PhD in Mechanical Engineering

PhD in Mechanical Engineering

The PhD program prepares students for basic and applied research in mechanical engineering or materials science & engineering. Research areas are multidisciplinary and reflect the interests of the mechanical engineering faculty. 

Students pursuing a PhD choose an area of focus based on their interest:

  • Design and Manufacturing - computer-aided design, optimal design, design with reliability, additive manufacturing, micro- and nano-fabrication
  • Dynamic Systems - multiphysics phenomena, microstructural vibrations, MEMS/NEMS, novel acoustic measurement techniques, noise control, microscale vibrations and acoustics, nonlinear dynamics, sensors and actuators, control systems, robotics
  • Materials - materials characterization, microstructure/property relationships, thin films, computational materials, interfacial phenomena, functional materials, materials processing
  • Solid Mechanics - mechanics of materials and structures, computational mechanics, biomechanics, waves and vibration, additive manufacturing
  • Transport Phenomena and Energy - heat and mass transfer in biological/environmental/industrial applications, microfluidics/nanofluidics, complex fluids, mechanobiology, interfacial phenomena/wetting, additive manufacturing, energy generation, energy storage, energy efficient space heating and cooling, smart electronics and data center cooling, small-scale power harvesting

Learning Contract

Every PhD student works with his/her advisor to develop a Learning Contract. The contract defines the knowledge and skills appropriate for the student's intended area of research and prepares students for the comprehensive examination. 

Course Requirements


Courses listed in their Learning Contracts in order to fulfill degree requirements.

Requirements for PhD Degree

  • Submission of Learning Contract;
  • Satisfaction of qualifying exam requirement;
  • Satisfaction of comprehensive exam requirement;
  • Submission of prospectus and presentation of proposed research in an open colloquium;
  • Acceptance of prospectus by the guidance committee;
  • Oral presentation and defense of dissertation.


Students pursuing a PhD in mechanical engineering must complete a research thesis.

The written thesis and an oral presentation defending the thesis must be approved by the student's research committee before he or she is eligible for the degree. Publication of the student's research in an archival journal is expected.

New Students

ME PhD Orientation Fall 2023

Engineering & Science Building Information 

Application Procedures for Teaching Assistant, Research Assistant, and Graduate Assistant Positions: All admitted and current students are automatically considered for funded positions. But please note that these positions are competitively assigned. PhD applicants should contact our faculty directly to see if they have RA/GA positions available.

Graduate Fact Sheet

Graduate Programs in ME 

Resources for Current Students

PhD - Important Program Details

Employers of our graduates include

  • Analog Devices
  • BAE Systems
  • Cisco
  • Corning Inc.
  • Dover Technologies
  • Ford Motor Co.
  • General Electric
  • IBM
  • Intel
  • Lockheed Martin
  • Motorola
  • Qualcomm
  • Welch Allyn
  • Academic institutions and national laboratories

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Related Degrees

Master’s Degree Program (4+1)

"Fast Track" BS-MBA

Related Links

The Coordinator of Graduate Programs

International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS)