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Course Descriptions

Mechanical Engineering Course Descriptions

MECH 101: Introduction to Mechanical Engineering
One Credit Hour
Required of all Mechanical Engineering freshmen.

The engineering design process is demonstrated through use of practical problem-solving methods for public infrastructure and mechanical projects. Course subjects include mechanical engineering career paths, ethical canons of the engineering profession, and requirements for professional licensure. Course assignments, conducted within a collaborative learning environment, focus on creative engineering solutions through technical analysis, teamwork, communication skills, and professionalism. As a foundation for sustained success in mechanical engineering, additional course topics include: lifelong learning, time management, community and professional service, and career development. Laboratory: two hours.

MECH 102: Engineering Computer Applications
Two Credit Hours
Required of all Mechanical Engineering freshmen.

Foundations of computing to include software tools and engineering processes for mechanical engineers. Topics may include: structured programming (MATLAB), graphical drawings and 2D and 3D modeling of parts and assemblies, interface of 2D and 3D data with Computer Aided Manufacturing, simulation of rigid body motion (Working Model), presentation software (Powerpoint, HTML), and spreadsheets. Introduction to teaming and creativity. Laboratory: four hours. MECH 304 Engineering Materials w/Lab Three Credit Hours Prerequisites: CIVL 304/307 and CHEM 151. Course explores the relationships between the microscopic structure and macroscopic properties of materials used in engineering applications. The origin of mechanical, electrical, and thermal properties is studied. Important material failure modes such as occur under fatigue, elevated temperature, rapid loading and corrosive environments are explored. Emphasized is an understanding of the fundamental aspects of atomic and microstructural concepts for proper materials selection, effects of processing on material properties, and enhancement of engineering properties. Materials under study include important metals and alloys as well as key nonmetallic materials such as polymers, ceramics, and composites. Laboratory exercises are integrated throughout the course to provide practical experience in making decisions concerning material composition and processing in order to optimize engineering properties. Experiences from the field are detailed to demonstrate applicability of concepts. Lecture: 2 hours. Laboratory: 2 hours.

MECH 310: Thermal – Fluid Systems I w/Lab
Three Credit Hours
Prerequisites: MATH 132, PHYS 221, PHYS 271;
Prerequisites or Corequisites: MATH 231, CIVL 301.

Thermal-Fluid System I is an integrated study of fundamental topics in thermodynamics and fluid mechanics. The course introduces conservation principles for mass, energy, and linear momentum as well as the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics. Principles are applied to incompressible flow in pipes and turbomachinery, external flows, power generation systems, refrigeration cycles, and total air-conditioning focusing on the control volume approach. Laboratory exercises are integrated into classroom work. This course includes completion of a comprehensive, out-of-class design problem. This design problem provides the opportunity for students to apply engineering science and the engineering design process to a hands-on project. Lecture: 2 hours. Laboratory: 2 hours.

MECH 311: Thermal – Fluid Systems II w/Lab
Three Credit Hours
Prerequisite: MECH 310.

Thermal-Fluid Systems II continues the integrated study of fundamental topics in thermodynamics and fluid mechanics. The course applies conservation principles for mass, energy, and linear momentum as well as the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics. Principles are applied to an automotive system to examine engine performance (Otto and Diesel Cycles) and heat exchangers and to high performance aircraft to examine the Brayton Cycle, compressible flow, external flow, lift, and drag. Laboratory exercises are integrated into classroom work. This course includes completion of a comprehensive, out-of-class design problem. This design problem provides the opportunity for students to apply engineering science to the design of a comprehensive thermal-fluid system. Lecture: 2 hours. Laboratory: 2 hours.

MECH 325: Computer Applications
Three Credit Hours
Prerequisites: MECH 102, ELEC 202/204, CIVL 301.

Introduction to structured programming and applied numerical methods in scientific computing. The course uses applied problems in engineering and mathematics to introduce numerical methods such as numerical interpolation, finite differencing, integration, root finding, and linear algebraic system solutions. MATLAB is taught as a vehicle for programming of computational algorithms and solving the problems numerically in a structured high speed environment. Lecture: 2 hours. Laboratory: 2 hours.

