Students interested in pursuing research in an area of mechanical engineering, including controls and dynamics, fluid mechanics, mathematical methods, mechanics of materials, and thermo-heat transfer, collaborate with a faculty member(s) and a research team of fellow graduate students to advance our knowledge base, which can eventually lead to new and improved applications. The master’s thesis may be supervised by a single faculty member or, in the cases of interdisciplinary research, by two or more faculty. Representative, recent titles of Master of Science theses are:

Ivie, Benjamin, "Design of a Controllable Weather Balloon to fly on Mars" (2017)

Li, Chao, "Manufacturing and Preliminary Testing of a Subscale Suspension Boat " (2017)

Sedaille, Michael, "In-Situ Measurement of Contact Area and Deformation of Soft Materials: Probing Adhesion Hysteresis" (2017)

Han, Tianjun, "Simulation and Optimal Integration of a Heat Recovery Steam Generator with Solar Thermal Energy" (2018)

Lawrence, Angela, "Effects of Free-steam Turbulance on Tidal Turbulance on Tidal Turbine Blad Performance and Wake" (2018)

Tian, Bo, "Shape Control of A Spatial Cable" (2018)

Cochran-Carney, Jackson, "Free Swimming Bio-Inspired Hydrofoils in Unsteady Ground Effect" (2018)

Davis, Christian, "Biomechanical Stability of Intraarticular Fractures of the Distal Femur Fixed by Intramedullary Nailing" (2018)

The emphasis of a Lehigh MS with thesis is not only to reveal new understanding and insight into an area of research, but also to develop the student’s ability to present the results of thesis research at national and international conferences. A further goal is to enhance the visibility of the student through publication of research results in leading journals. Both conference presentations and journal publications enable the student to develop national and international networks. 

The Lehigh MS with thesis is a popular track for those students who plan to continue at Lehigh for the PhD degree. In nearly all cases, the research topic of the MS thesis is the same as the PhD dissertation, thereby providing the opportunity to gain depth in a given area of research and enhance the PhD dissertation. When selecting the core courses for the MS degree with a thesis, it is recommended that the student keep in mind the core course requirements for the PhD degree, in order to optimize selection of courses at the MS level.

Funding for the thesis research is through research grants and contracts secured by the faculty advisor, who typically has research support from one or more of a range of federal agencies and industrial concerns, including, for example, National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, Department of Energy, Office of Naval Research, Advanced Research Projects Agency, Intel, Army Research Office, Air Force Office of Scientific Research, and others.

Completion of the thesis leads to a written document that is approved by the thesis advisor, then reviewed and approved by the Department Chairperson.

The MS thesis (6 credits) in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Mechanics counts as the equivalent of two 400-level MEM graduate courses in satisfying the requirements for the Master’s degree. The remaining eight courses required for the Master’s degree include 3 credits for required core course in engineering mathematics, 6 credits of required two core courses in mechanical engineering, 9 credits for three other MEM courses at the 300 and 400 level (only one course at the 300 level) and 6 credits for free electives approved by the Graduate Program Coordinator or student's advisor.