Mechanical Engineering BS
The purpose of the Department of Mechanical Engineering is to provide a world-class education to undergraduate and graduate students, in an atmosphere enlightened by the principles of the gospel. In accordance with the expectations of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET), the department has developed a set of Program Educational Objectives which describe the career and professional accomplishments that the program is preparing graduates to achieve.
Program Educational Objectives
The objectives of the undergraduate Bachelors of Science program in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Brigham Young University are to:
- Teach the fundamental concepts of math, science, and mechanical engineering in order to produce graduates who demonstrate technical excellence and provide service to their profession, community, family, and church.
- Instill a desire and ability to learn continuously, both through study and faith, to enable graduates to meet the changing demands of their profession and personal life.
- Provide practical and open-ended engineering experiences in order to develop graduates who think independently and demonstrate leadership and creativity.
- Engage students in activities to produce graduates who communicate and work effectively and ethically with people of diverse backgrounds.
The BS in Mechanical Engineering degree requirements are shown in the Major Academic Plan. The recommended sequence of courses is shown in a flowchart. The total number of credit hours required for graduation is 130.5. The course work can be broken-down into three main categrories: 1) Mathematics and basic science 2) General education 3) Mechanical Engineering courses. The average time to graduation in Mechanical Engineering is nine semesters.
Other Learning Opportunities
In addition to formal coursework, the Mechanical Engineering program supports numerous extracurricular engineering activities. There are four student chapters of engineering societies including: 1) The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) 2) The Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) 3) The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) and 4) The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE). Students can also elect to be involved in engineering design teams which compete or collaborate with other schools in designing products such as on- or off-road vehicles, robots for space exploration, and supermileage vehicles. ASME also sponsors an oral presentation contest and other design contests. The department offers non-credit mini-courses in machine shop operations and refresher courses in mathematics are available from the College of Engineering.
As required by ABET, the Expected Learning Outcomes for the BS degree are listed as a set of Student Outcomes, shown below.
Achievement of the Student Outcomes is ensured by achieving a set of Course Outcomes. Each of the required courses has several Course Outcomes. Instructors have the flexibility to pursue additional learning but the Course Outcomes are required content for the course, regardless of the instructor.
Each semester, the degree to which the course outcomes have been achieved is evaluated by both the students and the instructor. Recommendations for changes in the course outcomes and learning activities are provided by the instructor. The complete list of Course Outcomes and Evaluation Sheets is available.Physical Phenomena
A basic understanding of fundamental physical phenomena and governing principles.
The ability to develop and solve mathematical models of fundamental physical phenomena and apply them to predict the behavior of engineering systems.
The ability to use engineering principles to design an innovative system, component, or process that meets human needs.
The expertise to plan and conduct an experimental program and evaluate the results.
The ability to use modern engineering tools and techniques in engineering practice.
An understanding of manufacturing processes and planning.
Effective oral and written communication skills.
The ability to work with and lead others to accomplish goals.
An appreciation of history, philosophy, literature, science, and the fine arts and how they influence the culture and behavior of societies.
Personal behavior demonstrating and practicing high moral and ethical standards.
The ability to practice engineering in a global environment.
A desire and commitment for lifelong learning and service.
Evidence of Learning
Data are collected yearly using the following tools:
- The senior exit survey
- Student self assessment of course outcomes
- Instructor assessment of course outcomes
- University alumni survey
- The National Council of Engineers and Surveyors Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) and Professional Engineer (PE) exams
The data are examined regularly for trends and patterns. In addition, the department conducts a yearly review of this data to determine how well program outcomes are being met, and whether any program outocmes should change. The results of this review are reported to the whole faculty at an annual department retreat.
Indirect measures are also collected from our measuring tools which are listed above. Example of indirect measures include the employment rate, acceptance rate at graduate schools, salaries, job quality, and acceptance of our outcomes from industry.
Learning and Teaching Assessment and Improvement
An ongoing process of assessment and improvement has been applied in the department. The following summarizes the assessment processes followed by the department.
- Faculty, alumni, and the university are consistently polled concerning the Program Educational Objectives (4) and Student Outcomes (12).
- Achievement of the Objectives and Outcomes is measured through a set of tools which include the following:
- The standardized Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam
- Student surveys of Course Outcomes which are mapped to the Program Educational Objectives and Student Outcomes
- Surveys and feedback from the Mechanical Engineering External Advisor Board (MEEAB)
- A senior exit survey completed by nearly all graduating students
- University alumni survey, completed annually
- An annual assessment report is prepared including identification of strengths and weaknesses relative to the Program Educational Objectives and Student Outcomes and suggestions for changing the Program Educational Objectives and Student Outcomes.
- Regular (about twice a month) faculty meetings are held where curriculum and program changes are developed and implemented.
Recent Changes Resulting From Assessment
- Students, Alumni and the MEEAB suggested the Mechanical Engineering curriculum be redesigned to better reflect current trends. Beginning Fall Semester 2015, the new curriculum was implemented. The new curriculum streamlines some of the science core for the program, adds a new required course on mechatronics, and introduces two "envelopes" of classes which students take at the same time, allowing the courses to build concepts together.