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College of Engineering

Mechanical Engineering

Mechanical Engineering Curriculum
Additional Information
Facilities
Courses

3107 Mechanical Engineering Building, 1513 University Avenue, Madison, WI 53706; 608-262-3543; www.engr.wisc.edu/me

Professors Ghandi (chair), Duffie, Engelstad, Klein, Lorenz, Moskwa, Nellis, Osswald, Pfotenhauer (also Engineering Physics), Reitz, Rowlands, Rutland, Sanders (also Electrical and Computer Engineering), Shapiro (also Computer Science), Thelen (also Biomedical Engineering), Turng (also Biomedical Engineering); Associate Professors Krupenkin, Negrut, Pfefferkorn, Ploeg (also Biomedical Engineering), Qian, Rothamer, Shedd, Suresh, Trujillo (also Engineering Physics), Zinn (also Biomedical Engineering); Assistant Professors Eriten, Kokjohn, Miller, Rudolph

Mechanical engineers are problem-solvers who make things work better, more efficiently, and more economically. They are innovators, coming up with original ideas to apply scientific knowledge in new ways. Mechanical engineers are builders: designing and developing machines and systems that make life easier. Mechanical engineers have strong science, mathematics, and technology backgrounds.

Manufacturing processes, design of mechanical equipment and systems, and energy generation and utilization are traditional mechanical engineering fields. Students receive basic preparation in all of these areas. Through choice of elective courses they may further specialize in areas such as automatic control systems, renewable energy systems, robotics, product design, biomedical engineering, CAD/CAM, manufacturing systems engineering, etc. Mechanical engineering prepares students for entrance into industry, for independent business (e.g., consulting, contracting, or manufacturing), or for work in government agencies. A degree in mechanical engineering may be used as a background for medicine, law or business, as well as for graduate work in engineering.

Work in the areas listed requires a good background in mathematics, statistics, mechanics, physics, machine design, thermal sciences, materials, the use of computers, and manufacturing processes. Mechanical engineers must possess good communication skills and be able to work in teams. Mechanical Engineers should also be aware of social and environmental consequences of their work.

With these skills, broad training, and an emphasis on systems, mechanical engineers are in demand in practically every type of manufacturing, consulting, sales, and research organization. Mechanical engineers may work in automotive, materials processing, heavy equipment, paper, plastics, power, aerospace, chemical, electronics, or many other large and small industries. Their work may involve research and development of new products, design of equipment or systems, supervision of production, plant engineering, administration, sales engineering, or testing of individual components or complete assemblies.

Although many special areas exist in the profession, mechanical engineering can be subdivided into energy systems and mechanical systems.

The energy systems field has taken on special significance with the current awareness of the limited energy sources and the effects of energy use on the environment. In this field, mechanical engineers carry out work on the behavior of liquids, gases, and solids as they are used in all types of energy-conversion systems. Automotive engines, gas turbines, steam-power plants, refrigeration systems, air-pollution control, and energy utilization require this type of background. To be proficient in this the engineer must have a knowledge of thermodynamics, fluid dynamics, heat transfer, and related subjects.

The mechanical systems field covers the design and manufacturing of products and equipment. Mechanical engineers who focus on design conceive new devices and machines, to refine and improve existing designs. The design engineer must be proficient in kinematics, machine elements, mechanics, strength and properties of materials, dynamics, vibrations, etc. Mechanical engineers who focus on manufacturing are involved with planning and selecting manufacturing methods, with designing and developing manufacturing equipment, and with increasing the efficiency and productivity of current manufacturing technologies for polymer, metal and ceramic products.  The manufacturing engineer uses chemistry, materials science, mechanics of materials, materials processing principles and practices, principles of computer control, engineering statistics, and other physical and thermal sciences to improve manufacturing operations and systems, and the products they produce. Increasingly, the systems that mechanical engineers work with incorporate biological and information technology components.

Entrance Requirements. See this link.

Mechanical Engineering Curriculum

The following curriculum applies to undergraduate students admitted to the mechanical engineering degree program in Spring 2013 (01/2013) or later. Check with the department for any recent changes.

Students admitted before spring 2013 can locate their curriculum at this link.

