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.
Notes about this minor:
This minor is closed to students majoring in mechanical engineering.
Posting of the minor on the student's academic transcript requires a minimum GPA of 2.0 in the minor.
Notations may appear in the curriculum chart below outlining pre-requisites, co-requisites, and other curriculum requirements (see footnotes).
Choose one of the following:
Engineering Mechanics Lab
This course examines classical Newtonian mechanics from a calculus-based fundamental perspective with close coupling to integrated laboratory experiences. Topics include kinematics; Newton's laws of motion; work-energy theorem, and power; systems of particles and linear momentum; circular motion and rotation; mechanical waves, and oscillations and gravitation within the context of mechanical engineering, using mechanical engineering conventions and nomenclature. Each topic is reviewed in lecture, and then thoroughly studied in multiple accompanying laboratory sessions. Students conduct experiments using modern data acquisition technology; and analyze, interpret, and present the results using modern computer software.
University Physics I: AP-C Mechanics
University Physics I
This is a course in calculus-based physics for science and engineering majors. Topics include kinematics, planar motion, Newton's Laws, gravitation, work and energy, momentum and impulse, conservation laws, systems of particles, rotational motion, static equilibrium, mechanical oscillations and waves, and data presentation/analysis. The course is taught in a workshop format that integrates the material traditionally found in separate lecture and laboratory courses.
University Physics IA
Project-based Calculus II
This is the second in a two-course sequence intended for students majoring in mathematics, science, or engineering. It emphasizes the understanding of concepts, and using them to solve physical problems. The course covers techniques of integration including integration by parts, partial fractions, improper integrals, applications of integration, representing functions by infinite series, convergence and divergence of series, parametric curves, and polar coordinates.
This basic course treats the equilibrium of particles and rigid bodies under the action of forces. It integrates the mathematical subjects of calculus, vector algebra and simultaneous algebraic equations with the physical concepts of equilibrium in two and three dimensions. Topics include concepts of force and moment, friction, centroids and moments of inertia, and equilibrium of trusses, frames and machines.
Engineering Design Tools
This course combines the elements of Design process, Computer Aided Design (CAD), and Machine Shop Fabrication in the context of a design/build/test project. You will learn how to work in a team and use a formalized design process to justify and support design choices, how to use a CAD package to create three-dimensional models and assemblies, and how to safely fabricate metal parts using vertical mills and lathes.
A basic course introducing the classical theory of thermodynamics. Applications of the first law of thermodynamics are used to introduce the student to thermodynamic processes for closed and open systems. The Clausius and Kelvin-Planck statements of the second law are then correlated with the concept of entropy and enthalpy to investigate both real and reversible processes and the thermodynamic properties of pure substances. These techniques are then used to evaluate thermodynamic cycles for a variety of applications in power generation and refrigeration. Students are then introduced to techniques to imporove thermal efficiency of these cycles such as reheat, regeneration, and co-generation.
Choose two of the following:*
Strength of Materials I
A basic course in the fundamental principles of the mechanics of deformable media, including stress, strain, deflections and the relationships among them. The basic loadings of tension, compression, shear, torsion and bending are also included.
A basic course in the kinematics and kinetics of particles and rigid bodies. Newton's Laws and the theorems of work-energy and impulse momentum are applied to a variety of particle problems. Systems of particles are employed to transition to the analysis of rigid body problems. Absolute and relative motion are used to investigate the kinematics and kinetics of systems of rigid bodies. Newton's Laws are applied to a variety of two-dimensional rigid body problems.
Fluid Mechanics I
This course investigates the physical characteristics of a fluid: density, stress, pressure, viscosity, temperature, vapor pressure, compressibility. Descriptions of flows include Lagrangian and Eulerian; stream-lines, path-lines and streak-lines. Classification of flows include fluid statics, hydrostatic pressure at a point, pressure field in a static fluid, manometry, forces on submerged surfaces, buoyancy, standard and adiabatic atmospheres. Flow fields and fundamental laws are investigated including systems and control volumes, Reynolds Transport theorem, integral control volume analysis of basic equations for stationary and moving control volumes. Inviscid Bernoulli and the Engineering Bernoulli equation are utilized when analyzing fluid systems. Other concepts studied include incompressible flow in pipes; laminar and turbulent flows, separation phenomenon, dimensional analysis.
Materials Science with Applications
This course provides the student with an overview of structure, properties, and processing of metals, polymers, and ceramics. Relevant basic manufacturing processes and materials selection is also discussed. There is a particular emphasis on steels, but significant attention is given to non-ferrous metals, ceramics, and polymers
Heat Transfer I
A first course in the fundamentals of heat transfer by conduction, convection and radiation, together with applications to typical engineering systems. Topics include one- and two-dimensional steady state and transient heat conduction, radiation exchange between black and gray surfaces, correlation equations for laminar/turbulent internal and external convection, and an introduction to heat exchangers analysis and design by LMTD and NTU methods.
This course entails the study of numerical methods as utilized to model and solve engineering problems on a computing device. Students learn to implement, analyze and interpret numerical solutions to a variety of mathematical problems commonly encountered in engineering applications. Topics include roots of algebraic and transcendental equations, linear systems, curve fitting, numerical differentiation and integration, and ordinary differential equations. Applications are taken from student's background in engineering, science and mathematics courses. The MATLAB programming language is taught and utilized for computer implementation.
