Mechanical Engineering

Image
Someone working on equipment in a wave pool.
Degree Type
B.S.
H.B.S.
M.S.
MEng
Minor
Ph.D.
Location
Corvallis Campus
Table of contents

Description

Mechanical engineering is the study of objects and systems in motion. It’s among the most diverse and versatile of all engineering fields and touches nearly every aspect of our world.

Mechanical engineers design, develop, troubleshoot, and improve consumer and commercial devices, products, processes, and systems. They play key roles in many industries, like automotive, aerospace, biotechnology, computers, electronics, energy systems, robotics, and manufacturing — too many to name. The types of projects they work on is virtually endless.

As a mechanical engineering student, you’ll study mathematics, science, computer science, and design, guided by world-class faculty who are leaders in research and education. Along the way, you’ll develop keen problem-solving skills and combine them with your creativity to complete challenging and rewarding projects. By the time you graduate, you’ll be ready to step onto one of the many career paths that await.

Undergraduate Information

  • Electrical Fundamentals  
  • Engineering Graphics and 3-D Modeling  
  • Mechanical Properties of Materials  
  • Introduction to Thermal-Fluid Processes  
  • Mechanical Component Design  

Full list of requirementsSample class plan

Because the Manufacturing Engineering and Mechanical Engineering programs are closely related, many students elect to earn a dual major or double degree in these two disciplines.

More information

  • American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, OSU  
  • Engineers Without Borders - Oregon State University  
  • Marine Renewable Energy Club  
  • American Society of Mechanical Engineers  
  • Robotics Club, OSU  
  • Society of Automotive Engineers  

Search all clubs   

Have a question about a club? Ask the Engineering Student Council.  

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A picture of Kristen Travers working in the lab.

“I figured out what I really wanted to be doing was building the airplanes and rockets.” – Kristen Travers, B.S. mechanical engineering, aerospace minor ’21. Read about Kristen’s experience at Oregon State

Remote video URL

Brittany Blanksma-Stark (B.S. mechanical engineering ’22) came to Oregon State University to change careers from music to engineering and pursue a passion for space exploration. She served as the president of the university’s Aeronautics and Astronautics student chapter and as team lead for Oregon State’s NASA University Student Launch Initiative 2021-2022 competition team. 

Visitors group looks to Beaver Boat Locker to drive economic impact along Willamette River 
Jonathan Cordisco, an OSU Honors College student who works in the College of Engineering’s Prototype Development Lab, has developed a locker system for kayakers, canoeists and stand-up paddleboarders to secure their craft and gear if they want to go into town for a walk, a meal or to stay the night. 

Releasing history 
Amrit Nam Khalsa, mechanical engineering ’18, didn’t even consider a career in aerospace until he was a senior. His first job after graduation? Testing and troubleshooting a critical component of the $10 billion James Webb Space Telescope. 

Graduate Information

Program Information

Requirements Program information and milestones

The Master of Engineering degree in Mechanical Engineering (MEng ME) offers students the opportunity to pursue advanced study in the field of mechanical engineering without also having to complete a research thesis or project. This coursework-only degree is concerned with the practical application of specialized, graduate-level engineering knowledge.

Requirements Program information and milestones

As a Master of Science Mechanical Engineering student at Oregon State, you will pursue one of the following program options

  • Thesis option. The M.S. thesis option involves original mechanical engineering research or the novel application of existing mechanical engineering knowledge to a practical problem. Your research topic must be approved by your graduate committee and your work will be supervised and graded by your major professor. In addition, your research title must be registered with the Graduate School and your thesis must be reviewed and approved by the Graduate School.
  • Project option. With the M.S. project option, you will fulfill the Graduate School’s research-in-lieu-of-thesis requirement by completing a project in which you apply mechanical engineering knowledge and methods to a practical problem. The project must be approved by your graduate committee and will be supervised and graded by your major professor. As with the thesis option, you will document your project with a final report, but project reports are not reviewed and approved by the Graduate School.

