About Us

MechSE at Illinois

The Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering offers top-ranked degree programs in engineering mechanics, mechanical engineering, and theoretical and applied mechanics. Our curricula offer students unparalleled strengths in key fundamental areas, such as fluid and solid mechanics, thermodynamics and heat transfer, dynamics and controls, biomechanical sciences, computational science, applied math, applied physics, and chemistry.

Engineering is evolving from an empirical discipline to one that uses first principles to understand physical phenomena spanning multiple length and time scales. MechSE integrates basic sciences and engineering to address the critical societal needs of today and to identify and respond to emerging needs and issues. Our faculty's research is impacting energy, the environment, health, manufacturing, security and defense, and transportation.

MechSE Mission

The mission of the Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering is to prepare our graduates:

  • To become science-based engineers and professionals, having a thorough knowledge of mathematics and physical science, a broad grasp of mechanical engineering principles and methods, and an ability to apply those fundamentals in practical situations with integrity;
  • To develop as persons and professionals, continually expanding their knowledge and abilities, communicating effectively with others, maintaining the highest ethical standards, exercising leadership, contributing as team members, and functioning capably within the global workforce; and
  • To sustain and advance human society by contributing to technological innovation, creating new knowledge and new engineering techniques, as well as through service to professional societies and community services.

MechSE Objectives

The educational objectives for the Engineering Mechanics and Mechanical Engineering program reflect the mission of the Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering and the importance placed on successful professional practice, the ability to pursue advanced degrees, the assumption of professional and societal leadership roles, and a commitment to life-long learning. University of Illinois Engineering Mechanics and Mechanical Engineering graduates will:

  • Objective 1: Successfully enter a profession that involves Engineering Mechanics or Mechanical Engineering skills or pursue graduate/professional education.
  • Objective 2: Advance in their chosen fields to technical leadership and/or management positions.
  • Objective 3: Engage in continued learning through professional development.
  • Objective 4: Participate in and contribute to professional societies and community services.

Degree Programs

The Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering offers baccalaureate degrees in engineering mechanics and mechanical engineering, and master's and doctoral degrees in mechanical engineering and theoretical and applied mechanics.

Engineering mechanics is the basis of most of the engineering disciplines, including aerospace engineering, civil engineering, materials science and engineering, and mechanical engineering. It focuses on the study of forces that act on bodies, and the resulting motion.

Mechanical engineering applies the principles of physics to the analysis, design, manufacturing, and maintenance of mechanical systems. It includes many areas of specialization, including bioengineering, energy systems and thermodynamics, and nano- and microelectromechanical systems (NEMS and MEMS).

Master's and doctoral students in theoretical and applied mechanics specialize in fluid mechanics, solid mechanics and materials, dynamics, applied mathematics, and computational science and engineering.

MechSE Administration and Offices

Anthony Jacobi
Department Head
Kritzer Distinguished Professor

Elizabeth Hsiao-Wecksler
Associate Head for Undergraduate Programs
Willett Faculty Scholar
Professor

Taher Saif
Associate Head for Graduate Programs
Edward William and Jane Marr Gutgsell Professor

To contact MechSE, please see our full list of offices.

Career Opportunities

Information about paid and unpaid positions within MechSE and elsewhere can be found by following the links below. Or see our Faculty Opportunities flier.

MechSE Store

Visit the MechSE Store to find great MechSE apparel and more!

More About MechSE

First referenced as Mechanical Science and Engineering in 1870, the department has long been a leader in research and education. After a few reorganizations through the decades, mechanical engineering combined with theoretical and applied mechanics in 2006 to create the current MechSE department. This combination of science and engineering provides a uniquely excellent education for the department’s students.

The MechSE Department offers top-ranked degree programs in engineering mechanics, mechanical engineering, and theoretical and applied mechanics. Our curricula offer students unparalleled strengths in key fundamental areas, such as fluid and solid mechanics, thermodynamics and heat transfer, dynamics and controls, biomechanical sciences, computational science, applied math, applied physics, and chemistry. MechSE integrates basic sciences and engineering to address the critical societal needs of today and to identify and respond to emerging needs and issues. MechSE faculty members are deeply involved in emerging and high-profile research areas such as energy, big data, digital manufacturing, and bioengineering. MechSE has a vibrant research-focused program, operating at about $35M/year.

The department has more than 14,000 living alumni, 60+ full-time tenured and tenure-track faculty members, and more than 40 staff. The degrees offered are BS, MS, and PhD in Mechanical Engineering (ME); BS in Engineering Mechanics (EM); MS and PhD in Theoretical & Applied Mechanics (TAM); and M.Eng. in Mechanical Engineering. The department has about 1,400 students (1,000+ undergraduates and 400+ graduate students).

Incoming MechSE freshmen boast a median ACT score of 32.6. MechSE undergrads begin the design-based education their first semester, take advantage of the interface between curricular and extra-curricular activities, and experience a strong laboratory component in their education. MechSE graduate students contribute an annual average of 200 refereed journal articles with their MechSE faculty advisors, and present even more papers at conferences around the world. One in four (25%) recent PhD graduates go on to Assistant Professor positions. Other graduates earn exciting opportunities in industry, at national labs, and as postdocs.

Within the Mechanical Engineering Building, Mechanical Engineering Laboratory, and Talbot Laboratory, the department contains a total of approximately 139,000 net assignable square feet. In addition, faculty members have offices and laboratories in Beckman, Coordinated Science Laboratory, and the Micro and Nano Technology Laboratory.

The MechSE Department is also home to several research center directors among its faculty.