Undergraduate Tracks

Updated novemBER 6, 2018

The department of Mechanical Engineering currently recognizes two undergraduate tracks, formerly called “concentrations.”

Students do not have to declare a track but simply just take courses that will qualify.

The “tracks” referred to in the Engineering 101 booklet for freshmen refer to both the aerospace and biomechanics tracks as well as a variety of other specialized areas that do not have a formalized recognition process.

Upon completion of the Aerospace or Biomechanics track, notification of this achievement is placed on the student’s academic record and transcript.

  • Aerospace

    A student may specialize in Aerospace Engineering once a solid background in the fundamentals of Mechanical Engineering has been developed through the core Mechanical Engineering or Engineering Mechanics courses. This Track develops and requires knowledge and background in several fields including advanced dynamics, flight mechanics, propulsion, aerospace materials and structures, signal processing, control systems, astrophysics and space systems.

    Requirements

    Students pursuing the Aerospace Engineering Track are required to take at least five eligible courses, which count toward the requirements of the Mechanical Engineering electives and the Technical Electives in the general Mechanical Engineering program. A sixth course though not required is highly recommended.

    Eligible Courses

    These courses count toward the track, listed in anticipated order of their next offerings. It is the department’s goal to offer enough courses in any rolling two-year period to allow students to achieve the track. Note, course offering semesters may vary due to instructor sabbaticals, curriculum changes, and unusual or unforeseen circumstances.

    Note: EN.530.366 Spacecraft Implementation Project, offered in Spring 2017 as a one-time course, will be accepted as an Aerospace track course.

    FALL 2018 (confirmed) and FALL 2020 (anticipated)

    • EN.530.424 Dynamics of Robots and Spacecraft
    • EN.530.483 Computational Modeling in Aerodynamics and Heat Transfer
    • AS.171.321 Introduction to Space Science and Technology
    • AS.270.318 Remote Sensing of the Environment

    SPRING 2019 and SPRING 2021 (anticipated)

    • EN.530.427 Intermediate Fluids
    • EN.530.470 Space Vehicle Dynamics and Control

    FALL 2019 and FALL 2021 (anticipated)

    • EN.530.418 Aerospace Structures and Materials (undergraduate)
    • EN.530.424 Dynamics of Robots and Spacecraft
    • AS.171.321 Introduction to Space Science and Technology

    SPRING 2020 and SPRING 2022 (anticipated)

    • EN.530.425 Mechanics of Flight
    • EN.530.427 Intermediate Fluid Mechanics
    • EN.530.432 Jet and Rocket Propulsion

    Ineligble Courses – Relevant to Aerospace

    There are other courses relevant to aerospace studies, but they are not counted toward this track, such as:

    • AS.171.118 Stars and the Universe
    • EN.520.214 Signals and Systems
    • EN.520.401 Basic Communications
    • EN.525.445 Modern Navigation Systems

    Internships in Aerospace Engineering

    Students in the Aerospace Engineering Track are encouraged to participate in internships in organizations involved with aerospace engineering.

    Opportunities within the university include the Applied Physics Laboratory (Satellites), the Center for Astrophysical Sciences (CAS) and the Space Telescope Science Institute (Hubble Space Telescope). In addition, local companies and institutions, such as Northrop Grumman (which is formally affiliated with the Mechanical Engineering department as an Industrial Partner), NASA Goddard, Lockheed Martin, Orbital Sciences and other private corporations offer excellent opportunities for internships.

    Aerospace Faculty in the Mechanical Engineering Department

  • Biomechanics

    A student may specialize in Biomechanics once a solid background in the fundamentals of Mechanical Engineering has been developed through the basic Mechanical Engineering courses. The essence of mechanics is the interplay between forces and motion. In biology, mechanics is important at the macroscopic, cellular, and subcellular levels.

    At the macroscopic length scale biomechanics of both soft and hard tissues plays an important role in computer-integrated surgical systems and technologies, e.g., medical robotics. At the cellular level, issues such as cell motility and chemotaxis can be modeled as mechanical phenomena. At the subcellular level, conformational transitions in biological macromolecules can be modeled using molecular dynamics simulation, which is nothing more than computational Newtonian mechanics; statistical mechanics, or using coarse-grained techniques that rely on principles from the mechanics of materials.

    In addition, much of structural biology can be viewed from the perspective of Kinematics, e.g., finding spatial relationships in data from the Protein Data Bank.

    Each student who pursues the Biomechanics track will, in consultation with his or her academic advisor, choose the set of Technical and Mechanical Engineering course electives that best matches the student’s interests.

    Requirements and Eligible Courses

    Students pursuing the Biomechanics Track are required to take a certain number of courses:

    • Mechanical Engineering majors are required to take at least four eligible courses. Two among the four should be chosen from the biomechanics-oriented courses, indicated by an asterisk (*).
    • Engineering Mechanics majors, in consultation with his or her academic advisor will choose a set of six elective bio-oriented courses that best matches the student’s interests.

