Jump to content

The Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Undergraduate Programs

The Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering administers three undergraduate programs in the College of Engineering: (1) Mechanical Engineering, (2) Mechanical Engineering/Materials Science and (3) Aerospace Science and Engineering.

For more information about our programs, please see http://mae.ucdavis.edu/ug.php.

The Mechanical Engineering/Materials Science program is not accepting new students.

Mission. The Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering is committed to educating future engineers so that they may contribute to the economic growth and well-being of the state, the nation, and the world, and to the advancement of knowledge in the mechanical and aerospace sciences.

Objectives. The objectives of the programs offered in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering include the following: to prepare its graduates to practice mechanical and/or aerospace engineering in a broad range of industries, to enable interested graduates to pursue graduate education, to prepare its graduates to participate in research and development, and in other creative and innovative efforts in science, engineering, and technology and to allow interested graduates to pursue entrepreneurial endeavors.

Preparatory Requirements. In order to change to any major offered by the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, students must:

  • Be a registered student and have completed at least one quarter (minimum of 12 units) at UC Davis;
  • Have completed not more than 135 cumulative units (excluding AP units);
  • Be in good academic standing and meet minimum progress requirements;
  • Have received a letter grade for all courses that satisfy Engineering degree requirements;
  • Have: a) completed at least the following five courses: Mathematics 21A, B, C; Physics 9A and Chemistry 2A and b) have a GPA of 2.800 or better in all completed Mathematics, Physics, Biology and Chemistry courses required for your intended major, and have received a C- or better in each of these courses;
  • Have no grade lower than a C- in any completed engineering course required for your intended major(s) taken at UC Davis;
  • Have a 2.800 UC GPA in completed engineering courses.

Mechanical Engineering Undergraduate Program

The Mechanical Engineering program is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET; http://www.abet.org.

The mechanical engineer uses basic science in the design and manufacture of complex engineering systems, requiring the application of physical and mechanical principles to the development of machines, energy conversion systems, materials, and equipment for guidance and control.

Work in this broad field of engineering requires a thorough knowledge of mathematics, physics, chemistry, material science, applied mechanics, thermodynamics, heat transfer, mass transfer, electricity, manufacturing processes, and economics.

The Mechanical Engineering program is designed to provide knowledge in mechanical engineering and associated applied sciences so that graduates may practice in a broad range of industries, pursue graduate studies, participate in research and development, and/or pursue entrepreneurial endeavors.

Areas of Interest

Students spend their third year in further study of fundamental courses, and in the fourth year they may tailor their studies to their interests by selecting courses in controls and systems analysis, fluid mechanics, heat transfer, mechanical design or thermodynamics. Students can either prepare for graduate study in mechanical engineering or obtain a broad background for entering engineering practice.

Students may select elective courses from among the areas of interest listed below.

Mechanical Design. The creation and improvement of products, processes, or systems that are mechanical in nature are the primary activities of a professional mechanical engineer. The development of a product from concept generation to detailed design, manufacturing process selection and planning, quality control and assurance, and life cycle considerations are areas of study and specialization in the area of mechanical design.

Solutions to such major social problems as environmental pollution, the lack of mass transportation, the lack of raw materials, and energy shortages, will depend heavily on the engineer's ability to create new types of machinery and mechanical systems.

The engineer-designer must have a solid and relatively broad background in the basic physical and engineering sciences and have the ability to synthesize the information from such a background in creative problem solving. In addition to having technical competence, the designer must be able to consider the socioeconomic consequences of a design and its possible impact on the environment. Product safety, reliability, and economics are other considerations.

Suggested technical electives:

Aerospace Science and Engineering 133, 139

Biological Systems Engineering 114, 120, 165

Biomedical Engineering 118/Electrical and Computer Engineering 147

Engineering 122, 160 (only one unit of credit towards Technical Electives requirement)

Materials Science and Engineering 180, 181, 182

Mechanical Engineering 121, 134, 150B, 151, 152, 154, 161, 163

Suggested Advisers. H.H. Cheng, R.T. Farouki, M.R. Hill, B.S. Linke, B. Ravani, M. Soshi, S. Velinsky, K. Yamazaki

Biomedical and Engineering Fluid Mechanics. This field of study is based on the fundamentals of fluid mechanics and their broad range of applications in the biomedical and engineering areas. Areas of current research include blood circulation and its potential role in the regulation of normal physiological function and in the development of disease; groundwater and atmospheric flows and their implications for pollutant transport and environmental concerns; aerodynamic flow around transportation vehicles and its impact on vehicle performance; and flow in combustion engines and other energy systems with considerations of efficiency and environmental impact. These areas are investigated both experimentally and computationally.

Suggested technical electives:

Aerospace Science and Engineering 138

Engineering 160 (only one unit of credit towards technical requirements)

Chemical Engineering 161A, 161B

Civil and Environmental Engineering 144, 149

Mechanical Engineering 161, 163

Suggested Advisers. R.C. Aldredge, M. Hafez, I.M. Kennedy, S.K. Robinson, B.D. Shaw, C.P. van Dam, A.S. Wexler

Combustion and the Environment. Combustion is widely used for energy generation, propulsion, heating, and waste disposal, as well as for many other applications. Mechanical engineers are often heavily involved with the design of combustion systems (internal combustion engines, gas turbines, furnaces, etc.) and deal with aspects of combustion ranging from increasing efficiencies to reducing pollutant emissions. This specialization is for those who would like to work in fields that use combustion, or that deal with pollution related to combustion. With the current increased emphasis on reducing pollutants while maintaining or increasing efficiency, the efforts of mechanical engineers in designing and improving combustion systems are becoming more important.

