The graduate program in mechanical engineering is designed to educate engineers who will be in the forefront of the mechanical engineering profession, leading the way to new and improved engineering systems to transform energy, materials, and information to meet the needs of society. To achieve this objective, the program offers a breadth of research and study areas and facilities. The faculty values creativity, the novel application of fundamental engineering science, interdisciplinary activities, the development of future leaders and a community of scholars, professionalism, and excitement in discovery. The program is designed to enhance these values, drawing upon the diverse interests and experience of the faculty. The major areas of emphasis are described below.
Acoustics. The Departments of Mechanical Engineering and Electrical and Computer Engineering offer an interdisciplinary course of study in this field. Research projects are carried out in physical acoustics, industrial and environmental acoustics, electroacoustics, nonlinear acoustics, underwater acoustics, noise control, and ultrasonics. Major experimental facilities are a general purpose acoustics laboratory, a signal analysis and transducer laboratory, an anechoic chamber, a reverberation chamber, waveguides for high-intensity sound, a computer-controlled water tank for ultrasonics, and various underwater sound facilities at the Applied Research Laboratories.
Biomechanical engineering. This concentration provides studies for application of mechanical engineering principles to biological and medical problems. Areas of study are physiology, bioheat transfer, biomaterials, biorheology, biosignal analysis, biomechanics, ultrasonics, and biomedical computing. Supporting courses and facilities are also provided through the interdisciplinary Biomedical Engineering Program.
Manufacturing. Manufacturing is an interdisciplinary field incorporating traditional and nontraditional elements of engineering and business. Manufacturing has production at its core, which involves design for manufacturing, design for disassembly, concurrent engineering, manufacturing processing, and manufacturing machines. Other concerns are labor, operations, and control. Courses are drawn from the areas of mechanical systems and design, thermal/fluid systems, materials engineering, and operations research and industrial engineering. They cover such topics as design for manufacturing, materials processing, design of precision and automated machinery, operational control systems, manufacturing systems analysis, simulation, production engineering management, statistical and quality assurance techniques, and organization. Major research facilities are available for graduate students interested in this field.
Mechanical systems and design. This concentration offers intensive study in the analysis and design of mechanical systems as well as the methodology of engineering design. Areas of study include system dynamics, vibrations, automatic control, biomechanics, machine design, tribology, mechatronics, robotics, methodology of design, computer-aided design and manufacturing (CAD/CAM), manufacturing processes, and machine intelligence. Well-equipped laboratories are available for research in rapid prototyping, control systems, microcomputer applications, tribology, robotics, CAD/CAM, and system dynamics modeling and simulation. In addition to remote links to the University's parallel supercomputer, departmental computation facilities equipped with microcomputers and engineering workstations are available to support research.
Metallurgy and materials engineering. This concentration encompasses graduate study in the fields of materials engineering and processing. The department is also a primary participant in the graduate degree program in materials science and engineering. Areas of study include materials processing, physical metallurgy, the relationship of microstructure to properties, phase transformations, diffusion in solids, and the fundamentals of mechanical behavior. Programs of both theoretical and experimental research are available. Extensive laboratory facilities are also available. These include a scanning transmission electron microscope and other electron microscopes; extensive X-ray facilities; metallographic facilities; metal welding, forming, and cutting equipment; mechanical testing equipment; and a corrosion laboratory.
Nuclear and radiation engineering. This concentration provides graduate study and research in nuclear radiation science, analysis and design of nuclear systems, and experimental techniques in nuclear technology. Emphasis is on radiation transport and measurements, neutron physics, health physics and dosimetry, transport and disposal of nuclear wastes, and nuclear material safeguards and disposition. The Nuclear Engineering Teaching Laboratory is equipped with a 1.1-MW TRIGA pulsing nuclear reactor; a cold neutron source with prompt gamma analysis; neutron radiography equipment; neutron activation analysis equipment, including a pneumatic transfer system; californium-252 neutron sources; a low-level gamma-ray counting system and many radiation detection systems; and extensive computational capabilities.
Thermal/fluid systems. This concentration offers graduate study and research in the areas of thermodynamics, heat and mass transfer, fluid mechanics, energy conversion, energy conservation, alternative energy, combustion, and acoustics. Experimental facilities include subsonic wind tunnels, heat and mass transfer air loops, three-dimensional laser-Doppler anemometry, holographic interferometry and spectroscopy facilities, fundamental combustion research facilities, an engine and emission test facility, solar energy components and systems, dielectric heating and infrared test facilities, and various fluid mechanics and heat transfer equipment. The University's computation facilities for numerical investigations are extensive.
The following faculty members served on the Graduate Studies Committee in the spring semester 2000-2001.
To enter the graduate program in mechanical engineering, a student should have an undergraduate degree in engineering or in an equivalent quantitative field of study. Students who do not meet this requirement may have to take additional courses at the discretion of the graduate adviser.
Master of Science in Engineering. Students generally follow the thesis option, which requires thirty semester hours of credit, including six hours in the thesis course. Students who are appointed as teaching assistants or research assistants are expected to choose the thesis option. The report option requires thirty-three semester hours, including three hours in the report course. The option without thesis or report requires thirty-six hours of coursework. At least eighteen hours (including the thesis or report, if any) should be in the major area; at least six hours should be in a supporting area. The supporting courses may be in mechanical engineering but must represent a specialty distinct from the major courses. Some areas of study have required core courses.
Doctor of Philosophy. The student must pass oral and written qualifying examinations administered by faculty members in the area of specialty. After passing the qualifying examinations, the student applies for candidacy by submitting a Program of Work that includes a proposed dissertation topic and a suggested dissertation committee. The dissertation committee recommends courses to be taken as part of the Program of Work, which should include at least eighteen hours (for students with a master's degree) or forty-eight hours (for students without a master's degree) of graduate coursework in the area of specialization. This coursework must be taken on the letter-grade basis. The Program of Work must be approved by the chairman of the Graduate Studies Committee. Application for candidacy must be submitted before the student completes fifty hours of credit toward the doctoral degree.
Campus address: Engineering Teaching Center (ETC) 5.218, phone (512) 232-2702, fax (512) 471-8727; campus mail code: C2200
Mailing address: Graduate Program, Department of Mechanical Engineering, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas 78712-1063
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26 July 2001. Registrar's Web Team
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