MECH 330: Measurements and Instrumentation w/Lab
Three Credit Hours
Prerequisites: ELEC 202/204.

Fundamentals of measurement systems in mechanical engineering including transducer operation, signal conditioning, data reduction, and presentation of results. Transducer and measurement system characteristics including resolution, sensitivity, loading, time response, and frequency response. Operating principles of basic instrumentation for measurement of mechanical quantities such as force, torque, pressure, velocities, accelerations, temperature, and flow. Topics include uncertainty analysis, data analysis, probability and statistics, calibration, data acquisition, presentation of results, and an introduction to experiment design. Lecture: 2 hours. Laboratory: 2 hours.

MECH 340: Manufacturing Processes
Three Credit Hours
Prerequisites: CIVL 304/307.

This is an introductory course that examines the interactions between design and manufacturing from the designer's point of view. The first portion of the class is devoted to safe, hands-on experience with manufacturing machines and equipment. Students will have an opportunity to work on civil and mechanical manufacturing machines that are common in machine, woodworking, and sheet metal shops such as a mill, lathe, grinder, belt sander, drill press, and band saw. Common manufacturing processes will be introduced and design guidelines will be developed for each process. The successful student will leave this class with an appreciation that a designer must consider the method of manufacture during the design process to ensure that a product is functional, economically viable, and safe. Basic principles of metal processing; applied mechanics of metal cutting and forming; cost analysis of manufacturing operations. Lecture: 2 hours. Laboratory: 2 hours.

MECH 345: Machine Design
Three Credit Hours
Prerequisites: CIVL 304/307.

This course introduces mechanical engineering design as an iterative decision making process and fundamental engineering science applied to machine components. Analysis for the design and manufacture of basic mechanical elements and their role in the design of machines; application of finite element modeling; introduction to failure theory, fatigue analysis, and energy methods for deflection analysis and their application of them to the design and analysis of machine elements; design of multi-component systems. Useful design techniques (such as modeling, CPM, optimization, probabilistic approaches, etc.) and factors influencing design (such as human factors, products liability, ethics, societal, economics, safety, etc.) are presented, discussed, and incorporated. Design against static failure and fatigue failure of structural members and machine parts: design and selection of components including fasteners, welds (and welding techniques), shafts, springs, gears, bearings, and chain drives. The course culminates in a team-oriented process, design, and manufacture of a mechanical engineering product using the techniques, tools, machines, and equipment that were developed and taught throughout the course.

MECH 350: Modeling and Analysis of Dynamic Systems w/Lab
Three Credit Hours
Prerequisites: CIVL 301, MECH 330, MATH 335.

This course covers dynamic modeling and control of linear systems through an overview of classical control theory as the foundation for control applications in electrical, mechanical, and aeronautical systems. Topics include system modeling using Laplace transform, frequency domain, state variable methods, Boolean logic and algebra, system hardware and software development, and interfacing for mechanical applications. Mathematical models are developed for electrical, mechanical, aeronautical, and other physical control systems. Control systems analysis and design techniques are studied within the context of how each system is physically controlled in practice to include applications of microprocessors and microcontrollers and digital electronics to the design and utilizations of embedded control systems in smart systems and products. Laboratory exercises include feedback design and system identification. Lecture: 2 hours. Laboratory: 2 hours.

MECH 404: Advanced Materials
Three Credit Hours
Prerequisite: MECH 304.

Fundamentals of deformation and fracture in metals, polymers, ceramics and composites with application to design. Emphasis on time-temperature dependence of polymers, brittle behavior of advanced ceramics, the fracture mechanics approach to design of high strength and critical application of materials, and composite behavior.

MECH 408: Composite Design
Three Credit Hours
Prerequisite: MECH 304.

Introduces materials and mechanics of composites with emphasis on high performance polymer matrix composites. Topics include material selection, laminate analysis/design, design implications from manufacturing and joining methodology, and interpreting test results. A team design-built test project is required.

MECH 409: Composite Manufacturing w/Lab
Three Credit Hours
Prerequisite: MECH 304.

This course covers manufacturing fundamentals, manufacturing processes, composite fabrication and assembly, quality and inspection methods, repair, and required equipment. Topics include material selection, laminate analysis, manufacturing, joining, and testing.

