Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (MAE)

[ graduate program | courses | faculty ]

STUDENT AFFAIRS:
Warren College
180 Engineering Building II
http://maeweb.ucsd.edu

All courses, faculty listings, and curricular and degree requirements described herein are subject to change or deletion without notice.

Department Focus

Our instructional and research programs advance scientific knowledge and create technological innovations to solve outstanding problems in their disciplines. The cutting-edge research encompasses a variety of areas that include solid mechanics; materials; fluid mechanics and heat transfer; dynamics, systems, and controls; energy including combustion and renewables; and plasmas. The faculty collaborate across areas and often with faculty in other engineering departments, the School of Medicine, and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. 

All MAE programs of study have strong components in laboratory experimentation, numerical computation, and engineering design. Design is covered throughout the curricula by open-ended homework problems, by laboratory and computer courses that include student-initiated projects, and finally by senior design project courses that involve teams of students working to solve engineering design problems brought in from industry.

The Undergraduate Program

Degree and Program Options

The Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (MAE) offers traditional, accredited engineering programs leading to a BS degree in mechanical engineering and a BS degree in aerospace engineering. MAE also offers a traditional nonaccredited engineering program leading to a BS degree in environmental engineering. The BS programs require a minimum of 180 units.

All MAE programs of study have strong components in laboratory experimentation, numerical computation, and engineering design. Design is emphasized throughout the curricula by open-ended homework problems, by laboratory and computer courses that include student-initiated projects, and by senior design project courses that often involve teams of students working to solve engineering design problems brought in from industry. The MAE programs are designed to prepare students receiving bachelor’s degrees for professional careers or for graduate education in their area of specialization. In addition, the programs can also be taken by students who intend to use their undergraduate engineering education as preparation for postgraduate professional training in nontechnical fields such as business administration, law, or medicine.

Mechanical engineering is a traditional four-year curriculum in mechanics, vibrations, thermodynamics, fluid flow, heat transfer, materials, control theory, and mechanical design. Graduates find employment in the mechanical and aerospace industries as well as electro-mechanical or biomedical industries. Mechanical engineers are involved in material processing, manufacturing, assembling, and maintenance of lifeline facilities such as power plants.

Mechanical design includes conceptual design, drafting with 3-D CAD programs, stress, dynamics, heat transfer or fluid dynamics analyses, and the optimization of the total system for superior performance and customer satisfaction. In manufacturing, the objective is to enhance efficiency and economy by utilizing numerical control (NC) of machine tools, mechatronics, micromachining, and rapid prototyping. Currently, engineers have available computers, process models, and sensors to improve the quality and productivity of the manufacturing lines. In preparation for this modern era, the mechanical engineering curriculum emphasizes CAD courses, computer courses, laboratory courses, and design courses in addition to providing a strong background in basic science.

Students have the option to earn a degree in mechanical engineering or to select one of five specializations within the discipline. Students are limited to one specialization.

The BS degree in mechanical engineering is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, http://www.abet.org.

The program’s educational objectives are the following:

Graduates from the ME program are expected to have the following:

  1. An ability to identify, formulate, and solve complex engineering problems by applying principles of engineering, science, and mathematics.
  2. An ability to apply engineering design to produce solutions that meet specified needs with consideration of public health, safety, and welfare, as well as global, cultural, social, environmental, and economic factors.
  3. An ability to communicate effectively with a range of audiences.
  4. An ability to recognize ethical and professional responsibilities in engineering situations and make informed judgments, which must consider the impact of engineering solutions in global, economic, environmental, and societal contexts.
  5. An ability to function effectively on a team whose members together provide leadership, create a collaborative and inclusive environment, establish goals, plan tasks, and meet objectives.
  6. An ability to develop and conduct appropriate experimentation, analyze and interpret data, and use engineering judgment to draw conclusions.
  7. An ability to acquire and apply new knowledge as needed, using appropriate learning strategies.
  8. An ability to work professionally in mechanical systems areas.
  9. An ability to work professionally in thermal systems areas.
  10. An ability to apply principles of engineering, basic science, and mathematics (including multivariate calculus and differential equations).
  11. An ability to model, analyze, design, and realize physical systems, components or processes.

Aerospace engineering is a four-year curriculum that prepares students for a career in the aeronautical and astronautical industries, related technology industries, or for graduate school.

