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College of Engineering and Computer Science

Mechanical Engineering

Mechanical Engineering Program

Mission:

The mission of the Mechanical Engineering program is to educate students in the area of mechanical engineering, to prepare them for professional employment and/or graduate study.

Goals:

  • Provide our graduates with a well-rounded education based on a solid understanding of science, mathematics, and engineering principles, together with an understanding of the global and societal impacts of engineering;
  • Provide our graduates with knowledge in the fundamentals of mechanical engineering with an emphasis on the application of this knowledge to the techniques of engineering design;
  • Encourage and facilitate the development of graphic, written, and oral communication skills of all graduates; and
  • Impart the essential professional, ethical, and moral values required in the practice of engineering, including a commitment to life-long learning.

Vision:

The Mechanical Engineering program will offer a combination of required and elective courses that provide our students with

  • knowledge of the principles of science, mathematics, and engineering that are fundamental to the following areas of mechanical engineering practice: machine design, including solid mechanics and control theory; fluid mechanics, thermodynamics, and heat transfer; materials; and manufacturing;
  • opportunities to develop the ability to apply scientific, mathematical and engineering principles in order to identify, formulate, and solve problems in the areas of machine design, thermal sciences, materials, and manufacturing, including the appropriate use of computer technology;
  • opportunities to learn how to plan, conduct, analyze, and interpret experiments and apply experimental results, using the principles of science and mathematics and appropriate computer technology;
  • opportunities to apply creativity in the design of systems, components, or processes;
  • experiences in working together on multi-disciplinary teams;
  • knowledge and practice in communicating through speaking, writing, and graphics, including the use of appropriate computer technology;
  • information on professional, ethical, and social responsibilities and the importance of life-long learning; and
  • information on contemporary professional, societal, and global issues, as well as the nature and background of diverse cultures.

The Mechanical Engineering program will provide

  • a curriculum that is effective for both full- and part-time students,
  • effective academic advising, and
  • opportunities for experiential learning, including participation in the cooperative-education program.

Program Objectives

The Mechanical Engineering program will prepare graduates who:

  • will enter professional employment and/or graduate study in the following areas of mechanical engineering practice: machine design, thermal and fluid systems, materials, and manufacturing;
  • will use knowledge of the principles of science, mathematics, and engineering, together with an understanding of the global and societal impacts of engineering, to identify, formulate, and solve practical problems, making use of appropriate computer technology;
  • will apply creativity in the design of systems, components, processes, and/or experiments and in the application of experimental results, working effectively on multi-disciplinary teams;
  • will communicate effectively through speaking, writing, and graphics, including the use of appropriate computer technology; and
  • will use their understanding of their professional, ethical, and social responsibilities, the nature and background of diverse cultures, and the importance of life-long learning in the conduct of their professional careers.

Student Learning Outcomes:

Each graduate of the Mechanical Engineering program will be able to:

  1. demonstrate a knowledge of the science, mathematics, and engineering principles that are fundamental to thermal and mechanical systems design and manufacturing;
  2. identify, analyze, and solve technical problems in the areas of machine design, including solid mechanics and control systems; fluid mechanics, thermodynamics, and heat transfer; materials properties and selection; and manufacturing, using the principles of multivariate calculus and differential equations, including the appropriate use of computer technology;
  3. plan, conduct, analyze, and interpret experiments and apply experimental results, using the principles of science and mathematics and appropriate computer technology;
  4. apply creativity in the design of systems, components, or processes to meet desired needs;
  5. function effectively as part of a team;
  6. communicate effectively through speaking, writing, and graphics, including the appropriate use of computer software;
  7. show understanding of professional, ethical, and social responsibilities and the need for a commitment to life-long learning and participation in professional societies; and
  8. show understanding of contemporary professional, societal, and global issues, as well as awareness of and respect for diverse cultures.

The following chart shows the required ME courses in which these Student Learning Outcomes are addressed.

Student Learning Outcomes

Assessment

The following chart shows a matrix of the student learning outcomes and potential assessment techniques. The letter P in a cell indicates that the technique in that column is expected to be a primary source of information about the learning outcome in that row. The letter S indicates that the assessment technique is expected to be a secondary source of information. The lack of a letter indicates that the technique is not expected to provide a significant amount of information.

Assessment matrix

Continuous Improvement Program

  1. The BSME Continuous Improvement Program, with its statements of Mission, Goals, Objectives, and Student Learning Outcomes, was adopted by the faculty of the Department of Mechanical Engineering on September 8, 1999.
  2. Senior students were surveyed regarding the Student Learning Outcomes in November, 1999. This survey included evaluation of the importance of each learning outcome and the courses that were most helpful in developing their proficiency relative to that outcome. These surveys were analyzed; the results were discussed by the faculty in February. Similar surveys of alumni and employers, including the members of the Industrial Advisory Council, were done in Spring, 2000. No suggestions for revising the Mission, Goals, Objectives, and Learning Outcomes were received.
  3. Each semester, a visit is made by a group of faculty to a company in the Sacramento area that employ our graduates. There is normally a plant tour, together with a meeting in which alumni at that company discuss with faculty how their CSUS education has benefited them in their careers. They also make suggestions for improving the curriculum. The following visits have been made to date:
    Hewlett-Packard and Agilent, Spring, 2000
    Annheuser-Busch, Fall, 2000
    Aerojet, Spring, 2001
    Intel, Fall, 2001
    Bureau of Automotive Repair, Spring, 2002
  4. ME 190 (Project Engineering I) and ME 191 (Project Engineering II) written reports from December 1999 were examined to evaluate senior student abilities with regard to Learning Outcome f, "Communicate effectively." The examination was done by a committee consisting of seven faculty members. Some problems were found with writing mechanics and style, but the most important problem was that most of the reports showed problems of organization. As a means of correcting this situation, a set of report guidelines, including laboratory, design, and senior project reports, was prepared and adopted by the department. These guidelines are posted on the department's web page. The reports written in Spring 2001 were examined in the Fall 2001 semester. It was determined that substantial improvement had been made, especially in report organization. Continued emphasis on report writing was made during the Fall 2001 and Spring 2002 semesters. Reports written in Spring 2002 are currently under evaluation.
  5. Graduating seniors in the BSME program were surveyed every semester from Fall 1999 through Spring 2002 with regard to their perceptions as to how well their programs helped them. The questions dealt with design skills, computer skills, communication skills, teamwork, and advising. These results are currently being discussed by the department faculty.
  6. A survey of reading and writing assignments currently being given in ME courses was made during the 2001-2002 academic year. The analysis is currently in progress.
  7. The next Learning Outcome to be assessed will be Outcome b, "Identify, analyze, and solve technical problems." A faculty committee has drafted questions that can assess students' problem-solving abilities in such a way as to suggest improvements in current teaching approaches. The questions were given to graduating students in the senior project course during the Spring 2002 semester. The responses are currently being evaluated to determine whether the questions need to be revised before giving them to students during the 2002-2003 academic year.
  8. Members of the Industrial Advisory Council have attended senior project presentations during the Spring 2001 through Spring 2002 semesters. Their evaluations are being analyzed; a meeting is scheduled for early October, 2002, to get additional inputs from the members of the Council regarding improvements in the senior project course