Engineering Mechanical Engineering

Quick points
Attribute Value
College: Engineering
Degree Offered: Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering
Hours Required: 129
Minimum Cumulative GPA: 2.4 for graduation
Minor Available: No
Advisor: Jeffrey Shield
  1. Intro

Mechanical Engineering

COLLEGE: Engineering

MAJOR: Mechanical Engineering

DEGREE OFFERED: Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering


MINIMUM CUMULATIVE GPA: 2.4 for graduation


ADVISOR: Jeffrey Shield


Chair: Jeffrey E. Shield

Associate Chair for Research and Graduate Studies: Mehrdad Negahban

Professors: Barton, Bishu, Bobaru, Charlton, Cole, Dzenis, Farritor, Feng, Gogos, Nastasi, Negahban, Rajurkar, Reid, Shield, Sutter, To, Turner, Wei, Yang

Professor of Practice: Stelling

Associate Professors: Baesu, Gu, Huang, Lim, Nelson, Szydlowski, Tan, Wang, Williams, Zhang

Associate Professor of Practice: Coen-Brown

Assistant Professors: Cui, Ndao, Ryu, Sealy, Terry, Zhou

Assistant Professor of Practice: Lehman

Lecturer: Dick

Mechanical engineering is a broad field of study that significantly impacts many technologies, including those that expand our energy resources and improve medical care. Mechanical engineers are concerned with all forms of energy conversion and transmission; the flow of fluids and heat; the development, design, manufacturing, and operation of machinery and equipment; material structure and properties; solid and applied mechanics; and transportation processes. The course of study is designed to give the student fundamental preparation to enter the fields of research, design, operation, production, sales, or management.

The mechanical engineering curriculum is structured so that students are well prepared in the fundamental areas of solid mechanics, thermal-fluid sciences, systems and design engineering, and materials engineering. Students can develop an emphasis area of study by concentrating elective courses in specific interdisciplinary areas such as aerospace engineering, automotive engineering, robotics, biomedical engineering, computational methods, manufacturing, nanotechnology and others depending upon the technical courses available and the interest of the student.

Mission and Objectives

Mission Statement

The mission of the Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering at the University of Nebraska is to impact society locally and globally through our educational programs, research, and service, developing knowledge and sharing our expertise in the best traditions of land-grant universities. We strive for excellence in teaching and learning at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, seek to develop novel educational opportunities, grow our public and private support for research and education, and expand our scholarship, outreach and service.

Program Educational Objectives

Within a few years of graduation, our mechanical engineering graduates are expected to:

1. have started successful careers based on their education or have completed a professional degree or a graduate degree in engineering or related field;

2. have begun life-long learning and development in order to remain current in their knowledge and skills and to advance in their careers; and

3. have established a record of professionalism, leadership, respect and integrity in working to serve humanity and to use resources responsibly.

Student Outcomes

The educational program leading to the BS in mechanical engineering ensures that students attain the following outcomes:

  • an ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering;
  • an ability to design and conduct experiments, as well as to analyze and interpret data;
  • an ability to design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs within realistic constraints such as economic, environmental, social, political, ethical, health and safety, manufacturability, and sustainability;
  • an ability to function on multidisciplinary teams;
  • an ability to identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems;
  • an understanding of professional and ethical responsibility;
  • an ability to communicate effectively;
  • the broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global, economic, environmental, and societal context;
  • a recognition of the need for, and an ability to engage in, life-long learning;
  • a knowledge of contemporary issues;
  • an ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice.


Admittance to Degree Program

Students are expected to meet minimum college entrance requirements. After being admitted to the college as pre-mechanical engineering students, students wishing to pursue a degree in mechanical engineering must further be admitted to the degree program. Students who have completed 43 credit hours applicable to their mechanical engineering degree are considered for formal admission to the mechanical engineering degree program. Typically, this occurs the semester the student is enrolled in MECH 200 or MATL 360. Those exceeding 61 credit hours must receive formal admission to the mechanical engineering degree program if they are to continue to take mechanical engineering courses. Transfer students must have at least 12 credit hours of course work from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln on record before an application will be considered.

The requirements for admission to the degree program are a major GPA of 2.7 (that is, not counting elective courses), completion of MECH 223, no more than four withdrawals and no more than three repeated courses. Those who are not admitted to the degree program the first time are advised of the outcome and are automatically reviewed again at the end of that semester. If after two reviews a student is not admitted to the degree program, the student is advised of other majors, in engineering or elsewhere, in which they may be likely to find success.


Requirements for the Degree (Lincoln campus)

First Semester

CHEM 109 General Chemistry I4

CHEM 111 may be substituted for the CHEM 109/110 sequence.

ENGR 10 Freshman Engineering Seminar0

ENGR 100 Interpersonal Skills for Engineering Leaders3

Or, instead, COMM 210, COMM 283, or COMM 286 may be taken in the Third Semester.