The curriculum was developed to emphasize engineering fundamentals, aerospace topics, and the integration of these fundamentals and topics into the design of an aerospace system. Courses in engineering fundamentals include materials, solid and fluid mechanics, thermodynamics, computer modeling, computer-aided-design, numerical analysis, and controls. Courses covering the aerospace engineering topics include aerodynamics, aerospace structures, flight mechanics, dynamics and control of aerospace vehicles, and propulsion. Students complete the program by taking a two-quarter capstone design course that integrates all of their aerospace education into the design, development, and testing of an aeronautical or astronautical vehicle or component. Throughout the program, students take laboratory courses that expose them to modern testing techniques and enhance their understanding of complex engineering topics. The program’s main objectives are to provide students with a strong foundation in engineering fundamentals; in-depth knowledge of key topics in aerospace engineering including aerodynamics, propulsion, flight mechanics, orbital mechanics, aerospace structures and materials, and design and control of aerospace systems; and an awareness of the value of lifelong learning.

The BS degree in aerospace engineering is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, http://www.abet.org.

The program’s educational objectives are the following:

Graduates from the AE program are expected to have the following:

  1. An ability to identify, formulate, and solve complex engineering problems by applying principles of engineering, science, and mathematics.
  2. An ability to apply engineering design to produce solutions that meet specified needs with consideration of public health, safety, and welfare, as well as global, cultural, social, environmental, and economic factors.
  3. An ability to communicate effectively with a range of audiences.
  4. An ability to recognize ethical and professional responsibilities in engineering situations and make informed judgments, which must consider the impact of engineering solutions in global, economic, environmental, and societal contexts.
  5. An ability to function effectively on a team whose members together provide leadership, create a collaborative and inclusive environment, establish goals, plan tasks, and meet objectives.
  6. An ability to develop and conduct appropriate experimentation, analyze and interpret data, and use engineering judgment to draw conclusions.
  7. An ability to acquire and apply new knowledge as needed, using appropriate learning strategies.
  8. Knowledge of aerodynamics, aerospace materials, structures, propulsion, flight mechanics, and stability and control.
  9. Knowledge of attitude determination and control, space structures, orbital mechanics, and rocket propulsion.
  10. An ability to integrate knowledge of the fundamental topics in the design of aerospace systems.

Environmental engineering is a four-year curriculum with fundamental engineering courses in mechanics, thermodynamics, physics, chemistry, and mathematics. In the third and fourth year, an environmental engineering sequence is offered, as well as further specialization in fluid mechanics, and a wide choice of technical electives, both from within MAE and other departments. The environmental engineering major focuses on conveying an understanding and awareness of the fundamental processes associated with human industrial activity that have environmental implications, and on equipping the next generation of engineers with the tools to develop technologies that enable sustainable economic growth.

Other Undergraduate Programs of Study in MAE

The engineering mechanics minor involves successful completion of seven MAE courses, including at least five upper-division courses open to students who meet the course prerequisites. Our courses provide a good introduction to engineering analysis and would be useful to nonengineering majors desiring a background that could be used in professional communication with engineers. For students who are interested in taking the fundamentals in engineering (FE) exam to become an Engineer-in-Training (EIT) in mechanical engineering, the following courses are recommended: MAE 101A-B-C, MAE 11, MAE 20, MAE 108, MAE 30A-B, MAE 170, MAE 131A, MAE 150.

Double Majors and Minors

It is the policy of the UC San Diego Academic Senate not to approve double majors and minors within engineering departments.

Program Accreditation

The BS degree program in aerospace engineering is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, http://www.abet.org.

The BS degree program in mechanical engineering is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, http://www.abet.org.

Major Requirements

Specific course requirements for each major program are outlined in tables in this section of the catalog. In addition to the required technical courses specifically indicated, a suggested scheduling of humanities and social science courses (HSS) are distributed in the curricula for students to use to meet college general-education requirements. To graduate, students must maintain an overall GPA of at least 2.0. Deviations from these programs of study must be approved by the Undergraduate Affairs Committee prior to taking alternative courses. In addition, technical elective (TE) course selections must have departmental approval prior to taking the courses. In the aerospace engineering BS degree program and the mechanical engineering BS degree program, TE courses are restricted to meet accreditation standards. Courses such as MAE 197 and 198 are not allowed as a technical elective in meeting the upper-division major requirements. MAE 199 may be used as a technical elective only under restrictive conditions. Policy regarding these conditions may be obtained from the department’s Student Affairs Office.

