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Mechanical Engineering (M.S.M.E.)

View PDF of Mechanical Engineering Admissions Checklist
Prospective students should use this checklist to obtain specific admissions requirements on how to apply to Graduate School.

View PDF version of the Mechanical Engineering catalog description

Degree Offered:

M.S.M.E.

Director:

David Littlefield

Phone:

(205) 975-5882

E-mail:

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Web site:

http://www.uab.edu/engineering/home/departments-research/me

Faculty

Gary Cheng, Associate Professor (Mechanical Engineering); Computational Fluid Dynamics, Multi-phase Combustion

Alan Eberhardt, Professor, (Biomedical Engineering); Solid Mechanics, Analytical and Numerical Methods in Biomechanics

Jong-Eun Kim, Research Associate Professor (Mechanical Engineering): Computational Structural Mechanics, Fluid-Structure Interactions, Multidisciplinary Optimization

Roy P. Koomullil, Associate Professor (Mechanical Engineering); Computational Fluid Dynamics, Unsteady Flows, Generalized Overset Meshes

David L. Littlefield, Professor (Mechanical Engineering); Computational Structural Mechanics, High Impact and Blast analysis, Computational Methods

David McDaniel, Research Assistant Professor (Mechanical Engineering); High Performance Computing, Unstructured Meshes

Robert Meakin, Professor (Mechanical Engineering); Fluid Mechanics, Multiple-Body Dynamics, Computational Geometry, Domain Connectivity, and Computational Science and Engineering Software Project Management

Charles Monroe, Assistant Professor (Materials Science and Engineering); Simulation and Modeling of the Metals Casting Process

Hassan Moore, Assistant Professor (Mechanical Engineering); Mathematical Education, Fiber Optics and LIDAR Research

Lee Moradi, Director of Engineering for Center for Biophysical Sciences and Engineering; Structural Mechanics, Mechanical Systems, Vibrations

Robert H. Nichols, Research Professor (Mechanical Engineering); Computational Fluid Dynamics, Turbulence Modeling, Grid Generation Software

Tina Oliver, Assistant Professor (Mechanical Engineering); Mechanical Systems, Vehicle Dynamics and Design

Selvum Pillay, Associate Professor (Materials Science and Engineering); Composites Manufacturing and Plastics Engineering

Doug Ross, Assistant Professor (Mechanical Engineering); Computer-aided Geometry Design and Mesh Generation

Nick Santoro, Research Associate Professor (Mechanical Engineering); Power Generation, Finite Element Analysis, and Structural Analysis

Bharat Soni, Chair and Professor (Mechanical Engineering); Computational Structures and Fluid Dynamics, Mesh Generation

Hessam Taherian, Assistant Professor (Mechanical Engineering); Energy Efficiency, Solar-Thermal Water and Space Heating and Cooling, Building Energy Modeling, Heat Exchangers

Uday Vaidya, Professor (Materials Science and Engineering); Composite Material Characteristics, Testing, and Manufacturing Processes

Vladimir V. Vantsevich, Professor (Mechanical Engineering); Mechatronics, Vehicle, and Robotics Engineering

Peter M. Walsh, Research Professor (Mechanical Engineering); Combustion and gasification for industrial process heat and electric power generation, Carbon sequestration, Emissions control

M.S.M.E. Program Requirements

A bachelor's degree from an accredited (or equivalent) program in engineering or the physical sciences is required for admission to graduate study in mechanical engineering. The usual criteria for admission in good standing follow:

Not less than B-level scholarship overall or over the last 60 semester hours of earned credit; and

A minimum of 150 on quantitative and 151 on verbal portions of the GRE revised General Test (630 quantitative and 460 on the GRE General Test prior to August 2011). In addition, for foreign nationals, a minimum score of 80 (IBT) on the TOEFL is required. Other standardized examination scores will also be considered.A student not meeting these requirements may also be admitted, perhaps on probationary status, provided other information indicating likely success in the program is provided.


A student with an undergraduate degree in a field of engineering other than mechanical or in the physical sciences may also be accepted into the mechanical engineering program. However, such a student will normally have to take additional, preparatory coursework as part of an expanded plan of study (see "Preparatory Courses" later in this section).

