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2006-2008 Undergraduate Catalog
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Professor William H. Sutton, Department Head
Office: 290 Hardaway Hall

Professor Beth A. Todd, Coordinator for Undergraduate Programs
Office: 290 Hardaway Hall

Professor C. Bryan Graham, Coordinator for Engineering Graphics Programs
Office: 290 Hardaway Hall

Mechanical engineering is the most versatile of all engineering programs. Mechanical engineers pursue careers in a wide variety of industries, research laboratories, educational activities, and government agencies. Mechanical engineering graduates can become involved in research, design, and management in industries such as aerospace, automotive, energy conservation, precision engineering, railroad, heavy machinery, manufacturing, food/forest products, textiles, paper, consumer appliances, robotics, power plants, electronics, computer automation, agriculture, heating and air-conditioning, construction, transportation, and mining. A significant number of mechanical engineering graduates use mechanical engineering as the foundation for careers in business administration, law, medicine, and other professions. Many graduates are also accepted for advanced study in mechanical engineering, biomedical engineering, medicine, law, business administration, and dentistry.

The engineering graphics program is part of the mechanical engineering department. Engineers use technical drawing to communicate and document their ideas. Students in all the engineering disciplines who want to communicate in the graphical language are encouraged to study engineering graphics. Engineering graphics facilities are on the second floor of Hardaway Hall and include modern facilities for computer-aided drafting and design (CAD) lab.

Taking the Fundamentals of Engineering examination is a departmental requirement for graduation.

Program Objectives

Members of the next generation of mechanical engineers are being equipped to meet the technological challenges of the profession. Out of a commitment to continuously improve the undergraduate curriculum for the mechanical engineering program, the faculty of the Department of Mechanical Engineering has adopted several educational objectives. All mechanical engineering graduates are expected to

Manufacturing engineering certificate program. The manufacturing engineering certificate program is available to undergraduate mechanical engineering students; most certificate program courses are taken concurrently with courses required for the bachelor's degree. The certificate program restricts elective courses in the B.S. curriculum and increases the total number of semester hours the student will complete. A student who completes all the requirements of the certificate program receives the B.S.M.E. degree and a manufacturing engineering certificate indicating that he or she has completed the additional requirements. In addition, the student's transcript indicates that the student has completed the requirements for the certificate program. The manufacturing engineering certificate program is excellent preparation for the newly developed graduate program in this area. Students interested in the program should see their advisors for specific details and program requirements.

Design Clinic Laboratory. This laboratory consists of a design library, conference space, TV tape and AV equipment, and a presentation area for Design Clinic Industrial Project activities.

Mechanical Engineering Computer Laboratory. This facility is for general use by undergraduate and graduate students in mechanical engineering and complements the facilities provided by the College of Engineering. Departmental funds are used to maintain high quality PCs in this lab, and the computers are fully equipped with up-to-date software.

Instrumentation Laboratories. These labs provide a variety of experimental equipment and instruments to support the teaching of basic instrumentation for mechanical systems and thermal fluid systems.

Internal Combustion Engines Laboratory. This laboratory consists of 7 engine test stands, optical access engines, emissions analysis instruments, and a numerical modeling facility. The lab allows experimental and numerical studies of internal flow and combustion and performance, emissions, and modeling of internal combustion engines and their accessories using latest technologies.

Combustion and Reactive Flow Laboratory. This teaching and research laboratory contains a holographic interferometer, a high-speed imaging system, a laser-induced fluorescence system, and a particle image velocimetry system. The laboratory supports research on topics such as microgravity combustion, reactive turbulent flows, propulsion, and internal combustion engine applications.

Integrated Manufacturing Laboratory. This laboratory is used to develop process modeling, simulation (FEM), and optimization for manufacturing. Mechanical behavior of materials is investigated. In addition, sensor-based intelligent monitoring and controlled systems as well as concurrent simulation-based design and manufacturing software are developed. The laboratory is equipped with several CNC machining centers, high performance computers, and related software packages. See for more information.

Alabama Institute for Manufacturing Excellence Laboratories. Faculty in mechanical engineering routinely utilize the advanced manufacturing facilities located in this new University interdisciplinary center.

Special Projects Laboratory. This laboratory has individual work spaces that provide electrical and computer facilities to support both research and instructional projects of limited duration.

Numerical Modeling Laboratory. This lab features high-performance workstations with expanded storage and various I/O devices for efficient modeling of fluids and transport phenomena.

HVAC Laboratory. This laboratory includes a variety of ground-source heat-pump systems. The lab also has ground heat exchanger and psychrometric testing areas, fan and pump/motor test stands, and a variety of alternative energy equipment.

Robotics and Automation Laboratory. This laboratory supports instrumentation and research in the areas of robotics, imaging systems, computer-mechanical interfacing, control systems, and computer-integrated manufacturing.

