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Undergraduate Catalog 2011

Mechanical Engineering


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Muniswamappa (Appa) Anjanappa
Dwayne Arola
Shlomo Carmi
Panos Charalambides
Akhtar S. Khan
Uri Tasch
Tim Topoleski
Weidong Zhu

Associate Professors

Charles Eggleton
Tony Farquhar
Ronghui Ma
Liang Zhu
Marc Zupan

Assistant Professors

Anne Spence
Hai-jun Su

Associate Professor Emeritus

Christian von Kerczek

Interim Chair

Brian Reed


Teshome Edae Jiru
Wa-Muzemba Anselm Tshibangu

Courses in this program are listed under ENME.

Mechanical engineering focuses on the design and production of energy-producing systems and on mechanical devices or mechanisms. These systems and mechanisms are applied to fields ranging from biology, such as artificial hearts, to transport systems, such as cars and airplanes, and in manufacturing tools and plants. The mechanical engineering curriculum at UMBC, accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET, Inc., 111 Market Place, Suite 1050, Baltimore, MD 21202 Telephone: 410-347-7700, Fax: 410-625-2238, Web:, provides students thorough training in mathematics, physical sciences, engineering sciences and engineering design. Mechanical engineering students also gain a broad education by completing a cross section of courses in the arts and humanities, social sciences, and language and culture in accordance with university General Foundation Requirements (GFR).

The Program Educational Objectives of the Mechanical Engineering Department are to

  • Prepare our graduates with the technical skills and knowledge necessary to practice Mechanical Engineering successfully.
  • Prepare graduates to pursue graduate and/or professional education in Mechanical Engineering .

There are several ways for students to progress through the mechanical engineering program. A traditional four-year timetable (outlined below) provides the quickest path to completing the degree. Many students combine their mechanical engineering program with part-time work or community service. UMBC's Shriver Center helps students develop various ways to accomplish their goals.

Students may opt for part-time employment or internships. The Shriver Center also works with students to develop service internships outside of mechanical engineering, such as tutoring disadvantaged children.

The mechanical engineering department works closely with the Shriver Center to enable students to accomplish both their mechanical engineering education, as well as their service and experience objectives.

It is also possible and quite desirable to combine a mechanical engineering major with a second major, such as mathematics, physics, geography or various other fields. The undergraduate advisor in mechanical engineering helps students arrange their course work to achieve such educational goals.

Career and Academic Paths

Recent graduates of UMBC’s mechanical engineering program have secured starting engineering positions in both large and small firms, as well as in government laboratories. Some large firms that employ UMBC graduates are BGE, Northrop Grumman Corporation, Black & Decker, Ford Motor Co. and Toyota of North America. Other graduates have secured professional positions in government laboratories, including the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the Naval Surface Weapons Center, the U.S. Army Aberdeen Proving Ground and NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. The heating, ventilation and air conditioning industry is also a large employer of mechanical engineers. Many UMBC mechanical engineering graduates are pursuing both M.S. and Ph.D. degrees at major universities such as The Johns Hopkins University; University of California, Berkeley, Stanford University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Michigan State University, University of Cincinnati; University of Maryland, College Park; as well as UMBC. Many graduates working in nearby industries pursue part-time graduate work in mechanical engineering or engineering management at UMBC.

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Academic Advising

Mechanical engineering students obtain academic advising in two stages. Students at the freshman and sophomore level (determined by the level of engineering courses taken and passed, not by the total number of credit hours taken) are advised by the Undergraduate Student Services in the College of Engineering and Information Technology. When a student advances to the junior level, a mechanical engineering faculty member is assigned as a permanent advisor who takes over the formal academic advising. Students must meet with their faculty advisor at least once per semester to prepare pre-registration requirements for the following semester. At this time, the faculty advisor helps the student review his or her academic status and plan for an efficient continuation of the student’s program. The overall advising activity is supervised by the mechanical engineering undergraduate coordinator. The coordinator also grants all special permits that allow students to deviate from normal procedures. Such permits are required for acceptance of transfer credits for engineering courses, permits to take courses at University of Maryland, College Park and many other items. The undergraduate coordinator or department chair has the final authority in granting such permits.

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Admission Requirements

MECHANICAL ENGINEERING REPEAT POLICY At UMBC, students may not register for a course more than two times. They are considered registered for a course if they are enrolled after the end of the schedule adjustment period. Students may petition the Office of Undergraduate Education for a third and final attempt of a course taken at UMBC or another institution, however, the Department of Mechanical Engineering will not support petitions to repeat required lower-level courses for the purpose of continuing in the major.

MECHANICAL ENGINEERING REPEAT POLICY IMPLICATIONS: Any student who meets the appropriate gateway criteria but has attempted a lower-level required course (100 -200 level) twice and not earned a grade of C or better cannot continue in the Mechanical Engineering program. This policy applies to courses which may be offered at a higher level (300-400) at another institution but are considered equivalent to lower-level courses at UMBC. Transfer students who have attempted a required lower-level course or its equivalent at another institution two or more times without earning a grade of C on the second attempt may be admitted to UMBC, but are not eligible for admittance to the Mechanical Engineering program.

