Mechanical Engineering and Mechanics
Major: Mechanical Engineering and Mechanics
Degree Awarded: Master of Science (MS) or Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Calendar Type: Quarter
Total Credit Hours: 45.0 (MS) or 90.0 (PhD)
Classification of Instructional (CIP) code: 14.1902
Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) code: 17-2141
About the Program
The Mechanical Engineering and Mechanics (MEM) Department offers MS and PhD degrees. The courses often associate with one or more areas of specialization: design and manufacturing, mechanics, systems and control, and thermal and fluid sciences. The mechanical engineering field is rapidly changing due to ongoing advances in modern science and technology. Effective mechanical engineers must possess expertise in mechanical engineering core subjects, interdisciplinary skills, teamwork skills, as well as entrepreneurial and managerial abilities. The degree programs are designed so students can learn the state-of-the-art knowledge now, and have the foundation to acquire new knowledge as they develop in future.
The MS degree program is offered on both a full-time and a part-time basis. The General (Aptitude) Test of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is required for applicants pursuing full-time study. Graduate courses are often scheduled in the late afternoon and evening, so full-time students and part-time students can take the same courses. The department has recently adopted the Graduate Co-op program at the master’s level as an option.
The PhD degree program is offered for full-time students only and is a research intensive program. The research areas include, but are not limited to, bio-engineering, energy systems, high performance materials, nanotechnology, plasma science and engineering, and robotics.
Applicants must meet the graduate requirements for admission to Drexel University. Students holding a bachelor's degree in a science or engineering discipline other than mechanical engineering are advised to take several undergraduate courses as preparation for graduate studies. Though these courses are not counted toward the required credits for the degree, they also must be listed in the student's plan of study. Outstanding students with a GPA of at least 3.5 in their master’s program will be considered for admission to the program leading to the doctor of philosophy degree in mechanical engineering.
Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering and Mechanics
The MS program has a two-fold mission: to prepare some students for continuation of their graduate studies and research toward a PhD degree, and to prepare other students for a career in industry upon graduation with the MS degree. The MS program has a non-thesis option and a thesis option.Students who plan to continue to the PhD degree are advised to select the thesis-option.
The MS program is structured so that students have the opportunity to specialize in areas of interest while also obtain the broadest engineering education possible. Of the required 45.0 credits (15 courses) MS students are required to complete two core-course sequences (two terms each) from two different core areas. Students can take eight technical elective courses of which up to four courses can be from outside the Mechanical Engineering and Mechanics Department if they are approved in the students' plan of study. MS students have opportunity to apply to the optional graduate Co-op program. Students in the MS program should consult with the department graduate adviser at the beginning of their program and must file a plan of study prior to the third quarter of study. Further details can be obtained from the department's Graduate Programs Manual.
|Typical MS Program|
|Two Core-Course Sequences (required)||12.0|
|Three Mathematics Courses (required) *||9.0|
|Eight Technical Electives (including 9 credits for thesis option)||24.0|
All students take core courses in the department’s areas of specialization as part of a comprehensive and flexible program. Further details can be obtained from the department's Graduate Programs Manual.
The core courses in each area are listed below:
|Theory of Elasticity|
|MEM 660||Theory of Elasticity I||3.0|
|MEM 661||Theory of Elasticity II||3.0|
|MEM 663||Continuum Mechanics||3.0|
|MEM 664||Introduction to Plasticity||3.0|
|MEM 666||Advanced Dynamics I||3.0|
|MEM 667||Advanced Dynamics II||3.0|
|Systems and Control Area|
|Robust Control Systems|
|MEM 633||Robust Control Systems I||3.0|
|MEM 634||Robust Control Systems II||3.0|
|Non-Linear Control Theory|
|MEM 636||Theory of Nonlinear Control I||3.0|
|MEM 637||Theory of Nonlinear Control II||3.0|
|Real-Time Microcomputer Control|
|MEM 639||Real Time Microcomputer Control I||3.0|
|MEM 640||Real Time Microcomputer Control II||3.0|
|Thermal and Fluid Sciences Area|
|Advanced Thermodynamics *|
|MEM 601||Statistical Thermodynamics I||3.0|
|MEM 602||Statistical Thermodynamics II||3.0|
|MEM 611||Conduction Heat Transfer||3.0|
|MEM 612||Convection Heat Transfer||3.0|
|or MEM 613||Radiation Heat Transfer|
|Fluid Mechanics *|
|MEM 621||Foundations of Fluid Mechanics||3.0|
|MEM 622||Boundry Layers-Laminar & Turbulent||3.0|
Consult the Thermal and Fluid Sciences area advisor for other options.
