Saturday, May 25, 2013

Mechanical Engineering

Mechanical Engineering

Mechanical engineering is one of the broadest and most versatile of the engineering professions. This is reflected in the portfolio of current activities in the department, one that has widened rapidly in the past decade. Today, our faculty are involved in projects ranging from the use of nanoengineering to develop thermoelectric energy converters to the use of active control of for efficient combustion; from the design of miniature robots for extraterrestrial exploration to the creation of needle-free drug injectors; from the design of low-cost radio-frequency identification chips to the development of advance numerical simulation techniques; from the development of unmanned underwater vehicles to the invention of cost-effective photovoltaic cells; from the desalination of seawater to the fabrication of 3-D nanostructures out of 2-D substrates.

Graduate Education

MIT’s graduate programs in mechanical engineering attract students with a variety of backgrounds, interests, and talents. We provide extensive opportunities for graduate students to engage in advanced research and collaborate with faculty and colleagues. Together, our community members push the boundaries of their professions, and grow profoundly as engineers, researchers, and innovators.
The mechanical engineering department provides opportunities for graduate work leading to the following degrees:
  • Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering

    The SM in mechanical engineering is awarded based on the completion of advanced study and a major thesis. The thesis, considered the centerpiece of a students’ graduate experience, must be an original work of research, development, or design, performed under the supervision of a faculty or research staff member. Students usually spend as much time on thesis work as on coursework. This degree typically takes about one and one-half to two years to complete.
  • Master of Science in Ocean Engineering

    The curriculum leading to an SM in ocean engineering assumes that students have broad working knowledge in engineering. Graduates of this program are interested in developing the ocean for the good of humanity and are prepared to use whatever engineering disciplines necessary to address problems.
  • Master of Science in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering

    Naval architecture and marine engineering are concerned with all aspects of waterborne vehicles operating on, below, or just above the sea surface. This program is intended for individuals planning to specialize the design of waterborne vehicles and/or their subsystems.
  • Master of Science in Oceanographic Engineering

    To complete this joint program with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), students study and conduct research on the campuses of MIT and WHOI. Students are advised by an MIT faculty member, but may conduct their thesis research under the supervision of MIT or WHOI faculty. While in residence at MIT, students follow a program similar to that of other master’s students in the department.
  • Master of Engineering in Manufacturing

    This twelve-month professional degree program prepares students to assume technical leadership in an existing or emerging manufacturing company. To earn this degree, students must complete a highly integrated set of projects that cover the process, product, system, and business aspects of manufacturing, as well as a group-based thesis project.
  • Mechanical Engineer’s degree

    This program provides an opportunity for further study beyond the master’s level for those who wish to enter engineering practice rather than conduct further research. This degree emphasizes breadth of knowledge in mechanical engineering and its economic and social implications. It is quite distinct from the PhD program, which emphasizes depth and originality of research. The engineer’s degree requires a broad program of advanced coursework and an applications-oriented thesis, and typically requires at least one year of study beyond the master’s degree.
  • Naval Engineer’s degree

    This program provides US Navy and US Coast Guard officers, foreign naval officers, and civilian students interested in ships and ship design with a broad graduate-level engineering education for a career as a professional naval engineer. Completion of this degree requires a higher level and significantly broader range of professional competence in engineering than is required for an SM in naval architecture and marine engineering or ocean engineering.
  • Doctoral degree

    The PhD and ScD are the highest academic degrees offered. Doctoral degrees are awarded upon the completion of a program of advanced study in the student’s principal area of interest, a minor program of study in a different field, and a thesis of significant original research, design, or development. Doctoral degrees are offered in all areas represented by the department’s faculty. The department also offers a joint PhD in Oceanographic Engineering with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute.
Graduate students registered in the Department of Mechanical Engineering may elect to participate in interdisciplinary programs of study, including:
  • Computation for Design and Optimization, for students interested in computational approaches to the design and operation of engineered systems
  • Program in Polymer Science and Technology, designed for students seeking a doctoral degree focused on macromolecular science and engineering
  • Technology and Policy Program, which offers a master’s degree focusing on the role of technology in policy analysis and formulation
  • Leaders for Global Operations (LGO) program, for students with two or more years of work experience who aspire to leadership positions in manufacturing or operations companies. LGO is a two-year dual-degree program that confers a Master of Science in an engineering field together with an MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management.