MATH 106 Calculus I5

ACE Electives3

Choose courses from not yet satisfied ACE outcomes 5, 6, 7,or 9.


Second Semester

CHEM 110 General Chemistry II4

CSCE 155N Computer Science I: Engineering & Science Focus3

MATH 107 Calculus II4

PHYS 211 General Physics I4

PHYS 221 General Physics Lab I1

Or, instead, PHYS 222 General Physics Lab II (1 cr) may be taken in the Third Semester.


Third Semester

BSEN 206 Engineering Economics (CONE 206)3

ENGR 20 Sophomore Engineering Seminar0

MATH 208 Calculus III4

MECH 130 Introduction to CAD3

MECH 223 Engineering Statics3

PHYS 212 General Physics II4


Fourth Semester

MATH 221 Differential Equations3

MATL 360 Elements of Materials Science4

MECH 200 Engineering Thermodynamics3

MECH 325 Mechanics of Elastic Bodies3

MECH 373 Engineering Dynamics3


Fifth Semester

ELEC 211 Elements of Electrical Engineering I3

ELEC 231 Electrical Engineering Lab1

JGEN 200 Technical Communication I3

MATH 314 Linear Algebra3

MECH 300 Thermal Systems & Design3

MECH 342 Kinematics & Dynamics of Machinery3


Sixth Semester

MECH 321 Engineering Statistics & Data Analysis or STAT 380 Statistics & Applications (MATH 380)3

MECH 310 Fluid Mechanics (CIVE 310)3

MECH 343 Elements of Machine Design3

MECH 350 Introduction to Dynamics & Control of Engineering Systems3

MECH 380 Mechanical Engineering Measurements3


Seventh Semester

MECH 370 Manufacturing Methods & Processes3

MECH 420 Heat Transfer3

MECH 446 Mechanical Engineering Design I3

The capstone design sequence must be taken in the order shown in the curriculum and should be taken in the last two semesters of the program (MECH 446 and MECH 447).

MECH 488 Kinematics & Machine Design Lab2

Mechanical Engineering Technical Elective3

Design and technical electives must be chosen from a list of approved 400-level mechanical engineering elective courses. Consult advisor for suggested choices.

ACE Elective3

Choose one course from not yet satisfied ACE outcomes 5, 6, 7, or 9.


Eighth Semester

ENGR 400 Professional Ethics & Social Responsibilities1

MECH 447 Mechanical Engineering Design II2

MECH 487 Thermal Fluids Lab2

Mechanical Engineering Design Elective3

Design and technical electives must be chosen from a list of approved 400-level mechanical engineering elective courses. Consult advisor for suggested choices.

Senior Elective3

Senior electives may be either another mechanical engineering technical elective, another mechanical engineering design elective, or, with prior written approval of your advisor, a 300 or higher level engineering, science, or math course.

ACE Electives6

Choose courses from not yet satisfied ACE outcomes 5, 6, 7, or 9.


Total Credit Hours Required129


Hands-on Opportunities

One major focus of the Department is to provide students with many hands-on opportunities both within the curriculum (through formal laboratory courses) and through extracurricular activities. Brief descriptions of some of the laboratories in the department are given below.

The Materials Laboratory is designed to study the development of microstructures during processing, and to correlate the properties of materials with the observed structures. Undergraduates utilize arc melting facilities for solidification processing and alloy formation, rolling mills for deformation processing, and a variety of furnaces for thermal treatments. Characterization facilities include x-ray diffractometry and optical microscopy, while property measurements are completed using hardness testing (including microhardness), tensile testing, and impact testing facilities. Other facilities associated with the materials laboratory include rapid solidification processing facilities and electron microscopy facilities.

The Measurements Laboratory is associated with the required MECH 380 Mechanical Engineering Measurements course which includes two hours of lecture and two hours of laboratory work each week. The course covers the fundamentals of mechanical engineering measurements including data analysis (statistics, graphing, spectral analysis), signal conditioning, data readout, and the measurement of length/displacement, rate of rotation, stress/strain, temperature, pressure, fluid velocity, fluid flow rate, vibration/acceleration, and sound. The MECH 380 Lab has four workbenches. Each workbench has a set of basic measurement equipment including a digital oscilloscope, an electronic counter, a digital multimeter, a DC power supply, a function generator, and a computer-based data acquisition system consisting of a personal computer with data acquisition software and interfaced analog-to-digital converter and digital counter cards. In addition, on a week-to-week basis, specialized equipment is brought out of the cabinets and set up for each of the nine (some one week, some two week) labs.

The Kinematics and Machine Design Laboratory is a teaching laboratory for undergraduate students. The laboratory consists of equipment and instruments for conducting experiments in kinematics and machine design. One piece of major equipment is the rapid prototyping machine, which accepts design specifications from a computer and forms a prototype of the design using plastic fused deposition. This machine provides the student with experience in design integration from concept to product. Accessories in this laboratory include desktop computers, a wide-carriage printer, and other instruments. Kawasaki also donated a retired robot that is now utilized in this laboratory.