Students with different academic preparation may vary the scheduling of lower-division courses such as math, physics and chemistry, but should consult the department. Deviations in scheduling MAE upper-division courses are discouraged. Most lower-division courses are offered more than once each year to permit students some flexibility in their program scheduling. However, many MAE upper-division courses are taught only once per year, and courses are scheduled to be consistent with the curricula as shown in the tables. When possible, MAE does offer large enrollment courses more than once each year. A tentative schedule of course offerings is available from the department each spring for the following academic year.

General-Education/College Requirements

For graduation each student must satisfy general-education course requirements determined by the student’s college as well as the major requirements determined by the department. The six colleges at UC San Diego require widely different general-education courses, and the number of such courses differs from one college to another. Each student should choose his or her college carefully, considering the special nature of the college and the breadth of general education.

Each MAE program allows for humanities and social science (HSS) courses so that students can fulfill their college requirements. In the aerospace engineering BS degree program and the mechanical engineering BS degree program, students must develop a program that includes a total of at least twenty-four units in the arts, humanities, and social sciences, not including subjects such as accounting, industrial management, finance, or personnel administration. It should be noted, however, that some colleges require more than the twelve HSS courses indicated in the curriculum tables. Accordingly, students in these colleges could take longer to graduate than the indicated four-year schedule. Students must consult with their college to determine which HSS courses to take.

Professional Licensing

All students are encouraged to take the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) examination as the first step in becoming licensed as a professional engineer (PE). Students graduating from an accredited program can take the PE examination after FE certification and two years of work experience; students graduating from a nonaccredited program can take the PE examination after FE certification and four years of work experience.

For further information please contact your local Board of Registration for Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors.

Mechanical Engineering

The mechanical engineering program has a traditional four-year curriculum involving mechanics, vibrations, thermodynamics, fluid flow, heat transfer, materials, control theory, and mechanical design.

Recommended Course Sequence—Mechanical Engineering

FALL

WINTER

SPRING

Freshman Year

   

MATH 20A

MATH 20B

MATH 20C

CHEM 6A

PHYS 2A

PHYS 2B

HSS

HSS

MAE 3 

HSS

HSS

HSS

Sophomore Year

 

MATH 20D

MATH 18

MATH 20E

PHYS 2C

MAE 8

HSS

MAE 20

MAE 30A

MAE 30B

HSS 

HSS

MAE 131A

Junior Year

   

MAE 11

MAE 101A

MAE 101B

MAE 105

MAE 143A

MAE 143B

MAE 40

HSS

MAE 170

MAE 107

MAE 160 or MAE 131B

HSS

Senior Year

   

MAE 101C 

MAE 171A 

MAE 156B

MAE 150

MAE 156A

TE

TE

TE

TE

HSS

HSS

TE

Mechanical Engineering with a Specialization in Controls and Robotics

The specialization in controls and robotics is designed for students who want to understand the fundamentals of controls and optimization and their applications in robotics such as autonomous vehicles, biomedical technologies, and swarms of drones.

Students must complete all of the mechanical engineering requirements described above, and four of the five technical electives must be selected from the list below including at least two of the courses marked with an asterisk (*):

Mechanical Engineering with a Specialization in Fluid Mechanics and Thermal Systems

The specialization in fluid mechanics and thermal systems is designed for students who are interested in the fundamentals of thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, heat transfer, and engineering applications.

Students must complete all of the mechanical engineering requirements described above and four of the five technical electives must be selected from the list below:

Mechanical Engineering with a Specialization in Materials Science and Engineering

The specialization in materials science and engineering is designed for students who are interested in materials fundamentals and applications in engineering such as criteria for materials selection, fabrication and failure analysis of engineering components, nanomaterials and materials for biomedical, energy, and electrical/magnetic/optical applications.

