Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

  • Chair

    Howard A. Stone

  • Departmental Representative

    Michael G. Littman

  • Director of Graduate Studies

    Alexander Glaser, also Woodrow Wilson School

  • Professor

    Craig B. Arnold

    Emily A. Carter, also Applied and Computational Mathematics

    Edgar Y. Choueiri

    Mikko P. Haataja

    Yiguang Ju

    N. Jeremy Kasdin

    Chung K. Law

    Naomi E. Leonard

    Michael G. Littman

    Clarence W. Rowley

    Alexander J. Smits

    Robert F. Stengel

    Howard A. Stone

  • Associate Professor

    Alexander Glaser, also Woodrow Wilson School

    Luigi Martinelli

    Daniel M. Nosenchuck

    Daniel A. Steingart, also Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment

  • Assistant Professor

    Luc Deike, also Princeton Environmental Institute

    Marcus N. Hultmark

    Egemen Kolemen, also Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment

    Andrej Košmrlj

    Anirudha Majumdar

    Julia Mikhailova

    Michael E. Mueller

     

  • Visiting Assistant Professor

    Luis Gonzalez, William R. Kenan, Jr. Visiting Assistant Professor for Distinguished Teaching

  • Lecturer

    Lamyaa El-Gabry

  • Associated Faculty

    Ilhan Aksay, Chemical and Biological Engineering

    Amir Ali Ahmadi, Operations Research and Financial Engineering

    Elie R. Bou-Zeid, Civil and Environmental Engineering

    Nathaniel Fisch, Astrophysical Sciences

    Bruce E. Koel, Chemical and Biological Engineering

    David N. Spergel, Astrophysical Sciences

    Salvatore Torquato, Chemistry

    Robert J. Vanderbei, Operations Research and Financial Engineering

    Claire E. White, Civil and Environmental Engineering and Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment

Information and Departmental Plan of Study

The Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering  recognizes that students have a variety of career objectives. Some enter industry directly in an engineering capacity and some continue their studies in graduate school in engineering or applied science. Other MAE graduates pursue careers in business, law, or medicine. The Department offers sufficient flexibility to students planning an undergraduate program that meets any of these objectives and guides them to build fundamental knowledge in key engineering disciplines and develop practical skills in problem-solving and design. The subjects of solid and fluid mechanics, thermodynamics, dynamics, control systems, materials, and applied mathematics, combined with the experience of engineering design, are core to the department's curriculum. Both the mechanical and aerospace engineering programs are accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET.

General Requirements

Requirements for study in the department follow the general requirements for the School of Engineering and Applied Science. In addition, the following four courses and one laboratory are normally completed by departmental students before entry into the junior year.

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

206 Introduction to Engineering Dynamics
221 Thermodynamics
222 Mechanics of Fluids
223 Modern Solid Mechanics
224 Integrated Engineering Science Laboratory

Some of the above can be satisfied by equivalent courses. For example, students with an interest in structures may take CEE 205 Mechanics of Solids in place of MAE 223; and students with an interest in engineering physics may take PHY 205 Classical Mechanics or PHY 207 Mechanics and Waves in place of MAE 206.

Each departmental student will be introduced to instrumentation and computer-based data acquisition in the MAE 224 laboratory.

Departmental Requirements

In order to qualify for graduation each departmental student must satisfactorily complete the following:

I. One upper-level course involving applications of mathematics:  MAE 305 Mathematics in Engineering I

II. Eight upper-level departmental courses

A. Among these are engineering science courses selected from the following list:

Dynamics and Control

331 Aircraft Flight Dynamics
341 Space Flight
433 Automatic Control Systems
434 Modern Control

Fluid Mechanics/Thermal Sciences

328 Energy for a Greenhouse-Constrained World
335 Fluid Dynamics
336 Viscous Flows
423 Heat Transfer
426 Rocket and Air-Breathing Propulsion Technology
427 Energy Conversion and the Environment: Transportation Applications
552 Viscous Flows--Viscous Flows and Boundary Layers

Materials/Structures

324 Structure and Properties of Materials
MSE 301 Materials Science and Engineering
CEE 312 Statics of Structures
CEE 361 Structural Analysis and Introduction to Finite-Element Methods

B. A minimum of three courses must be in the area of engineering design. At least two of these must be selected from the following list:

321 Engineering Design (required for all students)
322 Mechanical Design (required for mechanical engineering or 412)
332 Aircraft Design (required for aerospace engineering or 342)
342 Space System Design (required for aerospace engineering or 332)
412 Microprocessors for Measurement and Control (required for mechanical engineering or 322)

III. All students are required to participate in a self-directed research or engineering project. (See Independent Work below.)

