Artificial Intelligence, Modeling and Simulation (AIMS) Certificate Programs

Artificial Intelligence, Modeling and Simulation (AIMS) Certificate Undergraduate Program

Department of Mechanical Engineering, The University of Iowa

Artificial intelligence (AI) is a technology that mimics human intelligence to perform complex tasks. Machine learning (ML) is a subfield of AI that uses statistical methods to learn from data without being explicitly programmed. Deep learning (DL) is a main subset of ML that uses multi-layered neural networks to learn from data. Modeling and simulation (M&S) in engineering is a field that uses mathematical models as a basis for simulations to generate data analyzed for product and system design. M&S is a knowledge-based approach that develops models to generate data, while ML is a data-based approach that learns from data to generate models. The AIMS certificate undergraduate program aims to teach our students: (1) the importance of uncertainty quantification (UQ) in all methods, (2) the various types of combinations: M&S-assisted ML, ML-assisted M&S, and hybrid approaches, and (3) the notion of using hybrid models toward the design of intelligent complex machines.

The undergraduate AIMS certificate program requires 18 semester hours (s.h.) of credit. Students must maintain a grade point average (GPA) of at least 2.00 on a 4.00 scale in coursework specifically for the certificate. The certificate may be earned by any student admitted to the University of Iowa who is not concurrently enrolled in a University of Iowa graduate or professional degree program.

Mechanical engineering students may earn the certificate in AIMS while they complete the Design, Robotics and Autonomous Systems, or Manufacturing focus area for their major. In addition, mechanical engineering students may use the certificate as a tailored engineering focus area by adding an additional eligible course.  The undergraduate certificate in AIMS requires the following coursework.

AI, M&S and UQ Courses:

  1. ME:4111 Scientific Computing and Machine Learning (3 s.h.) and ME:4150 Artificial Intelligence in Engineering (3 s.h.) are the certificate-required courses.
  2. Students must complete at least three courses from these:

Course number

Course title



Computer Aided Engineering

3 s.h.


Engineering Design Optimization

3 s.h.


Manufacturing Processes, Simulations and Automation

3 s.h.


Advanced Linear Control Systems

3 s.h.


Finite Element Analysis

3 s.h.


Computational Naval Hydrodynamics

3 s.h.


Computational Fluid and Thermal Engineering

3 s.h.


Data-Driven Analysis in Engineering Mechanics

3 s.h.


Uncertainty Quantification and Design Optimization

3 s.h.

1. ME:5170 will be offered in Fall 2023. 2. ME:5300 will be offered in Fall 2022.

Capstone Course:

  1. Students must complete a capstone design project on an approved AIMS topic registered in ME:4086 Mechanical Engineering Design Project (3 s.h.) or ME:4098 Individual Investigations Mechanical Engineering (3 s.h.).

Participation in Workshops and Hackathons:

  1. Students are strongly encouraged to participate in at least one workshop, related to Python, R, or high performance and parallel computing offered by Information Technology Services Research Services (ITS-RS), and HACKUIOWA organized by the University of Iowa’s Hydroinformatics Lab.

Students could petition to substitute the above courses with AI/ML/DL and M&S related courses offered by ME and other departments.

For further information, please contact: Professor S. Xiao (, Mechanical Engineering, University of Iowa