PhD in Mechanical Engineering
Outstanding students with a GPA of at least 3.5 in their master’s program will be considered for admission to the program leading to the Doctor of Philosophy degree in mechanical engineering.
PhD Course Requirements
At least 90.0 credits are required for the PhD degree. The master’s degree is not a prerequisite for the PhD, but does count as 45.0 credits toward the 90.0 credit requirement.
For students entering the PhD program with a prior MS degree:
- 45.0 credits of graduate courses out of which 18.0 credits are graduate courses exclusive of independent study and dissertation. If the MS degree was not from Drexel's Mechanical Engineering and Mechanics (MEM) Department, 12.0 of these 18.0 credits must be MEM graduate courses (600-level or above). The remaining 27.0 credits consist of a combination of dissertation, independent study, and additional advanced coursework consistent with the approved plan of study.
For students entering the PhD program with a BS degree but without a prior master's degree:
- 90.0 credits of graduate courses. 45.0 of these 90.0 credits must satisfy the MS in Mechanical Engineering degree requirements. The remaining 45.0 credits must satisfy the requirements above.
PhD Candidacy Examination
A graduate student in the PhD program needs be nominated by his/her supervising adviser to take the candidacy examination. A student who enters the PhD program with a prior MS degree must take the Candidacy Examination within the first year after entry to the PhD program. A student who enters the PhD program without a prior MS degree must take the Candidacy Examination within 2 years after entry to the PhD program.
The Candidacy Examination consists of two components: A course-component examination and a research-component examination. The student must demonstrate excellence in both components. The research-component examination consists of a written report and an oral presentation. The Candidacy Committee selects three or more research papers in the student’s declared research area for student to conduct a critical review. In three weeks the student submits a written report. One week after the written report is submitted the student makes an oral presentation. The presentation is followed by questions by the Committee. The goals of the questions: To evaluate the student’s knowledge in the scientific fields related to the research area, including related background and fundamental material, and the student’s ability to integrate information germane to success in research. Additional details are given in the Mechanical Engineering and Mechanics Graduate Program Manual.
At least one year prior to graduation, the PhD candidate must give a thesis proposal to the dissertation advisory committee. The student must submit a written proposal and make a presentation. The written proposal normally includes: abstract, introduction, detailed literature review, preliminary results, proposed research tasks and timetable. The committee will approve/reject the thesis topic, the scope of work and the general method of attack.
A final examination consisting of a presentation and defense of the research dissertation is required, before the PhD degree is granted.
Further details can be obtained from the department's Graduate Programs Manual.
A. J. Drexel Plasma Institute
The A. J. Drexel Plasma Institute (DPI) was formed in 2002 to stimulate and coordinate research projects related to plasma and other modern high energy engineering techniques. Today the DPI is an active multidisciplinary organization involving 23 faculty members from 6 engineering departments working in close collaboration with School of Biomedical Engineering, College of Arts and Sciences and College of Nursing and Health Professions.
Advanced Design and Manufacturing Laboratory
This laboratory provides research opportunities in design methodology, computer-aided design, analysis and manufacturing, and materials processing and manufacturing. Facilities include various computers and software, I-DEAS, Pro/E,ANSYS, MasterCAM, Mechanical DeskTop, SurfCAM, Euclid, Strim, ABQUS, and more.The machines include two Sanders Model Maker rapid prototyping machines, a BridgePort CNC Machining Center, a BOY 220 injection molding machine, an Electra high-temperature furnace for metal sintering, infiltration, and other heat treatment.
Biofluid Mechanics Laboratory
The biofluid mechanics laboratory conducts computational and experimental research on the dynamics of flow in the cardiovascular and respiratory system, and the effects of flow on biological processes, particularly hemostasis and thrombosis. Lab resources include high-performance engineering workstations, commercial computational fluid dynamics (CFD) software, and basic experimental facilities including Laser Doppler Velocimetry (LDV), pressure and flow transducers, pumps, and microscopes.
