Updated July 18, 2024

Check these “quick reference” pages for help on items important to graduate students. What else would you like to see here? What questions do you and your classmates ask often? Send your ideas to the academic staff.

You can go to these Mechanical Engineering staff members for help!

John Soos, Senior Academic Program Coordinator
410-516-7154| Latrobe 223

  • Reserving rooms for class, lab, and group meetings
  • “Good Standing” letters
  • Teaching Assistant hiring and payments
  • Pi Tau Sigma membership, graduation accessories
  • Questions you are not sure who to ask for help

Mike Bernard, Academic Program Manager
410-516-7154 | Latrobe 223

  • Academic Advising
  • 4-year Degree Planning
  • “Good Standing” letters
  • Career and Internship information
  • Reserving rooms for class, lab, and group meetings
  • Questions you are not sure who to ask for help

Jonathan Deutschman, Communications Specialist

  • News, events, updates

For most students:
Glennisha Fulton, Grants and Contracts Specialist

  • Purchasing of supplies and equipment
  • Reimbursements
  • Coordinate shipments and deliveries

For PhD students advised by Prof. Kevin Hemker and Prof. Jeff Wang:

  • (vacant) Administrative Coordinator – Reimbursements

Ada Simari, Adminstrator
asimari@jhu.edu | 410-516-6451 | Latrobe 223

  • Schedule meetings with the Department Head, Professor Gretar Tryggvason


MEGA is the organization representing the general interests of the graduate students of the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.

Visit the Student Groups page and select the MEGA tab. Get involved! It’s great fun!


The Graduate Representative Organization is the advocacy group for all students on the Homewood Campus. They are the liaison between the students and the Hopkins senior leadership. The GRO hosts various social events through the year.

FLOURISH – a resource guide by and for the Homewood underrepresented minority graduate community

Check out FLOURISH – a resource guide by and for the Homewood underrepresented minority graduate community.  There are plenty of resources available for students of minority and female communities in this guide.

Student Associations

There are a variety of graduate student associations and other social groups that the GRO and University invite your involvement.

The Office of International Services supports the international students, scholars, and faculty associated with Johns Hopkins University. Through a variety of services and programs, the OIS helps ensure that the legal, cultural, and other special needs of our international communities are met.

Social Security Number

A Social Security Number, or SSN, is needed for all international students who are paid a salary through student employment or graduate financial aid.

Visit the OIS’s Social Security Number page to find out how to obtain one.


The OIS helps students with visas: F-1, J-1, and others.


Optional Practical Training (OPT) allows students with an F-1 visa to engage in a work experience that is related to their field and commensurate with their level of study.

Curricular Practical Training (CPT) is a work authorization that allows an F-1 student to engage in work opportunity that is an integral part of an established curriculum. This is usually not available to Mechanical Engineering students.

Contact the OIS directly for information and to apply.

Language Help

The Center for Language Education offers course in English language and writing, American culture and language pronunciation, and other languages.


The Mechanical Engineering – Graduate Academic Advising page: > Advising Manuals has the Master’s Academic Advising Manual

  • See Section 3 for master’s degree requirements and timeline.
  • See the subsections of Section 3 for information on required mechanical engineering courses, double-counting courses, accepted grades, essay readers, graduation, and academic performance requirements.

Responsible Conduct of Research

All students performing research, whether for pay, credit, or otherwise must take the Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) Course. Most master’s students will take the course online, which lasts about two hours. Some will have to attend the in-person course, depending on the source of research funding. Visit the Whiting School’s RCR page for information.

Laboratory Safety

Visit the Mechanical Engineering – Graduate Academic Advising page. Information on laboratory safety requirements is in the section named “Research Laboratory Safety – Requirements.”

Degree Timelines

Visit the Mechanical Engineering – Graduate Academic Advising page. Info on Degree Timelines is listed with the degree requirements.


Visit the “Preparing for Graduation” page for information on confirming graduation eligibility and applying to graduate.

The Registrar will contact graduating students several months before Commencement about diploma and commencement arrangements.


In the PhD Academic Advising Manual, see Sections 3-6 for the degree requirements, which include the Departmental Qualifying Exam (DQE), the Graduate Board Oral (GBO) exam and the Dissertation Defense.

Responsible Conduct of Research

All PhD students must take the Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) course. PhD students will have to attend the in-person course. Visit the Whiting School’s RCR page for information.

Laboratory Safety

Visit the Mechanical Engineering – Graduate Academic Advising page. Information on laboratory safety requirements is in the section named “Research Laboratory Safety – Requirements.”

