The Mechanical Engineering Department strives to offer the highest quality engineering education to prepare graduates for effective and creative practice as professional engineers, advanced study at the graduate level, and lifelong learning.
The department offers a major program leading to a bachelor of science degree, and a minor program available to any Lafayette student. It also participates in the biotechnology/bioengineering minor.
Like all engineers, mechanical engineers are creative problem solvers. They design, develop, and construct internal combustion engines, machinery, power plants, transportation vehicles, and biomedical devices. They work in manufacturing, marketing, management, research, education, and system design and development.
The department offers a comprehensive major program that prepares students for professional work or further study at the graduate level. The curriculum’s solid foundation includes mathematics, science, and technology, along with electives in the humanities and social sciences. By using contemporary engineering computer software and applying modern manufacturing processes in creating and constructing their design projects, students engage in a hands-on curriculum that brings their ideas to life. Facilities include laboratories for modern manufacturing designs, internal combustion engines, thermo-fluids, controls, instrumentation, precision measurement, and materials. All majors complete a yearlong senior design project, and seniors may elect to conduct undergraduate research through an independent study course or honors thesis.
Technical elective course work allows students to apply the fundamentals of mechanical design, thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, heat transfer, and system dynamics and control to mechanical engineering problems. Seniors may elect to engage in undergraduate research through independent study or honors work. Recent projects have included theoretical and experimental work in fluid mechanics, heat transfer, bioengineering, manufacturing, and material behavior. These projects have resulted in numerous student/faculty publications and presentations at national meetings.
Lafayette offers many study abroad options, including a full semester in Spain and Germany geared toward engineering students, as well as interim/summer study abroad courses in several other countries. Instruction in semester abroad programs is in English.
* Please note that the requirements for the Mechanical Engineering major have changed, effective with the class of 2017.
Majors in the Class of 2017 are required to take the following 36 courses: Mathematics 161, 162, 263, and 264; Physics 131 and 133 [or 151 and 152]; Chemistry 121 and Engineering Science 231; Engineering Science 101, 226, and 230; Mechanical Engineering 210, 240, 331, 350, 352, 353, 362, 470, 475, 480, 497, and 498; a mathematics/science elective; two approved Mechanical Engineering electives; a First-Year Seminar; eight electives selected to meet the College’s Common Course of Study and the department’s ABET accreditation requirements. Some courses may meet multiple requirements of the Common Course of Study.
The requirements for the minor in mechanical engineering comprise six courses: your choice of ES 101, AMS/ES 252, or HIST 215; ES 226; 2 courses at the 200-level (chosen from ES 230, ES 231, ME 210, and ME 240); and 2 ME courses at the 300- or 400-level, approved by the ME department head. Please consult with the ME Department Head to discuss course selection; some prerequisites may be waived for students pursuing the minor, on an individual basis.
A total of five courses is required. Students are encouraged to take at least three courses from departments other than their own majors and pursue a bio-oriented independent study or honors thesis. No more than three courses that count toward a major or to fulfill Common Course of Study requirements may be counted toward a minor. Learn more on the Biotechnology/Bioengineering Program website