Chair’s Message

Ameel_HeadshotWelcome to the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Utah! With 34 regular faculty, 5 full-time research faculty, and 14 staff members, the department is committed to educating tomorrow’s engineering leaders and producing leading edge research. The Department has experienced significant growth over the last decade – we are now educating approximately 860 undergraduate students and 200 (105 MS, 95 PhD) graduate students annually.

The mission of the undergraduate program is to provide a world-class education that instills the professional, technical, critical-thinking, and communication skills necessary for students and faculty to make impactful contributions to society. Our undergraduate program contains several unique features. The curriculum emphasizes hands-on experiences, such as team-based projects, in all four years. Laboratories accompany the majority of classes.

A unique freshman/sophomore curriculum includes three semester-length team projects and integrated labs. The third year mechatronics sequence integrates mechanics, electronics, and programming into robotic systems. This two-semester sequence culminates with an exciting robotics competition each spring. The fourth-year capstone design courses allow students to apply their knowledge to real world projects that result in useful hardware to solve topical problems.

The graduate program has an extensive course list that complements the research mission. Since 2006, approximately 25 new courses have been added to the graduate curriculum in areas of growing demand such as robotics, composite materials, sustainability, and micro/nanoscale systems. Both Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees are offered.

Our faculty members conduct a wide variety of innovative research. Thematic areas of research excellence include micro/nanoscale heat transfer, sustainability, environmental fluid dynamics, biomechanics, computational mechanics, composite materials, ergonomics and safety, microfluidic systems, tribology, manufacturing, and robotics. These research activities complement our educational mission, address the ever- changing needs of industry and society, and contribute to the economic and social development of Utah and the nation.

The Department moved into the newly renovated Rio Tinto Kennecott Mechanical Engineering Building during the summer of 2015. This 80,000 ft2 building includes faculty and staff offices, clean labs, a 47-seat computer lab, a 187-seat lecture hall, conference rooms, meeting areas, a student advising center, a tutoring center, student group meeting rooms, and a café. The building is designed to encourage informal student-faculty interactions through its many gathering spaces.

I hope you find the Department’s web site informative. Whether you are a prospective student or parent, an alumna, or just an interested party, I encourage you to visit the campus, meet our dedicated students, faculty, and staff, and tour our state-of-the art labs. We wish to share with you our exciting and dynamic program. Please feel free to contact us regarding questions you may have related to our degree programs, curriculum, or research.

Dr. Tim Ameel
Professor and Chair
Department of Mechanical Engineering