Mechanical Engineering

Dr. Mohammad H. Naraghi
Chair, Department of Mechanical Engineering

Dr. Bahman Litkouhi, P.E.
Director, Graduate Program


The Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering degree program is designed to provide a contemporary, educational experience beyond that of undergraduate education characterized by high academic standards, reflection on values and principles, and preparation for a lifelong career. It is intended to prepare individuals for advanced technical positions or for admission to doctoral programs.


The objectives of the program are:

  • To provide graduate students with in-depth knowledge and practices in mechanical engineering related to a chosen area of specialization.
  • To develop an appreciation of how mechanical engineering is practiced in the modern engineering environment with an emphasis on communication skills and professional behavior and procedures.
  • To inspire the students to become life-long learners by providing them with the tools to explore and research a topic independently and systematically.

Admission Requirements

Applicants must possess one of the following:

  1. A baccalaureate degree in mechanical engineering from a program accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, Inc., or from a recognized foreign institution.
  2. A baccalaureate degree in another area of engineering, physics, or mathematics.

Applicants who have a baccalaureate degree in another area of engineering, physics, or mathematics may be admitted into the program provided they complete undergraduate prerequisites specified by the Department Graduate Program Director. These courses must be completed with a minimum grade point average of 3.00 with no grade lower than C. These courses will not satisfy any requirements for the Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering degree.

Generally, students must complete prerequisite courses before they are permitted to register for graduate courses. Exceptions require the recommendation of the Graduate Program Director and the approval of the Dean of Engineering.

Degree Requirements

A student must complete a minimum thirty credit hours of graduate coursework, including ENGG 614 Engineering Mathematics. Except for students enrolled in the Seamless Master's program, a maximum of four 500-level courses may be credited to the MS degree. Students enrolled in the Seamless Master's program may receive credit for a maximum of five 500-level courses. Either MECG 742 Advanced Study: Mechanical Engineering or MECG 748 Thesis in Mechanical Engineering may be undertaken by a student who has successfully completed nine credits as a matriculated graduate student. A proposal approved by the Graduate Program Director is required before a student may register for either of these courses. Electives may also be selected from Graduate Core courses with the advice and approval of the Graduate Program Director.

Concentration Programs 

Concentration programs, which consist of prescribed courses in a specific concentration area, are available through the Mechanical engineering graduate program as follows: Biomechanics, Engineering Management, Energy Systems, Nuclear Power, Green Building Engineering, and Aerospace/Propulsion. Unless otherwise noted, courses in these programs may be applied to a Master's of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering. While approval of the Graduate Program Director is required to enroll in a graduate course, admission to the Graduate Program is not required to participate in a Concentration Program. It is expected, however, that individuals desiring to take graduate-level courses in a Concentration Program will have a baccalaureate degree in either an engineering field, a science or applied science field, or mathematics, and will meet the pre-requisite requirements of the courses they wish to take in a Concentration Program. Specific information regarding Graduate Mechanical Engineering Concentrations is available on the Mechanical Engineering website.


MECG 512. Energy Conversion. 3 Credits.

Overview of thermodynamic concepts, application of first and second laws of thermodynamics to improve efficiency of gas turbines and power generation systems, combustion of hydrocarbon fuels,reacting systems, conventional and innovative energy conversion applications such as solar, wind,wave, tidal, ocean thermal, and geothermal energy.

MECG 513. Introduction to Nuclear Power Plant systems. 3 Credits.

Study of current in-service nuclear plant design, including nuclear plant reactor, reacto auxiliaries, secondary steam plant, and electrical systems;review the design bases for major systems and components in current operating nuclear plants; evaluation of how the systems function in an integrated fashion. Case studies are used to explore historical engineering and operational issues. New vendor nuclear plant designs are explored and compared to current designs.

MECG 515. Energy Dynamics of Green Buildings I. 3 Credits.

The course emphasizes understanding the impact that various environmental systems have on the building design and operation process. Site and climate analysis will be the starting point for defining performance criteria of the built environment. Students will be introduced to analysis tools for interpreting weather data and the fundamentals of occupant comfort. Criteria used to define internal environmental conditions will be discussed as design goal to which all building elements must strive to achieve through systems integration.

MECG 516. Turbo Machinery. 3 Credits.

Review of fundamentals of fluid mechanics, dimensional analysis in fluid machinery; classification and characteristics of fluid machinery (positive displacement, radial, mixed flow and axial); efficiencies; incompressible flow machines (pumps and hydraulic turbines); cavitation; compressible flow machines (compressors and gas turbines); choking and surge.

MECG 525. Analysis and Design Hvac Systems. 3 Credits.

Indoor air quality and human comfort, economy and environmental protection requirements. Heating and cooling loads. Introduction to equipment selection and system analysis.

MECG 528. Combustion Systems. 3 Credits.