PLAN I (Thesis Option)

  • The student must successfully complete at least 24 semester hours of coursework, including (in addition to the general Graduate School requirements)
    • Six semester hours in committee-approved* mathematics courses
    • Eighteen semester hours in committee-approved* mechanical engineering courses or approved related courses, including at least three semester hours in a course outside the student’s research or specialization area.
  • The student must register for at least 6 hours of ME 699 Thesis Research in addition to the 24 semester hours of course work.
  • The student must successfully complete and defend a thesis.

* Before the first graduate semester at UAB, the Graduate Coordinator will advise new students regarding courses for the first semester.  Before the end of the first semester, students will be assigned a Thesis Director based on research interest, and students will assemble their graduate committees.  The committee will consist of the Graduate Coordinator, the Thesis Director, and two graduate faculty members with experience or expertise related to the student’s thesis topic. The Thesis Director in coordination with the graduate committee will set the curriculum for the student.

PLAN II (Non-thesis Option): Research/Design Emphasis

Generally, Plan II will be approved for students working full-time and attending UAB on a part-time basis or when the student demonstrates that Plan II offers superior educational benefits. After 15 credit hours of course work are completed, the student should select a project director and begin work on the final project.  The election of Plan II must be approved by the student's graduate advisor.

  • The student must successfully complete at least 33 semester hours of coursework, including
    • Six semester hours in approved mathematics courses
    • A minimum of 27 semester hours in approved mechanical engineering courses or approved related courses.  Out of these 27 semester hours, students must enroll in:
    • at least three (3) semester hours in a course outside the student’s research or specialization area
    • at least three (3) hours of ME 698 Non-Thesis Research involving design or research
  • The student must make a presentation on the research project and submit a final report which must be approved by the project director.

PLAN II (Non-thesis Option): Technology/Engineering Management Emphasis

  • The student must successfully complete at least 33 semester hours of coursework, including
    • At least three semester hours in approved mathematics courses
    • At least six semester hours in approved mechanical engineering courses
    • At least six semester hours in one of the following two management applications areas: MBA 660 Business Statistics and either EC 520 Applied Forecasting or another approved advanced management course
    • Three semester hours in MBA 632 Managerial Process/Behavior
    • At least three semester hours in ME 698 Non-Thesis Research, involving design or research
    • At least nine semester hours of engineering-oriented management coursework. Approved courses include: CE 658 Engineering Management, EE 585 Engineering Operations, EE 686 Technical Entrepreneurship I, EE 687 Technical Entrepreneurship II, and ME 601 Design Measurement and Enhancement of Work Systems
  • The student must make a presentation on the research project and submit a final report which must be approved by the project director.

Preparatory Courses

Students admitted to the graduate program in mechanical engineering without an undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering or who have not had the courses listed below must take the following courses or present equivalent prior coursework. Additional coursework may be required depending on the courses the student has taken during his/her undergraduate degree and the area of specialization for Masters.

ME 241 Thermodynamics I
ME 321 Introduction to Fluid Mechanics
ME 322 Introduction to Heat Transfer
ME 360 System Modeling and Controls
ME 370 Kinematics and Dynamics of Machinery
ME 371 Machine Design
CE 220 Mechanics of Solids

Additional Information

Deadline for Entry Term(s):

Fall: July 1, Spring: November 1, Summer: April 1

Deadline for All Application Materials to be in the Graduate School Office:

Six weeks before term begins

Number of Evaluation Forms Required:

Three

Entrance Tests:

GRE General Test (TOEFL is also required for international applicants whose native language is not English.)

For detailed information, contact Dr. David Littlefield, Department of Mechanical Engineering, HOEN 330A, 1720 2nd Avenue South, Birmingham, Alabama 35294-4440.
Telephone: 205-934-8460

E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Web:  http://www.uab.edu/engineering/home/departments-research/me

Course Descriptions

Unless otherwise noted, all courses are for 3 semester hours of credit.

