Among engineers, mechanical engineers are versatile because of their ability to design and build a wide array of commercial and industrial products and systems.
Careers in Mechanical Engineering
Mechanical engineering is the second most popular field of engineering after civil engineering. Mechanical engineering involves the analysis, design, manufacturing and maintenance of mechanical and thermal systems. Industries employing mechanical engineers include automotive, aircraft, heating and air conditioning, power generation, oil and gas exploration and production, manufacturing plants, medical device development and a growing amount of nanotechnology.
High School Preparation
Engineering education requires strong high school preparation. Pre-engineering students should take at least one semester in trigonometry and one year each in elementary algebra, intermediate and advanced algebra, plane geometry, chemistry and physics; this background makes it possible to move immediately into demanding college courses in calculus, calculus-based physics and chemistry for science majors. Students also should be able to read rapidly and with comprehension, and to write clearly and correctly.
Mechanical Engineering at UT Dallas
The mechanical engineering curriculum is expressly tailored to the needs of the modern mechanical engineer, and includes elective courses in topics such as wind energy, microelectromechanical systems and nanostructure materials.
Students must take 127 hours to graduate, including 42 hours from the University’s core curriculum and 79 hours in the major. All lower-division students concentrate on mathematics, science and introductory engineering courses, building competence in these cornerstone areas for future application in upper-division engineering courses. Coursework will cover all four fundamental areas of mechanical engineering: dynamic systems and controls, thermal fluid systems, manufacturing and design and mechanics and materials.
Internships and Fast Track
The Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science operates one of the largest internship and cooperative education programs of its kind, averaging more than 1,200 undergraduate and graduate student placements a year at Dallas-area high-tech companies, including Texas Instruments, Intel, Raytheon, Alcatel-Lucent and IBM.
The Fast-Track Program enables exceptionally gifted undergraduate students to include master’s level courses in their undergraduate degree plans. When Fast-Track students graduate with a bachelor’s degree, they are automatically admitted to graduate school at UT Dallas. The hours required to complete the master’s degree are reduced by the number of Fast-Track graduate hours completed by up to 15 hours. So a Fast-Track undergraduate who passed 12 hours of graduate coursework would have only 21 hours of graduate coursework left in order to complete a master’s degree.
Bachelor of Science: Biomedical engineering, computer engineering, computer science, data science*, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, software engineering
Master of Science: Biomedical engineering, computer engineering, computer science, electrical engineering, materials science and engineering, mechanical engineering, software engineering, systems engineering and management**, telecommunications engineering
Doctor of Philosophy: Biomedical engineering, computer engineering, computer science, electrical engineering, materials science and engineering, mechanical engineering, software engineering, telecommunications engineering
*Joint program between the School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics and Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science.
**Joint program between the Naveen Jindal School of Management and Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science.
Research efforts underway at the school involve such cutting-edge technology as:
- Medical imaging.
- Speech recognition.
- Materials characterization.
- Cochlear implant technology.
- Organic electronics.
- Physical, chemical and biosensors.
- Wireless networking.
- Carbon nanotubes.
- Micro-electromechanical systems.
- Semiconductor design.
The Jonsson School’s rapid growth has helped propel its undergraduate programs into U.S. News & World Report’s annual rankings of the nation’s top schools of engineering.
The school’s graduate programs have continued to rise through the national U.S. News rankings, now placing among the top 25 public university graduate programs and ranking third in Texas.
The Jonsson School has significantly increased the size of its faculty in recent years, hiring top recent graduates of Stanford University, Cornell University, Purdue University, Georgia Tech and UCLA, as well as seasoned professionals from Rutgers University, University of Southern California, University of California, Davis, Sandia National Laboratories, Freescale Semiconductor and Texas Instruments.
The Jonsson School features a variety of student organizations that are actively involved in both academic and social activities. Completely student-run, these include the Association for Computing Machinery, the Game Development Group, the National Society of Black Engineers, a chapter of the scientific research society Sigma Xi, the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers and the Society of Women Engineers.