GATEWAY CRITERIA --EFFECTIVE FALL 2009 Applicants admitted fall 2009 and later may designate mechanical engineering as their intended major. However, students are admitted to the mechanical engineering program only when they pass all four of the following Gateway courses: MATH152, ENES101 and ENME110 with a grade of “B” or better and CHEM101, with a grade of “C” or better. Students are permitted to retake two of the gateway courses one time to earn the required grade. Enrolling in a gateway course at UMBC or another institution is considered an attempt. Students are not allowed to take any 300-level or 400-level mechanical engineering courses until the gateway requirements are fulfilled.

GATEWAY CRITERIA – PRIOR TO FALL 2009 Students admitted prior to fall 2009 and transfer students that began their higher education prior to fall 2009 that have maintained a continuous enrollment (without a two year break) may designate mechanical engineering as their intended major. Students who have more than a two year break in enrollment must complete the requirements (gateway and general education) in effect at UMBC at the time of re-admission to higher education. However, students are admitted to the mechanical engineering program only when they pass all four of the following Gateway courses: MATH151, ENES101, CHEM 101, ENGL 100 or 110 with a minimum cumulative grade point average (gpa) of 2.5 (note repeat policy). Transfer Students: In addition to the four courses listed above, the Gateway also includes any Math, Chemistry, Physics or Engineering course that is being transferred. Courses from an engineering technology program (even an accredited one) may not be substituted for any engineering or basic science courses.

PROGRAM REGULATIONS 1. The mechanical engineering department publishes the Mechanical Engineering Undergraduate Handbook, which details the regulations and policies of the department. The responsibility for proper registration and for satisfying stated pre-requisites for any course must rest with the student, as does the responsibility for proper achievement in courses in which the student is enrolled. Each student is responsible for being thoroughly familiar with the provisions of the University Undergraduate Catalog and Handbook, including all the academic regulations. 2. Required courses in mathematics, physics and chemistry have highest priority, and it is strongly recommended that every engineering student registers for mathematics, chemistry and physics each semester until he or she has satisfied these requirements. 3. To be eligible for a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, a student must have an overall average of a least a “C” (2.0) and a grade of “C” or better in all courses. Responsibility for knowing and meeting all degree requirements for graduation in any curriculum rests with the student. 4. To earn a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from UMBC,students must complete a minimum of 24 credits of ENME courses with a grade of C or better at UMBC.

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General Education Program

In addition to the major requirements students must satisfy the General Foundation Requirements (GFR) or the General Education Program (GEP) requirements as applicable. One course in the arts and humanities sequence must be PHIL 251: Ethical Issues in Science, Engineering and Information Technology.

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Major Program

The freshman year in engineering is designed to lay a strong foundation in mathematics, physical sciences and the engineering sciences upon which the student later will develop a professional program during the sophomore, junior and senior years. Students applying for admission to UMBC should take the mathematics placement test early enough so, if necessary, MATH 150: Pre-calculus Mathematics could be taken in the summer preceding the first regular semester. The placement test is administered by the Learning Resources Center, and students should make arrangements with them for the test. The test measures the student’s preparation for MATH 151: Calculus and Analytic Geometry. Students who are not prepared to schedule MATH 151 are advised to schedule MATH 150 in the summer session before the fall (first) semester. At the beginning of the sophomore year, the student selects a primary field of engineering specialty. At UMBC, courses through the senior year are available in chemical engineering, mechanical engineering, and computer engineering. The science elective can be selected from any course, at the 300 level or higher, in biology, computer science, mathematics, physics, chemistry or any engineering field except mechanical engineering. A list of pre-approved science/technical electives is posted and made available to students. A mechanical engineering elective at the 400 level or above may be substituted for the science elective. The other technical electives must be 400-level mechanical engineering courses, one of which must be a design course.

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Accelerated B.S./M.S. Program

This combined program is designed for completion in five years. Students are encouraged to plan on such an effort from the start. See the Mechanical Engineering Undergraduate Handbook for more information.

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Special Opportunities

The mechanical engineering faculty strives to make research opportunities available to undergraduate students at any level. Many students are involved in research projects with faculty advisors. Such activities are particularly valuable and effective for students who aim to pursue their bachelor’s and master’s degrees in the combined B.S./M.S. program offered by the department.

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Student Organizations

The mechanical engineering department offers various extracurricular activities to enhance students’ professional development. Students may participate in student chapters of major professional organizations such as the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME); the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE); the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE); the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE); the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and the Society for the Advancement of Material and Process in Engineering (SAMPE). There is also a chapter of Tau Beta Pi, the national engineering honor society. Other notable activities include technical competitive activities such as the Mini-Baja all-terrain vehicle competition. There is also an Executive Club of undergraduate students which addresses entrepreneurship and innovation.

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