Suggested technical electives:

Mechanical Engineering 161, 163

Civil and Environmental Engineering 149, 150

Suggested Advisers. R.C. Aldredge, R. Davis, P. A. Erickson, I.M. Kennedy, B.D. Shaw

Heat Transfer, Thermodynamics, and Energy Systems. This specialization emphasizes the fundamentals of heat transfer and thermodynamics, and their application to the design of advanced engineering systems. The objective of the program is to introduce students to the fundamental processes of heat transfer and thermodynamics in complex engineering systems so that they are able to design more efficient, cost effective, and reliable systems with less environmental pollution and impact. An understanding of heat transfer and thermodynamics is required for the design of efficient, cost-effective systems for power generation, propulsion, heat exchangers, industrial processes, refining, and chemical processing. This area of specialization is important to many industries—aerospace, defense, automotive—as well as to the thermal design of electronic and computer packages.

Suggested technical electives:

Aerospace Science and Engineering 138

Mechanical Engineering 161, 163

Suggested Advisers. R.C. Aldredge, R. Davis, P.A. Erickson, I.M. Kennedy, J.W. Park, B.D. Shaw

Manufacturing. Manufacturing is concerned with the conversion of raw materials into finished products by a variety of processes, such as machining, forming, casting, and molding. Modern manufacturing technology is increasingly dependent upon integration with computer-aided design systems and precision computer controls. State-of-the-art laboratories offer the opportunity for hands-on experience with a wide spectrum of manufacturing equipment. Manufacturing engineers must have expertise in design, materials, controls, statistical methods, computer software, and microprocessor applications.

Suggested technical electives:

Biomedical Engineering 118/Electrical and Computer Engineering 147

Electrical and Computer Engineering 160

Materials Science and Engineering 180, 181

Mechanical Engineering 150B, 151, 154

Suggested Advisers. H.H. Cheng, R.T. Farouki, B.S. Linke, D.A. Horsley, V. La Saponara, M. Soshi, B. Ravani, K. Yamazaki

System Dynamics and Control. Engineers are increasingly concerned with the performance of integrated dynamics systems in which it is not possible to optimize component parts without considering the overall system.

System dynamics and control specialists are concerned with the modeling, analysis, and simulation of all types of dynamic systems and with the use of automatic control techniques to change the dynamic characteristics of systems in useful ways. The emphasis in this program is on the physical systems that are closely related to mechanical engineering, but the techniques for studying these systems apply to social, economic, and other dynamic systems.

Ongoing research includes projects on continuously variable transmissions, active and semi-active suspension systems, modeling and control of vehicle dynamics, electromechanical actuator design, electronically controlled steering, the analysis of fuel management systems, and the design of flight-control systems with humans in the loop.

Suggested technical electives:

Aerospace Science and Engineering 129, 139, 141

Electrical and Computer Engineering 160

Engineering 122

Mechanical Engineering 121, 134, 154

Suggested Advisers. F.O. Eke, R.A. Hess, S. Joshi

Ground Vehicle Systems. An important aspect of mechanical engineering is the design of more environmentally benign surface vehicles that provide efficient individual and public transportation. Innovations in the field require competence in vehicle dynamics, control of vehicle dynamics, power sources and power transmission, lightweight structures and systems, alternatively fueled power systems, including electrical drives and fuel cells, and mechanical systems.

Suggested technical electives:

Aerospace Science and Engineering 127, 129, 139

Civil and Environmental Engineering 130, 149, 160

Engineering 122, 160 (only one unit of credit towards technical electives requirement)

Mechanical Engineering 121, 134, 152

Suggested Advisers. P. A. Erickson, M. Hill, J. Park, N. Sarigul-Klijn, S. Velinsky

Transportation Systems. As society recognizes the increasing importance of optimizing transportation systems to minimize environmental degradation and energy expenditure, engineers will need to consider major innovations in the way people and goods are moved. Such innovations will require competence in vehicle dynamics, propulsion and control, and an understanding of the problems caused by present-day modes of transportation. Vehicle control requires an understanding of sensors and actuators, and the integration of yet-to-be-proposed concepts into overall vehicular dynamics. Competence in these areas allows for the development of alternative propulsion concepts, such as electric, hybrid, and fuel cell.

Suggested technical electives:

Aerospace Science and Engineering 127, 129

Biological Systems Engineering 114, 120

Civil and Environmental Engineering 131, 149

Engineering 122, 160 (only one unit of credit towards Technical Electives requirement)

Mechanical Engineering 134, 150B, 161, 163

Suggested Advisers. P.A. Erickson, J.W. Park, S. Velinsky

The Aerospace Science & Engineering Undergraduate Program

The Aerospace Science and Engineering program is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET; http://www.abet.org.

Aerospace Science and Engineering majors learn to apply the principles of the physical sciences and engineering to the design of aerospace vehicles. Specific objectives include the design, development and manufacture of aerospace vehicles and other transportation systems through the integration of disciplines associated with aerodynamics, propulsion, structures and guidance/control.

Our Bachelor of Science degree in Aerospace Science and Engineering provides a broad background and fundamental education in mathematics, the physical sciences, and the engineering sciences. These fundamentals, when complemented by the required technical courses, prepare students for employment in government or industry, while simultaneously establishing an excellent foundation for graduate studies.

Students are encouraged to adhere carefully to all prerequisite requirements. The instructor is authorized to drop students from a course for which stated prerequisites have not been completed.

Exclusive of General Education units, the minimum number of units required for the Aerospace Science and Engineering major is 163.

Page content manager can be reached at Catalog-Comment@ucdavis.edu.

Updated: March 22, 2017 10:38 AM

June 24, 2014 1:06 PM