Degree Timelines

Visit the Mechanical Engineering – Graduate Academic Advising page. There are separate Degree Timeline listings for the master’s and Ph.D. degree requirements.


  • Visit the “Preparing for Graduation” page for information on confirming graduation eligibility and applying to graduate.  Please take the actions noted for each degree.


Visit the Graduate Advising page > Student Status – Master’s or Student Status – PhD or Student Status – Leave of Absence for information on the full-time and other statuses that will affect your program, visa status, and related tuition costs.


Visit the Registrar’s “Academic Calendar” page for the academic calendar, which displays dates for registration deadlines, breaks and vacations, alternate class days (Monday-on-Thursday, for example), and exam periods.

Course Schedules

Visit these pages for course schedules:

Course Registration

Visit these pages for information…

Visit this page for Catalog information

The Course Exception Waiver Form documents approved exceptions to the degree requirements. This form is needed anytime there is an exception approved.

Whiting School Resources

Summer Independent Research

Students who are employed during the summer must be enrolled in some course to avoid FICA (Social Security) taxation in their salaries. Students who are employed and paid salary but who are not enrolled in a summer course will automatically be enrolled in the non-graded, non-credit “990.892 Summer Independent Research.” It is not a course, per se, but simply an acknowledgment that a student is registered as a student during the summer.

This “course” does not get graded; it does not receive credit; and cannot be counted toward any degree requirements.

View the Mechanical Engineering Ph.D. Graduate Student manual, which is found on the Graduate Advising page for information.

Section 3.3 describes Departmental Qualifying Examinations (DQEs)

  • Please read this section with your advisor early in your time here to become familiar with suggested courses to prepare for the exam.
  • The academic staff will arrange DQE schedules beginning in summer, and will contact students and professors directly. Professors will complete the DQE Scheduling Request Form as part of the scheduling process.
  • The DQEs usually take place in September, with occasional exceptions.
  • Students usually take the DQE after the completion of the second semester.
  • Please contact John to explain unusual circumstances or otherwise request to take the DQE at a different time.

Sections 5 and 6 describe the Graduate Board Oral Examination and Dissertation Defense

  • Section 5 describes the new process for the Doctoral Dissertation Proposal and the combined final GBO and Dissertation Defense.
  • Section 6 describes the legacy process for the preliminary GBO and Dissertation Defense, administered separately.

Please see those sections for information on how to schedule the GBO and Dissertation Defense.  The academic staff will assist with scheduling.  Visit the Preparing for Graduation page to ensure all steps are taken on time.

iPads are available from the department for use in remote or hybrid examinations.  Contact the academic staff at me-academic@jhu.edu for information on how to borrow one free of charge!


Visit the Mechanical Engineering Ph.D. Graduate Student manual for information.

  • Section 12 discusses Financial Aid types.
  • Section 15 discusses Payroll

For additional help with graduate student financial aid that these pages don’t explain, please contact:

  • Mike Bernard – graduate student salaries and Departmental Fellowships.
  • John Soos – Teaching Assistant pay, tuition, health insurance, and matriculation fees.


The following students are eligible to work on the Homewood Campus, including teaching assistant and hourly-paid positions:

NOTE: American students who are part-time are not eligible for student work.

TEACHING ASSISTANT positions are provided to students who grade papers, conduct laboratories and hold office hours. TAs – who can be Ph.D. students, master’s students, junior and senior undergraduate students, and postdocs – are paid according to a formula that quantifies the number of hours required for a particular course, multiplied by an hourly rate, to be determined by the beginning of each semester.

As part of their academic requirements, Mechanical Engineering Ph.D. students must act as a Teaching Assistant for two courses during their time at Johns Hopkins. Students can find opportunities with their advisor or other professors in Mechanical Engineering.

Watch your e-mail for position announcements, usually in December and August.

The Senior Academic Program Coordinator will assist with TA hiring, payments, and payroll concerns.  Teaching Assistant positions are semi-monthly paid positions.  The semi-monthly rate is calculated according to a formula that quantifies the number of hours required for a particular course, multiplied by a standard hourly rate, to be determined by the beginning of each semester.

The standard hourly rate used to calculate compensation for Teaching Assistants are…

  • $19.00 for undergraduate students
  • $21.00 for master’s students
  • $25.41 for PhD students after they complete the two Teaching Assistant positions that fulfill the Ph.D. academic requirement are included in the standard compensation in the Ph.D. Teachers and Researchers Union Collective Bargaining Agreement.