MECH 415: Heat Transfer
Three Credit Hours
Prerequisite: MATH 335, MECH 311.

The three modes of heat transfer (conduction, convection, and radiation) are studied in detail and applications are made to various engineering systems. The principles of conduction and convection are used to study the mechanisms of heat transfer during boiling, condensation and the design and operation of heat exchangers.

MECH 416: Mass and Energy Balances
Three Credit Hours
Prerequisite: CHEM 152.

Introduction to mass and energy balances in single phase and multiphase, nonreactive and reactive systems. Course topics include an introduction to engineering calculations and process variables, use of computers in solving chemical engineering problems, fundamentals of material balances in single-phase and multi-phase systems, energy balances on nonreactive and reactive processes, applications of combined material and energy balances, balances on transient processes, introduction to chemical engineering unit operations, and a general introduction to the field of chemical engineering.

MECH 417: Renewable Energy
Three Credit Hours
Prerequisites: MECH 310.

Covers renewable energy sources such as solar heating and cooling, wind energy, biomass, and photovoltaic energy. Surveys the energy availability of these sources and life cycle cost and present value used to evaluate the system. Students will design a system which utilizes a renewable energy source and economically evaluate the system.

MECH 418: Energy Conversion Systems
Three Credit Hours
Prerequisite: MECH 415.

An overview and historical evolution of both classical and state-of-the-art energy conversion technology. Advanced analysis of energy conversion hardware, air conditioning and refrigeration as well as fossil fuel combustion processes using concepts of energy. Major methods of direct energy conversion are covered, including thermoelectricity, photovoltaics, thermionics, magneto hydrodynamics, and fuel cells. Applications of the thermodynamic, heat transfer, and fluid flow principles to the modeling and design of thermal systems. These systems include pumps, fans, and heat and mass exchangers. The current state of national and world energy is presented and alternatives including renewable energy and a hydrogen economy are explored with reference to economic, political, environmental and technological factors.

MECH 419: Mechanical Power Plants
Three Credit Hours
Prerequisite: MECH 311.

Students engage in the analysis, testing and evaluation of internal combustion engines and their subsystems with a view toward understanding the underlying principles which affect their design. Spark ignition and compression ignition engine systems are studied in detail. Steam, cogeneration and combined cycles are studied. Introduces the theory and issues related to the design of axial and radial flow turbines, compressors and pumps.

MECH 420: Nuclear Reactor Analysis
Three Credit Hours
Prerequisites: MECH 415.

This course focuses on nuclear reactor systems, the release of nuclear energy in the reactor core, and its removal as heat for producing electric power. Specific topics emphasize reactor kinetics, heterogeneous reactors, control rods and shim, reactor poisons, heat transfer, and alternative energy systems. The fundamentals of transport theory and the solution to the transport equation using Monte Carlo N-Particle (MCNPX) transport code are introduced.

MECH 425: Advanced Heat Transfer
Three Credit Hours
Prerequisite: MECH 415.

This course covers additional topics in conduction, convection and radiation heat transfer as well as mass transfer, phase change and numerical methods.

MECH 426: Air Conditioning
Three Credit Hours
Prerequisite: MECH 311.

Human comfort and the properties of air. Air conditioning in residences, public and industrial buildings using vapor compression and absorption units. Cooling loads, psychrometry, fans, duct sizing and layout, automatic control, and acoustic design considerations.

MECH 430: Robotics Engineering w/lab
Three Credit Hours
Prerequisite: MECH 350.

Interdisciplinary course in engineering systems applied to computer controlled devices. Topics include kinematics, control, operation, sensing, and design as applied to various types of industrial and other robots and programmable manipulators. A related project is required.

MECH 435: Finite Elements for Engineering Applications
Three Credit Hours
Prerequisites: CIVL 304, 301, MECH 310.

Emphasizes solving various one-dimensional, transient, non-linear problem statements including heat conduction, beam deflection, convection/diffusion (transport), gas dynamic shocks, and open channel flows. Assesses higher order bases, time stepping procedures, iterative solvers, and finite difference methodologies. Utilizes MATLAB for computational experiments.

