Mechanical Engineering (MECH)

The discipline of mechanical engineering is the branch of engineering that deals predominantly with the conversion, transmission, and storage of mechanical and thermal energy; the generation, transmission, and control of forces; the production and regulation of mechanical motion; and the optimal use of materials in the design and fabrication of the requisite machines and mechanisms.

Mission Statement

The Department of Mechanical Engineering is committed to providing the best undergraduate mechanical engineering education possible within the constraints of a four-year curriculum. In accord with the College of Engineering Mission Statement, the mechanical engineering department strives to nurture the intellectual, professional, and personal development of its students. The mechanism for achieving the department’s educational mission is the curriculum in mechanical engineering designed to satisfy its Program Educational Objectives. The department strives to achieve a process of continuous improvement of the curricula, to provide a faculty who are professionally current in their field, and to maintain state-of-the-art facilities.

Program Educational Objectives

The Department of Mechanical Engineering seeks to prepare students to be successful in engineering or other careers and to be recognized for qualities associated with their Bucknell University educational experiences. These qualities include, for example, critical thinking and problem solving, consideration of global and societal concerns, leadership and effective communication, civic engagement and contributions to society, and pursuit of lifelong learning.

Concentrations within Mechanical Engineering

Students may elect to pursue a concentration within the Mechanical Engineering program. A concentration in Mechanics-Materials-Design (MMD) or in Thermo-Fluids-Energy (TFE) consists of three courses from the associated list below.

Concentration in Mechanics-Materials-Design (MMD):

Any 400-level Mechanical Engineering elective with a course number from 450 to 480. Also, MECH 445 Engineering Acoustics and Noise Control, MECH 446 Flow-induced Noise and Vibration, MECH 485 Advanced Engineering Problems (with a MMD topic) .

Concentration in Thermo-Fluids-Energy (TFE): 

Any 400-level Mechanical Engineering elective with a course number from 400 to 449. Also, MECH 485 Advanced Engineering Problems (with a TFE topic).

Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering

The Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering requirements are:

First Year
First SemesterCreditsSecond SemesterCredits
MATH 2011MATH 2021
ENGR 1001MECH 2201
PHYS 2111ENGR 2141
Elective (first-year W-1 course)1MECH 202.5
 Elective1
 4 4.5
Sophomore
First SemesterCreditsSecond SemesterCredits
MATH 2111MATH 2121
MECH 2131MATH 2271
ENGR 2401MECH 21611
MECH 205.5MECH 353 (W-2)1
Elective (typically CHEM)1 
 4.5 4
Junior
First SemesterCreditsSecond SemesterCredits
MECH 2521MECH 3021
MECH 3131MECH 3121
MECH 35511MECH 3921
ECEG 2051Elective1
 4 4
Senior
First SemesterCreditsSecond SemesterCredits
MECH 401.5MECH 402.5
MECH 403 (W-2)1Four electives4
MECH 4051 
Two electives2 
 4.5 4.5
Total Credits: 34

The 10 elective courses shown above are distributed as follows:

  • One course in chemistry from the following list, to be taken during the first two years (typically sophomore fall):
    CHEM 203General Chemistry for Engineers1
    CHEM 211Organic Chemistry I1
    CHEM 321Inorganic Chemistry I1
  • One full-credit science or math elective selected from any of the following:
  1. any full-credit, 200-level or 300-level courses in astronomy, biology, chemistry, geology, or physics for which prerequisites have been satisfied;
  2. any of the following 100-level science courses (must be taken within the first three years):
    BIOL 121Biology for Non-majors1
    BIOL 122Biology for Non-majors1
    GEOL 107Global Change - Past and Present1
    GEOL 108When Rocks Attack1
    GEOL 109Energy and Natural Resources1
    GEOL 117Environmental Geohazards (Any 100-level science course must be taken within the first three years)1
  3. MATH 245 Linear Algebra, MATH 280 Logic, Sets, and Proofs, or any 300-level MATH course for which prerequisites have been met;
  • Five elective courses selected from any of the following: social science courses, arts & humanities courses, university courses, residential college courses, or foundation seminars. These courses must include one course in arts & humanities and one course in social sciences. At a minimum, one course must also fulfill the college's global perspectives requirement.
  • Three courses in each student's program must also fulfill the University's writing requirement, including one W1 course in the first year and two W2 courses in subsequent years.
  • One full-credit, 400-level course in any department within the College of Engineering.
  • One full-credit, 400-level course in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. This course can be replaced with a course needed to fulfill a minor, if the minor is otherwise not possible without an overload in the senior year.
  • One course in any department or program of the University.

