Mechanical Engineering Minor


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).

The plan code for Mechanical Engineering Minor is MECE-MN.

Curriculum for Mechanical Engineering Minor

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 an accompanying laboratory session. Students conduct experiments using modern data acquisition technology; and analyze, interpret, and present the results using modern computer software. (Prerequisite: This class is restricted to MECE-BS or ENGRX-UND or MECEDU-BS students. Co-requisites: MATH-171 or MATH-181 or MATH-181A or MATH-172 or equivalent course.) Lec/Lab 5 (Fall, Spring).
   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. (Prerequisites: C- or better in MATH-181 or equivalent course. Co-requisites: MATH-182 or equivalent course.) Lec/Lab 6 (Fall, Spring).
   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. (Prerequisites: C- or better in (MATH-181 or MATH-173 or 1016-282) or (MATH-171 and MATH-180) or equivalent course(s).) Lecture 6 (Fall, Spring, Summer).
Required Courses
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. (Prerequisites: MECE-102 or PHYS-211 or PHYS-211A or PHYS-206 or equivalent course and restricted to MECE-BS or MECEDU-BS or MECE-MN or ENGRX-UND students. Co-requisites: MATH-182 or MATH-182A or MATH-173 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).
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. (This course is restricted to MECE-BS or MECE-MN or ENGRX-UND or MECEDU-BS Major students.) Lab 1, Lecture 4 (Fall, Spring).
Thermodynamics I
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 improve thermal efficiency of these cycles such as reheat, regeneration, and co-generation. (Prerequisites: MECE-102 or PHYS-211 or PHYS-211A or PHYS-206 or equivalent course. Co-requisites: MATH-182 or or MATH-182A or MATH-173 or equivalent course. This course is restricted to MECE-BS or MECEDU-BS or MECE-MN or ENGRX-UND students.) Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).
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. (Prerequisites: MECE-103 or equivalent course. This course is restricted to MECE-BS or MECEDU-BS or MECE-MN students.) Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).
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. (Prerequisites: MECE-103 or equivalent course. This course is restricted to MECE-BS or MECEDU-BS or MECE-MN students.) Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).
   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. (Prerequisites: MECE-110 or equivalent course. This course is restricted to MECE-BS or MECEDU-BS or MECE-MN students.) Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).
   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 (Prerequisite: MECE-203 or equivalent course. This course is restricted to students in MECE-BS, MECEDU-BS, MECE-MN or ENGRX-UND programs.) Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).
   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. (Prerequisites: MECE-210 or equivalent course. This course is restricted to MECE-BS or MECEDU-BS or MECE-MN students.) Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).
   Numerical 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. (Prerequisites: MATH-231 and MECE-102 or equivalent courses. This course is restricted to MECE-BS or MECEDU-BS or MECE-MN students.) Lec/Lab 3 (Fall, Spring).
   System Dynamics
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. (Prerequisites: MECE-205 and MATH-231 or equivalent courses. Co-requisites: EEEE-281 This course is restricted to MECE-BS or MECEDU-BS or MECE-MN students.) Lec/Lab 4 (Fall, Spring).
   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 velocity and thermal boundary layers, and the formulations of conductive and convective transport of heat flows. (Prerequisites: MECE-210 or equivalent course. Co-requisites: MECE-310 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Fall, Spring).
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. (Prerequisites: MECE-210 or equivalent course. This course is restricted to MECE-BS or MECEDU-BS or MECE-MN students.) Lecture 3 (Fall).
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. (Prerequisites: MECE-310 or equivalent course. This course is restricted to MECE-BS or MECEDU-BS or MECE-MN students.) Lecture 3 (Spring).
   Wind Turbine Engineering
This course covers wind turbine design, performance and theory. Topics include wind turbine performance and components, modeling and simulation of wind energy systems, assessment of available wind energy resources, and conducting wind energy system impact analysis. This course includes a team design project. (Prerequisites: MECE-110 and MECE-210 or equivalent courses and students in MECE-BS or MECEDU-BS or MECE-MN programs.) Lecture 3 (Fall Or Spring).
   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. (Prerequisites: MECE-104 or equivalent course. This course is restricted to MECE-BS or MECEDU-BS or MECE-MN students.) Lecture 3 (Fall Or Spring).
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. (Prerequisites: MECE-210 or equivalent course. This course is restricted to MECE-BS or MECEDU-BS or MECE-MN students.) Lecture 3 (Fall).
   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. (Prerequisites: MECE-110 or equivalent course. This course is restricted to MECE-BS or MECEDU-BS or MECE-MN students.) Lecture 3 (Spring).
   Flight Dynamics
   Orbital Mechanics
   Introduction to Optimal Design
This course is an introduction to basic optimization techniques for engineering design synthesis. Topics covered include: basic concepts, the general problem statement, necessary conditions of optimization, numerical techniques for unconstrained optimization, constrained optimization through unconstrained optimization, and direct methods. Numerical solutions are obtained using MATLAB software. A design project is required. (Prerequisite: This course is restricted to MECE-BS students. Co-requisite: MECE-320 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Spring).
   Powertrain Sys & Design
This course will introduce the analysis and design of power transmission systems. Topics covered include spur, helical, bevel, and worm gears, gear trains, planetary gear systems, power transmission shafts, belts and chain drives. The transmission of power at the required speed and torque is the primary function of most power transmission systems, and is the focus of this course. Students will use this foundation to complete a case study project whereby they review and analyse how power is transmitted from the primary source to the remainder of the driveline by means such as manual transmissions, automatic transmissions, continuously variable transmissions, and direct drive systems. (Prerequisites: MECE-350 or equivalent course. This course is restricted to MECE-BS or MECEDU-BS students.) Lecture 3 (Fall).