Biological Systems Analysis Laboratory
The research in the Laboratory for Biological Systems Analysis involves the integration of biology with systems level engineering analysis and design, with an emphasis on: (1) the development of robotic systems that borrow from nature's designs and use novel technologies to achieve superior performance and function; and (2) the use of system identification techniques to evaluate the functional performance of animal physiological systems under natural, behavioral conditions. Facilities include rapid prototyping machines, compliant material manufacturing, mold making facilities, and a traditional machine shop and electronics workshop.
Emphasis in this laboratory is placed on understanding the mechanical properties of human joints, characterization of the mechanical properties of biological materials, studies of human movements, and design and development of artificial limbs. Facilities include a 3-D kinematic measuring system, Instron testing machine, and microcomputers for data acquisition and processing. Additional biomechanical laboratory facilities are available at Moss Rehab Hospital.
Combustion, Fuel Chemistry, and Emissions Laboratory
Emphasis in this laboratory is placed on developing an understanding of both the chemical and physical factors that control and, hence, can be used to tailor combustion processes for engineering applications. Facilities include two single cylinder research engines, a pressurized flow reactor (PFR) facility, flat flame and slot burner systems, and complete analytical and monitoring instrumentation. The engine systems are used to study the effects of operating variables, fuel type, ambient conditions, and control devices on engine performance and emissions. The PFR facility is used for detailed kinetic studies of hydrocarbon pyrolysis and oxidation processes.
Combustion Diagnostics Laboratory
High speed cameras, spectrometers, and laser systems are used to conduct research in (1) low temperature hydrocarbon oxidation, (2) cool flames, and (3) plasma-assisted ignition and combustion. Research in optical diagnostic development is conducted in this lab with a specific focus on tools to measure small peroxy radicals.
Complex Fluids and Multiphase Transport Laboratory
The research focus of this lab lies at the interface of thermal-fluid sciences, nano materials, and colloid and surface sciences. We apply these fundamental sciences to advance energy conversion and storage systems, to provide effective thermal management solutions, and to enable scalable additive nanomanufacturing. Facilities include materials printing systems, fluorescence microscope and imaging systems, complex fluid characterization, microfluidics and heat transfer testers, coating and solar cell testing devices, electrochemical characterization, and high performance computing facilities.
Composite Mechanics Laboratory
Emphasis in this laboratory is placed on the characterization of performance of composite materials. Current interest includes damage mechanisms, failure processes, and time-dependent behavior in resin-, metal-, and ceramic-matrix composites. Major equipment includes servo-hydraulic and electromechanical Instron testing machines, strain/displacement monitoring systems, environmental chambers, microcomputers for data acquisition and processing, composites fabrication facility, interferometric displacement gauge, X-radiography, and acoustic emission systems.
Dynamic Multifunctional Materials Laboratory (DMML)
The focus of DMML is mechanics of materials; namely fracture and failure mechanisms under extreme conditions and their correlation to meso- and microstructural characteristics. Utilizing highly integrated experimental facilities such as a Kolsky (split-Hopkinson pressure bar), single-stage, and two stage light-gas gun, complex material behavior is deconstructed into dominant time and length scales associated with the energetics of damage evolution. In-situ laser and optical diagnostics such as caustics, interferometry techniques, schlieren visualization and virtual grid method, are used to investigate coupled field properties of multifunctional materials with the goal of not only analyzing and understanding behavior, but ultimately tailoring material properties for specific applications.
Electrochemical Energy Systems Laboratory (ECSL)
The ECSL is specializes in the design, diagnostics and characterization of next generation electrochemical energy conversion and storage systems. Current areas of research include flow-assisted supercapacitors, next generation flow battery technology and fuel cells for transportation, stationary and portable applications. ECSL utilizes a comprehensive approach, including: advanced diagnostics, system design, materials characterization, and computational modeling of electrochemical energy systems. The core mission of ECSL is to develop novel diagnostic and computational tools to understand critical issues in flow-assisted electrochemical systems and enable better system design. Due to the complex nature of these systems, our research is highly interdisciplinary and spans the interface of transport phenomena, materials characterization, electrochemistry and system engineering.
Microcomputer Controls Laboratory
This laboratory provides an environment conducive to appreciating aspects of systems and control through hands-on experiments. They range from data acquisition and processing to modeling of dynamical systems and implementing a variety of controllers to control systems, such as DC motors and the inverted pendulum. Facilities also include microcontrollers such as Basic Stamp and the Motorola 68HCI 1. Active research is being conducted on control reconfiguration in the event of actuator failures in aircrafts.