Student Outcomes

Graduates of the program are expected to demonstrate the following learning outcomes which reflect ABET accreditation criteria: 

  1. An ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering. 
  2. An ability to design and conduct experiments, as well as analyze and interpret data. 
  3. 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.   
  4. An ability to function on multidisciplinary teams.  
  5. An ability to identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems.  
  6. An understanding of professional and ethical responsibility.  
  7. An ability to communicate effectively.  
  8. The broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global, economic, environmental, and societal context.  
  9. A recognition of the need for, and an ability to engage in lifelong learning.  
  10. A knowledge of contemporary issues.  
  11. An ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice.

Courses

MECH 151. Machining for Manufacturing Technology. 0 Credits.

Offered Fall Semester Only; Lecture hours:1,Other:2
Develop an understanding of the processes needed to produce manufactured parts. Emphasis on hands-on machining and fabrication.

MECH 202. Graphics for Design and Manufacture. .5 Credits.

Offered Spring Semester Only; Lecture hours:1,Lab:2
Graphical representation techniques for visualization and communication of mechanical engineering designs and concepts. Creation, storage, and manipulation of production drawings and 3-D geometric representations using state-of-the-art software.

MECH 205. Engineering Professionalism. .5 Credits.

Offered Either Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:1,Other:2
Ethical and professional responsibilities in engineering decision making. Consideration of the impact of engineering solutions in environmental, economic, global, and societal contexts.

MECH 213. Thermodynamics I. 1 Credit.

Offered Fall Semester Only; Lecture hours:4
Thermodynamic principles including properties of substances, the first and second laws of thermodynamics, efficiencies, power and refrigeration cycles. Prerequisites: MATH 201 and ENGR 214 or permission of the department. Not open to students who have taken ENGR 200 or CHEG 310.

MECH 216. Thermodynamics II. 1 Credit.

Offered Spring Semester Only; Lecture hours:3,Lab:2
A continuation of MECH 213 with a focus on applications of thermodynamic principles including an extension of power and refrigeration cycles, psychometrics, reacting mixtures and combustion, and other selected topics. Prerequisites: MATH 211, MECH 213, MECH 222, or the permission of the department.

MECH 220. Mechanics. 1 Credit.

Offered Spring Semester Only; Lecture hours:4,Other:1
Equilibrium of two- and three-dimensional rigid bodies and systems. Trusses, frames, and machines. Friction. Distributed forces and equivalent systems. Internal loads. Prerequisite: MATH 201. Not open to students who have taken ENGR 221 or ENGR 229.

MECH 222. Introduction to Mechanical Engineering Lab Practice. .5 Credits.

Offered Fall Semester Only; Lecture hours:2,Lab:2
Sensors, measurement techniques for static and dynamic measurements, data processing, statistical data analysis, propagation of error, technical report preparation. Corequisite: ECEG 205 and MECH 222L or permission of the department. Prerequisites: MATH 202 and MECH 220.

MECH 252. Dynamics. 1 Credit.

Offered Fall Semester Only; Lecture hours:4
Kinematic and kinetic analysis of rigid bodies in planar and/or three-dimensional motion. Absolute and relative analysis of displacements, velocities, and accelerations; force, energy, and momentum methods; analysis of mechanical vibrations; analytical and computer-simulated solution techniques. Prerequisites: MECH 220 and MATH 212.