Occasionally, students will be hired for hourly-paid positions beyond their standard PhD graduate student position in the Mechanical Engineering department.

  • If you’re hired as a research assistant or student worker, please ensure that your hiring supervisor notifies Grants and Contracts Manager Alison Wampler of your hire, and that he or she provides the date of hire, the position hired, and student year to determine hourly pay.
  • For hourly positions in Mechanical Engineering, standard hourly pay is  $18.00 for undergraduate students, $19.00 for master’s students, and $25.41 for Ph.D. students.

TimesheetX is what is used to record hours worked.  Students are responsible to submit their time each week. The student’s supervisor will be responsible to approve the hours submitted each week. Both will receive e-mail reminders to submit and approve hours each week.

Time cards must be submitted by e-mail to meet the submission deadline of 5:00 p.m. one week before payday.

Visit the Hourly Payroll Submission Deadline Schedule for the deadline in the “Time Entry Cutoff 5:00 p.m.” column.

Hours submitted after the deadline will be paid at the next available pay period.


For information on taxes, including deductions and filing taxes, visit these pages:


Visit ESS, or “Employee Self-Service” to view your pay statement, or pay “stub” as they were called when paper paychecks were the only option before Direct Deposit started.

  • Go to my.jhu.edu and sign in with your JHED ID and password.
  • Select the “HR” tab and then the “ESS” tab.
  • Sign in again with your JHED ID and password.
  • Select the “Payroll Info” tab and you will see the pay statement.


You can arrange for Direct Deposit of your salary to any bank account. Visit ESS, or “Employee Self-Service” to set up Direct Deposit or change accounts anytime.

  • Please have your bank account’s “routing number” and “account number” handy before signing in.
  • Go to my.jhu.edu and sign in with your JHED ID and password.
  • Select the “HR” tab and then the “ESS” tab.
  • Sign in again with your JHED ID and password.
  • Select the “Payroll Info” tab and you will see the option to set up or edit Direct Deposit. Follow the instructions to set up or update the account.When setting up Direct Deposit for the first time, complete the Payee with your name as listed on your bank account. Enter the routing number which your bank or credit union can provide or will be on the bottom of your check. Leave “Bank Account Number” blank but add your account number in “New Bank Account Number” and “Re-enter Bank Account Number.”
    • Complete the Account Type, Payment Method, and Percentage or Amount.  Most will have 100% of their pay entered into their account.
    • Select Review and follow the steps to enter your request.


View the Whiting School’s Graduate Student Assistant Leave Guidelines for information on paid vacation, illness, and holidays.

Health insurance is offered by the University to all graduate students.

Student Premium

  • Ph.D. student health insurance premiums are fully covered by their financial aid.
  • Masters students pay the full health insurance premium.

Spouses and Family – you can purchase health insurance for spouses and family members at your cost. The premiums cover the policy year August 15 to August 14 of each year.

The JHU Human Resources Costs and Coverage page has information on premium costs for individual students and their families

Waiving Health Insurance

Information on how to waive the University’s insurance and to enroll your family members is located on the Wellfleet Student Health website. To waive the insurance, you will be asked for your six-digit Hopkins ID number, which will be issued to you in early-July (Fall) and early-January (Spring).

Please visit the Registrar’s Health Insurance page for information.


Visit these pages for information and enrollment…

Student Premium

  • PhD:  the University covers the dental and vision plan premiums for Ph.D. students whose health insurance premiums are covered by financial aid.
  • Master’s:  students can purchase dental and vision coverage but must pay the premium.


If you are graduating with your master’s or Ph.D. degree, we send you our congratulations!

Please visit our Preparing for Graduation page.  This will tell you the various things to do as you approach your big day!

Are you wondering what’s next in your life and what your career will look like?  Check out our Careers and Life page for info, resources, and who can help you create your path!

Purchasing / Reimbursement

There are specific rules and guidelines that the University requires for purchases to be made, whether that is for a research project, a club, or any other purchase where University funds are used in either a grant or in department funding.