Mechanical Engineering (ME)

511. Intermediate Fluid Mechanics.  Applications of fluid dynamic principles to engineering flow problems such as turbo-machinery flow and one-dimensional compressible flow. Vorticity and viscosity, potential flow, viscous flow, Navier-Stokes, solutions and boundary layers. Introduction to Fluid Mechanics or equivalent is a recommended prerequisite for this course.

521. Introduction to CFD Basics. Governing equations for fluid flows, classifications of flow regimes, and approaches to analyze fluid flow problems. Introduction to Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD), mesh generation, boundary conditions, numerical solution of equations governing fluid flows, and visualization. Hands-on exercises using a commercial CFD solver.

530. Vehicular Dynamics. Introduction to the basic mechanics governing vehicle performance, analytical methods, and terminology. Dynamics or equivalent is a recommended prerequisite for this course.

545. Combustion. Evaluation of the impact of fuel characteristics and operating conditions on the performance of coal-fired electric utility boiler furnaces and the prospects for continued reliance on coal as fuel for electric power generation.  The phenomena emphasized are the behavior of turbulent jets; ignition, devolatilization, and combustion of coal particles; radiative heat transfer and the effect of ash deposits on heat transfer; formation of air pollutants and their removal from combustion products; and capture and sequestration of carbon dioxide. Thermodynamics II or equivalent and Introduction to Heat Transfer or equivalent are recommended prerequisites for this course.

548. Internal Combustion Engines. Fundamentals of reciprocating internal combustion engines: engine types, engine design and operating parameters, thermochemistry of fuel-air mixtures, properties of working fluids, ideal models of engine cycles, engine operating characteristics, gas exchange processes, fuel metering, charge motion within the cylinder, combustion in spark-ignition and compression ignition engines. Thermodynamics II or equivalent is a recommended prerequisite for this course.

549. Power Generation. Application of thermodynamics, fluid mechanics and heat transfer to conversion of useful energy. Includes terrestrial and thermodynamic limitations, fossil fuel power plants, renewable energy sources, and direct energy conversion. Thermodynamics or equivalent is a recommended prerequisite of this course.

554. Heating, Ventilation and AC. Fundamentals and practice associated with heating, ventilating, and air conditioning; study of heat and moisture flow in structures, energy consumption, and design of practical systems. Introduction to Heat Transfer or equivalent is a recommended prerequisite for this course.

555. Thermal Fluid Systems Design. Comprehensive design problems requiring engineering decisions and code/ standard compliance. Emphasis on energy system components: piping networks, pumps, heat exchangers. Includes fluid transients and system modeling. Introduction to Heat Transfer or equivalent is a recommended prerequisite for this course.

564. Introduction to Finite Element Method. Concepts and applications of finite-element method. Development and applications of basic elements used in engineering mechanics. Use of finite-element analysis software. Application of finite-element concept to several areas of mechanics. Mechanics of Solids or equivalent is a recommended prerequisite for this course.

575. Mechanical Vibrations. Free and forced single-degree-of-freedom systems. Multi-degree-of-freedom systems. Simple continuous systems.

590. Special Topics in (Area). 1-4 hours.

601. Design, Measurement, and Enhancement of Work Systems. Systems involving human performance.

610. Inviscid Fluid Mechanics. Kinematics and dynamics of real and perfect fluids. Potential flow around bodies. Flow-field solution techniques.

611. Advanced Fluid Mechanics I. Fundamental laws of motion for viscous fluid, classical solutions of the Navier-Stokes equations, inviscid flow solutions, laminar boundary layers, and stability criteria.

613. Introduction to Computational Fluid Dynamics. Review of governing equations of fluid dynamics, mathematical behavior of partial differential equations, basic aspects of discretization, basic CFD techniques, basic grid generation, coordinate transformations, advanced numerical schemes, future CFD methodology. A knowledge of a computer language is required.

614. Advanced Computational Fluid Dynamics. Finite Volume Scheme, Eigen values and Eigenvectors, Method of Characteristics, Upwind Schemes, Flux Vector Splitting, Flux Difference Splitting, Explicit and Implicit Schemes, Flux Jacobians, Newton Method, Boundary Conditions, Weak Solutions, TVD, PISO Methods.

