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Welcome to Mechanical Engineering!
Thank you for considering joining the UND Mechanical Engineering Program. Whether you are interested in pursuing your undergraduate or graduate degree, you will find that our Department has a lot to offer. At the undergraduate level, we have a strong focus on hands-on learning and helping students understand the practical applications of their math, science, and engineering theory. At the graduate level, we offer the opportunity to be involved with cutting-edge research in diverse areas including robotics and machine vision, gas turbine engines, engineered materials, two-phase flow, and unmanned aerial vehicles. If you still have questions after you have read through the material below, please feel free to contact the Chair of the ME Department, Dr. Matthew Cavalli, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 701-777-4389.
Easy Entry into the Program
Undergraduate students are considered a part of our program from the time they join UND with a declared major in Mechanical Engineering. There are no special admission requirements beyond those of the University. We assign a personal faculty advisor to all declared majors to help them set up their academic schedule. We continue to work with the students on a personal basis throughout their stay at UND, helping guide them through our program and the transition to their first job or graduate school.
Strong Fundamentals Tailored to Individual Intrests
The core of the program is a strong technical curriculum whereby the fundamentals of the physical sciences, mathematics, and mechanical engineering are learned. A critical component of this core is hands-on learning. Students will complete four science courses with associated labs during their first two years. In addition, at least one course each year includes a hands-on fabrication component in which students will be in the shop building a component or system they have designed. Projects become more open-ended and technically complex as students progress through the program. Additional laboratory experiences in measurement techniques and electrical circuits are included, as well.
The technical core of the program is complemented by 1) general courses taken across the University as part of the Essential Studies program to help ensure a well-rounded liberal arts education to prepare students for a full life, not just a career and 2) general courses in other engineering disciplines to provide greater exposure to the engineering profession and to help prepare the students for professional registration. Six of the additional engineering courses are electives, which gives each student the opportunity to tailor the program to his/her individual interests including materials and manufacturing, mechanical design, thermal/fluid sciences, and aerospace topics. Other prescribed courses include economics, statistics and ethics. The program also gives students a chance to become proficient in skills such as computer use, oral and written communication, and team work. The undergraduate program culminates in a senior capstone design course in which the students bring together all they have learned as they work in teams on a process design and evaluation project. A more detailed description of the curriculum can be found in our curriculum sheet.
Providing high quality undergraduate mechanical engineering education is a priority in the department. Class sizes are relatively small, ranging from approximately 20-60, depending on whether the course is required or elective and how many times it is offered each year. All faculty members are committed to helping all students do their best and succeed. The vast majority of courses are taught by faculty (tenured/tenure track or well-qualified visiting faculty). The interaction between faculty and students occurs formally in the classrooms and through the advising process, but it also frequently arises informally because all faculty maintain an open door policy. It all adds up to an environment that fosters mutual respect and maximizes learning. Our alumni report that the education they received at UND enables them to compete effectively with graduates from any other institution.
Our student projects spring from current engineering needs. Recent industrial sponsors of our design projects include:
- Arctic Cat
- Giant Foods
- Great River Energy
- Marvin Windows
- Ralph Engelstad Arena
- Sioux Manufacturing
- UND Medical School
- UND Space Studies
Many students pursue cooperative education opportunities while at UND. During a co-op, students are still considered a full-time student but are paid as entry-level engineers by companies for placements of 5-9 months in length. This is a fantastic opportunity to gain professional experience and gives students a better appreciation for how the pieces of their engineering education come together. Recent sponsors of UND co-op students include:
- Applied Products
- Dakota Gasification
- Emerson Process Management
- LM Windpower
- PS Doors
- Xcel Energy
Opportunities for Accelerated Graduate Studies
To allow well-qualified students to complete both undergraduate and graduate degrees in as little as one year beyond that required to receive the baccalaureate degree alone, the department offers combined Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering (BSME)/Master of Science (with a major in mechanical engineering) and BSME/Master of Engineering degrees. See ME Graduate Program for additional details. For even more complete information, see the Graduate School website.
Strong Faculty Interactions
With a student-to-faculty ratio of about 3:1, graduate students in the Department enjoy the benefits of easy access to their faculty advisors and a robust community of students in the Department. Graduate class sizes are small, generally range from 10-15 students with no class larger than 25. Over the past three years, the average time to graduation for students pursuing Master's degrees in the department has been just over two years.
Vibrant Campus and Community
With activities as varied as Cultural Nights sponsored by the Office of International Programs and hockey games in the world-class Ralph Engelstad Area, UND and Grand Forks provide an exciting, enriching environment for graduate studies and personal and professional growth.
Exciting Research Opportunities
Current research projects in the department include repair and fatigue of polymer composites, diffusion bonding of high temperature alloys, turbulence and heat transfer in gas turbine engines, robotics and machine vision, biomedical devices, two-phase flow, microfluidics, unmanned aerial vehicle controls/communications/payloads, laser cladding, and friction stir welding. Current and recent project sponsors include LM Windpower, the Department of Energy, the National Science Foundation, NASA, the Department of Defense, Laserlith Corporation, the Air Force Research Laboratory, and the State of North Dakota. Over 2/3 of the graduate students in the program receive financial support either through grant funding, tuition waivers, or as GTA for the Department.
Diverse Course Offerings
Courses are available across the spectrum of mechanical engineering. Students are able to focus within a specific area or construct a more general curriculum plan as suits their needs. A full listing of the graduate courses available can be found here.
Modern Research Facilities
Whether located within the Department, in another unit on campus or in one of our associated research centers, facilities are available for conducting exciting, relevant, engineering research. A summary of facilities in the Department is available here.