Welcome to the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Utah! With 41 regular faculty, 6 full time teaching faculty, 4 research faculty, and 20 staff members, the department is committed to educating tomorrow’s engineering leaders and producing leading edge research. The Department has experienced significant growth over the last decade – we are now educating over 1,000 undergraduate students and 245 (110 MS, 135 PhD) graduate students annually.

The mission of the undergraduate program is to provide a world-class education that instills the professional, technical, critical-thinking, and communication skills necessary for students and faculty to make impactful contributions to society. Our undergraduate program contains several unique features. The curriculum emphasizes hands-on experiences, such as team-based projects, in all four years. Laboratories accompany many classes. All students are able and encouraged to participate in world-class research. Our students are quickly hired into a wide variety of industries, even as student interns before graduation.

A unique freshman/sophomore curriculum includes three semester-length team projects and integrated labs. The third-year sequence of system dynamics and control followed by mechatronics integrates mechanics, electronics, and programming into robotic systems. The mechatronics course emphasizes hands-on learning through laboratory experiments and project exercises culminating with an exciting robotics competition. The fourth-year capstone design courses allow students to apply their knowledge to real world projects that result in useful hardware to solve topical problems.

The graduate program has an extensive course list that complements the research mission. Since 2006, approximately 30 new courses have been added to the graduate curriculum in areas of growing demand such as composite materials, sustainability, experimental methods, wearable robotics, and micro/nanoscale systems. Both Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees are offered.

Our faculty members conduct a wide variety of innovative research. Thematic areas of research excellence include: robotics, aerospace, biomechanics, sustainability, environmental fluid dynamics, computational mechanics, composite materials, micro/nanoscale heat transfer, ergonomics and safety, microfluidic systems, manufacturing, and systems engineering. These research activities complement our educational mission, address the ever- changing needs of industry and society, and contribute to the economic and social development of Utah and the nation.

The Department expanded into the newly renovated Rio Tinto Kennecott Mechanical Engineering Building and Jacobson Tower during the summer of 2022. This 100,000 ft2 building includes faculty and staff offices, robotics and teaching labs, a 47-seat computer lab, a 187-seat lecture hall, conference rooms, meeting areas, a student advising center, a tutoring center, student group meeting rooms, and a café. The building is designed to encourage informal student-faculty interactions through its many gathering spaces.

I hope you find the Department’s web site informative. Whether you are a prospective student or parent, an alumna, prospective employer, or just an interested individual, I encourage you to visit the campus, meet our dedicated students, faculty, and staff, and tour our state-of-the art labs. We wish to share with you our exciting and dynamic program. Please feel free to contact us regarding questions you may have related to our degree programs, curriculum, or research.

Dr. Bruce K. Gale, Ph.D.
Chair and Merit Medical Systems Inc. Enowed Engineering Professor
Department of Mechanical Engineering