If you want to design and build things, you should consider majoring in mechanical engineering. Mechanical engineering is, more than anything else, the engineering of systems. Systems are interactions of components, power and information. There are incredible mechanical engineering systems in aerospace and automotive hardware, power generation facilities, and manufacturing. Because systems bring together the engineering of mechanics and motion, thermodynamics and fluids, materials and structures and control, mechanical engineering is a broad discipline of design and analysis.
If you are a top performer in the Mechanical Engineering major, graduate school could be your first Air Force assignment, either by winning a prestigious national scholarship (Guggenheim, Hertz, Rhodes, etc.) or through direct departmental sponsorship. The Mechanical Engineering major gives you the flexibility to pursue either a more specialized degree in graduate school or to continue your broad-based study in engineering. Whether you ultimately choose aeronautical engineering, mechanical engineering, astronautical engineering, materials engineering or engineering mechanics, your decision will be an informed one. The Mechanical Engineering degree is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, www.abet.org.
With a degree in mechanical engineering you can get an Air Force assignment as an aeronautical engineer, civil engineer, astronautical engineer, mechanical engineer or project engineer. The mechanical engineering degree also satisfies the educational requirements for Air Force Test Pilot, Flight Test Navigator and Flight Test Engineer duties. Additional specialties are Scientific Analyst and Acquisition Project Officer.
The goal of the Department of Engineering Mechanics, which administers the Mechanical Engineering program, is to educate engineers for the military profession. To ensure the success of our graduates, we prepare them to attain program educational objectives two to five year after graduation. These are:
- Recognition as successful Air Force officers through demonstration of their ability to:
- Rapidly acquire required knowledge,
- Lead others effectively,
- Effectively apply ethical and moral standards,
- Improve unit performance by application of organizational skills,
- Make sound decisions based on critical thinking,
- Communicate effectively,
- Selection for career training on, or ahead of, schedule, and for a progression of assignments of increasing responsibility,
- A demonstrated ability to solve Air Force technical problems,
- Success in continuing education.
The Program Educational Objectives listed above describe what graduates are expected to attain within a few years of graduation. To support these goals, our program’s curriculum is designed such that, by graduation, our graduates possess certain qualities or outcomes.These student outcomes are:
- An ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science and engineering
- An ability to design and conduct experiments, as well as to analyze and interpret data
- An ability to design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs within realistic constraints such as economic, environmental, social, political, ethical, health and safety, manufacturability and sustainability
- An ability to lead and function on multidisciplinary teams
- An ability to identify, formulate and solve engineering problems
- An understanding of professional and ethical responsibility
- An ability to communicate effectively both written and orally
- The broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a military, global, economic, environmental and societal context
- A recognition of the need for, and an ability to engage in life-long learning
- A knowledge of contemporary issues
- An ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice
Incorporated within these outcomes, mechanical engineering majors must apply principles of engineering, basic science, and mathematics (including multivariate calculus and differential equations) to model, analyze, design, and realize physical systems, components or processes; and work professionally in both thermal and mechanical systems areas. In addition, graduates must demonstrate design competence that includes integration of mechanical engineering topics.
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