Requirements Program information and milestones

MIME offers 4-year financial packages to highly qualified Ph.D. applicants in all specialty areas. We also offer a number of graduate fellowships as well as graduate teaching and research assistantships. To be considered for financial support, the application deadline for fall admission is December 31.

Requirements

Advanced Manufacturing focuses on the integration of nanomaterial synthesis and microfabrication techniques and conventional macroscale manufacturing technologies to produce nano- and microscale systems in an economically, environmentally, and socially sustainable manner.

Such efforts require both an understanding of the physical and chemical phenomena influencing manufacturing processes and bottom-up cost estimating to evaluate the economics of competing manufacturing strategies. Process-specific manufacturability rules, tooling and metrology can then be developed and applied.

Advanced manufacturing work done at Oregon State University is summarized below:

Nanomanufacturing. Nanomanufacturing differs from nanotechnology in that it controls matter at the scale of a nanometer at high production rates. Low-cost routes to nanostructured surfaces and materials involve moving away from gas-phase processing to solution processing. Microchannel process technology (MPT) can enhance heat and mass transfer within solution processes leading to better process control. At Oregon State, researchers are using computational fluid dynamics to evaluate the effects of mixer design on nanoparticle size distribution during nanomaterial synthesis.

Micromanufacturing. Typical micromanufacturing processes are developed around microchannel lamination or powder processing platforms drawing on backgrounds in solid mechanics, fluid mechanics, heat transfer, thermodynamics and material science. Examples of analysis and modeling studies being conducted at OSU include effects of powder/binder systems on flow and compaction behavior in injection molds and effects of device geometry and materials on the outcome of bonding processes.

MIME Faculty in Advanced Manufacturing

Other Oregon State Advanced Manufacturing Faculty

Requirements

The ME design engineering discipline focuses on developing analytical methods and tools to design products and systems associated with complex systems such as power plants, manufacturing machines, transport vehicles, renewable energy systems, robots, space stations, recycling, military hardware, prosthetic devices, and recreational equipment. 

The fundamental challenge in design research is to develop theoretical foundations and repeatable and systematic methodologies that will help engineers:

  1. Design things better (i.e., fail less, be more reliable, perform better, look better, sell better, and be more innovative) in a world where we rely on increasingly complex products; and
  2. Design new and innovative solutions in a constantly evolving and changing world, one in which our product needs and expectations are far greater than those of earlier generations.

Design research applications in MIME happen at both the device and systems levels and include model-based system design, risk- and reliability-based design, computational design and visualization, bio-inspired design, design optimization, decision making in design, design of renewable energy systems, and design of sustainable systems.

MIME Graduate Faculty in Design

Requirements

Materials

The ME engineering specialty "materials" involves understanding what gives materials their properties -- and then using this knowledge to engineer new and better materials that can meet wide-ranging societal and environmental needs.

Materials scientists study how to fabricate new materials, predict their behavior, and control their structure and properties over length-scales spanning from meters down to the atomic scale.

The scope of materials science is immense: It encompasses diverse materials classes (metals, polymers, composites, glasses, and ceramics) and covers applications ranging from structural materials such as those used in bridges and aircraft to electronic, magnetic and optical materials used in computing, communications, and new electronic devices.

The MIME materials science faculty at OSU are engaged in research in many areas, including electroceramics, mechanical properties of materials, micro- and nanoelectro mechanical devices, multifunctional materials, nanomaterials, piezoelectric materials, superconducting materials, thin films, and thermal properties of materials.

Together their efforts address applications in areas ranging from sustainable energy to medicine and public health.

MIME Graduate Faculty in Materials

Mechanics

The ME engineering mechanics specialty area focuses on computational and physical methods in mechanics.  On the computational side, mechanics faculty expertise ranges from stress analysis to imaging techniques for stress/strain monitoring.  On the physical side, faculty are involved in the design and testing of material properties, new biomedical materials, and composite structures.

Students who specialize in this area are equipped to solve technical problems in a wide range of fields including aerospace, automotive, biomedical, manufacturing, and computer engineering to name a few. Our faculty possess a broad range of expertise in experimental, theoretical, and computational mechanics.

