Prospective and Current ME Majors
Redesigned BS in Mechanical Engineering
After several years of curriculum design and deliberation, the renewed Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering was launched in acadmic year 2018-2019. If you have questions after reviewing this site, please contact Professor Sheri Sheppard (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Stephanie Ortiz, the ME Student Services Degree Progress Officer (email@example.com).
The mission of the undergraduate Program in Mechanical Engineering is to provide students with a balance of theoretical and practical experiences that enable them to address a variety of societal needs, from more efficient engines and new forms of mobility, to greater access to medical and health services in developing countries. The curriculum encompasses elements from a wide range of disciplines built around the themes of computational engineering, design, energy, and dynamic systems.
Course work may include mechatronics, computational simulation, solid mechanics, fluid dynamics, electromechanical systems, biomechanical engineering, energy science and technology, sensing and control, and design. The Program prepares students for entry-level work as mechanical engineers and for graduate studies in either an engineering discipline or other fields where a broad engineering background is useful.
The Program's four overall educational objectives are that graduates will:
- have the scientific and technical background for successful careers in diverse organizations.
- be leaders, and effective communicators, both in the profession and in the community.
- be motivated and equipped to successfully pursue postgraduate study whether in engineering, or in other fields.
- have a professional and ethical approach to their careers with a strong awareness of the social contexts in which they work.
To achieve these objectives the Program is designed around the following learning outcomes:
- an ability to identify, formulate, and solve complex engineering problems by applying principles of engineering, science, and mathematics,
- 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,
- an ability to communicate effectively with a range of audiences,
- 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,
- 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,
- an ability to develop and conduct appropriate experimentation, analyze and interpret data, and use engineering judgment to draw conclusions, and
- an ability to acquire and apply new knowledge as needed, using appropriate learning strategies.
The Structure of the Program
The Program is designed around three elements: the ME Core, ME Concentrations, and the ME Capstone (graphic below). While the Core is common for all majors, the Concentration element allows each student to focus their ME studies on particular ME-related topics of interest to them. Finally, in the Capstone students bring their Core and Concentration studies together to embark on a 20-week design challenge, where synthesis and extension of the Core and Concentration are required.
The main objectives of the ME Core are to help students:
- develop foundational knowledge, skills and abilities as related to the areas of design & manufacturing, solid mechanics, and thermo-fluid mechanics, and
- become self-aware of their interests in ME broadly and in particular aspects.
This Core serves as pathway into the ME Concentrations, which are designed to help empower students to be and feel knowledgeable in an area of choice. This choice involves initiative and collaboration with others as a way of gaining concentration-related tools, processes and experiences. Other characteristics of the Concentrations are that students are pursuing detail from the core, preparing for graduate level specializations, collaborating with others with common interests, bridging between fundamentals and professional applications, and learning experimental techniques related to a particular ME-subfield.
The Concentrations build into a culminating Capstone experience, that considers the technical aspects of defining and solving complex engineering problems, as well as the social, professional and ethical components. This will also be the BSME 2.0 WIM course. The ME Concentration and Capstone are complemented with Math & Science Course (as described in the undergraduate handbook), and a Technology in Society course with a focus on ethnics (one of the following : AA 252, BIOE 131, CS 181, ENGR 131 or ME 267).
Description of Concentrations
As part of the ME major, students choose from one of the program's four concentrations, as described below. Each concentration consists of three concentration-specific courses, and a list of associated technical electives. In addition to their concentration specific 3-courses, students select 2-3 additional courses such that the combination adds up to a minimum of 18 units. One of these additional courses must be from technical electives associated with the student's selected concentration. The other 1-2 courses could come from any of the following:
- technical electives from the student’s selected concentration and
- any other concentration and its associated technical electives.
Click on the buttons below to check out the concentration-specific courses and technical electives for each concentration. Selection of concentration should be based on the student’s professional interests & goals, in consultation with his/her advisor.
Dynamic Systems and Controls
The Dynamic Systems and Controls concentration helps students develop the understanding and implementation skills needed to design, and control, engineered and natural systems. Students develop models of real-world systems at a level of detail required to design controllers that change the behavior of engineered systems, while recognizing the physical and computational limits of various modeling and control approaches, and implement dynamic systems and their controllers in the form of mechatronic devices. Students are prepared for employment, or graduate study, in a variety of areas, including vehicles (airplanes, cars), mechatronics (robotics, automation), and biological systems (the musculoskeletal system, cellular signaling).
Courses and Electives >
Materials and Structures
The Materials and Structures concentration teaches students to analyze how materials and structures perform under thermal, mechanical, and electrical loads, through experiments and the application of analytical and computational models. Students develop an understanding of finite element methods, elasticity, plasticity, fracture, experiment design, and biomechanics. The concentration prepares students for employment, or further study, in a wide range of fields requiring mechanical design and analysis, including advanced manufacturing (such as 3D printing), transportation, microelectronics and micro mechanical devices, defense, and medical devices, including assistive technologies.
Courses and Electives >
The Product Realization concentration focuses on design methodology, with every course integrating “designing” and “making” in the service of engineering design. The concentration exposes students to CAD, CAM, CNC machine tool operation, manufacturing processes both at prototype level and at scale, materials selection from a design point of view, and emerging software and additive manufacturing tools, leading toward generative design. This serves those students aspiring to be engineers in industry, or who aim to do advanced hardware-based research, including in the academic setting.
Courses and Electives >
The Thermo-Fluids concentration deepens a student’s understanding of energy, transport, and related experimentation, by building on their previous coursework in thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, and heat transfer, and addressing associated areas such as combustion, chemically reacting flows, compressible flows, and plasmas. Students who complete the thermo-fluids concentration are well positioned for graduate study in these areas, or for employment in companies that focus on the design of energy, transportation, and propulsion devices and systems, as well as other systems that use the fundamental concepts covered in the concentration. These topics are of key importance in diverse applications such as microfluidics, bio-fluids (in vivo or in vitro systems), thermal management of microelectronics, and materials synthesis.
The ME Capstone is the culmination of the Mechanical Engineering BS degree at Stanford University, where students put it all together integrating context with engineering. The 2-quarter long course sequence provides students the experience of working on teams of 3-4 students from mixed Concentrations within ME, working on engineering design projects focused in themes that address the most pressing needs of human society. Themes such as energy, transportation, and health rotate through the course. Projects in the course have included designing clean energy solutions that address needs of farmers in India to raise their socioeconomic status, and developing solutions to enable use of wind turbines in rural Alaska that would reduce use of carbon-dioxide emitting diesel generators while lowering cost of energy for the people inhabiting these remote villages.
The course utilizes an iterative approach to technical need-finding, establishing design requirements, designing, prototyping, testing, and analyzing, resulting in a functional solution that meets design requirements by the end of 2 quarters. Students learn skills in engineering design, teamwork, project management, engineering development process, and communication, while evaluating their projects for ethical, environmental, and sustainability considerations.