Basic Cycles for spark ignition and compression ignition engines. Combustion chemistry, flame temperatures, fuels and heating values. Actual versus ideal cycles, equilibrium charts, knock and engine variables. Mechanics of spark ignition and compression ignition engines.

MECG 531. Introduction to Biomechanics. 3 Credits.

Fundamental concepts and analysis of the engineering associated with human biology. Basic ideas of molecular biology, cell structure and function will be presented along with the mechanics of biological materials: ligament, muscle, and bone. Organ operation will then be examined from an engineering perspective, and will specifically address heart and lung operation. Body dynamics will also be addressed via the examination of walking gait and muscle dynamics. Finally, the engineering involved with the design and operation of artificial joints will be studied along with the instrumentation employed in bioengineering such as bio-imaging. Three credits.

MECG 546. Manufacturing Engineering. 3 Credits.

Group projects emphasizing design for manufacturing, manufacturing system simulation, and prototype fabrication. Concurrent with projects are lectures on modern manufacturing technologies. Includes a two-hour laboratory.

MECG 548. Introduction to Robotics. 3 Credits.

The geometry and mathematical representation of rigid body motion, forward and inverse robot kinematics, robot dynamics, trajectory generation, position sensing and actuation, and the control of manipulators.

MECG 605. Flight Aerodynamics. 3 Credits.

The operation of an aircraft as a function not only the wing but also the engine operating characteristics and overall aircraft parameters. This course develops the analysis needed to calculate flight envelop characteristics, take-off and landing parameters, engine/wing matching requirements, and basic conceptual aircraft design protocols.

MECG 612. Alternative Energy Systems. 3 Credits.

Second Law of Thermodynamics; discussion of systems which are not limited by heat engine efficiencies. Stirling Engines. Thermoelectric systems; electrochemistry, batteries and fuel cells. Solar energy; solar thermal and photovoltaic energy systems. Lenz’s Law, magneto-hydrodynamics. Wind power, horizontal and vertical wind turbine designs. Geothermal energy systems.

MECG 613. Nuclear Reactor Theory and Design. 3 Credits.

An in-depth study of reactor operation and design principles; fundamentals of radiation; radiation decay; binding energy; types of interactions; shielding; radioisotopes; fission cross section; fission in a reactor as a method of generating heat; controlling fission chains; basic reactor model design principles; reactor theory; heat transfer with regards to reactor coolant and reactor fuel; reactor design safety; and nuclear reactor control including important parameter measurements on sub-critical and critical reactors.

MECG 614. Energy Management. 3 Credits.

Energy Management examines the fundamental theories behind energy, energy conversion, fuels, power production, district energy systems, cogeneration, trigeneration, delivery systems, regulations, economics, and markets. Energy management assesses the engineering, economic, social, political, and environmental considerations of the processes, regulation, planning, and development for the energy and utility industry. Students will gain reinforcement in energy transfer and power production as well as be exposed to a first-hand experience of the economic, environmental, and regulatory considerations involved with fuel, power, and emerging technology via class projects.

MECG 615. Energy Dynamics Green Buildings II. 3 Credits.

In this course students will be engaged in the design of the building systems through a process that views systems as complete assemblies with design relationships to other systems (man made and natural/internal and external). The content of the course will emphasis the tectonic aspects of architecture; however, other aspects such as the technology and methods for maintaining comfort conditions and ecological balance within the buildings will be reviewed with an emphasis on high performance sustainable design, human comfort, social responsibility, ecology, and sustainability. Issues associated with LEED certification will be addressed; energy system analysis programs will be used to optimize a building performance.

MECG 617. Solar Energy System Theory and Design. 3 Credits.

Study of solar energy systems with emphasis in solar heating and cooling of buildings; design of various types of solar collectors using different materials, working fluids, and geometries; energy storage systems for solar assisted heat pumps; use of solar energy in power generation.

MECG 627. Applied Solid Mechanics. 3 Credits.

Techniques are developed that allow the analysis of general continuous materials. In particular, these methods will be used to study issues associated with biological materials, metallic creep, and the visco-elastic behavior of polymers. A simplified version of the analysis is then used to study the stresses and strain in linearly elastic materials to allow the study of MEMS. Finite element techniques are also developed to allow general nonlinear problems to be solved. All of this material is used to study a specific engineering scenario via a class project. Three credits.

MECG 630. Control System Theory and Applications. 3 Credits.

System model formulation; transfer functions and block diagrams; linear control and feedback systems; root-locus method will be covered along with control hardware and schematic diagrams. Case studies and applications to various engineering systems will be used to introduce students to the principles of control system design.

MECG 631. Biomechanics Modeling and Applications. 3 Credits.

