace engineering focuses on developing aircraft, spacecraft, and the mechanical systems that make both possible. Also referred to as aeronautical engineering, aerospace engineering deals with designing, building, and testing airborne and space vehicles, from airplanes and helicopters to rockets, missiles, satellites, and spacecraft. This option is part of the mechanical engineering BS degree.

Learn More about Aerospace Engineering Option - Mechanical Engineering BS 

Modern automotive engineering entails the design of engines and automotive components such as braking, powertrain systems, vehicle dynamics, lighting systems, transmission, and fuel economy. The automotive engineering option offers specialized advanced electives that provide a comprehensive understanding of automotive design and manufacturing, vehicle power plants, dynamics, control systems, and more. This option is part of the mechanical engineering BS degree.

Learn More about Automotive Engineering Option - Mechanical Engineering BS 

Bioengineering is the application of engineering fundamentals to the principles of biology, the life sciences, and the physical sciences. The result is the creation of advanced solutions to some of the most pressing biological challenges, from the environment, agriculture, and genetic engineering, to pharmaceuticals, medicine, and health care. This option is part of the mechanical engineering BS degree.

Learn More about Bioengineering Option - Mechanical Engineering BS 

More than ever there is an intensive focus on identifying, developing, and effectively utilizing alternative energy systems. The energy and environment option is focused on the contemporary issues facing the fields of energy and the environment and how engineers can best develop modern technologies that are kinder to the environment while providing the energy resources we need. This option is part of the mechanical engineering BS degree.

Learn More about Energy and the Environment Option - Mechanical Engineering BS 

Mechanical engineers put energy and machines to work–from rockets, robots, and airplanes to automobiles, satellites, and renewable energy systems. In RIT's mechanical engineering BS degree you'll study math, science, physics, engineering science, and engineering systems.

Learn More about Mechanical Engineering BS 

Graduate Degrees

In the mechanical and industrial engineering doctorate you'll graduate with a depth of knowledge in mechanical or industrial engineering while engaging in cutting-edge, cross-disciplinary research.

Learn More about Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Ph.D. 

In this mechanical engineering master's degree, you'll apply mechanical engineering principles and theories to enhance your skills through formal education and training, and independent inquiry.

Learn More about Mechanical Engineering ME 

A mechanical engineering master's degree that focuses on the in-depth examination of dynamics, robotics, nanotechnology, biomechanics, and energy systems to prepare you to enter a career in industry or research.

Learn More about Mechanical Engineering MS 

Control vibration in engineering systems and apply your knowledge to everything from consumer product development, manufacturing, aerospace systems, and more.

Learn More about Vibrations Adv. Cert. 

Minors and Immersions

The minor in mechanical engineering exposes students to the core foundations of the discipline. Courses help non-majors explore high-technology careers and communicate more effectively with engineers on project teams. The minor consists of a five-course sequence that builds on prerequisite knowledge from calculus and engineering mechanics. Elective courses provide additional depth of knowledge in an area of individual student interest.

Learn More about Mechanical Engineering Minor 

Research

Led by Professor Ke Du, the Nanobiosensing, Nanomanufacturing, Nanomaterials (3N) Lab is an interdisciplinary research team dedicated to addressing global challenges including health care, manufacturing, and cleaner water by combining fundamental studies of biomolecules at single molecule level with novel nanostructured materials and automated microfluidic systems.  

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Ke Du headshot
Assistant Professor
Department of Mechanical Engineering
Kate Gleason College of Engineering
5854754256

RIT's Gear Research Laboratory, in collaboration with researchers at the Polytechnic University of Cartagena (UPCT) in Spain, is focused on the development of IGD - Integrated Gear Design - as the ultimate computer program for advanced gear design as well as analysis, optimization, and troubleshooting of gear drives.

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The RIT Thermal Analysis and Microfluidics Lab has been driven by a keen desire to examine the fundamental phenomena related to microscale fluid mechanics and dynamics. Starting with detection of micron-sized bubbles under various flow conditions, and examination of interfacial phenomena in an evaporating meniscus, the lab has grown and expanded its research capacity to envelop a wide range of microfluidic applications. It has conducted some pioneering work on bubble visualization and theoretical model developments for flow boiling in minichannels and microchannels.

