About the Department
One of four departments in the College of Engineering and Computer Science, the Department of Mechanical Engineering offers the degrees of Bachelor and Master of Science in Engineering (BSE/MSE) in Mechanical Engineering, the degree of Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in Engineering in Engineering (BSE) in Bioengineering, the degree of Master of Science in Engineering in Automotive Systems Engineering, and the degree of PhD in Mechanical Sciences and Engineering. Its full-time faculty members teach and engage in research on solid mechanics, dynamics and control, materials and manufacturing, nano- and biotechnology, and thermal/fluids science. The ME department stresses cutting-edge and applied research that enriches our faculty's intellectual creativity and skills while also benefiting students in both lecture rooms and laboratories. ME faculty are engaged in externally-funded research in automobile design, vehicle controls and dynamics, energy system management and development, nanomaterials and manufacturing, biomechanics, heat transfer, fluid mechanics, and manufacturing.
- 1959: UM-Dearborn's first students enrolled in three degree programs, including Mechanical Engineering.
- 1963: The Mechanical Engineering master's program was announced.
- 2011: The Bioengineering undergraduate program was announced.
- 2016: The Bioengineering master's program was announced.
Learn more about our fields of study
Bioengineering (BENG) is a cross-disciplinary field, in which the methods of various areas of engineering are applied to solve problems in medicine, biology, healthcare, and in general, to improve the quality of human life. The expertise of a bioengineer combines knowledge of engineering principles with understanding of living systems.
Bioengineering is a rapidly growing profession with expanding career opportunities. Bioengineers work on medical and healthcare devices (artificial organs, imaging systems, surgery instruments and so on), medical procedures (for example, in rehabilitation), bio-processing technologies in pharmaceutical and other industries, and other biology-related problems, such as safety and ergonomics.
The mechanical engineering field is one of the oldest of the several engineering fields. It is also one of the broadest in scope, for it is not identified with nor restricted to any particular technology (like nuclear engineering), nor to any particular vehicle (like land-based automobiles), nor to any particular device or particular system.
It is, in fact, concerned with so many areas of modem technology that the tasks and challenges of the mechanical engineer are most interesting and varied.
The field is logically associated with mechanical things, but this can lead to a restrictive image. For example, one often associates mechanical engineers with automobiles and, thus, with engines. To the non-engineer this is an acceptable association that implies a knowledge of pistons and carburetors. As engineers know, this picture is very shallow; the breadth of understanding implied when one thinks of designing an engine challenges the imagination. Automobile engines are just one of many devices that convert energy into useful work.
To understand this conversion process is also to understand the basic principles of energy conversion applicable to solar engines, jet engines, gas turbines, fuel cells, ship-propulsion systems, rocket engines, hydro-electric power plants, and new kinds of converters not yet developed. The mechanical engineer possesses this universally applicable background in thermodynamics, heat transfer, fluid mechanics, aerodynamics, and combustion theory which is basic to all such systems. The mechanical engineer also has a similar understanding of materials from steels to textiles to biological materials to the latest plastics and the most exotic high temperature composites.
The point is that everything that is built is achieved by applying these same principles and using these same materials.
To understand the dynamic nature of most mechanical devices and systems requires a thorough mastery of forces and stresses, of vibrations and acoustics, of shock and impact, of deformation and fracture. Yet these are basic to virtually every product devised by people or found in nature. Automobiles are just one small example of where they are important.
Thus, the mechanical engineer is a designer who creates physical things of all sorts because the mechanical engineer's breadth of background is everywhere applicable. The mechanical engineer produces machines to build other machines, and thus is in the forefront of new manufacturing technology. In this role the engineer is faced with the task of building new things created by all kinds of engineers. This exposes the engineer to other technologies, and the mechanical engineer must be able to grasp their essence easily. For example, as the builder of energy devices to tap the oceans' resources, the mechanical engineer is simultaneously one of the oceanographers, one of the chemists, one of the environmentalists, as well as the master designer.
The mechanical engineer is comfortable working with people as well as with machines.
For example, the role in vehicle design is that of making technical advances in performance, efficiency, and cost while simultaneously meeting the life and comfort requirements of operators and passengers. Logically, then, the mechanical engineer is active in the new fields of biomechanics, biomaterials, biomedical fluid mechanics and heat transfer, air and water pollution, water desalinization, sensory aids, and prostheses.
Open Faculty Positions
The Department of Mechanical Engineering invites applications for these tenure-track faculty positions:
The Department continually seeks outside interactions with business, industries, and government. Our advisory boards are composed of industry professionals who provide input on curriculum, potential employment for students, research opportunities for faculty, and a perspective on future challenges requiring collaboration.
Bioengineering Advisory Board
Subha Bhattacharyya, PhD
Mark Cheng, PhD
Director, Nanofabrication Core
Wayne State University
Sr PD Engineer II
Terumo Cardiovascular Group
Jan Stegemann, PhD
Professor of Biomedical Engineering
University of Michigan
Fangjing Wang, PhD
Mechanical Engineering Advisory Board
Vice President of Central Sales
Director - Renewable Energy
Chief Technical Officer
Director of Engineering, Transmission Hardware
Comet Technology Corporation
Director of Automotive and Transportation Solutions
Siemens Product Lifecycle Management Software Inc.
Manager - Renewable Energy Business Development
Ford Motor Company
Director Global Engine Engineering
Ford Motor Company
Senior Technical Specialist
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles