Academics

(Al Hartmann | The Salt Lake Tribune) Danny Salazar uses a device developed by engineers at the University of Utah to steer a sailboat by sipping or blowing into a tube. He had never been on the water in his life but sailed for the first time at East Canyon Reservoir with TRAILS. TRAILS stands for Therapeutic Recreation & Independent Lifestyles that helps people with spinal cord injuries learn how to do outdoor-related activities like kayaking, sailing and camping.

(Al Hartmann | The Salt Lake Tribune) Danny Salazar uses a device developed by mechanical engineering undergraduate students at the University of Utah to steer a sailboat by sipping or blowing into a tube. He had never been on the water in his life but sailed for the first time at East Canyon Reservoir with TRAILS. TRAILS stands for Therapeutic Recreation & Independent Lifestyles that helps people with spinal cord injuries learn how to do outdoor-related activities like kayaking, sailing and camping.

In an effort to keep up a strong tradition of high quality and innovative education, the Department of Mechanical Engineering has developed curriculum that introduces students to the complex and multifaceted nature of professional engineering practice. It integrates a variety of engineering topics such as:

  • First-Year: Introduction to Robotic Systems Design I & II; Statics and Strengths
  • Second-Year: Introduction to Energy Systems Design I & II; Dynamics ; Machining Lab
  • Third-Year: Mechatronics I & II; Strengths II; Design Mechatronics Elements; Heat Transfer; Fluids; Thermo II
  • Fourth-Year: Senior Design I & II, Manufacturing
Louise Butler, working on her senior capstone project, Wave Energy Machine

Louise Butler B.S.’14, “I chose mechanical engineering because of the opportunities to integrate science and art in one discipline. Engineering is actually much more artistic than most people would think and I enjoy being able to exercise my creativity within a technical discipline.”

“Research suggests that an integrated approach to engineering education will produce students who are more confident in their engineering abilities,” says Tim Ameel, department chair.

“Our program allows students to have multiple innovative, hands-on experiences, combined with consistently reinforced training in the basic theories of the engineering sciences that gives them the combination of skills they need for the workforce.”

Students are also exposed to a strong teamwork environment combined with the opportunity to work on solving real-world design problems to reinforce what they learn in the classroom.  The latest engineering, computational and professional tools also play a key role in instrumentation. Our undergraduate Spiral Curriculum is the winner of several Best Paper awards from the American Society for Engineering Education and the Division of Experimentation and Laboratory Oriented Studies. The Spiral Curriculum is an integrated, hands-on learning experience that carries throughout the Freshman and Sophomore year.