615. Introduction to Turbulent Flows. Characteristics of turbulence, length and time scales, energy cascade, vorticity stretching, Reynolds averaging technique, Closure problem, Boussinesq hypothesis, Eddy viscosity concepts, introduction to zero-, one-, and two-equation models, Reynolds stress model.

642. Statistical Mechanics.  Explanation of macroscopic thermodynamic and transport properties, based upon classical and quantum mechanical descriptions of elementary particles, atoms, and molecules.  Analysis of the distributions of these objects over their allowed energy states and the relationships between those distributions and macroscopic properties.  Thermodynamics II or equivalent is a recommended prerequisite for this course. 

650. Transport Phenomena. Laminar flow transports: momentum transfer (Couette/Poiseuille flows), energy transfer (free/forced convections and conductions), and mass transfer; equation of state, turbulence, chemical reactions, and numerical methods solving transport equations. Introduction to Fluid Mechanics or equivalent and Introduction to Heat Transfer or equivalent are recommended prerequisites for this course.

653. Convection Heat Transfer. Equations of convective heat transfer. Boundary layer equations. Internal and external laminar flows. Turbulent flows. Natural convection and combined convection. Convective heat transfer through porous media.

661. Math Methods in Engineering I. Mathematical theory and solutions methods to problems in engineering including advanced ordinary differential equations; eigenvalue problems; multi-variable calculus and implicit functions; curve, surface ad volume representation and integration; Fourier integrals and transforms; separation of variables and transform techniques for solution of partial differential equations. Differential Equations or equivalent is a recommended prerequisite for this course.

662. Math Methods in Engineering II. Mathematical theory and solution methods to problems in engineering including Scalar and vector field theory advanced partial differential equations, analysis using complex variables, conformal mapping, complex integral calculus, Green's functions, perturbation methods, and variational calculus. ME 661 Math Methods in Engineering I or equivalent is a prerequisite for this course.

665. Computational Methods in Mechanical Engineering. Applications of computers to solution of problems in engineering, including matrices, roots of equations, solution of simultaneous equations, curve fitting by least squares, differentiation and integration, differential and partial differential equations Differential Equations or equivalent and Introduction to Computational Engineering or equivalent are recommended prerequisites for this course.

670. Introduction to Continuum Mechanics. Fundamentals and application of mechanics principles to problems in continuous media. Matrix and tensor mathematics, fundamentals of stress, kinematics and deformation of motion, conservation equations, constitutive equations and invariance, linear and nonlinear elasticity, classical fluids, linear viscoelasticity. Mechanics of Solids or equivalent and Differential Equations or equivalent are recommended prerequisites for this course.

679. Advanced Finite-Element Analysis. Concepts and applications of finite-element method. Development and applications of various elements used in engineering mechanics. Use of finite-element analysis software. Application of finite-element concept and model development to fluid, heat transfer, and solid mechanics problems. Introduction to Fluid Mechanics or equivalent, Introduction to Heat Transfer or equivalent, and Mechanics of Solids or equivalent are recommended prerequisites for this course.

680. Numerical Mesh Generation. Mesh generation strategies, error analysis, and their role in field simulation systems and engineering applications, Structured and Unstructured meshing algorithms including algebraic, elliptic, parabolic, hyperbolic, advancing front, and Delaunay triangulation methods, computer aided geometry techniques and surface mesh generation schemes.

682. Computer-Aided Geometry Design. Bezier curves, polynomial interpolation, splines, NURBS, tensor product Bezier surfaces, composite surfaces, differential geometry, parametric curves and surfaces, decimation and refinement algorithms.

686. Design Optimization Techniques. Methods of numerical optimization techniques applied to engineering design. Methods for optimization of constrained and unconstrained, single and multiple variables, multiobjective functions. Surrogate-based statistical optimization and multidisciplinary optimization framework. 690. Special Topics in (Area). 1-4 hours.

691. Individual Study in (Area). 1-4 hours.

693. Journal Club in Mechanical Engineering. 1 hour.

694. Mechanical Engineering Seminar. 1 hour.

698. Non-Thesis Research. 1-12 hours.

699. Master's Thesis Research. Prerequisite: Admission to candidacy. 1-12 hours.