Students must complete all of the mechanical engineering requirements described above and four of the five technical electives must be selected from the list below. Only one of the courses marked with an asterisk (*) will be accepted for the specialization, not both:

Mechanical Engineering with a Specialization in Mechanics of Materials

The specialization in mechanics of materials is designed for students who are interested in gaining expertise in the areas of mechanics of solid and soft materials, and the dynamics of material systems (e.g., bioinspired systems and metamaterials), including applications to engineering structures and devices, manufacturing, energy, and biomedical engineering. Students can choose from a diverse set of courses in mechanics, numerical modeling, and material science.

Students must complete all of the mechanical engineering requirements described above and four of the five technical electives must be selected from the list below including both of the courses marked with an asterisk (*):

Mechanical Engineering with a Specialization in Renewable Energy and Environmental Flows

The specialization in renewable energy and environmental flows is designed for students who are interested in technologies that enable sustainable growth, in flow and transport in atmosphere, ocean, and groundwater, and renewable energy solutions for the electric power system. Students can choose from a diverse set of courses in oceanography, chemistry, and various engineering disciplines.

Students must complete all of the mechanical engineering requirements described above and four of the five technical electives must be selected from the list below including both courses marked with an asterisk (*):

Aerospace Engineering

The aerospace engineering program is a four-year curriculum that begins with fundamental engineering courses in mechanics, thermodynamics, materials, solid mechanics, fluid mechanics, and heat transfer. Additional courses are required in aerospace structures, aerodynamics, flight mechanics, propulsion, controls, and aerospace design. Graduates of this program enter graduate school or enter the aerospace industry to develop aircraft and spacecraft, but they also find employment in other areas that use similar technologies, such as mechanical and energy-related fields. Examples include automobile, naval, and sporting equipment manufacturing.

Recommended Course Sequence—Aerospace Engineering

FALL

WINTER

SPRING

Freshman Year

   

MATH 20A

MATH 20B

MATH 20C

MAE 2

PHYS 2A

PHYS 2B

CHEM 6A

HSS

HSS

HSS

HSS

HSS

Sophomore Year

 

MATH 20D

MATH 18

MATH 20E

PHYS 2C and 2CL

MAE 8

MAE 131A

MAE 21

MAE 30A

MAE 30B

HSS

HSS

HSS

Junior Year

   

MAE 105

MAE 101A

MAE 101B

MAE 11

MAE 143A

MAE 143B

MAE 180A

SE 160A

MAE 170

MAE 107

HSS

SE 160B

Senior Year

   

MAE 101C

MAE 155A

MAE 155B

MAE 104

MAE 142

HSS

HSS

MAE 175A

HSS

HSS

MAE 113

TE

Environmental Engineering

The environmental engineering BS degree program is a four-year curriculum with fundamental engineering courses in mechanics, thermodynamics, physics, chemistry, and math. In the third and fourth year, an environmental engineering sequence is offered, as well as further specialization in fluid mechanics, and a wide choice of technical elective (TE) courses, both from within MAE and in other departments.

The following courses are required for the environmental engineering major:

Lower-Division

  1. MAE 3, 8, 11, 30A-B
  2. CHEM 6A-B-C
  3. MATH 20A-E and MATH 18 (formerly 20F)
  4. PHYS 2A-B-C

Upper-Division

  1. MAE 101A-C, 105, 107, 108, 119, 122, 123, 126A-B, 170
  2. Restricted Electives: four upper-division courses to be chosen from a preapproved list or can be petitioned through the department. One MUST be an SIO course.
  3. CHEM 171
  4. ESYS 101
  5. CENG 100

Recommended Schedule

FALL

WINTER

SPRING

Freshman Year

   

MATH 20A

MATH 20B

MATH 20C

CHEM 6A

PHYS 2A

PHYS 2B

HSS

CHEM 6B

CHEM 6C

HSS

HSS

HSS

Sophomore Year

 

MATH 20D

MATH 18

MATH 20E

PHYS 2C

MAE 30A

MAE 108

ESYS 101

MAE 8

MAE 30B

MAE 3

HSS

HSS

Junior Year

   

CENG 100

MAE 101A

MAE 101B

MAE 105

MAE 119

MAE 170

MAE 107

MAE 11

TE

CHEM 171

HSS

HSS

Senior Year

   

MAE 101C

MAE 126A

MAE 126B

MAE 122

MAE 123

TE

TE

TE

HSS

HSS

HSS

HSS

Policies and Procedures for MAE Undergraduate Students

Admission to the Major

The degrees in mechanical, aerospace, and environmental engineering are capped. Because of heavy student interest in these majors, and the limited resources available to accommodate this demand, maintenance of a high-quality program makes it necessary to limit enrollments.