MIME Graduate Faculty in Mechanics

Requirements

The ME dynamics and controls specialty area focuses on design and control of autonomous entities such as mobile robots, micro air vehicles, and wave energy converters and on principles and methods of path planning, multi-robot coordination, manipulation, human–robot interactions, and other robotics and control-related issue.

Dynamics and control applications currently being addressed by ME faculty include robotic hand manipulation, legged locomotion and other types of bio-inspired locomotion, air traffic control, micro-air vehicle operation, robots for use in human environments, and modeling and control of marine renewable energy converters. (These and other robotics applications are listed on the Robotics Area of Research Excellence page.)

MIME Graduate Faculty in Robotics

Requirements

The Thermal–Fluid Sciences (TFS) involve the application of basic fundamental laws of fluid flow, heat transfer and thermodynamics to the development and understanding of many engineering and naturally occurring systems. Current work being done by Oregon State TFS faculty encompasses the following areas:

  • Advanced Energy Systems
    MIME TFS faculty are working in the areas of solar thermal systems, development of solar based fuels, development of alternative fuels, wind energy conversion and small scale hydropower system development.  These studies include model development, experimental proof of concept, computational simulations and system integration.
  • Thermal Management
    Power systems for applications such as advanced computer systems, high power laser devices, and concentrated energy sources require the ability to control, extract and efficiently use thermal energy. In working to develop new thermal management methods, MIME TFS faculty are conducting experimental and computational studies using single and multiphase flow systems with phase change.  Applications include high heat flux cooling using controlled phase change, microscale devices for solar concentration, hydrogen storage systems and passive heat transfer enhancement techniques.
  • Microscale Fluidics and Heat Transfer
    Transport enhancement at the microscale is a workable means of increasing overall energy transport system efficiency while providing flexibility in use in distributed systems. MIME TFS faculty have an active program in developing heat exchangers for terrestrial and space applications, fluid transport devices, fluid control systems and fluidic extraction devices. Applications include biomedical therapeutic devices such as dialyzer for renal therapy, spray and confined jet flows for localized cooling, development of drop-on-demand control technology and others.
  • Multiphase Flow
    Multiphase flows, which occur in both natural and engineered systems, have unique transport properties. MIME TFS faculty are involved in fundamental studies of boiling heat transfer in confined, small scale systems, development of efficient phase separation technologies, and porous media and geophysical flow studies. This work is both experimental and computational and involves the development of advanced experimental and simulation methods.
  • Low-Speed Aerodynamics
    In the development of unmanned vehicles, the ability to control low-speed flight is of great interest. The highly viscous flows in both air and water have unique aerodynamic characteristics that determine stability and flight efficiency. MIME TFS faculty are conducting experimental and computational simulation studies that examine the use of biomimetic inspired aerodynamic designs for improved flight efficiency.

Core coursework

MIME Graduate Faculty in Thermal–Fluid Sciences

Learn more

Priority Deadline for Application

Please Note:  If you are seeking a graduate assistantship, and wish to be included in the priority consideration pool, you must complete and submit the University application by December 31. Every year, our deadline for priority consideration is December 31.

Remote video URL
Logan Yliniemi (Ph.D. mechanical engineering and robotics '15) was one of the first students to receive a doctorate from Oregon State's robotics program. Today, he is a research scientists working to increase productivity throughout Amazon's network.

 

Burning to understand 
On the heels of Oregon’s costliest wildfire season, researchers at Oregon State University are ramping up efforts to better predict how the blazes behave, including how they generate fire-spreading embers. 

Wave Power
Working to maximize the potential of wave energy, Bryony DuPont, associate professor of mechanical engineering, and her team develop computer simulations to help wave energy converter manufacturers design devices that wring the most electricity out of every wave.

Visitors group looks to Beaver Boat Locker to drive economic impact along Willamette River  
Paddlers who want to leave their boat on the riverbank in Independence and explore the historic town won’t have to worry about their watercraft not being there when they return, thanks to the Oregon State University College of Engineering’s Prototype Development Lab.  

