Mechanical Engineering Major
Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering
Mechanical engineers are deeply involved in activities that are essential to our modern civilization. These activities include the research, development, design and testing of materials, structures and machines for the generation of power, transportation and the production of electricity by the conversion of energy from various sources including chemical, nuclear, solar and geothermal; conception and design of all types of machines that serve humans and their many needs; construction and operation of production machinery for the manufacture of materials and consumer products; robotics and biomedical devices; and instrumentation, control and regulation of these and other types of mechanical systems.
The undergraduate curriculum of the mechanical engineering major at Florida Tech presents the fundamentals underlying modern mechanical engineering and prepares the student for a lifetime of continued learning. During the freshman and sophomore years, the emphasis is placed on mathematics and physics. An introduction to engineering in the freshman year previews the field and gives the students their first experience in engineering design. The sophomore and junior years direct the student toward the engineering sciences, including mechanics of solids, thermodynamics and fluid mechanics. During the junior and senior years, the study becomes progressively centered on the specific issues facing practicing mechanical engineers. The mechanical engineering major uses the basic tools imparted during the first two years and applies them in studies of machine systems, instrumentation, automatic controls, thermal systems and design projects. Other courses taken during the last two years expand the student’s knowledge in the fields of thermal energy systems, heat transfer, electronics, vibrations and mathematics. Technical electives taken during the senior year allow the student to direct the program toward specific areas of personal interest.
Laboratory experiences are essential to the education of engineers, and these are provided in chemistry, physics, computer-aided design, materials, fluids and heat transfer. The capstone of the educational process is the senior mechanical engineering design project, which synthesizes and focuses elements from the various disciplines into a design activity of current mechanical engineering interest. The faculty serve jointly in the supervision and consultation for these projects.
The nuclear technology area of emphasis curriculum consists of four courses, available as free and/or technical electives. The objective is to train students from a broad spectrum of engineering disciplines (i.e., mechanical, electrical, civil and chemical) that will be needed to construct, operate, maintain and regulate nuclear power plants and associated facilities. The nuclear technology curriculum is interdisciplinary.
After graduation, the mechanical engineering major is prepared to pursue a career either in industry or government as a practicing engineer, or to enter graduate work in engineering, applied mechanics or mathematics. In some cases, mechanical engineering graduates also enter professional schools of medicine, law or business.
Mechanical engineering majors are encouraged to define career objectives early in the program (preferably during the sophomore year) so that in consultation with faculty advisers, electives can be selected that are best suited to the achievement of specific goals.