MECH 285. Independent Study for Sophomores. .5-1 Credits.

Offered Either Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:2,Other:3; Repeatable
Independent investigation under the direction of a faculty member for students who have completed their first year. Sophomore standing in mechanical engineering and permission of the instructor.

MECH 2NT. Mechanical Engineering Non-traditional Study. .25-4 Credits.

Offered Fall, Spring, Summer; Lecture hours:Varies,Other:3
Non-traditional study in Mechanical Engineering. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.

MECH 302. Finite Elements in Analysis and Design. 1 Credit.

Offered Spring Semester Only; Lecture hours:3,Lab:4
Introduction to finite element method (FEM) and commercial FEM software for design and analysis of mechanical components and thermal problems. Applications in mechanical and thermal component/system design. Co-Requisites: MECH 302L. Prerequisites: MECH 202 and MECH 353.

MECH 312. Heat Transfer. 1 Credit.

Offered Spring Semester Only; Lecture hours:3,Lab:2
Principles and engineering applications of heat transfer by conduction, convection, and radiation. Co-Requisites: MECH 312L. Prerequisite: MECH 313 or permission of the instructor.

MECH 313. Fluid Dynamics. 1 Credit.

Offered Fall Semester Only; Lecture hours:3,Lab:2
Fundamentals of fluid dynamics including integral and differential control volume analysis, conservation equations, dimensional analysis, incompressible inviscid flows, internal and external viscous flows. Prerequisites: MATH 212, MECH 213, MECH 222, or permission of the department. Not open to students who have taken ENGR 222 or ENGR 233.

MECH 353. Solid Mechanics. 1 Credit.

Offered Spring Semester Only; Lecture hours:3,Lab:2
Analysis of the stress, strain, and failure of engineering components under axial, bending, and torsional loading conditions. Provide a bridge to more advanced material in the theory of elasticity and computational solid mechanics. Co-Requisites: MECH 353L. Prerequisites: MECH 220 and concurrent prerequisite MATH 212 or permission of the department.

MECH 355. Manufacturing Processes. 1 Credit.

Offered Fall Semester Only; Lecture hours:3,Lab:2
Analytical and technological study of manufacturing processes including metal deformation, casting, and cutting. Introduction to numerical control and CAD/CAM. Laboratory fabrication project and field trips. Co-Requisite: MECH 355L. Prerequisites: ENGR 240 and MECH 202.

MECH 385. Independent Study for Juniors. .5-1 Credits.

Offered Either Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:2,Other:3; Repeatable
Independent investigation under the direction of a faculty member for students who have completed two years of study. Junior standing in mechanical engineering and permission of the instructor.

MECH 392. Mechanical Design. 1 Credit.

Offered Spring Semester Only; Lecture hours:3,Lab:2
Principles and techniques for creative design of machines in relation to specifications and user requirements. Design using a solid modeling CAD package. Co-Requisites: MECH 392L. Prerequisites: MECH 252 and MECH 353 or permission of the instructor.

MECH 3NT. Mechanical Engineering Non-traditional Study. .25-4 Credits.

Offered Fall, Spring, Summer; Lecture hours:Varies
Non-traditional study in Mechanical Engineering. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.

MECH 401. Senior Design I. .5 Credits.

Offered Fall Semester Only; Lecture hours:2,Common Hour:2
Student teams design systems to solve open-ended problems with consideration of broad perspectives through the use of the design process, modeling and analysis, resource management, and documentation. Co-Requisite: MECH 401C. Prerequisites: MECH 312 and MECH 392, or permission of the instructor.

MECH 402. Senior Design II. .5 Credits.

Offered Spring Semester Only; Lecture hours:2,Common Hour:2
Student teams validate systems designed in MECH 401 with consideration of broad perspectives through modeling and analysis, fabrication, instrumentation, and testing. Professional practice in engineering and ethics. Design of experiments for design validation. Co-requisite: MECH 402C. Prerequisite: MECH 401.

