Students interested in gaining experience on a project in the area of mechanical engineering, while collaborating with a faculty member and other graduate students, can register for ME 460 Engineering Project (six credits), which counts as the equivalent of two 400 level courses in satisfying the overall requirements for the MS degree.  While the MS Thesis is prepared in accord with College and University guidelines, and approved by the faculty advisor, then by the department chair, the engineering project culminates in a report or other document agreed upon by the faculty advisor in the student prior to start of the project.

The topic of the engineering project is typically integrated with other project and thesis work underway in the research group of the faculty advisor. If, however, the student has a particular theme in mind, it can be discussed with the faculty advisor to determine the degree of mutual interest. An engineering project may involve a design, an experiment, a computation, or a theoretical endeavor in any of the areas of mechanical engineering, including controls and dynamics, fluid mechanics, mathematical methods, mechanics of materials, and thermo-heat transfer.

Depending on the nature of the engineering project, it may be desirable to pursue publication of the results in a peer-reviewed journal, and present the findings at a national or international meeting, often accompanied by publication of a conference paper. As is the case for the MS thesis, a major goal of the experience of an engineering project is to provide the student with visibility and recognition beyond the University.

The MS degree with an engineering project can serve as an effective launch towards the PhD degree. At whatever point the student decides to pursue the PhD degree, it is recommended that the core courses taken for the MS degree be selected to work towards completion of the core course requirements for the PhD.

Representative Masters projects in recent years include the following:

Use of an array of multiple robots to solve a jigsaw puzzle  Evan Mehok (Adviser: Professor Motee)

Forces on two coaxial, counter-rotating rotors   Yuanyi Xie   (Adviser: Professor Moored)

Development of launch for unmanned air vehicle   Skye Basir   (Adviser: Professor Moored)

Momentum exchange device and associated Matlab code   Elana Abrams  (Adviser: Professor Dailey)

Design, manufacture and testing of a small engine dynamometer   Diyang Hao  (Adviser: Professor Grenestedt)

Energy harvesting using self-excited vibrations of a cylinder   Dylan McDoald (Adviser: Professor Banerjee)

Mechanical apparatus to create controllable traumatic brain injury in an in vivo model   Nathan DeRaymond  (Adviser: Professor Dailey)

Beam analysis for roller coaster systems   Joseph Ramondelli  (Adviser: Professor Nied)

Pump characteristics and system pressure drop   Colton Sterner   (Adviser: Professor Angstadt)

Development of programming and testing approaches for axial/torsional loading   Ryan Smale (Adviser: Professor Vermaak)

Design of algorithms for robots to detect and chase multiple evaders based on sensor measurements of signal emitted by evaders  Leiming Zhang  (Adviser: Professor Bhattacharya)

Design and development of a flexible driveshaft  Rishit Arora  (Adviser: Professor Krick)

Analysis of the stress differences between ergonomic designs and existing (standard) designs using finite element analysis  Deanna Kocher  (Adviser: Professor Webb)