About the Department
One of four departments in the College of Engineering and Computer Science, the Department of Mechanical Engineering offers accredited and nationally ranked undergraduate and graduate degrees in Mechanical Engineering, Bioengineering, and Automotive Systems Engineering. Our curriculum offers comprehensive and rigorous education rich in design, research, and interdisciplinary opportunities leading to successful careers in industry, government, higher education, and non-profit organizations both in southeast Michigan and worldwide.
- 1959: UM-Dearborn's first students enroll in three degree programs, including Mechanical Engineering.
- 1963: The Mechanical Engineering master's program begins.
- 2011: The Bioengineering undergraduate program begins.
- 2016: The Bioengineering master's program begins.
- 2017: The PhD in Mechanical Sciences and Engineering program begins.
- 2017: The Automotive Systems Engineering master's program joins the department.
- 2019: The D.Eng. in Automotive Systems and Mobility begins.
Learn more about our fields of study
The mechanical engineering field is one of the oldest engineering fields. It is also one of the broadest in scope, for it is not restricted to any particular technology or particular device. Mechanical engineers understand the basic principles of statics and dynamics, thermodynamics, heat transfer and fluid flows, control, instrumentation, and other areas. Mechanical engineers know how to use these principles to design and manufacture technical systems.
The field is continuously evolving with new technologies bringing new challenges, new knowledge, and new job opportunities. One example is the automobile. The automotive industry has always employed many mechanical engineers, but the work they do and the problems they solve now are completely different than what they were fifty or even twenty years ago. Another example is new methods of energy generation. Neither wind, nor solar, nor biomass energy would be possible without mechanical engineers.
Bioengineering (BENG) is a cross-disciplinary field in which the methods of various areas of engineering are applied to solve problems in medicine, biology, health care, and, in general, to improve the quality of human life. The expertise of a bioengineer combines knowledge of engineering principles with the understanding of living systems.
Bioengineering is a rapidly growing profession with expanding career opportunities. Bioengineers work on medical and health care devices (artificial organs, imaging systems, surgery instruments and so on), medical procedures (such as rehabilitation), bio-processing technologies in pharmaceutical and other industries, and other biology-related problems (such as safety and ergonomics).
The automotive engineering industry is currently in the process of fundamental change, probably the most significant one in its history. Electric and autonomous vehicles are the two most noticeable aspects of the change, but there are other rapid developments such as the use of lightweight materials, more efficient powertrains, intelligent control systems, better manufacturing techniques, and improved comfort and safety.
The automotive engineering program is an interdisciplinary field that integrates the knowledge of other technical and non-technical disciplines. In addition to expertise in a specialized area, an automotive engineer must understand broader issues and have the skill of synthesizing diverse technical approaches into a system-wide solution.
Student’s research digs into how cancer spreads in the body
Master’s student Malak Nasser has taken the top prize at the recent UM-Dearborn Three Minute Thesis competition for her work on the relationship between the hardening of tissue in regions that have cancer and angiogenesis, which is the development of new blood vessels that can provide nutrients to enable to growth and spread of cancer cells. Nasser's hypothesis is that "this hardening of the mesh microenvironment may actually be helping cancer cells send out signals to the body to keep oxygen and other nutrients heading their way."
She tested this hypothesis by implanting breast cancer cells into collagen, one of the key proteins in our body’s natural extracellular mesh, of various stiffnesses and measured angiogenesis in the different environments. These results pointed very strongly towards her hypothesis, the greater the stiffness of the environment the greater the signals of angiogenesis. From these new results Nasser is going into the next stage of her research to see if there are potential clinical trials that can be built around this new relationship as well as further confirming testing in other environments such as bone with its already relatively high density.
The next big question according to Nasser is “If we know that increased stiffness is causing the release of more angiogenesis-related signals, then what if we inhibit the ability of the cells to sense this stiffness change? Would this help decrease the amount of signals they released, and ultimately help slow down the ability of the cancer to grow and spread throughout the body?” This research is still in an early stage, but could prove to be another useful avenue for fighting cancer, and we look forward to how her research will pan out.
Open Faculty Positions
The Department of Mechanical Engineering invites applications for these tenure-track faculty positions:
The ME department continually seeks outside interactions with business, industries, and government through its Industrial Advisory Boards. 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.
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
Partha Datta, PhD
Head of Vehicle Integration and Validation
FCA USA LLC
Taner Onsay, PhD
Manager of Noise-Vibration-Harshness (NVH) Test, Development and Lab Operations
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles
Chief Engineer Hybrid Population
Director of Automotive and Transportation Solutions
Siemens Product Lifecycle Management Software Inc.
Chief Engineer: Electronics, Components, Instrumentation & Core Engineering
Manager - FosGen Strategy & Special Projects
Ford Motor Company