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    • School of Engineering

      • Kirkbride Hall
      • tel: 610-499-4037
      • fax: 610-499-4059
    • Dr. Mark Nicosia

    • Michelle Keller

      • Secretary of Mechanical Engineering
      • Kirkbride Hall, Room 169
      • tel: 610-499-4041

Curriculum, Mechanical Engineering


The foundation of the mechanical engineering program is strong grounding in mathematics, chemistry, and physics, which comprises approximately 30 credits taken during the freshman and early sophomore years. This is followed by approximately 20 credit-hours of fundamental engineering courses that provide the base for the upper level core mechanical engineering courses.

These required courses are augmented by three technical electives, which allow students to explore areas of particular interest to them. In addition, to ensure that the mechanical engineering graduate is also well-rounded and well-educated, the student is required to elect several humanities and social science courses in areas of interest. The program culminates in a year-long senior project in which a team of students investigates a topic of interest and presents it in a professional symposium setting.


In addition to core courses in mathematics, physics, and chemistry, mechanical engineering students take a range of courses spanning a breadth of topics in the field. See below a selection of courses taken by mechanical engineering students.


The response of single degree of freedom systems, damped and undamped, is found for harmonic and impulsive excitations. Application is made for the control of undesirable vibrations in structures, machines, and vehicles. Theory of measurement instruments, seismic, velocity, and acceleration. Two or more degrees of freedom systems are considered and analyzed using matrix formulation and computer solutions.


An introduction to heat transfer, including steady and transient conduction, foundations of free and forced convection in internal and external flows, principles of thermal radiation including the concepts of black and gray surfaces, and gas radiation. 


Introduction to the design of mechanical elements and assemblages. Design of components to static and dynamic failure criteria. Consideration of material use; economics; weight; ease of manufacture; etc. The integration of components into an assemblage with necessary compromises. Short projects to design components and assemblages to given criteria by synthesis and analysis. 


Students study the use of composite materials (fiber reinforced plastics) for advanced components. Students are introduced to the structural advantages of various composites, including laminate theory and the use of sandwich construction. This is followed by a discussion of manufacturing approaches to fabricate composite parts. Throughout the course, contemporary issues in composite materials are studied using a project-based approach. By the end of the course, students should be able to identify applicable areas for the use of composite materials, as well as the most appropriate manufacturing approach.

For complete information about courses and requirements for mechanical engineering, see the course catalog.