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 the Aerospace Engineering Option - Mechanical Engineering BS program 

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 the Automotive Engineering Option - Mechanical Engineering BS program 

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 the Bioengineering Option - Mechanical Engineering BS program 

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 the Energy and the Environment Option - Mechanical Engineering BS program 

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 the Mechanical Engineering BS program 

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 the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Ph.D. program 

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 the Mechanical Engineering ME program 

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 the Mechanical Engineering MS program 

Conduct research in nano-engineering, design methods, and technologies for micro- and nano-scaled systems. This microsystems engineering doctorate is a multidisciplinary program that addresses the technical challenges of micro- and nano-systems.

Learn more about the Microsystems Engineering Ph.D. program 

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

Learn more about the Vibrations Adv. Cert. program 

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 the Mechanical Engineering Minor program 

Research

Advanced Gear Design and Simulation

Led by Dr. Alfonso Fuentes-Aznar, the research performed at RIT’s Gear Research Laboratory is focused on the study of new gear geometries and the development of new methodologies for advanced design, analysis, simulation, and troubleshooting of gear drives.

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Bioengineering / Nanotechnology

Led by Dr. Ke Du, the Nanobiosensing, Nanomanufacturing, Nanomaterials (3N) Lab explores the potential of high-aspect ratio nanostructures combined with CRISPR assays to detect biomarkers both in vitro and in vivo. 

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Clean Energy and Water

Led by Dr. Howard Tu, the Clean Energy and Water lab targets interdisciplinary problems coupling mechanics, electrochemistry, and materials in the field of energy storage and water desalination. 

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Droplet Based Microfluidics

The Discrete Microfluidics Laboratory studies the physics of small droplets. The goal is to understand fluid interactions and leverage the physics of microdroplets for innovative advancements in current technologies.

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Smart Manufacturing

The Smart Manufacturing Research Group (SMRG), under the leadership of Dr. Rui Liu, is dedicated to investigating the research problems related to smart manufacturing on the fundamental level and expanding the research scope by exploring new research topics and introducing state-of-the art technologies.

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Respiratory Technologies Lab

The Respiratory Technologies Lab (RTL) specializes in the mechanics of inhaled particles. Its current research focus is to understand the relationship between tobacco product characteristics, behavior, and health effect. The RTL studies e-cigarettes, waterpipe, cigarettes, and tobacco heated products. 

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A diagram depicting artificial intelligence research and interfacial phenomena research.

Interfaces and AI-Powered Diagnosis

Dr. Isaac Perez-Raya conducts research on interfacial phenomena such as boiling heat transfer and applies artificial intelligence (AI) in modeling of intracranial blood flow and breast cancer. Other relevant fields of study include pollution monitoring and optimization problems. 

X-Ray Diffraction, Atomic Force Microscopy, Quantitative Microscopy

The Advanced Materials Laboratory focuses on X-ray diffraction (both powder and high resolution), scanning probe microscopies, optical microscopy, microhardness testing, and specimen preparation by mechanical and electrochemical polishing.

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Latest News

  • November 18, 2021

    side-by-side portraits of Kathy Yu and Nick Schneider.

    RIT names new members to its board of trustees

    RIT appointed two new members — who are also alumni — to its board of trustees. Kathy Yu ’91 has more than 20 years of experience in the technology and semiconductor manufacturing sectors. Nick Schneider ’10, ’10 MS is a principal at Boston Consulting Group, where he is a lead in the company’s technology, media, and telco sector.

  • October 8, 2021

    researcher looks into microscope while professor adjusts display on laptop.

    Faculty compensation is focus of NSF-sponsored research

    To build understanding of faculty compensation systems and improve conversations around salary, several RIT faculty members are sharing their experiences with a National Science Foundation-funded multidisciplinary research team. The team’s goal is to significantly expand knowledge of best practices for faculty compensation to a broader community in higher education and provide insights to guide compensation practices.  

  • August 30, 2021

    researchers looking at a laptop on a table with beakers and vials.

    Engineering faculty member receives NIH grant to develop biotechnology to better detect sepsis

    As one of the leading causes of death in hospitals, sepsis becomes more complicated with the rise in bacteria most resistant to some of today’s antibiotics. If physicians can detect onset earlier, treatments could begin sooner. Ke Du, a mechanical engineering faculty-researcher, will be developing a microfluidic device to improve detection of drug resistant bacteria in blood.

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.