MECH 440: Advanced Manufacturing Processes and their Application
Three Credit Hours
Prerequisites: CIVL 301 and MECH 340.

This course examines major manufacturing processes, their capabilities, analysis, economics and manufacturing process selection. Students perform both kinematic (the study of the motion of machinery without regard to forces) analysis and kinematic design of planar and spatial mechanisms, cams, and gear trains. Computer programming is used for iterative methods in both analysis and design. Specific methods and techniques taught and applied are operations strategy, product design and selection, supply chain management, total quality management, forecasting, capacity planning, facility location, facility layout, work system design, inventory management, material requirements planning, and scheduling.

MECH 445: Manufacturing Design w/lab
Three Credit Hours
Prerequisite: MECH 345 and MECH 440.

Applications of fundamentals of engineering mechanics in analysis and synthesis of machine components and systems to the manufacture of products from metals, polymers, ceramics, and composites. Use and management of computers in engineering for drafting, design management, documentation, and manufacturing. Covers drafting methods and standards, design data management, CNC operations, implementation, kinematics, control, operation, sensing, and design as applied to various types of industrial models. A related project is required.

MECH 450: Mechatronics w/Lab
Three Credit Hours
Prerequisite: MECH 350.

Applications of microprocessors and microcontrollers and digital electronics to the design and utilization of embedded control systems in smart systems and products. Topics include Boolean logic and algebra, system hardware and software development, and interfacing for mechanical applications.

MECH 452: Digital Logic and Circuits w/lab
Three Credit Hours
Prerequisite: ELEC 202/204.

This course covers the analysis, design, simulation, and construction of digital logic circuits and systems. The material in this course provides the necessary tools to design digital hardware circuits such as digital clocks and locks, as well as computer hardware. The course begins with the study of binary and hexadecimal number systems, Boolean algebra, and their application to the design of combinational logic circuits. The first half of the course focuses on designs using small-scale integration (SSI) logic circuits, medium-scale integration (MSI) circuits, and programmable logic devices (PLDs) to implement combinational logic functions. The second half of the course emphasizes sequential logic circuits like counters and sequence recognizers, and also covers memory systems. Laboratory work in this half of the course focuses on using very high speed integrated circuit hardware description language (VHDL) to simulate digital systems and to program those systems into PLDs. As a final project, student teams design, build, and test a digital logic system such as a programmable alarm clock, digital lock, or burglar alarm.

MECH 455: Advanced Mechatronics w/lab
Three Credit Hours
Prerequisite: MECH 450.

A comprehensive course in the field of mechatronics. Mechatronics is the crossroads in engineering where mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, computer science, and controls engineering meet to create new and exciting real-world systems. Knowledge of mechanical and electrical components, controls theory, and design are integrated to solve actual physical design applications.

MECH 460: Mechanical Engineering System Design
Three Credit Hours
Prerequisite: MECH 345.

This course provides experience in the integration of math, science, and engineering principles leading to a comprehensive engineering design project. Open-ended, client-based design problems emphasize a multidisciplinary approach to total system design providing multiple paths to a number of feasible and acceptable solutions which meet the stated performance requirements. Design teams are required to develop product specifications, generate alternatives through modeling, make practical engineering approximations to include probabilistic approaches, perform appropriate analysis to support the technical feasibility of the design, and make decisions leading to an optimal system design. System integration, reverse engineering/redesign projects, human factors engineering, products liability, ethics, safety, computer-aided design, maintainability, and fabrication techniques are addressed. This course provides an integrative experience in support of the overarching academic program goal.

MECH 470: Introduction to Applied Aerodynamics
Three Credit Hours
Prerequisite: MECH 311.

The fundamental laws of fluid mechanics are used to develop the characteristic forces and moments generated by the flow about aerodynamic bodies. Physical properties of the standard atmosphere as well as lift, drag, and aerodynamic moments are studied for airfoils (2-D) and finite wings (3-D) in the subsonic and supersonic flow regimes. Development of equations of conservation of mass and momentum lead to development of aircraft performance and design parameters.

MECH 475: Aircraft Performance and Static Stability
Three Credit Hours
Prerequisite: MECH 470.