MECH 403. Thermal Design. 1 Credit.

Offered Fall Semester Only; Lecture hours:3,Lab:2
Design of thermal-fluid energy conversion systems; equipment selection; codes and standards; and economic analysis. Mini-design laboratories and group design project. Co-Requisites: MECH 403L Prerequisites: MECH 312.

MECH 405. System Dynamics. 1 Credit.

Offered Fall Semester Only; Lecture hours:3,Lab:3
Modeling and analysis of dynamic systems consisting of mechanical, electrical, fluid, and thermal elements. Frequency response methods. Sampled data systems. Experimental system identification. Co-Requisites: MECH 405L Prerequisites: MATH 212, MECH 252 and ECEG 205.

MECH 420. Solar Energy Conversion. 1 Credit.

Offered Either Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:3,Other:2
Fundamental aspects of the design and operation of solar energy conversion systems including photovoltaics, solar thermal power, solar heating and chemical fuel production. Prerequisite: MECH 312 or permission of the instructor. Seniors only. Crosslisted as MECH 620.

MECH 421. Advanced Engineering Thermodynamics. 1 Credit.

Offered Occasionally; Lecture hours:3
Advanced engineering thermodynamics. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor. Crosslisted as MECH 621.

MECH 422. Renewable Energy Conversion. 1 Credit.

Offered Alternate Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:4
Current energy demands, environmental effects, renewable energy resources, includes photovoltaic, thermal solar, wind, tidal, ocean thermal, wave energies; clean coal, nuclear energy, smart grid technology. Prerequisites: permission of the instructor and one of the following; CHEG 200, ENGR 200 or MECH 213. Crosslisted as MECH 622.

MECH 423. Thermal Environmental Engineering. 1 Credit.

Offered Either Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:4
Heating, ventilating and air conditioning for small commercial and residential buildings. This course uses heat transfer, solar energy, thermal design, psychometrics, economics, physiological considerations and thermal design. Prerequisite: MECH 403 and MECH 216 or permission of the instructor. Crosslisted as MECH 623.

MECH 424. Internal Combustion Engines. 1 Credit.

Offered Either Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:4
Description of internal combustion engines, methods of evaluating performance, the thermodynamics of combustion, engine testing, and design. Prerequisite: MECH 312 or permission of instructor. Crosslisted as MECH 624.

MECH 431. Boundary Layers and Convection Heat Transfer. 1 Credit.

Offered Occasionally; Lecture hours:4
Hydrodynamic and thermal boundary layers, both laminar and turbulent; derivation of governing equations; stability and transition; free and forced convection in both internal and external flows. Prerequisite: MECH 312 or permission of the instructor. Crosslisted as MECH 631.

MECH 432. Compressible Fluid Dynamics. 1 Credit.

Offered Either Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:4
Compressible flow, shock wave phenomena, potential flow, two-dimensional flow, numerical methods, acoustic wave propagation. Selected laboratory exercises. Prerequisites: MECH 213, MECH 313, and ENGR 214 (or equivalent) or permission of the instructor. Crosslisted as MECH 632.

MECH 433. Advanced Fluid Mechanics. 1 Credit.

Offered Occasionally; Lecture hours:4
Ideal and viscous flow. Boundary layer theory. Turbulence and mixing. Non-Newtonian phenomena. Multiphase phenomena. Selected laboratory projects. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor. Crosslisted as MECH 633.

MECH 435. Aerodynamics. 1 Credit.

Offered Either Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:4
Two-dimensional flow theory; vortex and momentum theories of finite wings; viscous flows, boundary layers and drag; high lift devices. Prerequisites: MECH 313 or equivalent and permission of the instructor. Crosslisted as MECH 635.

MECH 440. Turbomachinery. 1 Credit.