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The Smart Manufacturing Research Group (SMRG) under the leadership of Dr. Rui Liu is dedicated to investigating the research problems related to the smart manufacturing on the fundamental level and expanding the research scope by exploring the new research topics and introducing the state-of-the art technologies. The SMRG works on a wide range of research topics, including machining simulation, tool condition monitoring, tribology, soft material cutting, and gear manufacturing.

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Rui Liu headshot
Assistant Professor
Department of Mechanical Engineering
Kate Gleason College of Engineering
585-475-6819

The Discrete Microfluidics Laboratory (DMFL) studies the physics of microscale droplets. Physics at this scale is a little different because surface forces tend to dominate over body forces. In a single droplet, the interactions of the fluid, suspended particles, and any applied electric fields are highly coupled and complex. Our goal is to understand these interactions and to leverage the physics of microdroplets for innovative advancements in current technologies. Potential applications range from health care to energy to manufacturing and more. Our current research focuses include: colloidal deposition, energy harvesting, and lab-on-a-chip. 

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The Nano-Bio Interface Laboratory (NBIL) focuses on seamlessly integrating biological and artificial systems at the micro-/nanoscale. The NBIL investigates several aspects critical to the interface of nanotechnology and biology, including nanomanufacturing, nanomanipulation, technology-biology interactions, and biomedical applications. The NBIL aims to create cutting-edge nanobiotechnology, advance knowledge in nanoscience and biology, and train the next generation of scientists and engineers at the interface of nanotechnology and biology.

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The focus of the Sustainable Energy Lab (SEL) is to model, test, and design sustainable energy options with a current focus on thermoelectric modules and systems for current and future power generation applications, and developing world appropriate technologies. SEL is committed to providing a range of experiential learning opportunities to both undergraduate and graduate students.

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Rob Stevens headshot
Associate Professor
Department of Mechanical Engineering
Kate Gleason College of Engineering
585-475-2153

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Featured Profiles

Student Clubs and Organizations

Pi Tau Sigma

Pi Tau Sigma is the mechanical engineering national honor society. Membership, by invitation, is open to students ranked in the upper third of their class in their fourth and fifth years at RIT. Chapter activities are tailored to foster high ideals in the engineering profession, support departmental activities, and promote professionalism. 

Tau Beta Pi

This national engineering honor society was founded to celebrate those who have conferred honor upon their alma mater by distinguished scholarship and exemplary character as students in engineering, or by their attainments as alumni in the field of engineering, and to foster a spirit of liberal culture in engineering colleges. Election to Tau Beta Pi is one of the highest honors bestowed on an engineering student by his or her peers. 

American Society of Mechanical Engineers

The student chapter of ASME offers educational, technical, and social activities. It helps students develop leadership skills and leads to contacts with engineers in industry and students at other colleges within the region. The student chapter is active and works closely with the local professional chapter.  

Society of Automotive Engineers and FSAE Competition Team

The purpose of the RIT Society of Automotive Engineers is to give students the opportunity to meet with senior engineers in industry and provide students a chance to apply their classroom knowledge in various projects.

National Society of Black Engineers

The student chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers is dedicated to the retention, recruitment, and successful graduation of its members. 

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Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers

The Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers is an association of professionals and students in engineering, science, technology, business, and other related disciplines at RIT. SHPE’s aim is to identify and promote professional growth opportunities for Hispanic students. 

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Society of Women Engineers

The Society of Women Engineers is a student-run organization that organizes and hosts guest speakers, high school outreach, community activities, tours, social events, and events with other student organizations. The RIT chapter is strongly committed to encouraging women in their pursuit of careers in engineering or related fields. 

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Professional organizations and societies provide opportunities for students to enhance their professional development, including society-sponsored conferences, symposia, and workshops, through local and student chapter meetings and activities. Explore professional organizations and societies for opportunities to volunteer, get involved, and shape your career.

American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
American Society for Engineering Education
American Society of Mechanical Engineers
Institution of Mechanical Engineers
Materials Research Society
National Society of Black Engineers
Rochester Engineering Society
SAE International
Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers
Society of Women Engineers

Aero Design Club

The student chapter is dedicated to promoting careers and opportunities in the aerospace industry.  

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Formula One SAE Racing Team

Our award-winning SAE team, builds a car from the ground up every year. Purchasing only the engine block, tires, and bulk materials, it is entirely designed and constructed by our students to compete in national and international competitions.

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Student Resources

The Mechanical Engineering Department offers a variety of resources for our students that vary from academic support to handbooks and more. Visit our Student Resources page for more information.