Mechanical engineering is the discipline that deals with motion and energy, including the transformation of energy from one form to another, its transmission, and its utilization. Mechanical engineers conceive, plan, design, and direct the manufacture, distribution, and operation of a wide variety of devices, machines, and systems for energy conversion, environmental control, materials processing, biomechanics, biofluid dynamics, automated manufacturing, materials handling, and other purposes. Mechanical engineers are engaged in all the engineering functions, including creative and design, applied research, development, and management.
Mechanical engineering has traditionally been subdivided into two areas – mechanical systems and energy systems. Mechanical systems involve the motion and strength of the various machine parts and their interaction in the total machine. Energy systems involve the transformation, transfer, and storage of energy. Power plants, engines, refrigeration and air conditioning equipment, heating equipment, and heat exchangers are designed, built, and maintained by mechanical engineers.
What can you do with a degree in Mechanical Engineering?
Mechanical engineers find a wide range of employment in industry, government, educational institutions, and private practice. Activities include design, manufacture, sales, installation, maintenance, research, development, and consulting. Employment opportunities have historically been favorable.
Most mechanical engineers find it advantageous to pursue professional licensure. This requires earning engineering intern (EI) certification by passing an examination in the fundamental of engineering, and after a minimum of four years of responsible engineering experience, passing an examination in the principles and practice of engineering.
The Mechanical Engineering Program at UAB
The mechanical engineering program is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, http://www.abet.org, and embodies a curriculum of 128 semester credit hours. In addition to courses in pre-engineering, mathematics, calculus-based physics, chemistry, humanities, and social sciences, the mechanical engineering curriculum also includes a core of fundamental engineering coursework and advanced courses in thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, heat transfer, mechanics of machinery, and mechanical design. Laboratory experiences are provided in each area to illustrate the application of theory in engineering practice. During the senior year, the curriculum provides for electives that allow for specialization either in the area of mechanical systems or energy systems or for further exposure in both areas. With additional coursework, the mechanical engineering program can also be utilized as a pre-health curriculum.
For more information about the mechanical engineering program, please contact the Office of Academic Programs, The University of Alabama at Birmingham, HOEN 101, 1075 13th Street South, Birmingham, AL 35294-4440, (205) 934-8410, fax (205) 205-934-8437.