  • Purchasing and Reimbursements guide – read this before making purchases to ensure you’re properly reimbursed.
  • SAP Concur – self-service reimbursement
    • The University has moved to a self-service reimbursement system where anyone seeking reimbursement can make a direct request instead of waiting for a staff member to make a request, which saves you time!
    • SAP Concur will allow you to submit reimbursements easily and quickly.
    • Visit the Johns Hopkins Expense Processing page for training links to the Concur system and to take advantage of real-time training sessions.
  • Submit Reimbursement Requests Before 60 Days have Passed – Reimbursement requests must be submitted for reimbursement to the University within 60 days of the purchase date. Please submit your requests at least several days before this deadline to allow the department to submit the request on time. If they are submitted after 60 days, the expenses will be paid to the purchaser as a payroll supplement instead of reimbursement and will be subject to payroll taxation.

Visit the Mechanical Engineering Ph.D. Graduate Student manual for information.

  • Section 14 describes purchasing equipment, supplies, services, and arranging travel.
  • Section 14.4 reminds us to obtain a Tax Exempt Sales Certificate before purchasing items with personal funds so you are not charged Sales Tax. Johns Hopkins does not reimburse Sales Tax.
  • Section 14.6 describes travel arrangements.

Purchases and Orders

Typically, you can send a web link with the item you would like to purchase to:

  • Barb Adamson – Profs. Katz and Meneveau’s researchers, postdocs, and students
  • TBA – Profs. Hemker and Wang’s researchers, postdocs, and students
  • Glennisha Fulton – everyone else

If you do not have the link, the following information is necessary to make an order:

  • Company name
  • Item number(s), or link(s) to item(s)
  • Cost
  • Quantity
  • Shipping – the least expensive shipping method will be used.
  • If the item weighs >100 lbs. or will be shipped on a pallet.
  • Budget number and approval from advisor.
  • If purchase exceeds $2,500, provide either three independent quotes or a Sole Source Justification provided by the advisor, so a Purchase Order can be placed in the Johns Hopkins SAP system.


  • All items delivered to the department will be received in Latrobe 217.
  • Items weighing >100 lbs. or are shipped on a pallet must be delivered to the end destination and not to Latrobe 217. Please contact Patrick Caulfield for assistance.


  • Items being delivered to the department must be shipped to

Johns Hopkins University
3910 Keswick Road
Latrobe Hall, Room 217 – Attention: (recipient)
Baltimore, Maryland 21211

  • International Shipping must be arranged through the Mechanical Engineering Administrative Office.
  • Outgoing packages related to University business will be packed by the sender, who will deliver the package to Latrobe 223 Front Office. Senders must provide a cost center or internal order number. The package will be sent by FedEx.

Give Us Your Packing Slips

In order to comply with federal and JHU auditing policies we are required to collect and file all packing slips from items purchased by our department. The packing slip is our proof the item was received.

When receiving a package in Latrobe 217, everyone must take these steps:

  1. Open the package and verify the contents are what were ordered.
  2. Place the Packing Slip into the bin on the wall adjacent to the receiving table that corresponds to the faculty member who authorized the purchase.
  3. Sign the Shipping and Receiving book before leaving the room.

At the end of each week the packing slips will be collected, scanned, and matched with the order in accordance with audit policies. Failure to properly retain and submit packing slips will result in the loss of ordering privileges.

Please contact Grants and Contracts Specialist Glennisha Fulton for help.


Interoffice and postal mail are delivered daily, usually in the early afternoon. The front office staff will distribute the mail to mailboxes the same day or early the next morning.

Packages larger than the mailboxes will be stored and registered in Latrobe 217 and recipients will be notified. They should not be picked up until the packages are logged in.

Labs and Lab Safety

Visit the Mechanical Engineering – Graduate Academic Advising page. Information on laboratory safety requirements is in the section named “Research Laboratory Safety – Requirements.”


Visit the Whiting School’s Manufacturing page for information on machine shop services, maker space, training, and student access to machining and tools.

Computers and Software

You are welcome to use the computer facilities throughout campus, especially in the Milton S. Eisenhower Library and the Brody Learning Commons.

Laptops, pads, and software are available at a discount student rate when purchased through Hopkins.


Canon Printer iR_ADV 6265 – Latrobe 217

  • Services include printing, scanning, faxing, file storage, copying
  • Driver Access and Operations Guide
  • IP Address:
  • Fax number is +1-410-516-4316.
    • Fax using individual sheets or multiple documents through the document feeder.
    • Dial “9” to get an outside line, then…
      • For local numbers, dial the area code and telephone number.
      • For long-distance numbers, dial “1” then the area code and telephone number.

Large Format Printer – Latrobe Hall, 3rd Floor

  • Print posters and large-scale documents
  • IP Address:
  • USB Drive accessible
  • For questions questions and to request access, contact Administrator Ada Simari.