A rigorous examination of the various components of the human body is covered. These include structural elements such as bones, ligaments, muscles, and the brain. The mechanical properties and behavior of these materials are studied with emphasis being placed on the response of these materials to different loading scenarios. Also, fluid mechanic elements such as the cardio-vascular system and the respiratory system are examined to characterize the interaction between the fluid and organ operation. Particular attention will be paid to the modelling of different parts of the human body via FEA/CFD analysis using nonlinear behavior and material properties. Three credits.

MECG 676. Sustainable Materials Selection. 3 Credits.

The first half of the class covers basic material selection issues such as material characteristics, and behavior for all types of engineering materials metals, polymers, ceramics/glasses, and composites), along with how they fail and respond to environmental conditions (e.g. corrosion). In the second half of the class attention will be paid to material selection with particular emphasis being placed on ecological considerations such as recycling, reusability, carbon footprints, and pollution issues.

MECG 701. Viscous Flow Theory. 3 Credits.

Development of the Navier-Stokes equation; solutions for special cases. Dimensionless forms; low and high Reynolds number forms. Boundary layer theory (similarity solution); Application to flow over a flat plate, and flow in ducts. Introduction to potential theory.

MECG 702. Compressible Flow. 3 Credits.

Linearized sub- and supersonic flow past slender bodies. One- and two-dimensional and axisymmetric flows, including normal and oblique shocks. Similarity laws. Method of characteristics.

MECG 704. Computational Fluid Dynamics. 3 Credits.

Study of numerical methods in fluid mechanics including: finite differencing, numerical errors and stability, nonlinear convection terms, boundary conditions, and turbulence.

MECG 707. Conduction Heat Transfer. 3 Credits.

Development of basic equations of heat conduction; analytical and numerical solutions of transient and steady state temperature distributions in solids; applications involving heat generation and varying physical properties. Computer projects.

MECG 708. Convection Heat Transfer. 3 Credits.

Continuity, momentum, and energy equations for engineering fluids; exact and approximate solutions for laminar and turbulent flows; free and forced convection, boiling and condensation; selected applications.

MECG 709. Radiation Heat Transfer. 3 Credits.

Black body and non-black surface radiation; radiative properties of real materials; configuration factors; multi-face radiation exchange in enclosures; radiative transfer in participating and radiative properties of gases; application to problems involving convection and radiation.

MECG 714. Computer Aided Engineering. 3 Credits.

Introduction to CAD, solid modeling, analysis and optimization. Introduction to finite element packages, practical integration of CAD, system assembly and dynamic simulation.

MECG 720. Robotics and Automation. 3 Credits.

Introduction to robotics and automation; flow-line production; numerical control and CAD/CAM; group technology and flexible manufacturing systems; robotic industrial application; robot decision making; programmable robotic automation.

MECG 734. Operation Research. 3 Credits.

Presentation of the analysis associated with managing manufacturing operations. Topics covered will be decision-making, forecasting, materials requirement planning, queuing, project management, and aggregate planning.

MECG 735. Theory of Vibration. 3 Credits.

Concepts underlying the dynamics of vibrations for single-degree of freedom and multi-degree of freedom mechanical systems, the use of Newtonian, virtual-work, and Lagrangian variation methods for analyzing vibrating systems for transient, steady state, and forced single and multi-degree of freedom linear system, an introduction to non-linear systems, and the use of numerical and simulation techniques. Three credits.

MECG 736. Design Machine Elements. 3 Credits.

Strain energy method for analyzing statistically indeterminate machine members; theories of failure; fatigue; optimum design of machine elements; stress waves and impact loading, critical speed. Finite element modeling of various machine members.

MECG 738. Advanced Dynamics. 3 Credits.

Kinematics, formulation of equations of motion for a particle, system of particles and rigid bodies, holonomic conservative and non-conservative systems, work-energy principles, three dimensional motion of rigid bodies, Lagrangian methods, and the Hamilton methods. Three credits.

MECG 741. Special Topics: in Mechanical Engineering. 3 Credits.

Special topics in mechanical engineering of current interest to graduate students; subject matter will be announced in advance of particular semester offering.

MECG 742. Advanced Study: Mechanical Engineering. 3 Credits.

Individual study of a selected topic in mechanical engineering under the supervision of a faculty member. Prerequisite: Advisor's approval of topic.

MECG 746. Research Project in Mechanical Engineering. 3-6 Credit.

Research project under the supervision of a faculty member. A project proposal, approved by the faculty advisor and the graduate program director, must be submitted. A final written report and oral presentation are required. May be extended to thesis with faculty advisor's recommendation and approval of the graduate program director.

MECG 748. Thesis in Mechanical Engineering. 6 Credits.

Original investigation or design in field of mechanical engineering; topic is to be chosen by student with approval of faculty advisor and the graduate program director; written report and oral presentation required. Prerequisite: Advisor’s approval of topic. Six credits.

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