2020-2021 Graduate Catalog 
    
    Nov 25, 2020  
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog

Mechanical Engineering (Ph.D.)


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Program Coordinator/Contact

Kurt Bassett, Department Head
Zhong Hu, Professor
Department of Mechanical Engineering
Crothers Engineering Hall 221, Box 2219
605-688-5426

Program Information

The Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering is designed to develop the depth of knowledge that will allow students to investigate new concepts and new applications of technology to advance the state of the art in the discipline.  It will also provide students with practical training and experience in the scientific methods needed to conduct reliable experiments and to apply and properly validate engineering models of physical systems. Critical thinking and communication skills developed in the program will prepare students for leadership roles.  Overall, the knowledge and skills gained will prepare them for life-long careers in highly desirable research and development positions.

Students who undertake this graduate degree normally have as their goal an advanced understanding of the body of knowledge in the discipline, and a desire to make new and substantive contributions to that knowledge.  Problems in energy conversion, materials, thermal-fluid systems, automation and control, and mechanical systems are typical applications. Graduate studies improve the student’s ability to think critically and creatively, and to synthesize, analyze, and integrate ideas for decision-making and problem solving.

This program offers students an opportunity to undertake research and advanced study in emphasis areas such as:

  • advanced manufacturing processes, including research and development of innovative automation and control strategies and techniques such as additive manufacturing/3D printing;
  • development of biomedical processes, equipment and systems in support of the growing high-impact regional medical industry;
  • engineering of systems used in production agriculture, including technology for precision agriculture;
  • biomaterials, renewable energy and bio-resource conversion technologies.
  • advanced materials and quality control technologies focused on composition, properties, and integrity of materials,
  • systems modeling using computational fluid dynamics and finite element methods leveraging high-performance computing technologies.

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Acquire and apply the knowledge and skills to make an original contribution to the mechanical engineering field.
  • Conduct independent research within a supportive framework.
  • Understand and critically evaluate the relevant engineering literature.
  • Communicate relevant engineering principles and theories by written, oral, and visual means.
  • Apply engineering principles and procedures to the recognition, interpretation, and understanding of prior and current knowledge in the field.
  • Exhibit an appropriate awareness of and commitment to the ethical conduct of research.

Course Delivery Format

The program engages students in lecture, laboratory, and in hands-on, field-based learning experiences.

Available Options for Graduate Degrees


Doctor of Philosophy 72 Credit Plan

Core Requirements


  • Credits: 1
  • Credits: 1 (2 credits required)
  • Credits: 1-12 (36 credits required)
  • Electives** Credits: 33
  • *Students may apply up to 24 credits of coursework and up to 6 research credits from a previous M.S. degree to the Ph.D. requirements, subject to approval by the student’s graduate advisory committee.  The 6 research credits transferred must be ME 798 - Thesis (COM)  or equivalent.

    **All electives must be approved by the student’s graduate advisory committee.  Up to 12 credits of elective coursework can be taken from other disciplines.

Additional Admission Requirements


GRE: Not required
TOEFL: Score of 550 paper-based, 79 Internet-based
IELTS: 5.5

General Requirements


Graduate students must consult with their advisor before registering for graduate coursework.

For additional information refer to the Doctor of Philosophy Degree Requirements .

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