The Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Kentucky provides an intellectually challenging environment in which to pursue advanced studies and engage in research. The department offers programs of study leading to the M.S. degree in mechanical engineering as well as the Ph.D. degree. Financial assistance is available to qualified applicants in the form of graduate teaching assistantships, research assistantships or fellowships. Stipends vary depending on the student's program level and type of support.
Graduate students work closely with faculty recognized as renowned authorities in their discipline. Many of these research projects are at the forefront of technology. Graduate work may be focused in any of the following areas:
Manufacturing : analytical and numerical modeling, optimization of machining processes and systems, lean manufacturing, sustainable manufacturing, precision manufacturing, and robotics and machine vision.
Mechanics : dynamic analysis of solids, contact mechanics, system identification of structures, thermal stress and boundary element methods.
Systems and Design : application of nontraditional materials, finite elements, acoustics, vibration and noise prediction, mechatronic systems, rotating machinery dynamics, engineered surfaces, magnetic bearing technology, and boundary element methods in acoustics.
Thermal Fluid Sciences : combustion and fire research, painting technology, nano-technology, computational and experimental fluid dynamics, conduction and convection heat transfer, energy utilization, phase change heat transfer, radiation heat transfer, and optics.
Applicants seeking admission to a graduate program in the Department of Mechanical Engineering (ME) as regular students must have been awarded a baccalaureate degree. Admission to the ME graduate programs normally requires a bachelor's degree in engineering (not necessarily in mechanical engineering), a grade point average (GPA) of 3.0/4.0 or 70% on all graduate and undergraduate works, and Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores of at least 1200 for the combined Quantitative and Verbal sections and 3.5 for the Analytical section. An undergraduate degree in mathematics, chemistry or physics combined with a strong interest in engineering topics may be suitable preparation when certain required undergraduate courses are taken (see graduate student handbook for further details). Exceptions to these requirements may be made if other persuasive evidence indicating the student's potential of success is available.
In addition, all international students (except those with a degree from a U.S. institution) must have a minimum score of 550 (paper) or 213 (computer) on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).
It is possible to directly admit a student with a bachelor's degree to the Ph.D. program if the student's qualifications are exceptional. Under some circumstances, such arrangement can be made with a recommendation of a faculty member. Students are encouraged to contact the departmental faculty if they are interested in going into the Ph.D. program without a Master's degree.
Regular admission to the Master's program constitutes admission to candidacy for that degree. Admission to candidacy for the Ph.D. degree is automatically granted when the student passes the Qualifying Examination.
The Master of Science Degree (M.S.)
There are two options (Plan B containing two programs) for fulfilling the requirements for the M.S. degree:
a. Plan A (Thesis Plan)
A minimum of 24 semester hours of coursework and a thesis are required. The thesis must be actively supervised by a full or associate member of the Graduate Faculty. In no case will independent work, taken as ME 699, ME 780-783 or ME 790, be counted as part of the 24 hours of coursework when the course material is related to the student's thesis. No more than two (one is typical, two is very rare) special courses such as ME 699, ME 780-783 or ME 790 or independent courses/projects may be counted towards fulfilling requirements for the Master's degree.
In case of an independent course project, the instructor must provide the DGS with a course syllabus in order to obtain approval for the course.
b. Plan B (Regular Program)
All M.S. students are admitted to the option B program by default. A minimum of 30 semester hours of coursework is required for this program. Upon entering the option B program, students are encouraged to transfer to the Ph.D. program if a research-oriented career is desired.
c. Plan B (Paducah Program)
This Plan B program is designed for students at the Paducah campus. The admission requirements are the same as the regular Plan B program. However, the course requirements are modified to make it more flexible for students to take ITV classes from Lexington to the Paducah campus.
The Doctor of Philosophy Degree (Ph.D.)
Successful completion of the M.S. program does not guarantee automatic admission to the Ph.D. program. Students who wish to continue for the Ph.D. degree must make application by letter to the Director of Graduate Studies and to the Graduate School by no later than the fourth week of the semester in which the M.S. degree is awarded.
To obtain a Ph.D. degree from the Department of Mechanical Engineering, a student must:
(a) Earn 48 graduate credit-hours taken at the University of Kentucky while in graduate standing after receiving a bachelor's degree. Alternatively, those with a M.S. may satisfy this requirement by earning 24 graduate credit-hours taken at UK. Students with a M.S. from another institute are required to obtain a letter from the DGS recommending the transfer of credit.
(b) Satisfy the Ph.D. mathematics requirement
(c) Pass the Pre-Qualifying Examination after the first semester of the Ph.D. program.
(d) Pass the Ph.D. Written Qualifying Exam. The Preliminary Exam is a written exam and constitutes the written portion of the Qualifying Exam allowed by the Graduate School. This exam tests the student's knowledge in the field of mechanical engineering. This is a uniform exam that is required in three subject areas as described in the graduate student handbook. These area exams are given by the corresponding departmental-wide Technical Area Committees. The Ph.D. Preliminary Exam must be taken during or before the student's third Fall Semester (fourth, if admitted without a M.S. from the time of admission to the Ph.D. program. For part time students, this time requirement may be modified with the approval of the student's advisor and the DGS). Failure to attempt the Preliminary Exam within the specified time limit will result in the student's termination from the ME doctoral program.