Offered Occasionally; Lecture hours:4
Classification of turbomachinery; velocity triangles, dimensional analysis, centrifugal pumps and fans, centrifugal compressors, axial flow pumps, fans and compressors, radial flow turbines, axial flow turbines, steam turbines, hydraulic turbines. Prerequisites: MECH 216 and MECH 313 or permission of the instructor. Crosslisted as MECH 640.

MECH 441. Gas Turbines. 1 Credit.

Offered Occasionally; Lecture hours:4
Ideal gas turbine cycles. Diffusers, compressors, intercoolers, burners, turbines, and nozzles are analyzed for their individual and collective performance. Prerequisite: MECH 216 and MECH 313 or permission of the instructor. Crosslisted as MECH 641.

MECH 445. Engineering Acoustics and Noise Control. 1 Credit.

Offered Occasionally; Lecture hours:4
Fundamentals of sound; instrumentation for noise measurement and analysis; sound sources; sound power, sound in enclosed areas; acoustic enclosures; muffling devices; vibration control; noise control of typical devices. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.

MECH 446. Flow-induced Noise and Vibration. 1 Credit.

Offered Occasionally; Lecture hours:4
Classification of flow-induced vibration; turbulence excitation; gust excitation, vortex shedding, galloping and stall flutter; flutter; impinging shear layers; cylinders and tube bundle vibrations; resonators and noise generation. Prerequisites: MECH 313 and ENGR 222 or permission of the instructor. Crosslisted as MECH 646.

MECH 447. Fundamentals of Combustion. 1 Credit.

Offered Either Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:4
The fundamentals of chemically reactive flow systems with application to jet, rocket, and other air-breathing engines and special interest paid to pollutant formation. Prerequisites: MECH 216 and MECH 312, or permission of the instructor. Crosslisted as MECH 647.

MECH 451. Vibration Analysis. 1 Credit.

Offered Occasionally; Lecture hours:4
Damped and undamped vibrations in free and forced systems. Resonance conditions. Vibration measuring equipment. Multi-degree of freedom discrete systems. Continuous systems. Prerequisites: MECH 252 or MATH 212 or permission of the instructor. Crosslisted as MECH 651.

MECH 452. Advanced Dynamics. 1 Credit.

Offered Occasionally; Lecture hours:4
Kinematics and dynamics of particles and rigid bodies. Degrees of freedom. Partial velocities. Generalized active and inertia forces. Kane's equation. Lagrange's equation. Numerical simulation of motion. Prerequisites: MECH 252 or permission of the instructor. Crosslisted as MECH 652.

MECH 453. Robotics. 1 Credit.

Offered Either Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:4
History, evolution, capabilities and applications of robotic devices. Introduction to robot kinematics, dynamics, and control. Research into current topics in robotics. Development and implementation of robotic operations using model and industrial robots. Prerequisites: MECH 252 or permission of the instructor. Crosslisted as MECH 653.

MECH 454. Vehicle Dynamics and Control. 1 Credit.

Offered Either Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:4
Introduction to modeling of vehicles for analysis and control. Topics include tire models, handling response, stability control, suspension design, race tuning. Prerequisites: MECH 405 or permission of the instructor. Crosslisted as MECH 654.

MECH 457. Accident Analysis. 1 Credit.

Offered Either Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:4
Vehicle crash dynamics and crashworthiness. Non motor-vehicle accidents. Mechanics of injuries. Evaluation of designs intended to reduce risk of injury. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor. Crosslisted as MECH 657 and BMEG 457.

MECH 460. Engineering Optimization. 1 Credit.

Offered Occasionally; Lecture hours:4
Applied methods of linear, nonlinear, discrete, and global optimization. Numerical techniques for constrained and unconstrained problems. Emphasis on engineering applications and solution methods using Matlab. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor. Crosslisted as MECH 660.

MECH 463. Introduction to Mechatronics. 1 Credit.

Offered Either Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:4
This multidisciplinary course is the synergistic integration of mechanical engineering with electronic and computer engineering. This course will study actuators, drive systems, sensors, controllers, micro- controllers programming and interfacing, and automation systems integration. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor. Crosslisted as MECH 663 and ECEG 463 and ECEG 663.

