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Undergraduate Programs and Options
Degree Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering
ME Curriculum (06-07 Academic Year)
The department offers a four-year curriculum for the Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering. The curriculum is accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET). A modern mechanical engineering curriculum must prepare students for professional practice in a broad spectrum of industrial activities. As in the past, today's mechanical engineer must be soundly educated in the mechanics of solids and fluids, thermodynamics and heat transfer, the science of materials, and the principles and techniques of mechanical engineering design.
The undergraduate program provides this necessary foundation while retaining a flexibility that permits students to specialize to a limited extent in one of their particular interests. This specialization is accomplished by judicious choice of 16-18 credit units of engineering and science electives, of which a minimum of 12 credit units are to be taken in 300- and 400- level mechanical engineering courses. At the end of the four-year program, the students' education and training enables them to assume professional status as practicing engineers.
Undergraduates in the Department of Mechanical Engineering must demonstrate proficiency in engineering drawing skills as part of the degree requirement. This proficiency may be a prerequisite for some undergraduate courses. Proficiency is demonstrated through a fundamental working knowledge of orthographic and isometric views, hidden lines, dimensioning, tolerancing, and sectioning.
Degree Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering CE Curriculum (07-08 Academic Year)
Degree Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering AE Curriculum (06-07 Academic Year)
AE_Curriculum (07-08 Academic Year)
The B.S. in Aerospace Engineering is offered by the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. It is available to undergraduate students pursuing an ABET-accredited BS degree in Engineering. Students develop a solid, broad-based background in engineering, arts, humanities, and social sciences with an emphasis in aerospace engineering, which includes the study of aerospace sciences such as aerodynamics, flight dynamics and control, aerospace structures, aerospace propulsion, and the design of air and space vehicles. The major areas of study are:
- Aerodynamics: Thin airfoil theory, lifting-line theory for finite wings, slender body theory, linearized compressible flow and Prandtl-Glauert rule, supersonic thin airfoil theory, introduction to performance and concepts of airfoil design.
- Flight Dynamics and Control: Aircraft dynamics, aircraft stability, flight control, flying qualities, and the application of control theory to control system design.
- Aerospace Propulsion: Introduction to propeller, jet, ramjet, and rocket propulsion, 1-D analysis of gas turbine engine performance, analysis and performance of airbreathing propulsion system, analysis and design of gas turbine engine components, e.g., inlets, nozzles, compressors, turbines, turbofan and turbopropeller, and combustors.
- Aerospace Structures: Key features of aerospace structures, basic properties of aerospace materials, principles of stressed skin construction; bending, shear and torsion of open and closed thin-walled cross-section beams, structural idealization, loads on flight vehicles, applications to wings and fuselages.
- Aerospace Design: Detailed design of an aircraft component (e.g., wing, fuselage, etc.) or a system (e.g., control system) or a spacecraft component or system. Emphasis on engineering teamwork, ethics, and professionalism.
- Spacecraft Design: Design of spacecraft involves a range of engineering disciplines, from structures to controls to electronics to project management. Advanced design and analysis tools for each major subsystem are introduced. New technologies being developed for space missions are introduced, with particular emphasis on orbital mechanics, attitude control, systems engineering, and aerospace project management. Students pursue advanced subsystem design and system-level spacecraft design projects.
The first two years of undergraduate engineering are comprised of a standard curriculum of fundamental engineering courses, such as math, physics, the arts, humanities, and social sciences. In addition, students are introduced to aerospace engineering through an introductory course. During the junior and senior years, the students learn about aerospace engineering by taking courses in aerodynamics, aircraft flight dynamics and control, aerospace propulsion, aerospace structures, aerospace vehicle design, and spacecraft design. Students may also have the opportunity to gain experience in aerospace engineering design through collaborative programs with local industry such as Boeing. Current Boeing aerospace engineers participate in the teaching of several course at Washington University, and most of the faculty have extensive aerospace industry experience. For more information on Aerospace Engineering, click here.
Joint Degree Programs
A growing number of mechanical engineers are finding it both advantageous and necessary to pursue graduate study. Some pursue a master's degree part time, while others undertake full-time study and research for the master's degree, the doctorate, or both. Engineers interested in academic teaching or industrial research careers should plan to obtain the doctorate. The undergraduate curriculum provides an excellent basis for graduate study, and a careful selection of electives in the third and fourth years will facilitate the transition to graduate study.
The department also offers a five-year program leading to both the Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering degrees. The program is designed for entry in the second semester of the junior year. Engineers interested in management may enroll in the five-year program leading to the Bachelor of Science degree in engineering and the Master of Business Administration degree.
Research as well as practice in the biological and medical sciences increasingly depend on advanced mechanical and electrical technology. A result of this development is the interdisciplinary field known as biomedical engineering. Students interested in preparing themselves for careers in the biological and medical sciences would be well served by the premedical option in mechanical engineering, which makes it possible to obtain a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering and simultaneously meet the admission requirements of most medical and dental schools. The program also provides a foundation for graduate study and research in biomedical engineering. The essential feature of the option is two semesters of general biology and two semesters of organic chemistry. In addition, the student must include a minimum of 6 units of upper-level mechanical engineering electives in the program. Because of the large number of required units, this option is best suited to the student who has a high school background in biology or who, by reason of advanced placement, has reduced requirements in the Common Studies portion of the curriculum. Interested students should consult the department chair for details.
Aerospace Engineering Minor
The minor in Aerospace Engineering is offered by the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. It is available to undergraduate students pursuing an ABET accredited BS degree in Engineering. Students develop a solid, broad-based background in engineering, arts, humanities and social sciences with an emphasis in aerospace engineering, which includes the study of aerospace sciences such as aerodynamics, flight dynamics and control, aerospace structures, aerospace propulsion, and the design of air and space vehicles. The primary areas of the minor are:
<UL><SPAN style="COLOR: windowtext">Flight Dynamics and Control: Aircraft dynamics, aircraft stability, flight control, flying qualities, and the application of control theory to control system design
- Aerodynamics: Thin airfoil theory, lifting-line theory for finite wings, slender body theory, linearized compressible flow and Prandtl-Glauert rule, supersonic thin airfoil theory, introduction to performance, and concepts of airfoil design.