(e) Pass the Ph.D. Oral Qualifying Exam. This exam inspects the soundness of the student's proposed doctoral dissertation research. A prospectus prepared by the student and submitted to the student's Advisory Committee is required two (2) weeks in advance of the exam. Only those who have passed the Preliminary Exam and have satisfied the Ph.D. mathematics requirement may sit for this exam. As this is an exam mandated by the Graduate School, all Graduate School regulations regarding this exam must be met.
(f) Pass the Final Examination. This exam is mandated by the Graduate School, and therefore all Graduate School regulations regarding this exam must be met.
(g) Meet all applicable Graduate School regulations.
For a more detailed description of these requirements, contact the Director of Graduate Studies.
The Department, in collaboration with the College of Engineering's Center for Manufacturing, has several research laboratories: Acoustics Lab, Advanced Structures Lab, CAD/CAM/CAE Lab, Combustion and Fire Research Lab, Computational Fluid Dynamics Systems (CFD) Lab, Engineering Metrology Lab, Fluid Mechanics Lab, Machine Vision Lab, Machining Dynamics Systems Lab, Machining Research Lab, Manufacturing Simulation and Tribiology Research Lab, Nonlinear Dynamics Research Lab, Metal Forming Research Lab, Non-traditional Manufacturing Processes Lab, Phase Change and Microgravity Heat Transfer Lab, Radiative Transfer and Optics Lab, Rapid Prototyping Lab, Robotics Lab, Thermal Sensing Lab, and Welding Research Lab.
ME 501 MECHANICAL DESIGN WITH FINITE ELEMENT METHODS (3)
ME 503 LEAN MANUFACTURING PRINCIPLES AND PRACTICES (SAME AS MFS 503) (3)
ME 505 MODELING OF MANUFACTURING PROCESSES AND MACHINES (SAME AS MFS 505) (3)
ME 506 MECHANICS OF COMPOSITE MATERIALS (SAME AS MSE 506) (3)
ME 507 DESIGN FOR MANUFACTURING (SAME AS MFS 507) (3)
ME 512 MANUFACTURING SYSTEMS (SAME AS MFS 512) (3)
ME 513 MECHANICAL VIBRATIONS (3)
ME 527 APPLIED MATHEMATICS IN THE NATURAL SCIENCES I (SAME AS MA 527) (3)
ME 530 GAS DYNAMICS (3)
ME 531 FLUID DYNAMICS I (3)
ME 532 ADVANCED STRENGTH OF MATERIALS (3)
ME 554 CHEMICAL AND PHYSICAL PROCESSING OF POLYMER SYSTEMS (3)
ME 556 INTRODUCTION TO COMPOSITE MATERIALS (SAME AS MSE 556) (4)
ME 560 ENGINEERING OPTICS (3)
ME 563 BASIC COMBUSTION PHENOMENA (3)
ME 580 HEATING, VENTILATION AND AIR CONDITIONING (3)
ME 585 FOURIER SERIES AND BOUNDARY PROBLEMS (3)
ME 599 TOPICS IN MECHANICAL ENGINEERING (SUBTITLE REQUIRED) (3)
ME 601 ADVANCED CAE APPLICATIONS (3)
ME 602 DYNAMICS OF DISTRIBUTED MECHANICAL SYSTEMS (3)
ME 603 MECHANICS OF PLASTIC SOLIDS I (3)
ME 604 DYNAMICS OF ROTATING MACHINERY (3)
ME 606 SEMINAR AND PROJECT IN MANUFACTURING SYSTEMS ENGINEERING (SAME AS EE/MFS 606) (3)
ME 607 ANALYSIS OF METAL CUTTING PROCESSES (SAME AS MFS/MSE 607) (3)
ME 610 ENGINEERING ACOUSTICS (3)
ME 611 BOUNDARY ELEMENT METHODS IN ENGINEERING (SAME AS EGR 611) (3)
ME 613 NONLINEAR OSCILLATIONS (3)
ME 620 ADVANCED ENGINEERING THERMODYNAMICS I (3)
ME 626 ADVANCED HEAT CONVECTION (3)
ME 627 RADIATION HEAT TRANSFER (3)
ME 628 BOILING AND CONDENSATION (3)
ME 631 FLUID DYNAMICS II (3)
ME 634 TURBULENT FLOWS (3)
ME 640 ADVANCED ANALYSIS AND SIMULATION OF DYNAMIC SYSTEMS (3)
ME 641 FOUNDATIONS OF SOLID MECHAN ICS (3)
ME 644 ADVANCED DYNAMICS I (3)
ME 645 ADVANCED CONTROL SYSTEM ANALYSIS (3)
ME 647 SYSTEM OPTIMIZATION I (SAME AS AEN 647) (3)
ME 651 MECHANICS OF ELASTIC SOLIDS I (3)
ME 690 ADVANCED ALGORITHMS FOR COMPUTATIONAL FLUID DYNAMICS (4)
ME 699 TOPICS IN MECHANICAL ENGINEERING (SUBTITLE REQUIRED) (3)
ME 748 MASTER'S THESIS RESEARCH (0)
ME 749 DISSERTATION RESEARCH (0)
ME 768 RESIDENCE CREDIT FOR THE MASTER'S DEGREE (1-6)
ME 769 RESIDENCE CREDIT FOR THE DOCTOR`S DEGREE (0-12)
ME 780 SPECIAL PROBLEMS IN MECHANICAL ENGINEERING (3)
ME 790 RESEARCH IN MECHANICAL ENGINEERING (1-9)