    The courses are listed in anticipated order of their next offerings. It is the department’s goal to offer enough courses in any rolling two-year period to allow students to achieve the track. Note, course offering semesters may vary due to instructor sabbaticals, curriculum changes, and unusual or unforeseen circumstances.

    FALL 2018 (confirmed) and FALL 2020 (anticipated)

    • EN.530.439 Comparative Biomechanics*
    • EN.530.443/643 Fundamentals of Microscale Phenomena
    • EN.530.446 Experimental Biomechanics*
    • EN.530.473 Molecular Spectroscopy and Imaging
    • EN.530.474/674 Effective and Economic Design for Biomedical Instrumentation
    • EN.530.495 Microfabrication Lab
    • EN.580.221 Molecules and Cells (Recommended Course Background: AS.030.101 Introductory Chemistry and AS.030.105 Introductory Chemistry Lab. Note: EN.580.221 will not count as a technical elective of either the B.S. Mechanical Engineering or the B.S. Engineering Mechanics degrees, as it is a sophomore-level course.)
    • EN.580.421 and EN.580.423 Systems Bioengineering I with lab (6 credits total, counts as two courses. Prerequisite: EN.580.221 Molecules and Cells, EN.580.222 Biomedical Systems and Controls, and AS.110.302 Differential Equations)
    • EN.580.451 Cell and Tissue Engineering Laboratory
    • EN.580.456 Introduction to Rehabilitation Engineering (prerequisites EN.580.421 and EN.580.422 Systems Bioengineering I/II – which both have recommended pre-requisites and co-requisites)

    SPRING 2019 and SPRING 2021 (anticipated)

    • EN.530.441 Intro to Biophotonics*
    • EN.530.446 Experimental Biomechanics*
    • EN.580.452 Cell and Tissue Engineering Laboratory
    • EN.540.440 MicroNanotechnology (Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering)*
    • EN.580.422 and EN.580.424 Systems Bioengineering II with lab (6 credits total, counts as two courses, Prerequisite: EN.580.221 Molecules and Cells, EN.580.222 Biomedical Systems and Controls, and AS.110.302 Differential Equations)
    • EN.580.452 Cell and Tissue Engineering Laboratory
    • EN.580.457 Rehabilitation Engineering Design Lab (Biomedical Engineering)

    FALL 2019 and FALL 2021 (anticipated)

    • EN.530.410 Biomechanics of the Cell*
    • EN.530.443/643 Fundamentals of Microscale Phenomena
    • EN.530.445 Introduction to Biomechanics*
    • EN.530.448 Biosolid Mechanics*
    • EN.530.473 Molecular Spectroscopy and Imaging
    • EN.530.475 / EN.530.675 Locomotion I: Mechanics
    • EN.530.495 Microfabrication Lab
    • EN.580.221 Molecules and Cells (Recommended Course Background: AS.030.101 Introductory Chemistry and AS.030.104 Introductory Chemistry Lab. Note: EN.580.221 will not count as a technical elective of either the B.S. Mechanical Engineering or the B.S. Engineering Mechanics degrees, as it is a sophomore-level course.)
    • EN.580.421 and EN.580.423 Systems Bioengineering I with lab (6 credits total, counts as two courses. Recommended Course Background: EN.580.221 Molecules and Cells, EN.580.222 Biomedical Systems and Controls, and 110.302 Differential Equations)
    • EN.580.451 Cellular and Tissue Engineering Laboratory
    • EN.580.456 Introduction to Rehabilitation Engineering (prerequisites EN.580.421 and EN.580.422 Systems Bioengineering I/II – which both have recommended pre-requisites and co-requisites)

    SPRING 2020 and SPRING 2022 (anticipated)

    • EN.530.426 Biofluid Mechanics*
    • EN.530.441 Introduction to Biophotonics
    • EN.530.446 Experimental Biomechanics*
    • EN.530.672 Biosensing and BioMEMS*
    • EN.580.422 and EN.580.424 Systems Bioengineering II with lab (6 credits total, counts as two courses, Prerequisite: EN.580.221 Molecules and Cells, EN.580.222 Biomedical Systems and Controls, and AS.110.302 Differential Equations)
    • EN.580.452 Cell and Tissue Engineering Laboratory
    • EN.580.457 Rehabilitation Engineering Design Lab (Biomedical Engineering)

    About Organic Chemistry…

    Some courses that from time to time may be counted toward the Biomechanics Track may require AS.030.205 Organic Chemistry as a prerequisite.

    At this time, the courses listed above do not require this pre-requisite, but requirements may change from time to time, or new courses may be added to the list that require this pre-requisite.

    AS.030.205 Organic Chemistry will count as a Technical Elective only when taken as a required pre-requisite to allow enrollment in the appropriate Biomechanics Track courses.  Note that AS.030.205 has several prerequisites:  AS.030.101/.102 Intro to Chemistry and AS.030.105/.106 Chemistry labs.

    Details about these courses are available in the University’s Arts and Sciences and Engnieering Course Catalog. For additional information about the track, contact Professor Jeff Wang.

    Biomechanics Faculty in Mechanical Engineering

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