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Mechanical Engineering

Administrative Unit:Mechanical Engineering
College/School: College of Engineering
Admitting Plans:M.Engr., M.S., Ph.D.
Degrees Offered:M.S., M.Engr., Ph.D.
Minors and Certificates:Ph.D. Minor
Named Options: Energy Systems (M.Engr.); Polymer Science (M.Engr.); Controls (M.S.)
Specializations: Concentrations are available in Polymer Science or Energy Systems.

Faculty: Professors Engelstad (chair), Duffie, Ferrier, Foster, Fronczak, Ghandhi, Giacomin, Klein, Li, Lorenz, Martin, Moskwa, Nellis, Osswald, Pfotenhauer, Reitz, Rowlands, Rutland, Shapiro, Thelen, Turng; Associate Professors Krupenkin, Negrut, Pfefferkorn, Ploeg, Sanders, Shedd, Suresh; Assistant Professors Miller, Rothamer, Trujillo, Zinn


The Department of Mechanical Engineering has facilities for resident graduate study and research leading to the master of science and the doctor of philosophy in mechanical engineering. Specialization for these degrees is offered in the general fields of engines and powertrain, thermal sciences, polymers, computational mechanics, design and computational geometry, dynamics and controls, advanced manufacturing, and biomechanics. Laboratory facilities are available for research studies in biomechanics, combustion engines, solid fuel combustion, controls, cryogenics, dynamics and vibrations, fluid dynamics, fluid power, geometric modeling and prototyping, heat and mass transfer, manufacturing processes, mechanics, mechatronics, polymer processing, robotics, and solar energy.

The regulations of the Graduate School and the department must be followed to complete the requirements for the degrees. All candidates for graduate degrees should obtain a current copy of department regulations from the mechanical engineering department office.

Master of Engineering (Energy Systems) 

Students in mechanical engineering obtain an education that includes the principles of thermodynamics, heat transfer, and fluid mechanics. These disciplines and their associated conservation laws are the foundation of all energy systems analyses. At the undergraduate level, however, there often is little opportunity to integrate these topics and others together, such as optimization and economics, so that they can be used effectively in applied studies of energy systems. Achieving improvements in energy systems technology will require engineers with advanced studies and experiences that extend beyond what can be provided within an undergraduate mechanical engineering curriculum. This is provided by the master of engineering program with an option in energy systems.

Master of Engineering (Polymer Science) 

The master of engineering is offered with an option in polymer science. This interdisciplinary program prepares engineers and scientists for professional practice in the polymer industry. Graduates are typically employed by the plastics industry or by other polymer manufacturing businesses.

This rigorous program of study is designed for completion in two consecutive semesters. It is attractive to those on short industrial sabbatical leaves. The program also draws those with a bachelor's degree seeking a year of advanced training to prepare for entry into the polymer industry. For those who complete their bachelor's degree in four years, the program offers an opportunity to obtain the bachelor's plus master's in just five years.

The University of Wisconsin–Madison has attained international recognition for its research and teaching in polymer science. Weekly seminars on rheology and polymer engineering supplement the formal lecture courses.

The program admits students with exceptional peformance in their bachelor's degrees. It further attracts students with exceptional experience in polymer engineering and science. Students may be admitted with a bachelor's degree from any of the physical sciences, such as chemical engineering, chemistry, engineering mechanics, or mechanical engineering. The program is administered by the Department of Mechanical Engineering, through which students must first be admitted for graduate study. Students pursuing the master of engineering with an option in polymer science are usually self-funded. For program information, a list of participating faculty, or application materials, contact the department.

Ph.D. Minor 

Ph.D. candidates from other departments who wish to take a minor in mechanical engineering are required to complete a minimum of 9 formal credits of mechanical engineering courses numbered 400 or above with grades of B or better (grades of BC and below are not accepted for the minor). One of these formal courses must be at the 700 level or above. The course work forms a coherent group of mechanical engineering courses for which graduate credit is allowed.

For more information: Department of Mechanical Engineering, 3182 Mechanical Engineering Building, 1513 University Avenue, Madison, WI 53706-1572; 608-263-3955; kekeyes@engr.wisc.edu www.engr.wisc.edu/me
Mechanical Engineering Graduate Student Handbook: www.engr.wisc.edu/me/current/grad/.