Freshman Students

Freshman students who have excelled in high school and have declared mechanical, aerospace, or environmental engineering on their UC San Diego application are eligible for direct admission into those majors. Enrollment is limited in the mechanical, aerospace, and environmental engineering majors due to heavy demand and limited resources. Students will be notified by the UC San Diego Office of Admissions whether or not they have been admitted into their chosen major based on admissions criteria and their ranking in the applicant pool.

Transfer Students

Applicants seeking admission as transfer students will be considered for admission into the mechanical, aerospace, and environmental engineering majors. Enrollment is limited in the mechanical, aerospace, and environmental engineering majors due to heavy demand and limited resources. Transfer students who have excelled in their community college courses, especially courses in math, physics, and chemistry, will have the strongest advantage.

Students who have taken equivalent courses elsewhere may request to have transfer credit apply toward the department’s major requirements. To receive transfer credit for MAE courses, submit a petition through MAE’s online petition portal available at http://maeweb.ucsd.edu/undergrad/petitions. For mathematics, chemistry, and physics, transfer equivalencies are determined by the respective departments. An Undergraduate Student Petition must be submitted to each department from which you are requesting transfer credit.

To be eligible to transfer to the mechanical, aerospace, or environmental engineering major, you must complete the following screening courses:

Continuing Students Changing Majors

Continuing students who wish to change into a capped major (mechanical, aerospace, and environmental engineering) must submit an application to the department on or before the deadline. Applications will be accepted once per year. Please see the department website at http://maeweb.ucsd.edu for details.

Continuing students who wish to be considered must meet the following minimum requirements:

  1. completed at least one year/three quarters in residence at UC San Diego
  2. completed all screening courses for the requested major

Applications will be ranked by the student’s grades on the date of the application. Students will be allowed into the major based on a ranking system, up to a maximum number.

Students who apply later than their sixth academic quarter at UC San Diego will not be considered.

Academic Advising

Upon admission to the major, students should consult the catalog or MAE website (http://maeweb.ucsd.edu) for their program of study and contact the undergraduate advisers if they have questions. The program plan may be revised in subsequent years, but curriculum revisions require approval by the undergraduate adviser or the Undergraduate Affairs Committee. Because some course and/or curricular changes may be made every year, it is imperative that students check their UC San Diego email for notifications and consult with the department’s undergraduate advisers regularly.

Some MAE courses are offered only once a year and therefore should be taken in the recommended sequence. If courses are taken out of sequence, it may not always be possible to enroll in courses as desired or needed. If this occurs, students should seek immediate departmental advice. When a student deviates from the sequence of courses specified for each curriculum in this catalog, it may be impossible to complete an MAE major within the normal four-year period.

It is recommended that MAE students meet with their department adviser at least once a quarter. In addition to the advising available through the Student Affairs Office, programmatic or technical advice may be obtained from MAE faculty members.

Program Alterations/Exceptions to Requirements

Variations from, or exceptions to, any program or course requirements are possible only if a petition is approved by the MAE Undergraduate Affairs Committee before the courses in question are taken. Petitions are submitted through the online petition portal, available at http://maeweb.ucsd.edu/undergrad/petitions.

Independent Study

MAE students may take MAE 199, Independent Study for Undergraduates, under the guidance of an MAE faculty member. This course is taken as an elective on a P/NP basis. Under very restrictive conditions, however, it may be used to satisfy one upper-division technical elective course requirement for the major. Students interested in this option must identify an MAE faculty member with whom they wish to work and propose a two-quarter research or study topic. After obtaining the faculty member’s approval on the topic and scope of the study, the student must submit a Special Studies Course form (each quarter) and an MAE 199 as Technical Elective Contract form to the Undergraduate Affairs Committee. These forms, available on the MAE website, must be completed, approved, and processed prior to the add/drop deadline. There is a minimum GPA requirement of 3.0 when using 199s as a TE. Detailed policy in this regard and the requisite forms may be obtained from the Student Affairs Office.