The remainder of the 36 courses required for the B.S.E. may be chosen from a wide variety of options. At least seven of these must be in the humanities or social sciences, as required by the School of Engineering and Applied Science. The rest of the courses may be used to pursue a specialty within the department, combine studies with another department, follow one of the topical program curricula, or further expand studies within the humanities or social sciences.

Each student's program is planned individually in consultation with the class adviser. Suggested plans of study for each of the programs in the department are available from the departmental representative.

Program of Study

The department offers two programs of study: mechanical engineering and aerospace engineering. These programs draw on courses in the underlying fundamental sciences and mathematics during the first year, which lead to broad introductory engineering science courses during the second year, where students are introduced to the creative application of this knowledge to the solution of technical problems. Aspects of engineering design, the process of devising a system to meet a need, are introduced to the student through laboratories in the second year and continue through the upperclass years. During the third year all students take a two-semester design sequence as well as further engineering science courses dealing with analysis and application in the areas of energy sources and power systems, structures, aerodynamics and flow systems, and the dynamics of machines and their control. The introduction of design during the third year, combined with further depth in engineering science, enables students to undertake realistic design projects during their senior year. The programs are designed to prepare the graduate for an engineering career and give him or her the ability to continue to grow professionally.

Mechanical Engineering. This program deals with the analysis and design of machines, their motion, power sources, and control. The curriculum is based on dynamics, thermodynamics, and the study of the structure and behavior of fluid and solid materials; it is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET. Students are exposed to the process of engineering design through 321 Engineering Design, 322 Mechanical Design, or 412 Microprocessors for Measurement and Control, and one additional design elective.

All mechanical engineering students must take:

423 Heat Transfer or 335 Fluid Dynamics or 336 Viscous Flows and
433 Automatic Control Systems

and a mathematics elective normally selected from the following list:

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
306 Mathematics in Engineering II

Operations Research and Financial Engineering
245 Fundamentals of Engineering Statistics
307 Optimization
309 Probability and Stochastic Systems
363 Computing and Optimization for the Physical and Social Sciences

Mathematics
330 Complex Analysis with Applications
393 Mathematical Programming

Computer Science
340 Reasoning about Computation

Physics
403 Mathematical Methods of Physics.

The dynamics and design option is recommended for students desiring an emphasis on the study of the motion and control of vehicles and machines. The departmental requirements (II. A. above) are normally satisfied by:

331 Aircraft Flight Dynamics
341 Space Flight
344 Introduction to Bioengineering and Medical Devices
345 Robotics and Intelligent Systems
423 Heat Transfer
434 Modern Control

The energy sciences option is recommended for students desiring an emphasis on power sources. The departmental requirements (II. A. above) are normally satisfied by:

328 Energy for a Greenhouse-Constrained World
423 Heat Transfer
426 Rocket and Air-Breathing Propulsion Technology
427 Energy Conversion and the Environment: Transportation Applications
434 Modern Control

In either case, in order to satisfy the departmental requirement for upper-level courses, at least one is to be selected from each of the three stems (Dynamics and Control; Fluid Mechanics and Thermal Sciences; and Materials/Structures).

Aerospace Engineering. This program deals with the analysis and design of aerospace vehicles. The curriculum is based on the applications of principles from dynamics, control, thermodynamics, fluid mechanics and solid mechanics; it is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET. Part of the departmental design requirement (II. B. above) is satisfied by 321 Engineering Design and 332 Aircraft Design or 342 Space System Design.