Non-Newtonion Fluid and Heat Transfer Laboratory
Emphasis in this laboratory is placed on the study of hydrodynamic and thermal performance of various non-Newtonian viscoelastic fluids in complex flow geometries. Facilities and equipment include a 20-foot-long recirculating flow loop with a 500-gallon reservoir tank and a thermal conductivity measurement cell. A complete data acquisition system provides fully automated experimental operation and data reduction. A state-of-the-art finite element code FIDAP running on a CDC 180 computer provides three-dimensional flow and heat transfer simulations of flows in complex geometrics, with a complete post-processing graphic capability backed by template.
Precision Instrumentation and Metrology Laboratory
This laboratory is focused on activities related to precision measurement, computer-aided inspection, and precision instrument design. Facilities include 3D Coordinate Measuring Machine (Brown & Sharpe) with Micro Measurement and Reverse engineering software, Surface Profilometer, and Laser Displacement Measuring System.
Emphasis in this laboratory is placed on developing tools for rheological property measurement of various non-Newtonian fluids, including friction-reducing viscoelastic fluids, molten polymers, coal-water slurries, ceramic slurries, and bonding cements for biomedical applications. A capillary tube viscometer, falling ball and needle viscometers, and Brookfield rotating viscometer are available. In particular, the capillary tube viscometer is designed to allow fully automated operation, thus avoiding time-consuming data collection procedures. A high-temperature and high-pressure capillary tube viscometer is under development, so that viscosities of advanced polymer materials can be measured at relatively high temperatures and shear rates.
Space Systems Laboratory (SSL)
The objective of SSL is ". . . to inspire future generations to advance aerospace engineering.' It provides research opportunities in orbital mechanics, rendezvous and docking maneuvers, mission planning, and space environment. The lab provides facilities for activities in High Altitude Balloons, construction of air-vehicles and nano-satellites, 0-g flights, and STK simulation package for satellite flights and trajectories.
Theoretical and Applied Mechanics Group (TAMG)
Research in the TAMG focuses on using experimental, analytical and computational tools to understand deformation and failure of materials, components and structures in a broad range of time and length scales. To accomplish this goal, TAMG develops procedures that include mechanical behavior characterization coupled with non-destructive testing and modern computational tools. This information is used both for understanding the role of important material scales in the observed bulk behavior and for the formulation of constitutive laws that can model the response including damage initiation and progression according to prescribed loading conditions. Equipment and facilities used by TAMG include a range of mechanical testing equipment for testing in tension, compression, fatigue and fracture as well as: a) two multichannel Acoustic Emission systems, b) a 5 Megapixel Digital Image Correlation system, c) a FLIR infrared thermography camera, and d) a 64-core High Performance Computational Cluster. TAMG has further developed procedures to use several pieces of equipment and facilities at Drexel University including the Machine Shop, Centralized Research Facilities and the University Research Computing Faci
Thermal Systems Laboratory
The thermal systems laboratory is outfitted with an array of instrumentation and equipment for conducting single- and multiphase heat transfer experiments in controlled environments. Facilities include computer-controlled data acquisition (LabVIEW ) systems, a Newport holographic interferometric system with associated lasers and optics, image enlargers, power amplifiers, precision voltmeters, slip-ring assemblies, and workstation for large-scale computing and simulation. A draft-free room is available with independent temperature control for carrying out natural convection experiments. An experimental test-rig is available for studying heat transfer from rotating surfaces. A bubble column has been recently built to study multiphase flow and heat transfer problems. Facilities are also available for measuring thermal conductivities of thin films using a thermal comparator.
Vascular Kinetics Laboratory (VKL)
The VKL uses engineering methods to understand how biomechanics and biochemistry interact in cardiovascular disease. In particular, we study fluid flow and blood vessel stiffness impact cellular response to glucose, growth factors, and inflammation to lead to atherosclerosis and metabolic syndrome. We then apply these discoveries to novel biomaterials and therapies, with a particular focus on treating cardiovascular disease in under-served populations. This research is at the interface of engineering and medicine, with close collaborations with biologists and physicians and a strong emphasis on clinical applications.