This required course introduces the student to lumped parameter system modeling, analysis and design. The determination and solution of differential equations that model system behavior is a vital aspect of the course. System response phenomena are characterized in both time and frequency domains and evaluated based on performance criteria. Laboratory exercises enhance student proficiency with model simulation, basic instrumentation, data acquisition, data analysis, and model validation.
Fluid Mechanics II
A second course in fluid mechanics, integrating concepts of heat and mass transfer. Use of the differential form of the fundamental equations of the conservation of mass, momentum and energy is derived and used throughout. Topics include potential flow, viscous internal plane and pipe flows, external boundary layers, and the convective transport of heat and mass.
Advanced Computational Techniques
In this course the students learn how to numerically solve some boundary value problems using the two most popular techniques: the finite difference (FD) and the finite elements (FE). Simple practical structural and thermal problems are also solved using a commercial FE software (ANSYS or equivalent).
Examines the basic principles applicable to all turbomachinery as well as the consideration of the operating and design characteristics of several basic classes of turbomachinery, including, centrifugal pumps, compressors, and turbines, as well as axial compressors and turbines, and hydraulic turbines. Includes a major team design project.
The fundamentals of propulsion including the basic operating principles and design methods for flight vehicle propulsion systems. Topics include air-breathing engines (turbojets, ramjets, turboprops and turbofans) as well as liquid and solid propellant chemical rockets. Students complete a team study project including a written report and a presentation of the results.
Wind Turbine Engineering
This course explores the basic aerodynamic elements of small-scale, horizontal axis wind turbines. A major component of the course is a project involving the design, construction, and testing of various blade profiles for a simple test turbine facility, utilizing a novel foam-paper construction process. Students will make use of various software packages for the project, including ProEngineer (or similar), MATLAB, and LabVIEW. Some attention may be given to larger-scale turbines, siting and environmental issues, power generation concerns, and other related topics as time and interest allow.
Advanced Computer-Aided Design
This course covers advanced solid modeling concepts utilizing industry standard parametric 3D modeling software. Part modeling concepts include parametric design, surface modeling and 3D annotation. Assembly modeling concepts include top down assembly, mechanisms and assemblies. GD&T concepts are introduced. A design project will reverse engineer a given assembly and suggest improvements.
This course presents the essentials of aerodynamic theory. Topics include differential equations of fluid mechanics, airfoil theory, wings of finite span, inviscid potential flows, laminar and turbulent boundary layer, Airfoil design is explored through software. A design project is required.
This course deals with the three-dimensional dynamics of aircraft, including general aircraft performance, stability and control, and handling qualities. Topics include mathematical development of equations-of-motion describing full range of aircraft motion; aerodynamic forming term coefficient development, quaternion alternative; linearization of nonlinear aircraft models, determination of range, endurance and rate of climb; simulation of aircraft trajectory; static and dynamic stability; aircraft control; and aircraft handling qualities introduction. NEW- This course deals with the three-dimensional dynamics of aircraft, including general aircraft performance, stability and control, and handling qualities. Topics include: static and dynamic stability; longitudinal and lateral/directional control; mathematical development of rigid-body 6DOF equations-of-motion describing full range of aircraft motion;attitude dynamics and quaternion alternative; aerodynamic forming term coefficient development; linearization of nonlinear aircraft models; simulation of aircraft trajectories; aircraft system modes; and aircraft handling qualities introduction.
This course introduces orbital mechanics and space flight dynamics theory with application for Earth, lunar, and planetary orbiting spacecraft. Content includes historical background and equations of motion, two-body orbital mechanics, orbit determination, orbit prediction, orbital maneuvers, lunar and interplanetary trajectories, orbital rendezvous and space navigation (time permitting). The two body orbital mechanics problem, first approximation to all exploration orbits or trajectories, is covered with an introduction to the three body problem. Students develop computer based simulations of orbital mechanics problems including a final mission project simulation from Earth to Mars and home again requiring a number of orbit phases and transfers between these phases. NEW -- This course introduces orbital mechanics and space flight dynamics theory with application for Earth, lunar, and planetary orbiting spacecraft. Content includes: historical background and equations of motion, two-body orbital mechanics, orbit determination, orbit prediction, orbital maneuvers, lunar and interplanetary trajectories, orbital rendezvous and space navigation. The two-body orbital mechanics problem, first approximation to all exploration orbits or trajectories, is covered in full detail. Students develop computer based simulations using Matlab of orbital mechanics problems including a final mission project simulation from Earth to Mars requiring a number of orbit phases and transfers between these phases.
The principles of deformable bodies as applied to the analysis and design of aircraft structures. Topics include the study of bending and torsion of thin-walled, multi-cell beams and columns; wing and fuselage stress analysis; and structural stability. Strain energy concepts and matrix methods are utilized throughout the course.
Internal Combustion Engines
An introduction to the operation and design of internal combustion engines. Topics include engine types and cycles, fuels, intake and exhaust processes, emissions and emission control systems, heat transfer and lubrication.
* At least one course must be taken at the 300-level or higher.