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University Bulletin
Undergraduate Degree Programs


(Archive) Mechanical Engineering (M E)

Begin Date: Summer Session 1996
End Date: Spring Semester 1999

Mechanical Engineering (M E) - (ARCHIVE)

PROFESSOR RICHARD C. BENSON, Head, Department of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering

Mechanical Engineering is the science of understanding, and art of design of mechanisms and engines. Mechanisms are devices composed of solid, fluid, electrical, and optical components that perform specified tasks. Examples include: robots, tape drives, earth movers, clocks, sports equipment, energy-absorbing bumpers, acoustic sensors, low-friction bearings, high-friction brakes, automated inspection equipment, satellite positioners, and artificial hips. Engines are devices that convert (or conserve) thermal and mechanical energy to perform specified tasks. Examples include: internal combustion engines, jet engines, missile launchers, heat exchangers, refrigerators, ovens, ventilators, pumps, turbines, solar heaters, compressors, hydraulic actuators, insulation and explosively deployed air bags.

Students learn the scientific principles governing the operation of mechanisms and engines, and learn a methodology to apply these principles in the design of new machines. Students also learn that "real world" designs carry economic constraints of time, money, and human resources, and are usually conducted in the presence of international competition. The foundation to the discipline includes physics, chemistry, mathematics, electronics, and material science. Students also learn to use computers to perform mathematical computations and to display results graphically. Subjects related to mechanisms are rigid-body dynamics, kinematics, strength of materials, vibrations, and controls. Subjects related to engines are thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, and heat transfer. Students are required to undertake laboratories that illustrate physical principles learned in courses in the engineering sciences.

In the senior year, all students enroll in four technical electives to prepare themselves for engineering careers. Available courses include reciprocating engines, heat exchangers, turbomachinery, jet engines, rocket engines, pollution control, combustion, automatic controls, refrigeration and air conditioning, compressible fluid dynamics, vibrations, vehicle dynamics, noise control, reliability, wear, microcomputer interfacing, computer-aided design, and advanced study in machine dynamics, fluid mechanics, and machine design. The strength of the major and its long-standing appeal to employers is that students are required to master both mechanical and thermal science subjects. Implicit in all their studies, students are expected to develop personal skills needed to be leaders in their profession.

Students have the opportunity to participate in the Co-op program, study abroad, and pursue minors and dual majors.

For the B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering, a minimum of 138 credits is required.

Scheduling Recommendation by Semester Standing given like (Sem:1-2)

(21 of these 46 credits are included in the REQUIREMENTS FOR THE MAJOR)
(See description of General Education in front of Bulletin. Note: The Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) does not permit the use of skills courses to satisfy the Arts category of General Education.)

(This includes 21 credits of General Education courses: 9 credits of GN courses; 6 credits of GQ courses; 3 credits of GS courses; 3 credits of GWS courses.)

CHEM 012 GN(3), 013 GN(3), ED&G 100(3), MATH 140 GQ(4), 141 GQ(4), PHYS 201 GN(4) (Sem: 1-2)
E MCH 011(3)[1], 012(3)[1], 013(3)[1], M E 030(3)[1], MATH 220 GQ(2), 231(2), 251(4), PHYS 202 GN(4), 203 GN(3) (Sem: 3-4)
E E 305(3), E MCH 215(2), ENGL 202C GWS(3), M E 031(3)[1], 033(3)[1], 050(3)[1], 051(3)[1], 054(3)[1], 082(3)[1], 412(3)[1], MATSE 259(3) (Sem: 5-6)
I E 312(3), M E 440(3)[1], STAT 401(3) (Sem: 7-8)

CMPSC 201C GQ(3) or 201F GQ(3) (Sem: 3-4)
ECON 002 GS(3), 004 GS(3), or 014 GS(3) (Sem: 1-2)
M E 414W(4) or 415W(4) (Sem: 5-8)
Select 2 credits from M E 083(1), 084(1), 085(1), 086(1) (Sem: 7-8)

Select 12 credits of 400-level courses from department list (Students may apply 6 credits of ROTC.) (Sem: 5-6)

[1] A student enrolled in this major must receive a grade of C or better, as specified in Senate Policy 82-44.
These courses may have to be chosen so that the engineering design or engineering science requirements for the major are met.

The Pennsylvania State University ©1998

The University reserves the right to change the requirements and regulations listed here and to determine whether a student has satisfactorily met its requirements for admission or graduation, and to reject any applicant for any reason the University determines to be material to the applicant's qualifications to pursue higher education. Nothing in this material should be considered a guarantee that completion of a program and graduation from the University will result in employment.

Last Revised by the Department: Summer Session 1996

Blue Sheet Item #: 24-06-043

Review Date: 6/3/99 (General Education Update)


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