Undergraduate Program

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Excellence in the classroom has been a longstanding tradition at Iowa State, and the undergraduate degree program in mechanical engineering is among the best in the country.

Classes are held to a reasonable size to allow for ample student/faculty interaction. Courses are kept relevant through a review and revision system.

The undergraduate mechanical engineering program at Iowa State University is made up of over 1000 students; 10.5% of whom are women, 6.7% of whom are minority students, and 34.4% of our students are from places other than Iowa.

The department currently has approximately 40 faculty involved in teaching, research, and outreach, many of whom are acknowledged as national and international experts in their fields.

These faculty have as their primary goal the mentoring of engineering students. Their productivity is measured in terms of how much they accomplish with their students. When students succeed, the faculty do too.

After you have satisfactorily completed courses in the basic sciences, mathematics, mechanics, and engineering fundamentals, you are eligible for admission to the professional program. Here you can elect, from several options, a specific path leading to a capstone or terminal design course.

Students are encouraged to use their technical and design electives to develop a deeper understanding in one of the three areas of the ME field. Sixteen credits in the humanities and social sciences provide mechanical engineering students a complete undergraduate education.

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After completion of the basic program, the mechanical engineering core curriculum is designed to provide undergraduate students exposure to each of the three major areas in the field:

Energy cultivation. This area deals with the generation, distribution, and use of energy. M.E.s involved in this area are constantly challenged to find more productive and less expensive methods of energy conversion, distribution, and use.

Manufacturing. M.E.s in this area deal with the processing of raw materials into finished products. Manufacturing systems are implemented by directing the control and automation of the manufacturing process. M.E.s in manufacturing are faced with the challenge of developing products that are safe to use and manufacture.

Engineering-design and analysis. This area challenges the M.E. to continually analyze and model complex physical systems according to known mathematical models. Scaled models are commonly used to study such things as the stresses imposed on an airfoil by wind resistance.

Computer simulations of naturally occurring phenomenon are common (modeling weather patterns, for example, is useful in the study of wind turbines). In fact, the digital computer is an essential tool of the mechanical engineer working in design and analysis.