The Thermal Fluids Laboratory involves design, execution and evaluation of physical experiments in the areas of thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, and heat transfer. There are three major, heavily-instrumented experiments: 1) a two stage air-compressor with intercooling, 2) a versatile air conditioning unit, and 3) a Ford gasoline engine with a Superflow water brake dynamometer, supported with a data acquisition system. The course involves design, execution and evaluation of physical experiments in the areas of thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, and heat transfer. In addition, the facilities include “table top” instrumentation for viscosity measurement, measurement of pressure distribution on an airfoil, flow visualization and head loss across a valve on which students conduct experiments.

The Mechatronics Laboratory is well-equipped for teaching courses in mechatronics, robotics, and controls. It is used primarily for MECH 457 and MECH 450, but is also used for other courses, and by both undergraduate and graduate students working on research projects. The laboratory contains desktop computers, modular robots, digital oscilloscopes, function generators, computer controllers, soldering systems, and many other accessories.

The Department also has computational facilities available to students. The computer lab has a suite of personal computers with a full complement of computing resources available to students.

Research Laboratories. These laboratories, extensions of those described above, are equipped for research in the fields of fluid mechanics, heat transfer, thermodynamics, turbulence, flow visualization, fluid mechanics, measurements, turbomachinery and engine research, combustion, materials, mechanical design, dynamics, computational, solid and applied mechanics, biomedical engineering, and controls. Many of our undergraduate students gain valuable experience working on research projects under the guidance of professors. These are funded by research grants or the University’s UCARE program.

Some of the extracurricular opportunities for students to gain hands-on engineering experience include SAE Baja, SAE Formula (both through Husker Motorsports), NASA microgravity, AIAA competitions, and others.


College Admission

College Admission

College Entrance Requirements

Students must have high school credit for (one unit is equal to one high school year):

1. 4 units of mathematics: 2 of algebra, 1 of geometry, 1 of precalculus and trigonometry.

2. 4 units of English.

3. 3 units of natural science that must include 1 unit of physics and 1 unit of chemistry (chemistry requirement waived for students in construction management).

4. 2 units of a single foreign language.

5. 3 units of social studies.

6. Students having a composite ACT score of 28 or greater (or equivalent SAT score) will be admitted to the College of Engineering even if they lack any one of the following: trigonometry, chemistry, or physics.

7. Students having an ACT score of 19 or less in English (or equivalent SAT score) must take ENGL 150 or ENGL 151.

A total of 16 units is required for admission.

Students must have an ACT (enhanced) score of 24 or greater (or equivalent SAT). Students who lack entrance requirements may be admitted based on ACT scores, high school rank and credits, or may be admitted to pre-engineering status in the Exploratory and Pre-Professional Advising Center. Pre-engineering students are advised within the College of Engineering.

Students for whom English is not their language of nurture must meet the minimum English proficiency requirements of the University.

Students who lack entrance units may complete precollege training by Independent Study through the UNL Office of On-line and Distance Education, in summer courses, or as a part of their first or second semester course loads while in the Exploratory and Pre-Professional Advising Center or other Colleges at UNL.

Students should consult their advisor, their department chair, or the Office of the Dean if they have questions on current policies.

Other Admission Requirements

Students who transfer to the University of Nebraska–Lincoln from other accredited colleges or universities and wish to be admitted to the College of Engineering (COE) must meet COE freshman entrance requirements and have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5 for Nebraska residents or 3.0 for non-residents. Students not meeting either of these requirements must enroll in the Explore Center or another UNL college until they meet COE admission requirements.

The COE accepts courses for transfer for which a C or better grade was received. Although UNL accepts D grades from the University of Nebraska at Kearney and at Omaha, not all majors in the COE accept such low grades. Students must conform to the requirements of their intended major and, in any case, are strongly encouraged to repeat courses with a grade of C- or less.

All transfer students must adopt the curricular requirements of the undergraduate bulletin current at the time of transfer to the COE—not that in use when they entered UNL. Upon admission to UNL, students wishing to pursue degree programs in the COE will be classified and subject to the policies defined in the subsequent section.

College Degree Requirements

Grade Rules

Grade Appeals

In the event of a dispute involving any college policies or grades, the student should appeal to his/her instructor, and appropriate department chair or school director (in that order). If a satisfactory solution is not achieved, the student may appeal his/her case through the College Academic Appeals Committee on his/her campus.

Bulletin Rule

Students must fulfill the requirements stated in the bulletin for the academic year in which they are first admitted at UNL. In consultation with advisors, a student may choose to follow a subsequent bulletin for any academic year in which they are admitted to and enrolled as a degree-seeking student at UNL in the College of Engineering. Students must complete all degree requirements from a single bulletin year. The bulletin which a student follows for degree requirements may not be more than 10 years old at the time of graduation.


This is the site for old bulletin data. Please head to UNL's Course Catalog for updated course and program information.