Jul 21, 2024  
2024-2025 Undergraduate Catalog 
2024-2025 Undergraduate Catalog

Mechanical Engineering

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The Department of Mechanical Engineering offers an upper-division curriculum which leads to the B.S. in mechanical engineering. The curriculum is based on a strong foundation of fundamental courses in the pure sciences and engineering, and professional courses in mechanical engineering. The curriculum also provides a background in the design, analysis, development, and applications of both complete mechanical systems and a wide variety of individual system components in many different fields.

The B.S. program offered by the Department of Mechanical Engineering encompasses many areas, 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 department has significant equipment for experimental investigations.

Computers are used extensively throughout the curriculum, with emphasis on interactive computer-aided design, computer-aided manufacturing, and simulation of engineering systems. The Cooperative Education/Internship Program is also available to qualified students.

Accelerated B.S./M.S. Sequence

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. This accelerated sequence is open to all undergraduate mechanical engineering and mechatronics engineering majors who have finished at least 90 semester hours of undergraduate course work with a minimum GPA of 3.00. A minimum GPA of 3.00 must be maintained during the course of study. Failure to meet the requirements of the accelerated sequence may lead to a B.S. only, but only after the requirements for that degree have been met.

With this program, a student can take B.S. and M.S. courses simultaneously, up to three semesters before earning the undergraduate degree. One can have up to 18 semester hours count towards both the undergraduate and graduate degrees. A GRE is not required. Students must meet Graduate School application deadlines. Interested students should talk with an advisor as early as possible and are encouraged to apply during the spring semester of their junior year.

Students wishing to take part in this program should be aware of all the regulations and restrictions of accelerated baccalaureate/master’s degree programs as outlined in the NIU Graduate School Catalog under the heading of Early Admission of NIU Undergraduates; and Admission to Accelerated Baccalaureate/Master’s Degree Programs.

All students enrolled in this sequence must have their schedule approved by their faculty advisor each semester. Any deviation from an approved course schedule may delay graduation.

University Honors students who are actively accumulating points through honors course work or Engage PLUS are guaranteed admission to the B.S./M.S. program.


The mission of the Mechanical Engineering Department is to provide a high-quality, visionary engineering education 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.

Program Educational Objectives

The undergraduate mechanical engineering program is designed to prepare students for successful careers in engineering by providing them with: a balanced education in mechanical engineering fields; a foundational knowledge in mathematics and physical sciences; a broad general education in the humanities/arts, social sciences and interdisciplinary studies; training for effective communication and team work; and an understanding and commitment of an engineer’s professional and ethical responsibilities. Our Program Educational Objectives are based on the needs of the program’s constituencies: employers, alumni, students and faculty. We expect our graduates to attain the following objectives within three to five years of graduation:

  1. Develop a holistic and practical understanding of what is required to create a viable engineered product, project, or service.
  2. Expand expertise in using engineering tools and techniques, beyond the foundational skills learned as an undergraduate, as needed to become a productive practicing engineer.
  3. Communicate vital technical information about engineered products to non-engineers.

Student Outcomes

The graduates of undergraduate mechanical engineering program should demonstrate the following outcomes by the time of graduation: an ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering;

  1. an ability to identify, formulate and solve complex engineering problems by applying principles of engineering, science, and mathematics;
  2. 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;
  3. an ability to communicate effectively with a range of audiences;
  4. 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;
  5. an ability to function effectively on a team whose members together provide leadership, create collaborative and inclusive environment, establish goals, plan tasks, and meet objectives;
  6. an ability to develop and conduct appropriate experimentation, analyze and interpret data, and use engineering judgment to draw conclusions; and
  7. an ability to acquire and apply new knowledge as needed, using appropriate learning strategies.

Department Requirements

All mechanical engineering students must have their schedule reviewed, approved, and signed by their faculty advisor each semester. Any deviation from an approved course schedule may delay graduation.

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. The GPA calculation will only include courses taken at NIU.

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 MEE 390, MEE 425, MEE 485, MEE 486, 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

Tariq Shamim, Ph.D., University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, professor, chair
Sachit Butail, Ph.D., University of Maryland, College Park, assistant professor
Kyu Taek Cho, Ph.D., Pennsylvania State University, associate professor
Brianno Coller, Ph.D., Cornell University, Distinguished Teacher Professor, professor
Jenn-Terng Gau, Ph.D., Ohio State University, professor
Yueh-Jaw (YJ) Lin, Ph.D., University of Illinois, Chicago, professor
Donald R. Peterson, Ph.D., University of Connecticut, professor
Nicholas A. Pohlman, Ph.D., Northwestern University, professor
Ji-Chul Ryu, Ph.D., University of Delaware, associate professor
Iman Salehinia, Ph.D., Washington State University, associate professor
John Shelton, Ph.D., University of South Florida, 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
Ting Xia, Ph.D., University of Iowa, assistant professor

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