Program Coordinator: Carl Barratt, Ph.D.
The B.S. program in mechanical engineering is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, www.abet.org.
Mechanical engineering represents a wide diversity of pursuits including the analysis, design, and testing of machines, products, and systems essential to everyday life - everything from doorknobs, tennis rackets, and fishing reels to power plants, skyscrapers, and automobiles. Mechanical engineers work in a variety of fields such as aerospace, utilities, materials processing, transportation, manufacturing, electronics, and telecommunications.
Program Mission and Educational Objectives
The mission of the Mechanical Engineering program is to graduate professionally competent and responsible students who can meet industry’s current and future needs in the general area of mechanical engineering.
In order to achieve its mission, the Mechanical Engineering program must ensure that its graduates will be able to:
I. Practice mechanical engineering in the private or public sector.
II. Engage in self-emprovement through special training, independent inquiry or professional certification.
III. Pursue graduate studies in engineering, business law, medicine or related fields, if they so choose.
By the time they graduate, mechanical engineering students shall have an ability to:
- Identify, formulate, and solve complex engineering problems by applying principles of engineering, science, and mathematics.
- Apply engineering design to produce solutions that meet specified needs with consideration of public health, safety, and welfare, as well as global, cultural, social, environmental, and economic factors.
- Communicate effectively with a range of audiences.
- Recognize ethical and professional responsibilities in engineering situations and make informed judgments, which must consider the impact of engineering solutions in global, economic, environmental, and societal contexts.
- Function effectively on a team whose members together provide leadership, create a collaborative and including environment, establish goals, plan tasks, and meet objectives.
- Develop and conduct appropriate experimentation, analyze and interpret data, and use engineering judgment to draw conclusions.
- Acquire and apply new knowledge as needed, using appropriate learning strategies.
Recognizing current knowledge-based demands on graduating engineers and responding to input from the program’s stakeholders, the Mechanical Engineering Department has embraced the concept of a multidisciplinary foundation to discipline-specific education. Thus, the bachelor of science in mechanical engineering (B.S.M.E.) curriculum includes a sequence of ten (EASC prefix) foundation courses.
Mechanical engineering classes are small (rarely more than twenty students) and are taught almost exclusively by full-time faculty. Restricted and technical elective courses offer the opportunity for further learning in areas such as fluids, energy, design, heat transfer, numerical analysis and computers, aerospace sciences, and control systems.
Experienced practitioners from industry may also contribute their expertise in selected courses. Faculty and students work with industry in research and design projects.
Mechanical engineering majors who complete their first twelve credits of MECH-prefixed engineering courses with a cumulative grade point average for these courses of less than 2.0 will have their academic records reviewed by the entire MECH faculty on a regular basis. An MECH-prefixed course may not be taken more than twice unless consent is granted by the program coordinator.
An undergraduate student already enrolled at the University of New Haven who wishes to transfer to mechanical engineering will normally be expected to satisfy the standards of the program for admission by transfer.
Exceptional students having an overall average of 3.5 or better are invited to join the Delta Zeta Chapter of the Pi Tau Sigma mechanical engineering honor society, which provides the opportunity for closer relations with faculty and other prominent individuals in the field for the purpose of further professional development, involvement in faculty research, and varied social and intellectual activities.
It is recognized in the Mechanical Engineering program that experiential work by undergraduate students is a valuable tool in launching a successful professional career. It is desirable, then, for mechanical engineering majors to spend time prior to graduation performing engineering-related duties at a manufacturing company, consulting firm, technical organization, government agency, or other appropriate setting.
Interns are required to complete a minimum of 300 hours of practical experience in an area or technical project closely related to mechanical engineering. The requirement may be satisfied through appropriate work experience, part- or full-time employment, a summer job, or an apprenticeship or volunteer work at any time during a student’s undergraduate studies. Registration, proof of compliance, or a request for waiver must be submitted to the Department only after completion of 75 credits toward the B.S.M.E. degree. The internship is graded on a Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory basis and carries no academic credit.
Students earning the bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering are required to complete 126 credits, including the University Core Curriculum.
In addition to the common first-year courses listed under the Tagliatela School of Engineering, mechanical engineering students take the Mechanical Engineering Skills Workshop. This one-hour-per-week workshop familiarizes students with basic practices in a laboratory environment, including safety considerations, design planning, layout, fabrication, and the use of basic measuring equipment and devices to test and verify a design. The workshop is offered in the spring semester and is graded on a Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory basis. The workshop carries no academic credit.
*Must be chosen in consultation with the student’s adviser.
Focus areas are optional clusters of four or five courses that provide depth in an area related to mechanical engineering. Those courses typically consist of electives that are prescribed depending on the focus area. Currently, there are three focus areas within the BSME curriculum: mechatronics, renewable energy, and system engineering.
Mechatronics is the synergistic combination of mechanical, electronics, computer, controls, and system engineering thinking in the design of products and manufacturing processes. This focus area is offered to meet the demand of manufacturing and automation industries for engineers capable of interdisciplinary and integrated approaches to problem solving.
The following 11 credits comprise the Mechatronics Focus Area:
- MECH 2215 Instrumentation Laboratory (2 credits; required)
- MECH 3355 Interfacing and Control of Mechanical Devices (3 credits; technical elective)
- MECH 4438 Systems Dynamics and Control (3 credits, technical elective)
- MECH 4445 Robots: Design/Control/Program (3 credits, technical elective)
The Renewable Energy focus area involves the study of how energy is harvested from inexhaustible sources such as the earth, sun, and wind. The feasibility of operating power plants that produce clean, renewable energy as well as the means and impact of increasing energy efficiency will be considered.
The following 12 credits are required for the Renewable Energy Focus Area:
- MECH 2205 Applied Thermodynamics (3 credits; required)
- MECH 3361 Fundamentals of Renewable Energy Systems (3 credits; technical elective)
- MECH 3365 Introduction to Energy Efficiency (3 credits; technical elective)
- MECH 4407 Solar Energy, or other approved energy-related course (3 credits; design elective)
The focus area in System Engineering prepares students for complex engineered system design and encourages pursuit of system engineering at the graduate level. System engineering science focuses on development, integration, testing, and commercialization of technologies to produce an optimally designed engineered system which meets customer needs over its lifecycle.
The System Engineering Focus Area consists of the following 15 credits:
- SYST 3388 System Engineering Concepts and Design (3 credits; design elective)
Choice of two courses among the following: (6 credits; technical elective, restricted elective)
- MECH 3351 Modern Manufacturing
- MECH 3355 Interfacing and Control of Mechanical Devices
- MECH 4445 Robots: Design, Control and Programming
- SYST4428 Six Sigma Quality Planning (3 credits; technical elective)
- EASC 3345 Applied Engineering Statistics (3 credits; math/engineering analysis elective)
Direct Entry B.S./M.S. Mechanical Engineering
The direct entry combined B.S./M.S. Mechanical Engineering degree program is available to qualified mechanical engineering upper-level students. Two graduate-level courses (MECH 6602 and MECH 6604) taken during the senior year replace two undergraduate courses in the B.S. program in Mechanical Engineering and count toward the M.S. Mechanical Engineering degree program. During the fifth year, students complete the M.S. Mechanical Engineering degree by taking eight more MECH graduate-level courses.
To qualify, students must apply for admission no later than two semesters prior to the anticipated fulfillment of the B.S. degree requirements, have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 at the time of application to the accelerated program (upon completion of 90 credits toward the B.S. degree), and submit one letter of recommendation by a mechanical engineering faculty member. A minimum grade of B- is required in each of the two overlapping graduate courses for them to apply to both programs.