Undergraduate Program

Welcome to the ME department, where students receive an ABET-accredited undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering. Engineering is a social enterprise and our curriculum is designed to include not only ethics, engineering economics, technical communication, and teamwork, but also a significant exposure to the humanities and the social sciences so students can appreciate and realize the impact of engineering on society.

All undergraduate students receive personal attention from staff advisors or faculty mentors throughout their academic careers. Most junior and senior undergraduates participate in cutting-edge research activities in faculty labs, at one of the College’s interdisciplinary research centers, or during internships with industry or agencies. In addition, our students have access to numerous resources through BCOE including academic assistance, study and time management workshops, career guidance, professional development training, membership in professional societies and social activities.

Why Mechanical Engineering?

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The ME department is an ABET-accredited program that prepares students for careers in academia, industry or as entrepreneurs. Here you will find information about courses offered, research opportunities, and various resources and tools to help you complete your undergraduate education.

  • Curriculum Overview

    The curriculum is structured so that most of the required courses in mathematics and the basic sciences (physics and chemistry) are completed during the first two years. In addition, two four-unit courses, an Introduction to Mechanical Engineering and Engineering Graphics & Design are offered in the first year. These classes focus on basic engineering concepts and computational engineering tools required for mechanical engineers. Engineering topics are covered primarily in courses offered during the second, third and fourth years. Additional science topics (Biology) are covered in the third year. Students may also take elective courses in specialized topics such as Applied Finite Element Methods, Transport Phenomena in Living Systems, Vibrations, Environmental Impacts of Energy Production, Mechatronics, Combustion and Energy Systems, Optics and Lasers in Engineering, etc., in the senior year.

    Several ME courses, including laboratory courses, incorporate design. Design addresses real-world problems whose solution requires creativity and consideration of alternatives to achieve stated objectives. The design component can occupy a significant fraction of course time and is usually conducted in teams. The culmination of the students' design experience is a three-quarter capstone design course, in which students draw upon various aspects of their previous engineering science and design knowledge to address a meaningful design problem. The first quarter focuses on engineering economics, engineering/professional ethics, and review of fundamental design concepts. In the second quarter, project (concept) analysis, preliminary evaluation (economical and technical), data and literature collection, and preliminary process design and evaluation is carried out. The third quarter of the capstone design course focuses on the final detailed technical design of the process (equipment sizing and specification, etc.), followed by prototyping and construction of hardware, and detailed technical analysis of the final design. The course concludes with a formal oral presentation and written technical report.

  • Focus Areas
    • Materials and Structures
      Sixteen (16) units of technical electives chosen from ME 100B, ME 116B, ME 122, ME 153, ME 156, ME 180, ME 197
    • Energy and Environment
      Sixteen (16) units of technical electives chosen from ME 100B, ME 116B, ME 117, ME 136, ME 137, ME 197
    • Design and Manufacturing
      Sixteen (16) units of technical electives chosen from ME 121, ME 122, ME 130, ME 131, ME 133, ME 153, ME 156, ME 174, ME 180, ME 197
    • General Mechanical Engineering
      Sixteen (16) units of technical electives chosen from selected from the following list, in consultation with an advisor: ME 100B, ME 116B, ME 117, ME 121, ME 122, ME 131, ME 133, ME 136, ME 137, ME 138, ME 153, ME 156, ME 176, ME 180, ME 197


  • Program Education Objectives

    The Vision of the Department is to be nationally recognized as an innovator in research and education in mechanical engineering. The formulation of the specific objectives of the undergraduate Mechanical Engineering program has been guided by the strong belief that the program should provide an equivalent of a liberal arts education for the 21st century.

    The Mechanical Engineering Program Educational Objectives are to prepare our graduates to make a positive impact on society by being successful in:

    • careers as mechanical engineers and as engineering leaders
    • graduate studies and research
    • professional careers besides mechanical engineering
    • advocating the engineering profession and inspiring others to develop a passion for engineering profession

    We prepare our students to attain these Program Educational Objectives through a curriculum which is designed to achieve these Student Outcomes:

    • (a) an ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering
    • (b) an ability to design and conduct experiments, as well as to analyze and interpret data
    • (c) an ability to design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs within realistic constraints such as economic, environmental, social, political, ethical, health and safety, manufacturability, and sustainability
    • (d) an ability to function on multidisciplinary teams
    • (e) an ability to identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems
    • (f) an understanding of professional and ethical responsibility
    • (g) an ability to communicate effectively
    • (h) the broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global, economic, environmental, and societal context
    • (i) a recognition of the need for, and an ability to engage in life-long learning
    • (j) a knowledge of contemporary issues
    • (k) an ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice.

    The Mechanical Engineering program provides strong training in the areas of mathematics, science, and the fundamentals of mechanical engineering that constitute the foundation of the discipline. The curriculum includes:

    • Extensive laboratory and hands-on experience to strengthen understanding of fundamental principles.
    • Extensive use of computer simulation in the solution of problems and in design.
    • Application of knowledge to design problems common to modern mechanical engineering practice.
    • Introduction of machine shop and fabrication techniques into the curriculum to emphasize the relationship between design and fabrication.
    • Freedom for the student to mold his or her program of professional specialty studies by allowing each student to choose from a number of technical electives and to create her or his own senior year design project under the supervision of a faculty member.
    • Emphasis on both oral and written communication throughout the curriculum.
    • A well-rounded and balanced education achieved through required studies in selected areas of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  • Accreditation

    The Mechanical Engineering program is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission (EAC) of  ABET.

  • Undergraduate Advisor

    V. Sundararajan
    Mechanical Engineering
    Bourns Hall A317
    University of California, Riverside
    Riverside, CA 92521

    Telephone: 951-827-2446