||Dr. Peter Lucon
In 2014-2015, graduates with Mechanical Engineering (ME) bachelor’s degrees accounted for 24% of all engineering graduates in the United States (Engineering by the Numbers, by Brian L. Yoder, Ph.D.) The sustained popularity of this degree is due to its remarkable versatility. The ME curriculum provides graduates with an understanding of fundamental engineering principles in disciples ranging from electrical to civil engineering.
Montana Tech offers the degree of Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering (BSME), which is in the process of obtaining accreditation by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, http://www.abet.org.
Mechanical Engineering Department Mission
The mission of the Mechanical Engineering Department at Montana Tech is to:
- Provide students an education based in the fundamentals of engineering, mathematics, and science in order to prepare graduates to enter and continue the practice of Mechanical Engineering at the professional level. Our foci are in Mechanical and Material systems applications and processing.
- Provide a comprehensive education to enable graduates to solve advanced problems in the areas of Materials, Sensors and Actuators, Nanotechnology, Control Systems, Thermal Fluids, and Welding.
- Maintain sustained research programs that contribute to solving critical problems in the Design, Fabrication, and Characterization of Devices, Processes, and Materials.
Mechanical Engineering Program Educational Objectives (PEOs)
The objectives of the Mechanical Engineering program are to produce graduates who achieve some of the following:
- Successfully practice the Mechanical Engineering profession as demonstrated by
- continued professional employment,
- job promotion,
- expanding career responsibility
- Obtain professional registration
- Successfully complete an advanced degree
- Continued professional development as demonstrated by:
- society membership and participation
- continuing education
- engineering related volunteerism
Mechanical Engineering Program Outcomes
Students graduating from the Mechanical Engineering program at Montana Tech should attain:
- An ability to identify, formulate, and solve complex engineering problems by applying principles of engineering, science, and mathematics
- An ability to apply engineering design to produce solutions that meet specified needs with consideration of public health, safety, and welfare, as well as global, cultural, social, environmental, and economic factors
- An ability to communicate effectively with a range of audiences
- An ability to recognize ethical and professional responsibilities in engineering situations and make informed judgments, which must consider the impact of engineering solutions in global, economic, environmental, and societal contexts
- An ability to function effectively on a team whose members together provide leadership, create a collaborative and inclusive environment, establish goals, plan tasks, and meet objectives
- An ability to develop and conduct appropriate experimentation, analyze and interpret data, and use engineering judgment to draw conclusions
- An ability to acquire and apply new knowledge as needed, using appropriate learning strategies
- The knowledge and application of basic science, advanced mathematics including multivariate calculus and differential equations, and principles of engineering; to model, analyze, design and realize physical systems, components, or processes
- The knowledge in either thermal or mechanical systems to work in these areas professionally
The BSME curriculum is organized so students gradually advance towards more rigorous levels of calculation and design. The coursework integrates a progressively broader spectrum of basic knowledge in engineering, mathematics, science, and related subjects. Engineering design involving the formulation and solution to open-ended problems is integrated throughout the curriculum beginning the freshman year.
Students in the program initially take basic calculus, chemistry, physics, and computer programming courses. These courses provide the foundation for engineering topics and design. At the same time, students take courses that develop their writing and communication skills and supplement their general education.
Students then take lower-level fundamental engineering courses in the areas of mechanics (statics and dynamics), electric circuits, fluid dynamics, mechanics of materials, thermodynamics, electric machines, and signals and systems. At this point, students also take advanced mathematical courses as well as supporting subjects such as engineering economics and technical communications. These lecture-based classes are supported by six laboratory classes that provide hands-on experience in circuits, process instrumentation and control, electric machines, mechanics of materials, fluid dynamics, and in mechanical engineering senior lab.
The curriculum concludes with upper-division courses such in applied thermodynamics, heat transfer, machine design, vibrations, a capstone design course, and professional electives that allow students to focus on ME sub-disciplines. Four specific focus areas with defined professional elective tracks in Control systems, Nanotechnology, Mechanical Design, and Welding are available.
In additional to the overall college facilities, Montana Tech offers additional ones specifically for the ME program. The department maintains three instructional laboratories. The fluids laboratory is equipped for fluid dynamic and fluid flow applications. The strength of materials laboratory is used to conduct materials fabrication and destructive testing of specimens. The mechanical engineering design laboratory provides experiments with real world power systems including power generation, refrigeration, renewable energy systems, wind tunnel experimentation, vibration applications, and heat transfer.
All faculty in the ME department have significant industrial experience, teach in the program, advise students, and are involved in program development. The faculty’s expertise covers the fundamental areas of mechanical engineering as well as advanced knowledge in nanotechnology, product design, research and development, control systems, and welding. Undergraduate research and design opportunities exist in all of these areas.