Changes to the ME Elective Curriculum

Several new elective courses have been introduced into the Mechanical Engineering curriculum, whereas others have been revised, and Mechanical Engineering elective focus areas (EFAs) have been updated to incorporate new course offerings.  In particular, a new EFA in Robotics and Autonomous Systems has been developed, and the Manufacturing EFA is substantially revised.


New Elective Courses

  • ME:4140 Modern Robotics and Automation (3 SH)
    • Will be offered in spring semesters, beginning in Spring 2019
    • Pre-requisite: ENGR:2710 Dynamics
  • ME:4150 Artificial Intelligence in Engineering (3 SH)
    • Will be offered fall semesters, beginning Fall 2019
    • Pre-requisites: ME:4111 Scientific Computing and Machine Learning
    • Note: For the Fall 2019 offering only, acceptable pre-requisites will ALSO include:              
      1. ME:4111 Numerical Calculations, or
      2. ME:3800 Elementary Numerical Analysis
  • ME:5115 Cooperative Autonomous Systems (3 SH)
    • Will be offered fall semesters, beginning Fall 2019
    • Pre-requisites: any of
      1. ME:3600 Control of Mechanical Engineering Systems
      2. ME:4120 State Space Methods for Linear Control Systems (course name will be changing to Advanced Linear Control Systems)
      3. ME:4113 Control of Mechanical Engineering Systems (this course will be taught for the last time in Spring 2019, and will subsequently be replaced by the required course, ME:3600)
      4. CBE:4105 Process Dynamics and Control in Design
      5. ECE:3600 Control Systems
  • ME:4200 Modern Engineering Materials in Mechanical Design (3 SH)
    • Will be offered fall semesters, beginning in Fall 2019
    • Pre-requisites: ME:3052 Mechanical Systems


Revised Elective Courses

  • ME:4111 Scientific Computing and Machine Learning (old title ME:4111 Numerical Calculations)
    • The new course includes all topics from Numerical Calculations, but includes new content on machine learning. 
    • ME:4111 is a required course in most EFAs, and replaces the previous requirement of ME:4111 OR MATH:3800.
    • Will be offered in fall AND spring semesters, beginning Spring 2019.
  • ME:4117 Finite Element Analysis
  • ME:4120 Advanced Linear Control Systems (old title: State Space Methods for Linear Control Systems)
    • This is a new course, first offered in Fall 2018.  Beginning Spring 2020, it will be offered in spring semesters under the new title.  Sections taken under the new and old course titles are equivalent.
  • ME:4024 Product Design and Realization (old title: Mechanical Engineering Design & Parametric Modeling)
    • This course is offered in spring semesters, and will be offered under the new title beginning Spring 2019.  Sections taken under the new and old course titles are equivalent.


Elective Focus Areas

The Mechanical Engineering Department now offers four undergraduate elective focus areas:

  • Design
  • Energy & Environment
  • Manufacturing
  • Robotics and Autonomous Systems

All existing EFAs have been updated to incorporate new courses, where appropriate.  The Manufacturing EFA has undergone major revision, and the Robotics and Autonomous Systems EFA is brand new.

OLD EFAs - Prior to Spring 2019 **NEW EFAs** - Effective Spring 2019
Design Design 
Energy and Environment Energy & Environment
Manufacturing and Materials Processing Manufacturing
  Robotics & Autonomous Systems

New EFAs Summary Flyer


Transition from Old to New EFAs

Current students may choose to complete either the old EFAs or the new EFAs.  Freshmen and sophomores should design their elective plans of study according to the new EFAs.  Juniors and seniors who have partially-completed EFAs may find it easier to complete the old EFAs but may consider the new EFAs if their completed courses are compatible.

Students who have partially completed an old EFA but who find that their career objectives are better served by the corresponding revised EFA, or the new Robotics and Autonomous Systems EFA, may prefer to complete some of the new courses, or switch to the revised or new EFA if it can still be accommodated by their plan of study.  It is possible that one or more completed courses may not be listed in the new EFA.  In those cases, students should adhere to the policies and procedures defined in the following sections when designing their plan of study.

Note that students’ transcripts will indicate the title of the EFA earned; however, there will be no distinction between new and old EFAs unless the title changes.  For example, there is no distinction between the existing and revised Design EFA.  Therefore, students should base their decision to transition to the new EFA on content only.


Transition of the Math/Science Elective

New criteria approved by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) have reduced the number of required math and science semester hours in the curriculum from 32 SH to 30 SH.  This change has been taken into account in the EFA revision, although most EFAs still meet the old requirement.  Students completing a tailored EFA will no longer be required to ensure that their plan of study contains 3 SH of mathematics or basic science.

Neither MATH:3800 Elementary Numerical Analysis, nor ME:4111, under its old title “Numerical Calculations”, is included in the new EFAs.  Students who have completed MATH:3800 or Numerical Calculations by the end of the Fall 2018 semester may receive credit for ME:4111 Scientific Computing and Machine Learning in the new EFAs. 

If MATH:3800 is completed during Spring 2019 or later, it will not be eligible to replace ME:4111 in the new EFAs.  Students who wish to take MATH:3800 during Spring 2019 or later may include the course in their EFA as a flexible elective.


Transition of “Focus” Electives

“Focus” electives are the EFA-specific elective courses listed on EFA sheets in the second table (i.e. above the general electives).  Focus electives have changed in some of the revised EFAs.  In cases where additional focus options are introduced to the revised EFAs, students may also receive credit for completing those courses in pursuit of the old EFA.


Transferring Other Electives

If transition to a new or revised EFA requires substitution of more than one course, such that the flexible elective category is insufficient to accommodate the change, the student should discuss the transition with their faculty advisor and, if deemed appropriate, submit a petition for course substitution to request credit for the course in the new EFA.