   Vehicle Dynamics
The course focuses on the fundamentals of ground vehicle motion, control, and stability. The structure, stiffness, and mechanisms by which tires generate longitudinal and lateral forces and self-aligning moments are discussed. Steering geometry and steady-state and transient steering response for bicycle and four-wheel vehicle models are analyzed. The effect of suspension geometry and stiffness on stability and ride are discussed. Transmission system design to match engine characteristics and achieve required vehicle performance is discussed. (Prerequisites: MECE-320 or equivalent course. This course is restricted to MECE-BS or MECEDU-BS students.) Lecture 3 (Spring).
   Renewable Energy Systems
This course provides an overview of renewable energy system design. Energy resource assessment, system components, and feasibility analysis will be covered. Possible topics to be covered include photovoltaics, wind turbines, solar thermal, hydropower, biomass, and geothermal. Students will be responsible for a final design project. (Prerequisites: MECE-310 or equivalent course. This course is restricted to MECE-BS or MECEDU-BS students.) Lecture 3 (Fall).
   Classical Control Systems
This course introduces students to the study of linear control system behavior for design and use in augmenting system performance. This is accomplished through classical control methods using Laplace transforms, block diagrams, root locus, and frequency domain analysis. Topics include: Laplace transform review, system modeling for control, fundamentals of time response behavior, stability analysis, steady-state error and design, feedback control properties, PID control, root locus analysis and design, and frequency response design. A laboratory will provide students with hands-on analysis and design-build-test experience. (Prerequisites: MECE-320 or equivalent course. This course is restricted to MECE-BS or MECEDU-BS students.) Lec/Lab 3 (Fall, Spring).
   Introduction to Composite Materials
This course is an introductory course to the fundamentals and applications of composite materials. Topics covered include constituents of composite materials, fabrication techniques, micromechanical analysis, macromechanical analysis, and the use of composites in design. Some laboratory work is to be performed, and a design project is required. (Prerequisites: MECE-203 and MECE-305 and MATH-241 or equivalent courses and this course is restricted to MECE-BS or MECEDU-BS students. Co-requisite: MECE-317 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Fall).
   Sustainable Energy Use in Transportation
The transportation sector represents nominally a third of the total energy consumption in the US, and presently, over 90% of this comes from petroleum sources. Transportation is responsible for about a quarter of greenhouse gas emissions and is a major source for several criteria pollutants. This course will introduce students to engineering practices used to evaluate transportation technologies from the standpoint of sustainability with an emphasis on light duty vehicles. Several emerging technologies including battery and hybrid electric vehicles, fuel cell vehicles, and bio-fuels will be considered. Particular attention will be devoted to the energy efficiency and emissions of the technology at the both vehicle and the fuel source levels. Additionally, the economic and social impacts will be examined. No text book will be assigned, and instead we will rely on open-access publications, journal articles, and electronic text available through the library. Approved as applied elective for the Energy & Environment Option and for the Automotive Option. (Prerequisites: This course is restricted to MECE-BS Major students. Co-requisites: MECE-305 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Spring).
Biomechatronics is an upper level undergraduate and graduate elective course designed to give students an introduction to fundament concepts in Biomechanics as well as how to relate the biomechanics of motion to robotic systems. Course topics will include Biomechanics of Human Motion, Muscle Mechanics, Biomechanics of Prostheses, Artificial Limbs, Rehabilitation Biomechanics and Robotics, Actuators and Control, Biomimetic Robotics, Robotic Surgery, and Sensors. Students will be provided with fundamental pre-requisite knowledge related to each topic through readings, online resources, and in-class demonstrations. A final project is required. (Prerequisites: MECE-205 or BIME-200 or equivalent course. This course is restricted to MECE-BS or MECEDU-BS or BIME-BS students.) Lecture 3 (Biannual).
   Applied Biomaterials
This course provides an overview of materials used in biomedical applications. Topics covered include structure and properties of hard and soft biomaterials, material selection for medical applications, material performance and degradation in hostile environments, and typical and abnormal physiological responses to biomaterials/environments. Some experiments will be performed in class and a major project is required. (Prerequisite: MECE-305 or BIME-370 and MECE-210 or BIME-320 or equivalent course and restricted to MECE-BS or BIME-BS Major students.) Lecture 3 (Spring).
   Introduction to Engineering Vibrations
Is concerned with analytically finding the dynamic characteristics (natural frequencies and mode shapes) of vibratory mechanical systems (single-degree and multi-degrees of freedom systems), and the response of the systems to external excitations (transient, harmonic, and periodic). Application to vibration damping techniques (Dynamic Vibration Absorbers) is also covered. In addition, laboratory exercises are performed, and an independent design project is assigned. (Prerequisites: MECE-320 or equivalent course. This course is restricted to MECE-BS or MECEDU-BS students.) Lecture 3 (Fall).
   Manufacturing Processes and Engineering
The overall objective of this course is to provide students the exposure of traditional and non-traditional manufacturing processes which include casting, thermoforming, sheet metal forming, machining, polymer processing, joining, additive manufacturing, and more. Students will learn how to apply the basic properties of materials to manufacturing analysis and product design within an economic framework from lectures and projects. (Prerequisites: MECE-104 and MECE-203 and MECE-305 or equivalent courses and students in MECE-BS programs. Co-requisites: MECE-350 or equivalent course.) Lecture 3 (Fall).

* At least one course must be taken at the 300-level or higher.