Chairperson: Patrick Ferro
Mechanical Engineering is that branch of engineering that encompasses the study of forces, motion, energy, materials, manufacturing, and design in order to apply them to the creation of mechanical devices and systems that serve society (e.g., engines, refrigerators, machines, tools, etc). This is accomplished through a process of problem description, creative idea generation, design, analysis, judgment, planning, and production that typically involves a host of professionals who may all have been educated as mechanical engineers. For example, mechanical engineers may be involved in product design, analysis, and testing, in developing manufacturing processes, in defining product requirements and trouble-shooting customer problems, in project management, and in research and education.
The profession serves many diverse fields and industries such as the aerospace, pharmaceutical, automotive, and power generation industries, to name just a few. In fact, any device or system that involves energy or movement probably involved one or more mechanical engineers in its creation. Some exciting, rapidly developing fields and emerging technologies of interest to mechanical engineers include fuel cells (the use of chemical fuel and an oxidant to directly produce electricity), rapid prototyping (the use of computer-controlled machines to fabricate complete objects in one step directly from computer models), mechatronics (the integration of mechanical systems and electronic sensing and control), biomedical engineering (the application of engineering to problems in medicine and biology), nanoengineering (the creation of materials and devices at the nanometer level, i.e., at the atomic, molecular, or supramolecular levels), and MEMS (Microelectromechanical Systems-the integration of mechanical, chemical, and/or electronic systems at the chip level).
The Department of Mechanical Engineering at Gonzaga University develops men and women who are both competent engineers and educated, responsible human beings. The development of these two characteristics in students is affected by course work from both the liberal arts and the profession. Thus, these two aspects are interwoven, being a single, integrated fabric having many threads contributed by many curricula. This synthesis is expressed by the engineering program educational objectives that are listed in the School of Engineering and Applied Science section of this catalogue, and by the Gonzaga University Mission Statement that may be found at the beginning of the catalogue.
Diversity of opportunity and professional breadth are hallmarks of the mechanical engineering profession. This translates into a need for a thorough grounding in a variety of mathematical, scientific, and engineering fundamentals. Thus, the Mechanical Engineering Program at Gonzaga University prepares the student in the areas of mathematics, chemistry, physics, mechanics, thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, heat transfer, materials, manufacturing, design, control theory, experimentation, and economics. These fundamentals are enhanced with exposure to important engineering tools such as: mathematical techniques; computer programming; computer applications tools including computer aided design (CAD), computer aided manufacturing (CAM), finite element analysis (FEA), and computational fluid dynamics (CFD); and the use of equipment, instruments, and software typically found in manufacturing and laboratory situations. Since teamwork is an essential aspect of the modern practice of mechanical engineering, the Mechanical Engineering Program gives considerable attention to building personal communication skills through team design projects, reports, and presentations, as well as through communication skills courses in the University Core Curriculum. Furthermore, as a critical component of the program, all students engage in design courses beginning in their Sophomore year and continuing throughout the curriculum, culminating in a two-semester capstone design experience in the Senior year. That experience entails requiring student design teams, led jointly by faculty and practicing engineers, to solve real industrial design problems. Finally, the degree requirements also include the opportunity for breadth as well as concentration in particular engineering applications through a group of technical electives taken in the senior year (the list of allowed technical electives is given below). The department also has a five-year plan available for students wishing to proceed at a slower pace or for those planning to add a minor in business or in a liberal arts subject such as physics, music, or art. Information and suggested course packages are also available for students planning to work in the closely allied but more specialized fields of aerospace or biomedical engineering, and for those planning to enroll in the Gonzaga-in- Florence Engineering Semester program.
The following curriculum details the course requirements for each semester. In addition to these courses, all students must take the Washington State Fundamentals of Engineering Examination prior to graduation (see ENSC 400, “Fundamentals of Engineering Exam” course in the Spring semester of the Senior year). Finally, students who follow a curriculum sequence other than that listed below should meet with their Academic Advisors at their first opportunity in order to resolve any scheduling conflicts that may arise due to off-schedule course availability and/or course pre- and co-requisite structure. In all cases, students must comply with the pre- and co-requisite requirements in order to be granted admission into courses.