Jamil A. Khan, Chair
The Department of Mechanical Engineering offers the Bachelor of Science in Engineering degree with a major in mechanical engineering. The mechanical engineer is concerned with the design, development, and manufacture of both mechanical and thermal systems. These systems may vary from the internal combustion engine to power automobiles and airplanes to the use of computer vision in biomedical and automated manufacturing applications.
The objectives of the mechanical engineering undergraduate program are: to educate students in the application of mathematics, science, and engineering principles for solving mechanical engineering problems; to develop students’ professional skills that enable a successful career; and to provide students with the broad education necessary to practice engineering in a global and societal context.
These objectives are met through a curriculum that provides a strong foundation in the basic and applied sciences and in the liberal arts, with increasing emphasis on mechanical engineering topics in the junior and senior years. The curriculum also includes a wide variety of technical electives, a series of engineering laboratory courses to supplement the theory presented in lecture as well as liberal arts courses to give the mechanical engineering student a well-balanced education. A capstone senior design experience gives the student opportunities to integrate and apply the knowledge and skills learned throughout the mechanical engineering curriculum.
The department, jointly with the Department of Chemical Engineering, offers a major in biomedical engineering.
Bachelor’s/Master’s Degrees Accelerated Program
The Bachelor’s/Master’s Degrees Accelerated Program in Mechanical Engineering allows undergraduate students to complete both the B.S.E. degree and M.E. or M.S. degree in as few as five years. The use of dual credit—courses that can be used toward both degrees—enables acceleration of the program, reducing the total enrollment of the student by one semester.
Mechanical engineering undergraduate students may apply for approval of an accelerated education plan in the semester in which they will complete 90 hours of undergraduate course work. In addition, students must have a sufficient foundation in mechanical engineering course work to enable them to take graduate-level courses. University and department regulations stipulate that applicants must have a minimum GPA of 3.40, both overall and in mechanical engineering courses. Students in the accelerated program must maintain a GPA of 3.40 while pursuing the B.S.E. degree.
Students applying to this program must submit to The Graduate School a completed “Application for Admission to a Combined Bachelor’s/Master’s Education Plan” with endorsements of the undergraduate advisor, the department graduate director, and the department chair. The dean of The Graduate School has final authority for approving accelerated education plans. A “Senior Privilege Course Work Authorization” must be submitted for each semester in which one or more of these courses are taken.
Participation in the accelerated program does not require acceptance into The Graduate School. After completing the B.S.E. degree, students wishing to continue toward a master’s degree in mechanical engineering at USC must apply formally to The Graduate School by submitting the appropriate form and required supporting documents. Students in the accelerated program will be eligible for graduate assistantships upon admission to The Graduate School.
Only graduate-level courses (numbered 500 and above, including up to three credit hours of project/research work leading to a master’s thesis) satisfying both B.S.E. and masters degree requirements may be used for dual credit. No more than nine credit hours may be used as dual credit. The graduate courses used for dual credit must be taken during the students final undergraduate year. No more than nine credit hours (including those obtained under senior privilege and the college’s Plan “M” for undergraduate juniors and seniors) may be applied toward a master’s degree.
Historical overview of air and space flight. Principles of flight and characterization of the atmosphere and space. Vehicle concepts, and an introduction to aerodynamics, materials, structures, propulsion, flight mechanics, control, aircraft systems, and design.
Fundamentals of inviscid, incompressible flow. Derivation of basic equations for lift, drag and aerodynamic moments through dimensional analysis. Two dimensional flow over airfoils. Airfoil characteristics. Thin airfoil theory, finite wing theory. Wing and body interactions. Aerodynamic drag characteristics. Boundary layers.
Introduction to aircraft and rocket engines with emphasis on the performance and characteristics of various types of propulsion systems, including turbojet, turbofan, turboprop, ramjet, scramjet and liquid & solid propellant rockets.
Fundamentals of flight control systems, engine control systems, fuel systems, hydraulic systems, landing gears, electrical systems, environmental control systems, emergency systems, avionics and rotary wing systems. Aerospace systems design and development methodology.
Aerospace component experiments: drag polar and Cm-alpha curve for an airfoil; fuselage and landing gear drag; compliance matrix of an isotropic and a laminated composite; mechanical and thermal properties of various aerospace materials; reporting.
Introduction to experimental determination of structures, propulsion and systems aspects of aerospace engineering. Oral and written presentations and reports.
Aircraft mission analysis; Conceptual aircraft design; Weight estimation; Wing design; Payload compartment design; Stabilizer and control surface design; engine selection; aircraft systems design; performance analysis; trade studies; design verification; design documentation and presentation.
Derivation of the general equations of motion (EoM) for aircraft and space flight. Solution of Aircraft EoM for cruise flight and flight maneuvers including coordinated turns, takeoff and landing. Solution of EoM for orbital mechanics problems including transfer trajectories. Calculation of required specific impulses. Design of interplanetary trajectories.
