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College of Engineering

Mechanical Engineering

Mechanical Engineering Curriculum
Additional Information
Facilities
Courses

3065 Mechanical Engineering Building, 1513 University Avenue, Madison, WI 53706; 608-262-3543; www.engr.wisc.edu/me

Professors Engelstad (chair), Beebe (also Biomedical Engineering), Blick (also Electrical and Computer Engineering), Bonazza (also Engineering Physics), Corradini (also Engineering Physics), Duffie, Elder, Ferrier (also Biomedical Engineering), Foster, Fronczak (also Biomedical Engineering), Ghandhi, Giacomin, Gramann, Kammer (also Engineering Physics), Klein, Kou (also Materials Science and Engineering), Li, Lorenz, Martin (also Biomedical Engineering), Moskwa, Osswald, Pfotenhauer (also Engineering Physics), Reindl (also Engineering Professional Development), Reitz, Rowlands, Rutland, Shapiro (also Computer Science), Shinners (also Biological Systems Engineering), L. Smith (also Mathematics and Engineering Physics), Shinners (also Biological Systems Engineering), Turng (also Biomedical Engineering), Straub (also Biological Systems Engineering), Veeramani (also Industrial and Systems Engineering); Associate Professors Gruben (also Kinesiology), Krupenkin, Nellis, Pfefferkorn, Ploeg (also Biomedical Engineering), Sanders (also Electrical and Computer Engineering), Shedd, Suresh, Thelen (also Biomedical Engineering); Assistant Professors Allen (also Engineering Physics), Clemons, Luzzio (also Neurology), Miller, Negrut, Rothamer, Trujillo (also Engineering Physics), Turner (also Biomedical Engineering and Materials Science and Engineering), Zinn (also Biomedical Engineering)

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

Manufacturing processes and products, 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 law or business, as well as for graduate work in engineering.

Work in the areas listed requires a good background in mathematics as well as statistics, mechanics, physics, machine design, thermal sciences, materials, the use of computers, and manufacturing processes. Mechanical engineers must be able to work in teams, and possess good communication skills. MEs 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 or complete plants.

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 sources of energy 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, as well as creating new ones as new materials and processing methods are developed. 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.

Mechanical Engineering Curriculum

The following curriculum applies to undergraduate students admitted to the mechanical engineering degree program (classification changed to ME) in spring 2010 (1/10) or later. Check with the department for any recent changes.

Students admitted before spring 2010 can locate the curriculum at this link.

Summary of Requirements

Mathematics/Statistics, Computer Science, 19 cr
Science Requirement, 17 cr
Non-Mechanical Engineering Requirement, 14 cr or 15 cr
Mechanical Engineering Core Requirement, 43 cr
Technical Electives, General, 15 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 Elementary Statistical Analysis, 3 cr

All transfer students must have the equivalence 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 302 Introduction to Programming, 3 cr
Physics 202 General Physics, 5 cr (Transfer students can substitute Physics 208 for Physics 202.)

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

InterEGR 101, 2 cr, or InterEGR 160, 3 cr
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 Introduction to Competitive Manufacturing, 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 Laboratory, 4 cr
ME 370 Energy Systems Laboratory, 3 cr

V. Mechanical Engineering Technical Electives, 15 credits

1. 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, 361, 362, 364
CBE 320, 326
CEE 311, 315, 316, 320, 325, 327, 330, 355, 356, 370, 375
ECE 320, 330, 340, 342, 345, 352, 353, 354, 355
EPD 374, 375, 376
ISyE 323, 349
MS&E 330, 332, 352, 370
NE 305

2. The Mechanical Engineering curriculum requires a total of 15 credits of technical electives. A minimum of 12 of the 15 credits must be from formal 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, or other similar courses.)

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

A formal course is defined as a class that meets regularly in a lecture format to study a selected topic. The educational mission is assisted with homework and exams. This excludes seminar, survey, and other similar courses.

VI. Communication Skills, 5 credits

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

(Other options are possible; see an advisor.)

VII. 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 two liberal studies or free elective courses pass/fail (see the College of Engineering Official Regulations for details).

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.

One credit of ME 001 Cooperative Education Program, can be applied as a technical elective.

Independent Studies and Projects Courses ME 291, 299, 491, 492, 699: Students must have a 2.5 GPA or a 3.0 GPA for their last two semesters and file an Independent Studies Request 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, 15–16 credits

Math 221 Calculus and Analytic Geometry, 5 cr
Chem 103 General Chemistry, 4 cr*
ME 231 Introductory Engineering Graphics, 2 cr
EPD 155 Technical Communication, 2 cr
InterEGR 101 Contemporary Issues, 2 cr, or InterEGR 102 Engineering Grand Challenges, 2 cr,
    or InterEGR 160 Introduction to Engineering, 3 cr

Second Semester, 16 credits

Math 222 Calculus and Analytic Geometry, 5 cr
Chem 104 General Chemistry Qualitative Analysis, 5 cr*
EMA 201 Statics, 3 cr
Stat 224 Elementary Statistical Analysis, 3 cr

Sophomore Year, First Semester, 18 credits

Math 234 Calculus—Functions of Several Variables, 3 cr
Math 320 Linear Algebra and Differential Equations, 3 cr
ME 240 Dynamics, 3 cr
MS&E 350 Introduction to Materials Science, 3 cr
Comp Sci 302 Introduction to Programming, 3 cr
Liberal Elective, 3 cr

Second Semester 15 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

Junior Year, First Semester, 18 credits

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

Second Semester, 16 credits

ME 313 Manufacturing Processes, 3 cr
ME 368 Engineering Measurements Lab, 4 cr
ME 364 Heat Transfer, 3 cr
ECE 377 Fundamentals of Electrical Electro Mechanical Power Conversion, 3 cr
Technical Elective, 3 cr

Senior Year, First Semester, 15 credits

ME 314 Introduction to Competitive Manufacturing, 3 cr
ME 342 Design of Machine Elements, 3 cr
Technical Elective, 6 cr
Liberal Elective, 3 cr, OR ME 351 Interdisciplinary Experiential Design Projects I, 3 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, 6 cr
Liberal 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:
Automatic 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