The University of Michigan’s Department of Mechanical Engineering has been consistently ranked among the top mechanical engineering programs in the nation. With respect to the breadth of its research topics, and its opportunities for early student engagement, it is at the forefront among peer institutions. Mechanical Engineering also features a unique Research Process course to accelerate the development of research thinking, critical analysis skills, and high-impact research hypotheses – all hallmarks of a program known for students who make leading-edge scholarly contributions that also make real-world impacts.
Mechanical Engineering is strong in the fundamental disciplines of mechanical engineering and in numerous thematic areas, such as automotive engineering; biomechanics; design and manufacturing; dynamics, systems and controls; energy and environment; and micro- and nano-engineering. Now, with the thrust provided by the Rehabilitation Robotics Group, it is at the forefront of the burgeoning field of mechatronics. Its faculty members with mechatronics expertise not only satisfy the growing need to educate and mentor students – whose interest in mechatronics has surged – but they also fortify Mechanical Engineering’s mechatronics materials, space, and equipment infrastructure. Mechatronics provides a hands-on, synergistic integration of mechanical design and computer control, encompassing numerous mechanical engineering disciplines. Students are able to connect engineering models and analysis with real-world implementation by focusing their studies in several areas, including mobile robots and autonomous vehicles; haptic interfaces; nano-manipulation and nano-manufacturing; and wearable medical monitoring devices. Design courses increasingly incorporate industry- and Medical School-sponsored projects requiring mechatronic design, and a new Biomedical Engineering Design Program enlists students in sponsored projects to develop new mechatronic devices.