Summary of Requirements

Mathematics/Statistics, 19 cr
Basic Science Requirement, 14–15 cr
Non–Mechanical Engineering Requirement, 13 cr
Mechanical Engineering Core Requirement, 43 cr
Technical Electives, General, 12 cr
Math/Science Electives, 3 cr
Communication Skills, 5 cr
Liberal Studies Requirement, 15 cr

Total Credits: 128–129
I. Mathematics/Statistics Requirement, 19 credits

Math 221 Calculus and Analytical Geometry, 5 cr
Math 222 Calculus and Analytical Geometry, 5 cr
Math 234 Calculus—Functions of Several Variables, 3 cr
Math 320 Linear Algebra and Differential Equations, 3 cr
Stat 224 Introductory Statistics for Engineers, 3 cr

All transfer students must have the equivalent of the above courses as equated by the College of Engineering Admissions Office. If the above requirement is fulfilled with less than 19 credits, the balance becomes free elective credits.

Transfer students may fulfill the statistics requirement with almost any statistics course having a calculus prerequisite and the approval of the mechanical engineering department via a Course Substitution Form.

II. Basic Science Requirement, 17 credits

Chem 103 General Chemistry, 4 cr*
Chem 104 General Chemistry, 5 cr*
Comp Sci 301 or 302 Introduction to Programming, 3 cr
Physics 202 General Physics, 5 cr

Students following the normal ME course sequence need not take Physics 201 to satisfy the prerequisites for Physics 202.

III. Engineering, Non-Mechanical Engineering Requirement, 14 or 15 credits

EMA 201 Statics, 3 cr
MS&E 350 Introduction to Materials Science, 3 cr
ECE 376 Electrical and Electronic Circuits, 3 cr
ECE 377 Fundamentals of Electrical and Electromechanical Power Conversion, 3 cr

IV. Mechanical Engineering Core Requirement, 43 credits

ME 231 Introductory Engineering Graphics, 2 cr
ME 240 Dynamics, 3 cr
ME 306 Mechanics of Materials, 3 cr
ME 307 Mechanics of Materials Lab, 1 cr
ME 313 Manufacturing Processes, 3 cr
ME 314 Manufacturing Fundamentals, 3 cr
ME 331 Geometric Modeling for Engineering Applications, 3 cr
ME 340 Introduction to Dynamic Systems, 3 cr
ME 342 Design of Machine Elements, 3 cr
ME 349 Engineering Design Projects, 3 cr (or ME 351 plus ME 352)
ME 361 Thermodynamics, 3 cr
ME 363 Fluid Dynamics, 3 cr
ME 364 Elementary Heat Transfer, 3 cr
ME 368 Engineering Measurements and Instrumentation, 4 cr
ME 370 Energy Systems Laboratory, 3 cr

V. Mechanical Engineering Technical Electives, 12 credits

Technical electives include all formal engineering, mathematics, physics, chemistry, statistics or computer science courses numbered 400 and above. The following courses are also accepted as technical electives:

Chemistry 341, 343, 345
Comp Sci 354, 367
Math 321, 322
Physics 311, 321, 322, 325
Statistics 311, 312, 333, 349, 351
BSE 351, 364
CBE 320, 326
CEE 311, 315, 316, 320, 325, 330, 355, 356, 370, 375
ECE 320, 330, 340, 342, 352, 353, 354, 355
EPD 374, 375
ISyE 323, 349
MS&E 330, 332, 352, 370
NE 305

The Mechanical Engineering curriculum requires a total of 12 credits of technical electives. A minimum of 12 of the 15 credits must be from formal ME courses. (A formal course is defined as a class which meets regularly in a lecture format to study a selected topic.  The educational mission is assisted with homework and exams. Formal courses cannot be seminar, survey, independent study, research, on-line or other similar courses.)

One credit of Cooperative Education (ME 001) can be counted for technical-elective credit.

VI. Math/Science Elective, 3 credits

Math/science electives include any formal biological science course numbered 100 or higher.  Additionally, any formal course listed in Engineering or as a physical or natural science numbered 200 or higher will meet this requirement.  EPD and InterEGR courses will not satisfy this requirement.

VII. Communication Skills, 5 credits

EPD 397, Technical Communication, 3 cr
EPD 155, Basic Communication, 2 cr

(Other options are possible; see an advisor.)

VIII. Liberal Studies Requirement, 15 credits

See the College of Engineering Liberal Studies Guidelines. All liberal studies credits must be identified with the letter H, S, L, or Z. Language courses are acceptable without the letter and are considered humanities. Students in good standing may take free elective courses pass/fail (see the College of Engineering Official Regulations for details).  Pass/Fail courses do not count toward degree program requirements.

Additional Information

Students fulfilling all course requirements with less than 128 credits must comply with the 128 cr minimum by taking additional free elective credits.