The departmental requirements (II. A. above) are normally satisfied by:

331 Aircraft Flight Dynamics or 341 Space Flight
335 Fluid Dynamics
427 Energy Conversion and the Environment: Transportation Applications OR
426 Rocket and Air-Breathing Propulsion Technology
433 Automatic Control Systems

Independent Work

All seniors are required to participate in a research or engineering project by completing at least one semester of independent work. A year-long senior thesis or senior project also meets this requirement. All projects must include engineering design (engineering design is the process of devising a system, component, or process to meet desired needs). The following courses satisfy this requirement: senior independent work (439) (one semester offered in fall); senior independent work (440) (one semester offered in spring); senior thesis (442) (year-long individual effort); senior project (444) (year-long team or group effort). Any of these courses may satisfy the third design requirement in either the Aerospace or Mechanical programs. Students are strongly encouraged to select the year-long thesis or project. For the senior thesis or project, a final grade is issued in the spring.

Preparation for Graduate Study

Students who are considering graduate work in applied science may elect the engineering physics option by combining the engineering courses in the department with the requirements of the interdepartmental engineering physics program.

Program in Sustainable Energy. This program provides an understanding of Earth, global climate, and environmental change from the perspective of engineering, technology, and policy. The future of societies, the global economy, and the global environment depend on collaborative research into renewable energy, alternative fuels, advanced energy conversion and storage systems, technology transfer to developing countries, and prudent judgment on policies to support sustainable energy technology. Innovations and inventions require multidisciplinary approaches and entrepreneurship, as well as grounding in theory and practice, in topics that are not covered by a single department. This certificate program offers an integrated set of core and elective courses, introducing students to fundamental concepts, providing depth in specific fields of interest, gaining laboratory and site visit experiences, and setting the stage for further work in the field. See the Program in Sustainable Energy entry or view program information online.

Program in Robotics and Intelligent Systems. Robotics and intelligent systems have become focal points for research and development, and they are central to advances in manufacturing technology. New approaches for analysis, design, and synthesis of systems are being developed using symbolic representation of knowledge, electronic neural networks, and parallel supercomputers. Students have an opportunity to learn the theory and practice of automation and to pursue independent study projects in related areas. The mechanical and aerospace engineering department offers a number of courses in this area and is preparing a new generation of engineers in robotics and intelligent systems. For more information, see the Program in Robotics and Intelligent Systems entry or view program information online.

Program in Materials Science and Engineering. The materials concentration in mechanical engineering is designed to provide a coherent understanding of the structure, properties, and performance of materials from a mechanics and materials perspective. The materials concentration will provide a foundation in basic and applied science, as well as an introduction to the design and applications of materials. Students are given the opportunity to specialize in areas such as structural materials, biological materials, micro- and nanotechnology, and materials modeling and simulations. This can be achieved by taking a sequence of electives drawn from different departments, and also by engaging in a materials-related senior thesis topic designed to facilitate the specializations. This course of study will prepare students for graduate education in a wide range of areas, or the beginning of a professional career in materials engineering. Students electing this concentration will receive a degree in mechanical engineering. Students are encouraged to simultaneously participate in the Program in Materials Science and Engineering. Most students in this concentration normally take:

MAE 324 Structure and Properties of Materials
MAE 325 Structural Analysis and Finite-Element Methods
MAE 344 Introduction to Bioengineering and Biomedical Devices
MSE 302 Laboratory Techniques in Materials Science

Other Programs. Students in mechanical and aerospace engineering with an interest computing, in addition to their departmental stuides, may wish to follow the Program in Applications of Computing. Students may also wish to pursue the Program in Engineering Physics, the Program in Engineering Biology, the Program in Applied and Computational Mathematics, and the Program in Engineering and Management Systems. Some of the courses in these programs may also satisfy departmental requirements.

Energy and Environmental Studies. Students with an interest in energy conversion and the generation and control of environmental pollutants normally take:

328 Energy for a Greenhouse-Constrained World
423 Heat Transfer
427 Energy Conversion and the Environment: Transportation Applications

See also the Program in Environmental Studies.

Courses