The course applies the principles developed in applied aerodynamics to develop the equations of motion for a rigid aircraft in steady state level flight, maneuvering flight, and during takeoff and landing. These equations are analyzed to determine such performance characteristics as maximum range, endurance, turning rate, climb rate, etc. Piston-prop, turbo-prop, and jet aircraft are considered. The equations of motion are then analyzed to develop static stability criteria and investigate steady state control characteristics. Design constraints based on customer requirements, mission profiles, aircraft sizing, optimization, and presentation of performance capabilities are considered.

MECH 476: Propulsion Systems
Three Credit Hours
Prerequisite: MECH 311.

Application of basic principles in the study of the performance characteristics of air and space vehicles to include the aerodynamics of steady one dimensional isentropic compressible flow. Shock waves, gas turbines, turbojet, turbofan, turboprop, turboshaft, ram jet, rocket, nuclear propulsion and space propulsion systems are discussed and compared.

MECH 477: Vibration Engineering
Three Credit Hours
Prerequisite: CIVL 301.

In this course students develop a foundation in the analysis and design of free and forced single and multi-degree of freedom systems. Applications include modeling, damping, resonance, force transmissibility, vibration absorbers, matrix formulation and modal analysis. Emphasis is placed on vibration examples from several engineering fields. Out-of-class design problems provide students with the opportunity to apply principles taught in the classroom to realistic problems encountered by practicing engineers. In-class demonstrations supplement the theory development.

MECH 478: Lightweight Structures
Three Credit Hours
Prerequisite: CIVL 304/307.

Applies the principles of mechanics to the structural analysis of mechanical and aerospace components. Covers stress tensors, shear flow in open and closed sections, beam columns, unsymmetrical bending, Castigliano's theorem, statically indeterminate structures, thin walled pressure vessels, introduction to elasticity.

MECH 481: Senior Design I
Two Credit Hours
Prerequisites: MECH 345; corequisite: MECH 460.

Design projects with industry. Students work in teams with three or four members on design projects furnished from external clients. The emphasis is on creating design solutions, with appropriate analyses, to meet stakeholders' needs. In addition to regular meetings with their faculty advisors, the teams are expected to maintain close and continuous communications with their clients during the semester. The projects culminate in oral presentations and Interim Written Reports which are submitted to the clients. Lecture: 1 hour Laboratory: 2 hours.

MECH 482: Senior Design II
Three Credit Hours
Prerequisite: MECH 481.

This course is a continuation of MECH 481. The student teams continue their design solutions to a general problem furnished by an external client. Continuous and regular communication with the outside clients is expected, as well as with the faculty advisors. During this semester the teams continue refining their solutions, complete the detail design, make oral presentations of the final design, and complete and submit the Final Written Report. Lecture: 1 hour Laboratory: 4 hours.

MECH 497: Special Topics in Mechanical Engineering
Three Credit Hours
Prerequisite: Department Head approval.

This course provides in-depth study of a special topic in engineering mechanics or mechanical engineering not offered elsewhere in the curriculum. Course content will be based on the special expertise of the Visiting Professor or a senior mechanical engineering faculty member.

MECH 498: Mechanical Engineering Internship
Three Credit Hours
Prerequisite: Department Head approval.

The student, on an individual basis, pursues advanced understanding by working for a mechanical engineering company. The scope of the activities is tailored to the educational focus of the student in consultation with his faculty advisor and eh supervisor at the company. The student is required to provide weekly journaling, monthly supervisor evaluations, a final presentation, and a final report on the experience. LESSONS and LABS: No formal class. Consultation with Department Faculty Advisor at least once a week on individual work accomplished.

MECH 499: Advanced Independent Study in Mechanical
Three Credit Hours
Prerequisite: Department Head approval. Other requirements as determined by Faculty Advisor.

The student, on an individual or small group basis, pursues advanced study of a research topic in mechanical engineering. The scope of the course is tailored to the desires of the student in consultation with his faculty advisor. The student is required to define and analyze the problem, study the fundamentals involved, organize the approach, determine the procedure, achieve a solution, and submit a written report. LESSONS and LABS: No formal class. Consultation with Department Faculty Advisor at least once a week on individual work required.