Mechanical Engineering

Chairperson: Patrick Ferro

Professors: A. Aziz, K. Ansari, M. Capobianchi
Associate Professors: J. Marciniak, P. Ferro, S. Zemke
Assistant Professor: T. Chen

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.

The SEAS core curriculum represents a common body of knowledge. The engineering programs core consists of fifty-three credits which are common to and required of all engineering degree programs in the school: the first thirty-two credits (of which there is a more complete description in the General Degree Requirements and Procedures section of this catalogue) form the University core requirement while the remaining twenty-one credits are required by engineering degree programs.

All undergraduate students are subject to the provisions of this core; transfer students, however, should consult the General Degree Requirements and Procedures section of this catalogue for possible modifications to the philosophy and religious studies requirements listed below. Substitutions for discontinued courses are required and authorized by the proper University authorities. The University and School core requirements are grouped into the following categories.

University requirements
  1. Thought and Expression (7 credits): ENGL 101, SPCO 101, and PHIL 101 (preferably taken in the same semester).
  2. Philosophy (9 credits): PHIL 201, PHIL 301, and PHIL 400 level elective.
  3. Religious Studies (9 credits): RELI 100, RELI 200, and RELI 300 levels: one elective from each level.
  4. Mathematics (4 credits): one MATH (not CPSC) course at the 100 level or above: engineering students must use MATH 157.
  5. English Literature (3 credits): ENGL 102, ENGL 103H, ENGL 105 or ENGL 106.
Engineering program specific:
  1. Mathematics (11 credits): MATH 258, MATH 259, MATH 260.
  2. Physics (4 credits): PHYS 103, PHYS 103L.
  3. Chemistry (4 credits): CHEM 101, CHEM 101L.
Computer Science program specific:
  1. Mathematics (17 credits): MATH 157, MATH 231, MATH 258, 2 300/400 level electives.
  2. Lab Science (12 credits): Students are encouraged to take 16 credits.
  3. History (6 credits): see program description section.
  4. Fine Arts (3 credits): see program description section.
  5. Literature (3 credits): see program description section.
  6. Social Science (6 credits): see program description section.
  7. Foreign Language or Culture (3 credits): see program description section.
  8. Social Justice (3 credits): see program description section.