Mechanical Engineering (Ph.D) Program Details

Degree Requirements

    ❱   Required coursework
    ❱   Qualifying or comprehensive examination
    ❱   Graduate School writing proficiency requirement
    ❱   Graduate School Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) requirement
    ❱   Dissertation  
    ❱   Final oral examination/Dissertation defense

Research Specializations 

  ❱  Dynamics and controls in aerospace engineering
  ❱  Fluids and thermal sciences
  ❱  Applied mechanics
  ❱  Design and manufacturing

Research Opportunities  

The Department of Mechanical Engineering houses research laboratories designed to support graduate research, including the Power Optimization for Electro-Thermal Systems Center, the Applied Fluid Dynamics Research Laboratory, the Applied Mechanics and Materials Research Laboratory, the Digital Manufacturing Laboratory, and the Surface Engineering and Nanofluids Laboratory. Graduate research is supported by grant funding from agencies such as the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Defense, and the U.S. Department of Energy. 

Research Areas & Interests

Faculty Research Interests

A sampling of research interests

  • Structural/control optimization of large space structures
  • Numerical methods for computational fluid dynamics
  • Thermal state of charge in solar heat receivers
  • Fiber optic sensors for multi-parameter sensing
  • Optical sensors for biomedical applications
  • Fatigue and fracture mechanics
  • Multi-scale modeling and simulations
  • Non-destructive techniques and structural integrity
  • Impact dynamics and penetration mechanics
  • Micro-mechanical modeling of the constitutive behavior of materials
  • Analytical and experimental characterization of the fatigue damage development in fiber reinforced composites
  • Stress and strength analysis and failure modes of composite joints
  • Engineering design optimization
  • Fiber optic sensors for chemical detection/biological sensing
  • Developing novel simulation-based strategies for predicting the formation and growth of small cracks in advanced materials and structures

Faculty Research Areas

Lewis Thigpen, Ph.D., PE
Professor Emeritus
Research Topics:
Impact dynamics and penetration mechanics, micro-mechanical modeling of the constitutive behavior of materials.

Emmanuel K. Glakpe, Ph.D., PE
Graduate Professor
Research Topics:
Convective (Free, Forced and Mixed) Heat Transfer, Numerical Methods for Computational Fluid Dynamics, Renewable & Non-Renewable Energy Applications, Efficient Energy Utilization, Thermal State of Charge in Solar Heat Receivers.

Hyung D. Bae, Jr, Ph.D.
Graduate Assistant Professor
Research Topics:
Fiber Optic Sensors for Multi-Parameter Sensing, Optical Sensors for Biomedical Applications, MEMS, Polymer based Nano/Micro Fabrication.

Mohsen Mosleh, Ph.D.
Graduate Professor
Research Topics:
Surface Engineering and Tribiology, Engineering Materials, Design Methodology, Manufacturing Processes.

Gbadebo M. Owolabi Ph.D., P.Eng.
Graduate Professor
Research Topics:
Fatigue and Fracture Mechanics, Constitutive Modeling, Multi-scale Modeling and Simulations, Non-destructive Techniques and Structural Integrity.

Sonya Smith, Ph.D.
Graduate Professor
Research Topics:
Aerodynamics, Acoustics, Computational Fluid Dynamics, Turbulence.

Naren Vira, Ph.D.
Graduate Professor
Research Topics:
Robotics, CAD/CAM, manufacturing engineering, symbolic computation, optimal design.

Grant M. Warner, Ph.D.
Graduate Professor
Research Topics:
Energy Harvesting, Biomechanics, Structural Optimization, Solid Mechanics.

Horace A. Whitworth, D. Sc.
Graduate Professor
Research Topics:
Analytical and experimental characterization of the fatigue damage development in fiber reinforced composites; stress and strength analysis and failure modes of composite joints.

Nadir Yilmaz, Ph.D. PE.
Graduate Professor & Chair of Department
Research Topics:
Combustion, CFD, Rocket Propulsion, Aluminum Behavior at High Temperature, Automotive

Achille Messac, Ph.D.
Graduate Professor
Research Topics:
Multidisciplinary Design Optimization, Engineering Design Optimization, Structures, Dynamics, Physical Programmin

Program of Study*


MEEG 503  Advanced Thermodynamics I

MEEG 505  Advanced Dynamics

MEEG 507  Advanced Fluid Mechanics

MEEG 512  Applications of Continuum Mechanics

MEEG 519  Graduate Seminar

PHYS 216   Mathematical Methods in Physics I

PHYS 217   Mathematical Methods in Physics II


A sampling of elective courses**

**Elective course selections will depend on the field of research specialization chosen)

Specialization in dynamics and controls of aerospace systems, elective options:

Mechanical Engineering (MEEG) 501, 505, 506, 610, 612, , 503, 507, 509, 512, 515, 521, 613 and 615; Civil Engineering (CIEG) 536 and 513; Electrical Engineering (ELEG) 502/503; Computer Science ( CSCI) 551; and Mathematics (MATH) 234, 245, 246, 235, and 236.

Specialization in fluid and thermal sciences, elective options:

Mechanical Engineering (MEEG) 503, 504, 505, 507, 509, 510, 511, 512, 519, 611, 514, 521, 612, and 614.; Physics (PHYS) 204, 205, 222, 223, 216; Electrical Engineering (ELEG) 502/503; Mathematics (MATH) 234, 236, 245, 246, and 237.

Specialization in applied mechanics, elective options:

Mechanical Engineering (MEEG)505, 507, 508, 512, 521, and 612; Civil Engineering (CIEG) 524, 535, 536, 513, 514, and 520; Mathematics (MATH) 229, 245, 246, 230, 231, 232, 234, 236, 239, 247, and 248.

Specialization in manufacturing, elective options:

Mechanical Engineering (MEEG) 505, 532, 535, 606, 533, 534, 612, 616, 501, 503, 507, 508, 511, 512, 521, and 609; Electrical Engineering (ELEG) 502, 503; Electrical and Computer Engineering (EECE) 509, 510, 561, 604; Computer Science (CSCI) 548, 552, 632; Physics (PHYS) 219; Mathematics (MATH) 245, 246, 234, 235, 236, 240, 247, and 248. EECE 613: Information and Coding Theory, EECE 629: Numerical Techniques for Electromagnetic, and EECE 611: Detection Theory


*Courses included in the sample program of study are subject to change. Students should consult with their programs regarding their required program of study. 

Admission to Candidacy 

Students are admitted to formal candidacy by the Graduate School when they have completed the required coursework, passed the qualifying or comprehensive examination, submitted an approved topic for research, and been recommended by the Department. Candidates must also have satisfied the Graduate School writing proficiency requirement and Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) requirement.

Graduate Funding 

Admitted students may be eligible to compete for Graduate School competitive awards, which provide tuition remission and a stipend during the academic year. Additionally, graduate research or teaching assistantships may be available at the department level. Research assistants and teaching assistants work no more than 20 hours a week under the program's direction, usually in support of faculty research (research assistants) or in support of assigned courses (teaching assistants). Please see the Funding website for more detailed information.