Independent Studies and projects courses ME 291, 299, 489, 491, 492, 699: Students must have a cumulative 2.5 GPA or a 3.0 GPA for their previous two semesters and file an Independent Studies Application form with the Student Services Office before enrolling for the course.

For information on credit load, adding or dropping courses, course substitutions, pass/fail, auditing courses, dean's honor list, repeating courses, probation, and graduation, see the College of Engineering Official Regulations.

Suggested Eight-Semester Course Sequence

Freshmen Year, First Semester, 14–15 credits

Math 221 Calculus and Analytic Geometry, 5 cr
Chem 103 General Chemistry, 4 cr*
InterEGR 101 Contemporary Issues, 2 cr, or InterEGR 102 Engineering Grand Challenges, 2 cr, or InterEGR 160 Introduction to Engineering, 3 cr
Liberal Studies Elective, 3 cr

Second Semester, 17 credits

Math 222 Calculus and Analytic Geometry, 4 cr
Chem 104 General Chemistry, 5 cr*
EMA 201 Statics, 3 cr
Stat 224 Introductory Statistics for Engineers, 3 cr
EPD 155 Basic Communication, 2 cr

Sophomore Year, First Semester, 15 credits

Math 234 Calculus—Functions of Several Variables, 3 cr
Math 320 Linear Algebra and Differential Equations, 3 cr
ME 240 Dynamics, 3 cr
Comp Sci 301 or 302 Introduction to Programming, 3 cr
ME 231 Introduction to Engineering Graphics, 2 cr

Second Semester 18 credits

Physics 202 General Physics, 5 cr
ME 306 Mechanics of Materials, 3 cr
ME 307 Mechanics of Materials, 1 cr
ME 361 Thermodynamics, 3 cr
Liberal Elective, 3 cr
MSE 350 Introduction to Materials Science
MSE 350, 3 cr  Introduction to Materials Science,  3 cr

Junior Year, First Semester, 18 credits

ECE 376 Electrical and Electronic Circuits, 3 cr
ME 363 Fluid Dynamics, 3 cr
ME 340 Introduction to Dynamic Systems, 3 cr
ME 331 Geometric Modeling for Engineering Applications, 3 cr
EPD 397 Technical Communication, 3 cr
Liberal Elective, 3 cr

Second Semester, 16 credits

ME 313 Manufacturing Processes, 3 cr
ME 368 Engineering Measurements and Instrumentation, 4 cr
ME 364 Heat Transfer, 3 cr
ECE 377 Fundamentals of Electrical Electro-mechanical Power Conversion, 3 cr
Liberal Elective, 3 cr

Senior Year, First Semester, 15 credits

ME 314 Manufacturing Fundamentals, 3 cr
ME 342 Design of Machine Elements, 3 cr
Technical Electives, 9 cr or ME 351 Interdisciplinary Experiential Design Projects, 3 cr AND Technical Electives, 6 cr

Second Semester, 15 credits

ME 349 Engineering Design Projects, 3 cr  
OR ME 352 Interdisciplinary Experiential Design Projects II, 3 cr
ME 370 Energy System Lab, 3 cr
Technical Elective, 3 cr
Liberal Elective, 3 cr
Math/Science Elective, 3 cr

Total credits required for graduation: 128–129

*Chem 109 (5 cr.) may be taken in place of Chem 103 and Chem 104; however, students must take more free electives to meet the minimum number of credits required for the degree.

Facilities

Facilities available for instruction and research include:

Professors Ghandi (chair), Duffie, Engelstad, Klein, Lorenz, Moskwa, Nellis, Osswald, Pfotenhauer (also Engineering Physics), Reitz, Rowlands, Rutland, Sanders (also Electrical and Computer Engineering), Shapiro (also Computer Science), Thelen (also Biomedical Engineering), Turng (also Biomedical Engineering); Associate Professors Krupenkin, Negrut, Pfefferkorn, Ploeg (also Biomedical Engineering), Qian, Rothamer, Shedd, Suresh, Trujillo (also Engineering Physics), Zinn (also Biomedical Engineering); Assistant Professors Eriten, Kokjohn, Miller, RudolphAutomatic Controls Lab
Automotive Lab
Computer-Aided Design Lab (CADLAB)
Energy Lab
Engineering Graphics Labs
Fluid Power Lab
Instrumentation Lab
Mechatronics and Manufacturing Automation Lab
Motor Vehicle Lab
Polymer Processing Lab
Research Labs
Senior Design Studio
Student Shop
Motor Vehicle Lab
Polymer Processing Lab
Research Labs
Senior Design Studio
Student Shop