Biomechanics Laboratory. This laboratory contains work space for design and construction of a variety of devices. Computer facilities in the lab are equipped with software for both lumped-mass and finite element modeling of the human body.

Machining Research Laboratory. This laboratory contains basic machine tools such as milling machines, lathes, drill presses, and a 10-hp CNC turning center. The laboratory supports research on machining areas (e.g. machining of advanced materials for process development, modeling, and optimization). The laboratory also supports teaching of introduction to manufacturing processes.

Metrology Laboratory. This laboratory contains metrology instruments, including a Leitz measuring microscope, a Brown & Sharpe Coordinate Measuring Machine, and other gages. The laboratory supports research on metrology-related issues in manufacturing such as precision and surface finish. The laboratory also supports teaching needs on fundamental metrology in manufacturing.

Vibrations and Acoustics Laboratory. This teaching and research laboratory features an array of computational and state-of-the-art experimental capabilities for studying the dynamics, vibrations, acoustics, and sound quality characteristics of mechanical systems applied in a variety of automotive, aerospace, naval, and consumer product applications. Available instrumentation includes a portable measurement system, a reconfigurable multichannel measurement system, a rotational laser vibrometer, and a scanning laser vibrometer system.

Research. Department of Mechanical Engineering faculty members have research records in internal combustion engines, energy conversion and conservation, combustion, heat transfer, materials in design and failure analysis, compressible and incompressible fluid flow, dynamics, vibrations, acoustics, stress analysis, engineering design, computer utilization in engineering problem solving, heating, air-conditioning, ventilation, precision engineering, manufacturing, numerical modeling, and control applications.

Graduate programs. Programs are offered leading to the degrees of master of science in engineering, master of science in mechanical engineering, and doctor of philosophy. Please refer to the University of Alabama graduate catalog for details of these programs.


Interim term courses. Humanities and social science courses taken during the Interim term may be counted toward the requirements for a B.S. degree in mechanical engineering. However, Interim courses can be used to fulfill mechanical engineering or technical elective requirements only if the specific courses have been approved in advance of registration by the Department of Mechanical Engineering.

First SemesterHours
CH 101 General Chemistry I (N) 4
DR 100 Technical Sketching for Engineers1
EC 110 Principles of Microeconomics (SB) 3
EN 101 English Composition I (FC) 3
GES 131 Foundations of Engineering I2
MATH 125 Calculus I (MA) 4
Second Semester
DR 133 2D AutoCAD for Engineers2
EN 102 English Composition II (FC) 3
GES 132 Foundations of Engineering II2
MATH 126 Calculus II (MA) 4
PH 105 Physics with Calculus I (N) 4
First Semester
AEM 201 Statics 3
MATH 227 Calculus III (MA) 4
ME 215 Thermodynamics I3
PH 106 Physics with Calculus II (N) 4
Approved mathematics or science elective 3
Second Semester
AEM 250 Mechanics of Materials I3
AEM 251 Mechanics of Materials Laboratory1
AEM 264 Dynamics3
MATH 238 Applied Differential Equations I (MA) 3
ME 305 Thermodynamics I3
MTE 271 Engineering Materials: Structure and Properties3
First Semester
AEM 311 Fluid Mechanics3
ECE 320 Fundamentals of Electrical Engineering3
ME 283 Modern Manufacturing Laboratory1
ME 309 Heat Transfer3
ME 383 Modern Manufacturing Practices 2
ME 349 Engineering Analysis (C) 3
Second Semester
ME 350 Static Machine Components3
ME 360 Control and Instrumentation Components (W) 3
ME 372 Dynamic Systems (C) 3
Approved mechanical engineering elective1 3
Humanities (HU), literature (L), or fine arts (FA) elective or
    history (HI) and/or social and behavioral sciences (SB) elective2
First Semester
ME 415 Energy Systems Design2
    or ME 407 Heating, Ventilating, and Air Conditioning3
ME 450 Dynamic Machine Components3
ME 460 Thermal Systems Instrumentation (W)3
ME 489 Mechanical Engineering Design I3
Humanities (HU), literature (L), or fine arts (FA) elective and/or
    history (HI) or social and behavioral sciences (SB) elective2
17 or 18
Second Semester
ME 490 Mechanical Engineering Design II3
Approved mechanical engineering or technical elective3 3
Approved mechanical engineering elective1 3
Humanities (HU), literature (L), or fine arts (FA) elective and/or
    history (HI) or social and behavioral sciences (SB) elective2
Total: 127 or 128 hours

1Mechanical engineering electives are offered on a regular schedule, but not necessarily every year. The student may select any two mechanical engineering electives to complete the requirements for the B.S. degree.
2All engineering students are required to take 9 hours of humanities and 9 hours of social and behavioral sciences. At least 6 hours must be from a single program.
3The technical elective requirement may be fulfilled with a mechanical engineering elective course or 300- or 400-level engineering, math, or science course from the approved list or with advance petition to the mechanical engineering department.

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