MECH 464. Mechanism Design. 1 Credit.

Offered Either Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:4
Design of traditional and compliant mechanisms. Topics include kinematics, analytical and graphical synthesis methods, and topics in research. Prerequisites: MECH 392 or permission of the instructor. Crosslisted as MECH 664.

MECH 465. Advanced Mechanics of Solids. 1 Credit.

Offered Occasionally; Lecture hours:3
Fundamentals of the theory of elasticity and plasticity. Classical methods for solution of problems, thermal stress, plate bending torsion, residual stress, plastic collapse. Numerical analysis in plasticity. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor. Crosslisted as MECH 665.

MECH 466. Applied Fracture Mechanics. 1 Credit.

Offered Either Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:4
Fundamentals of fracture mechanics and its applications to the design of damage tolerant structures. Case studies in the fields of aerospace, pressure, vessels, rotating machinery, railroads, etc. Illustrating fracture mechanics principles in design. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor. Crosslisted as MECH 666.

MECH 470. Engineering Composite Materials. 1 Credit.

Offered Either Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:4
Fundamental composite mechanics, including micromechanics and laminated plate theory. Design and analysis of composite structures; composite manufacturing techniques; current research topics in composite area. Prerequisites: MECH 353 or permission of the instructor. Crosslisted as MECH 670.

MECH 471. Nonlinear Solid Mechanics. 1 Credit.

Offered Either Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:4
Introduction and application of nonlinear solid mechanics theories. Emphasis on materials such as biological tissues, polymers, and composites that exhibit nonlinear and anisotropic characteristics, among others. Implementation of computational modeling approaches to characterize such behavior. Prerequisite: MECH 302 or permission of the instructor. Crosslisted as MECH 671.

MECH 476. Biomechanics. 1 Credit.

Offered Either Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:4
Principles of mechanics applied to biological systems. Background in anatomy, physiology, and cell biology will be presented. Mechanical behavior of hard and soft biological materials. Topics in cellular, cardiovascular, musculoskeletal, implant, and sport/motion biomechanics. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor. Crosslisted as MECH 676.

MECH 477. Design Thinking for Social Impact. 1 Credit.

Offered Either Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:4
Framework and techniques in design thinking. Project-based with strong emphasis on interaction with community partner to facilitate social impact. Not open to first-years or sophomores. Open to the College of Engineering only. Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor.

MECH 484. Artificial Intelligence for Engineering Systems. 1 Credit.

Offered Either Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:4
Engineering system modeling and optimization using artificial intelligence methods such as neural networks and genetic algorithms. MATLAB based. Prerequisites: ENGR 214 or equivalent or permission of the instructor. Crosslisted as MECH 684.

MECH 485. Advanced Engineering Problems. .5-1 Credits.

Offered Either Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:2,Other:3; Repeatable
An investigation under the direction of a staff member. Topics not covered in other courses may be studied in this course. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor. Crosslisted as MECH 685.

MECH 495. Advanced Topics in Engineering Mathematics. 1 Credit.

Offered Fall Semester Only; Lecture hours:4
Linear algebra and analytical/computational techniques for solving ordinary and partial differential equations relevant to engineering applications. Crosslisted as CEEG 495 and CHEG 495 and MECH 495 and ENGR 695 and ECEG 495 and ECEG 695. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.

Faculty

Professors: Keith W. Buffinton, Mala M. Sharma, Wendelin J. Wright, Constance W. Ziemian (Chair)

Associate Professors: M. Laura Beninati, Indranil Brahma (Associate Chair), Christine M. Buffinton, Charles J. Kim, Nathan P. Siegel

Assistant Professors: Craig E. Beal, Julia A. Cole, José Madero Muñoz, Sarah J. Manoogian, Andrew R. Sloboda, Benjamin Wheatley

Visiting Assistant Professors: James Arthur, Jonathan Torres