Techniques for managing, planning and executing engineering projects. Computer based analysis and synthesis techniques. Manufacturing and assembly techniques. Statistical methods to support manufacturing, safety and reliability based design. Engineering Ethics. Social impact of engineering decisions and projects. Effective written and oral communication.
Flight Dynamics and Control is a three-credit course that covers the dynamics of aircraft motion, methods of analysis and design for stability and control, longitudinal motions, lateral-directional motions, and coupled longitudinal and lateral-directional motions.
Introduction to Mechanical Engineering; Engineering thinking; Problem-solving skills; University life and academic expectations.
Principles and practice of visualization and graphical representation using modern computer-aided design tools.
Principles of mechanics; Equilibrium of particles and rigid bodies; Distributed forces, centroids, and centers of gravity; Moments of inertia of areas; Analysis of simple structures and machines; Friction.
Introduction and application of linear algebra and numerical methods to the solution of physical and engineering problems. Techniques include iterative solution techniques, methods of solving system of equations, and numerical integration and differentiation.
Study of forces and deformation in solids; Basic concepts of stress and strain; Elastic relations between stress and strain; Stress and strain transformations; Applications to mechanical components under axial, torsional, bending and pressure loads.
Introduction to stress analysis for beams, plates, shells, and solids using finite element based computer tools.
Introduces design of experiments with emphasis on confidence levels, dimensional analysis, correlations or experimental data, experimental variance, and uncertainty analyses. Oral and written reports. Excluded: Mechanical Engineering majors.
Introduction to closed-loop control systems in Mechanical Engineering; Development of concepts, including transfer function, feedback, frequency response, and system stability; Programmable logic controllers (PLC); Control system design methods.
Introduction to the principles of integrating mechanical, electrical and computer engineering disciplines within a unified framework towards designing mechatronic systems; Fundamental overview of mechatronics (sensors, signals, actuators, microprocessors and models of mechatronic systems); Experimental exercises using microcontrollers.
Basics of: Deformative Manufacturing, Subtractive Manufacturing, Additive Manufacturing, Assembly Processes; Introduction to: Polymers Manufacturing, Composites Manufacturing, Computer-Aided Manufacturing.
Introduction to decision making for engineering projects. Planning methods, forecasting, exploratory charts, team building, leadership, quality control, project scheduling, and project economics.
Basics of: Fundamentals of thermodynamics, Thermodynamic properties, Energy and Mass Conservation, Entropy and the Second Law Analysis; Introduction to: Power, Refrigeration, and Heat Pump Cycle Systems for vapor cycles and gas cycles; Application of Thermodynamic concepts to determine changes of enthalpy, entropy, and internal energy related with cycle systems, psychometrics, and combustion process.
Lecture topics include design specifications and planning, innovation, economic factors, safety, reliability, ethics and social impact. Selection, specification, and feasibility study of an open-ended design project to be completed in EMCH 428.
Graduation with Leadership Distinction: GLD: Research
Open-ended design project continuation including: identifying and performing relevant engineering analyses, parametric design refinement, project life cycle economic analysis, product/prototype construction, testing, and evaluation of the design; Consideration of safety, reliability, sustainability, and social impact.
Graduation with Leadership Distinction: GLD: Research
Individual investigation or studies of special topics. A maximum of three credits may be applied toward a degree. Advance approval of project proposal by advisor and instructor.
Graduation with Leadership Distinction: GLD: Research
Methodology of design, mathematical modeling of thermal equipment, system simulation, system optimization using digital computer, and investment economics. Requires a semester-long design project. Two lectures and one problem session per week.
Graduation with Leadership Distinction: GLD: Research
Preparation for the Fundamentals of Engineering Exam. Review general engineering and mechanical engineering-specific areas. Restricted to seniors. May not be used to satisfy program requirements.
Engineering applications of solution techniques for ordinary and partial differential equations, including Sturm-Liouville theory, special functions, transform techniques, and numerical methods.
Engineering applications of optimization methods, calculus of variations including approximate methods, and probability concepts.
Optimizing computer-controlled machining processes, programmable logic controllers (PLCs), motion control of servomechanisms, CNC machining practices and programming, and robotics.
Assessment of technological needs in the organization; coupling research and development to production; selection and evaluation of the technical project/program; technical planning, resource allocation, direction, and control; effective use and development of the engineering staff; the process of and barriers to technological change; technology, values, and policy. Senior or graduate standing.
A systematic approach to the mechanical design of products, requiring the concurrent design of all related processes.
Summary of mechanical design, project management, product liability and the law, intellectual property ethics and professionalism.
Design considerations and methodologies for products to ensure adequate safeguards for the prevention of accidents, failures, and injuries. Senior standing.