Mobile Printing

The University provides mobile printing options at a cost.

Library Services

Visit the Johns Hopkins Library page for information about our libraries.

You have a librarian! Contact Engineering Librarian Steve Stich at 410-516-8357 or sstich@jhu.edu. He can help you find research resources and show you how to use the library’s resources and services.

Lab or Office Facilities Help

The Mechanical Engineering department has 30 laboratories throughout the Homewood campus. With the depth and breadth of our research, labs can be as simple as a laptop on an office desk to as complex as a full laboratory with elaborate equipment and potentially dangerous situations and substances that need vigilant maintenance.

Inevitably, there will be problems with offices, facilities, and equipment that need attention beyond our department’s ability to address them.  These could be as simple as an overflowing trash can to non-working radiators and air conditioners or as complex as discovery of major structural problems. There is a central reporting tool that the department uses to vet, record, and refer such problems to get the appropriate help.

Visit the Mechanical Engineering Department Facilities Concerns site to report your problem, no matter what type or size.  The department will notify the Facilities office to request help.

Latrobe Conference Rooms

To reserve Latrobe 106, 221, 313, or 320, contact any of these staff:

  1. First, Administrative Coordinator Serene Davis
  2. When Serene is not available contact the academic staff – John Soos or Mike Bernard


In case of emergency:


Public Safety

The Johns Hopkins Safety and Security office offers many services to keep you and those around you safe. View the page for information on those services and other tips for your personal safety.


Check out the Student Wellness page, which offers support and services in seven key areas of wellness: emotional and mental health, physical health, finances, professional life, spiritual health, sexual health, and social well-being.

Get Personal Help

Occasionally, students may feel overwhelmed by the rigors of education, especially if coupled with outside stresses like health and family concerns. Johns Hopkins offers a host of resources where you can ask for and receive help.

If you need someone to listen, you can talk to your advisor or the Academic Staff at  me-academic@jhu.edu

Sometimes, venting to someone may be all you need. Sometimes, though, you may want to talk to someone who is trained to help people in distress. View these pages for information and hours:

  • Homewood Graduate and Postdoctoral Affairs
    • Get help with academic and life issues like mental and physical health, financial hardships, interpersonal conflict, advising concerns, coursework and research performance, and visa concerns.
    • The Homewood Graduate and Postdoctoral Affairs Emergency Fund provides limited short-term financial assistance to currently enrolled graduate students and full-time postdoctoral fellows experiencing financial hardships.
  • Office of The Dean of Students – for information on services, offices, events, and student groups
  • Ombuds Office – confidentially and informally raise any concern involving Ph.D. students and postdoctoral fellows, assist in conflict resolution, and provide feedback on problematic trends and systemic issues. Schedule a consultation here.
  • Office of Student Disability Services – to get help with a physical or mental health challenge, no matter how minor.
  • Counseling Center – to get help with any emotional concerns, when feeling overwhelmed, and when needing mental health support in a caring environment.
  • Sexual Assault Helpline: 410-516-7333
  • EMERGENCIES– call the Security office at 410-516-7777 or the Baltimore City Emergency Line at 911.
Get Academic Help

If you are struggling with any course homework or exams, having trouble attending lectures, or experiencing any academic difficulties, don’t wait! Ask for help early. It’s okay and welcomed! We can help you surmount your troubles and succeed!

Here are some resources where to turn:

  • First, talk to your Professor, Faculty Advisor, or Teaching Assistant.
  • In addition, you can also talk to these folks:
    • Your Mechanical Engineering Academic Staff – Mike Bernard and John Soosme-academic@jhu.edu
    • Prof. Tamer Zaki, Director of Graduate Studies – 410-516-6599 or t.zaki@jhu.edu
    • Allison Leventhal, Student Life Administrator – 410-516-2328 or aleventhal@jhu.edu
    • Christine Kavanagh, Assistant Dean of Graduate Affairs – 410-516-5938 or ckav@jhu.edu
    • Prof. Sri Sarma, Vice Dean for Graduate Education – 410-516-3481 or ssarma2@jhu.edu.
Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity
  • Prof. Axel Krieger – Chair of the Diversity and Inclusion committee – axel@jhu.edu – to discuss concerns about diversity, inclusion, and equity in your personal experience or issues affecting our Mechanical Engineering community.
  • Diversity and Inclusion Feedback Form – use this Google form to provide anonymous feedback, suggestions, and concerns to the Diversity and Inclusion committee of our department.
  • Office of Institutional Equity