The Department of Mechanical Engineering offers upper-division curricula that leads to the B.S. in mechanical engineering and B.S. in mechatronics engineering. The curricula are based on a strong foundation of fundamental courses in the pure sciences and engineering, and professional courses in mechanical engineering and mechatronics engineering. The curricula also provides a background in the design, analysis, development, and applications of both complete systems and a wide variety of individual system components in many different fields.
The B.S. program in Mechanical Engineering (MEE) encompasses many areas, such as such as solid mechanics, dynamics and controls, fluid mechanics, thermodynamics, heat and mass transfer, energy conversion, and manufacturing. This background is strengthened and integrated through application in a sequence of broad engineering design and laboratory courses.
The B.S. program in Mechatronics Engineering (MCTR) spans across boundaries of traditional engineering disciplines, with core courses offered by the Departments of Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, and Technology. In addition, the curriculum offers specialized mechatronics courses in which students study the integration of computing, electronics, and mechanical systems at deeper levels compared to courses the traditional disciplines. The learning environment is complemented by design and laboratory experiences.
Computers are used extensively throughout the MEE curriculum, with emphasis on interactive computer-aided design, computer-aided manufacturing, and simulation of engineering systems. In the MCTR curriculum, there is a similar emphasis on using computational tools for design and simulation. In addition, mechatronics focuses of embedding computing and computational intelligence into devices and systems. The Cooperative Education/Internship Program is also available to qualified students.
The department also offers an accelerated B.S./M.S. Sequence that leads to a M.S. in Mechanical Engineering after students received a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering. With approval, up to three technical electives taken in the last semester of the B.S. can be counted toward the M.S. program. Students who are interested in the B.S./M.S. sequence should refer to the Graduate Catalog for details.
The mission of the Mechanical Engineering Department is to provide a high-quality, visionary engineering education in both baccalaureate programs that reflects professional engineering standards and prepares students to become engineers and leaders capable of solving technical challenges that industry and society face now and in the future; to conduct quality research by developing and/or applying engineering knowledge and tools to address society’s technical needs and challenges; and to provide quality professional and public services to our communities.
The undergraduate mechanical engineering and mechatronics engineering programs are designed to prepare students for successful careers in engineering by providing them with the following: a balanced education in mechanical engineering and mechatronics engineering fields, respectively; a foundational knowledge in mathematics and physical sciences; a broad general education in creativity and critical analysis, and society and culture; training for effective communication and team work; and understanding and commitment of an engineer’s professional and ethical responsibilities. Our educational objectives are based on the needs of the programs’ constituencies: employers, alumni, students, and faculty. We expect our graduates to attain the following educational objectives within a few years of graduation: 1. to become successful professionals; 2. to successfully apply engineering knowledge and tools to solve technical problems and challenges, and to design and/or manufacture valuable products or processes; 3. to make contributions to their professional fields, exhibit effective communication skills, and become valuable team members; and 4. to continue professional development and assume professional and leadership responsibility.
The graduates of undergraduate mechanical engineering and mechatronics engineering programs should attain the following outcomes by the time of graduation: an ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering; an ability to design and conduct experiments, as well as to analyze and interpret data; an ability to design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs within realistic constraints such as scheduling, economic, environmental, social, political, ethical, health and safety, manufacturability, and sustainability; an ability to function on multi-disciplinary teams; an ability to identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems; an understanding of professional and ethical responsibility; an ability to communicate effectively and professionally; the broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global and societal context; recognition of the need for, and an ability to engage in life-long learning; knowledge of contemporary issues; and an ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice.
All mechanical engineering and mechatronics engineering students must have their schedule reviewed, approved, and signed by their faculty adviser each semester. Any deviation from an approved course schedule may delay graduation.
GPA calculations will only include courses taken at NIU. For mechanical engineering students, major GPA will be calculated using all MEE courses and up to one course taken outside the department which satisfies the group B technical elective requirement.
Writing Across the Curriculum Courses
The Department of Mechanical Engineering recognizes that competence in technical writing is essential for engineers. To build upon the foundation for writing acquired in ENGL 103, Rhetoric and Composition I, and ENGL 203, Rhetoric and Composition II, Researched Writing in the Domains, or ENGL 204, Rhetoric and Composition, Accelerated Research Writing in the Domains, the Department of Mechanical Engineering has selected 300- and 400-level courses which are identified as writing intensive courses in the course description. These courses are MCTR 481, MCTR 482, MEE 390, MEE 425, MEE 481, MEE 482, and MEE 490. Each of these courses requires a significant technical writing component which will be reviewed by both the course instructor and a technical writing tutor.
Mechanical Engineering Faculty
Sachit Butail, Ph.D., University of Maryland, College Park, assistant professor
Kyu Taek Cho, Ph.D., Pennsylvania State University, assistant professor
Brianno Coller, Ph.D., Cornell University, Distinguished Teaching Professor
Jenn-Terng Gau, Ph.D., Ohio State University, professor
Nicholas A. Pohlman, Ph.D., Northwestern University, associate professor
Ji-Chul Ryu, Ph.D., University of Delaware, assistant professor
Iman Salehinia, Ph.D., Washington State University, assistant professor
Federico Sciammarella, Ph.D., Illinois Institute of Technology, associate professor
John Shelton, Ph.D., University of South Florida, assistant professor
Scott R. Short, Ph.D., P.E., University of Dayton, assistant professor
Robert Sinko, Ph.D., Northwestern University, assistant professor
Jifu Tan, Ph.D., Lehigh University, assistant professor
Sahar Vahabzadeh, Ph.D., Washington State University, assistant professor