System design and development accomplished with consideration of environmental/ecological, economic, and social constraints. Students will be introduced to sustainable design and accomplish a design project. Senior standing.
Mathematical formulation of an optimum design problem, introduction to optimum design concepts and multidisciplinary design optimization. Use of mathematical programming methods for unconstrained and constrained minimization for engineering design optimization.
Kinematics and dynamics of particles and rigid bodies using Newtonian mechanics. Work/energy, impulse/momentum, 3-D motion.
Overview of robotics in practice and research: forward and inverse kinematics, statics and dynamics, trajectory generation, control, vision, and motion planning.
Application of the conservation laws of a compressible fluid to isentropic flows, flow with friction, and flows with heating or cooling. Shock and expansion waves. Nozzle and diffuser design.
International nuclear non-proliferation programs and activities, proliferation risk assessment, and nuclear materials management and safeguards, including physical protection systems, material accounting and control, monitoring, and regulatory issues.
The current role of nuclear energy in the US and global energy mix will be described and the potential for future growth will be surveyed, particularly in the development of the hydrogen economy.
Radioactivity and nuclear reactions; steady state and transient nuclear reactor theory.
Processing of nuclear fuel including fabrication, irradiation, and waste disposal or storage. In-core and out-of-core fuel management. Fuel cycle economics.
Radiant heat exchange, combined modes of heat transfer, computer techniques in heat transfer analysis and design, environmental heat transfer.
Use of nuclear radiation detection and instrumentation systems and computers. Data acquisition and analysis.
An introduction to probabilistic risk assessment (PRA) methods as applied to nuclear power plants but also examples from the chemical industry, aerospace, transportation, and other sectors. Addresses failure and reliability analysis, fault trees, event trees, reactor safety, regulatory practice.
Radiation interactions and transport, design of radiation shields, point kernel, and Monte Carlo methods. Dosimetry, buildup factors, radiation sources, and shield materials.
PWR and BWR reactors, reactor system designs for accident prevention and mitigation, protection systems, containment design, emergency cooling requirements, code of federal regulations, and design criteria.
Special topics related to current issues in mechanical engineering. Course content varies and will be announced in the schedule of classes by title.
Basic fluid mechanics,capillary, drop and micro/nanoparticle, electrokinetics; Micropump, mixer, preconcentrator, electrophoresis, microactuator and particle manipulator; Sensors for pressure, velocity, concentration, temperature in environmental monitoring/biodefence, clinical diagnostics, drug discovery/delivery. Restricted to: Upper division.
Nano/microfabrication for nano/microstructures, photolithography, self-assembly, etching techniques, physical and chemical vapor deposition, surface and bulk micromachining, MEMS integration and packaging; applications in Biomedical Engineering; microactuators, biomicrosensors, and biomedical devices.
Equilibrium and phase relations in metallic systems; kinetics of phase transformations; annealing and precipitation phenomena.
Materials for nuclear applications; materials degredation processes occuring in the nuclear reactor environment. Restricted to Engineering Upper Division and Graduate Students.
Study of fuel cell principles, fuel cell characterization, characteristics of the major types of fuel cells, fuel cell and stack components, fuel cell stack and system design, fuel cell applications in portable, transportation, and stationary areas, as well as the current status and future research focus of fuel cells. Restricted to: Upper division.
Static analysis of aerospace structural elements such as bars, beams, columns, plates, and shells. Topics include, but not limited to elasticity theory, simple beam theory, boundary value problems, and structural stability. Upper division or graduate status.
Fundamentals of aerodynamics, elements of compressible flow, thin airfoil therory, finite wing theory, flow through nozzles diffusers and wind tunnels, normal and oblique shock waves, elements of the methods of characteristics of finite difference solutions for compressible flows, aspects of hypersonic flow.
Introduction to the mechanical behavior of solid biomaterials. Structure and mechanical properties of tissue including skin, myocardium, and tendon. Mathematical treatment of anisotropic elasticity, nonlinear elasticity, linear and quasi-linear viscoelasticity, muscle activity.
Topics in stress analysis, including unsymmetrical bending, three-dimensional stress-strain; torsion; rotational stress; thick-walled pressure vessels; beams on elastic foundations; and stress concentration.
Introduction to fiber reinforced polymer (FRP) composite materials, manufacturing methods and processes. Micro-Mechanics and properties of orthotropic laminated and woven composites. Analysis of composite structures (Mechanics and Synergistic environmental effects). Structure/property relationships. Characterization of modern composite materials. Design considerations.
Stress analysis utilizing experimental techniques including transmission and scattered light photoelasticity, strain gauges, and brittle coatings. Introduction to modern concepts of coherent optics in stress analysis with emphasis on engineering applications.
Solar radiation; review of heat transfer and radiation characteristics of relevant materials; flat plate and focusing collectors; energy storage models for design of solar heating systems; system design by computer simulation; direct conversion by solar cells.