In good hands  
When Daimler Trucks North America wanted to get a handle on a dangerous and expensive problem in the trucking business — drivers slipping and falling while exiting or entering their cab — the company reached out to Oregon State University engineering students, who gave the entire industry something to hold onto. 

Accreditation

The Bachelor of Science and Honors Bachelor of Science in all four MIME undergraduate degree programs — Mechanical Engineering (ME)Industrial Engineering (IE)Manufacturing Engineering (MfgE) and Energy Systems Engineering (ESE) — are accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, http://www.abet.org.

ABET is a nonprofit, non-governmental organization that accredits college and university programs in the disciplines of applied science, computing, engineering, and engineering technology. ABET accreditation, which is voluntary and achieved through a peer review process, provides assurance that a college or university program meets the quality standards established by the profession for which the program prepares its students.

Oregon State MIME Undergraduate Program Educational Objectives (PEOs)

ABET requires that each accredited undergraduate program establish program educational objectives (PEOs).  PEOs are defined as "broad statements that describe the career and professional accomplishments that the program is preparing graduates to achieve."

Three PEOs have been identified for the Mechanical Engineering program and are listed below.

  • Within three to five years of graduation, our graduates in mechanical engineering will have:
    • PEO 1.)  Created value to organizations through the analysis, evaluation, and improvement of engineered systems and processes using appropriate mechanical engineering methods and tools.
    • PEO 2.)  Communicated effectively across disciplines and cultures to manage and/or lead activities in support of organizational goals and objectives.
    • PEO 3.)  Innovated systems and processes, in response to organizational challenges, though the application of structured and unstructured mechanical engineering methodologies, including engineering design and problem-solving

The table below lists the skills, knowledge, and behaviors characteristic of every student who graduates from Oregon State School of Mechanical, Industrial & Manufacturing Engineering with a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering. These Mechanical Engineering Student Outcomes are paired by the MIME Program Educational Objective with which they are most closely associated.

The Bachelor of Science and Honors Bachelor of Science degree programs in Mechanical Engineering are accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, http://www.abet.org.

Within three to five years of graduation, graduates in mechanical engineering will have:

Associated Mechanical Engineering Student Outcomes

PEO 1.)  Created value to organizations through the analysis, evaluation, and improvement of engineered systems and processes using appropriate mechanical engineering methods and tools.

(1) An ability to identify, formulate, and solve complex engineering problems by applying principles of engineering, science, and mathematics.


(6) An ability to develop and conduct appropriate experimentation, analyze and interpret data, and use engineering judgment to draw conclusions.


(7) An ability to acquire and apply new knowledge as needed, using appropriate learning strategies.


(aa) Ability to apply principles of engineering, basic science and mathematics (including multivariate calculus and differential equations).


(bb) Ability to model, analyze, design and realize physical systems, components or processes.

PEO 2.)  Communicated effectively across disciplines and cultures to manage and/or lead activities in support of organizational goals and objectives.

(3) An ability to communicate effectively with a range of audiences.

(5) An ability to function effectively on a team whose members together provide leadership, create a collaborative and inclusive environment, establish goals, plan tasks, and meet objectives.

(cc) Ability to work professionally in either thermal or mechanical systems areas.

PEO 3.)  Innovated systems and processes, in response to organizational challenges, though the application of structured and unstructured mechanical engineering methodologies, including engineering design and problem-solving.

(1) An ability to identify, formulate, and solve complex engineering problems by applying principles of engineering, science, and mathematics.

(2) An ability to apply engineering design to produce solutions that meet specified needs with consideration of public health, safety, and welfare, as well as global, cultural, social, environmental, and economic factors.

(4) An ability to recognize ethical and professional responsibilities in engineering situations and make informed judgments, which must consider the impact of engineering solutions in global, economic, environmental, and societal contexts.

(7) An ability to acquire and apply new knowledge as needed, using appropriate learning strategies.

(bb) Ability to model, analyze, design and realize physical systems, components or processes.