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Grand Valley State University    
2018-2019 Undergraduate & Graduate Catalog 
  Aug 20, 2019
2018-2019 Undergraduate & Graduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Bachelor of Science in Engineering, Mechanical Engineering Major

Mechanical engineering encompasses the analysis, development, design, and testing of a wide range of mechanical systems including machines that involve mechanics, motion, and energy: alternative energy systems, biomedical devices, robotic systems, vehicles, aircraft, engines, HVAC systems, and industrial equipment.

Integral to all four years of the program is a “design and build” educational philosophy incorporated through extensive laboratory and project activities as preparation for professional practice. Students engage in design at all levels of the curriculum. At each level, they must realize their designs and proceed with testing, validation, and redesign. This approach allows students to experience many real-world constraints such as project economics, project planning and scheduling, environmental considerations, manufacturability/producibility of the designs, laboratory and product safety, and product reliability.

The junior and senior years of the mechanical engineering program build upon the freshman and sophomore courses to provide greater depth in mechanical design, and dynamic systems as well as additional background in thermal-fluid sciences and engineering. Students complete required courses in these areas and select from electives in the same areas, and/or manufacturing, and emerging fields including biomedical engineering, and alternative energy systems.

Students who elect the mechanical engineering program may prepare themselves for a wide range of engineering careers and fulfill the educational requirements for taking the Fundamentals of Engineering examination before graduation.


The mechanical engineering major is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET,

Program Educational Objectives

Graduates of the mechanical engineering program are expected within a few years of graduation to

  • demonstrate technical competency in their careers;
  • function effectively in an industrial or academic environment;
  • engage in professional development; and
  • shape their professions and societies.

Student Outcomes and Assessment

The graduate will demonstrate

  1. an ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering;
  2. an ability to design and conduct experiments, as well as to analyze and interpret data;
  3. an ability to design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs;
  4. an ability to function on multidisciplinary teams;
  5. an ability to identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems;
  6. an understanding of professional and ethical responsibility;
  7. an ability to communicate effectively;
  8. the broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global and societal context;
  9. a recognition of the need for, and an ability to engage in life-long learning;
  10. a knowledge of contemporary issues;
  11. an ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice;
  12. an ability to apply principles of engineering, basic science, and mathematics (including multivariate calculus and differential equations); to model, analyze, design, and realize physical systems, components or processes;
  13. an ability to work professionally in thermal systems; and
  14. an ability to work professionally in mechanical systems.

Degree Requirements

Mechanical engineering students must complete all requirements for the B.S.E. degree including the general education and basic skills requirements, the foundations of engineering courses, cooperative education, the engineering design Capstone and the following mechanical engineering courses:

Elective Courses (three courses selected from the following):

Sample Curriculum for the Junior and Senior Years of the Mechanical Engineering Major

First Co-op Semester: Spring/Summer

Second Co-op Semester: Winter

  • General education (Issues)

Sixth Academic Semester: Spring/Summer

  • General education course (Arts)

Third Co-op Semester: Fall

  • General education (Issues)

Seventh Academic Semester: Winter

  • Mechanical engineering elective
  • Mechanical engineering elective
  • EGR 468 - Heat Transfer Credits: 4
  • EGR 485 - Senior Engineering Project I (Capstone) Credits: 1
  • The prerequisites for EGR 485 are acceptance into the B.S.E. degree program and completion of the prerequisite courses listed under the student’s engineering major. For the mechanical engineering major, these prerequisite courses are: EGR 250 and EGR 329 and EGR 346 and EGR 409 and EGR 468 and (EGR 350 OR EGR 352 OR EGR 445 OR EGR 447 OR EGR 463 OR EGR 465 and EGR 475); EGR 468 and (EGR 350 OR EGR 352 OR EGR 445 OR EGR 447 OR EGR 463 OR EGR 465 OR EGR 475) may be taken concurrently.

Eighth Academic Semester: Spring/Summer

Engineering Program Description

Click here for the program description.