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    Florida A&M University
  Sep 25, 2017
2017-2018 General Catalog

Department of Mechanical Engineering

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Chair: Emmanuel Collins
Professors: Alvi, Cartes, Cattafesta, Collins, Hellstrom, Kalu, Krothapalli, Larbalestier, Shih, Van Dommelen, Van Sciver
Associate Professors: Clark, Hollis, Hruda, Moore, Oates, Ordóñez, Xu
Assistant Professors: Guo, Lin, Kumar, Taira; Affiliated Faculty: Gunsburger, Han, Hussaini, Tam; Adjunct Faculty: Amin, Bin, Chuy, Larson; Professor Emeritus: Buzyna, Chen, Gielisse

The Bachelor of Science (BS) program in the Department of Mechanical Engineering is designed to provide background for a wide variety of careers. The discipline of mechanical engineering is very broad, but generally emphasizes an appropriate mix of thermal science, mechanics and materials, dynamic systems, and design. Graduates typically enter various energy, aerospace, or product manufacturing industries, or into government laboratories.

The undergraduate program is designed to impart a broad knowledge in basic and engineering sciences and to provide a solid understanding of contemporary engineering practices. The program also seeks to provide students with a foundation in communications skills, principles of economics, and other fundamentals upon which they will draw in their professional careers. Special emphasis is placed on communications skills by requiring extensive written laboratory reports and design project presentations. Computer literacy is bolstered by a variety of course assignments throughout the program and especially in the design courses, wherein students are exposed to a number of design software programs widely used in the engineering industry.

Beyond the basic core curriculum, the Mechanical Engineering courses are grouped into five (5) major area streams: thermal and fluid systems, mechanical systems, mechanics and materials, dynamic systems, and engineering design. The courses in each of these areas give students a foundation in the relevant engineering sciences with a strong orientation in design and extensive laboratory experience. The design curriculum culminates with a one-year (two-semester) capstone design course in which students design and implement a full system or product, usually under industrial sponsorship.

Several undergraduate teaching laboratories provide extensive experimental apparatus for laboratory courses. The Fluid Mechanics laboratory, Heat Transfer laboratory, Solid Mechanics laboratory, Dynamic Systems laboratory, and Controls and Robotics laboratory are all well-equipped with the latest tools and equipment for experimentation, data acquisition, post processing and analysis. The College of Engineering provides several computer labs running a variety of standard design and analysis software packages, including Algor FEA modules, PTC’s Pro/Engineer and Pro/Mechanica, MSC.Software’s ADAMS and Mathworks’ MATLAB.

Program Educational Objectives

Consistent with the missions of Florida State University, Florida A&M University and the College of Engineering, and in accordance with the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) criteria, the department has developed the following program educational objectives. It expects its graduates in the first five years upon graduation from the program to:

  1. Make career progress in industrial, research, or graduate work in mechanical engineering or allied fields;
  2. Design and analyze devices, products, or processes that meet the needs of an employer, organization, or customer, based on sound scientific knowledge and engineering practices;
  3. Become engineering professionals by engaging in professional activities and continuous self-development.
  4. Function in multi-cultural and multi-disciplinary environments across regional and national borders.

Program Outcomes

After completing the mechanical engineering program, graduates should have the following attributes:

  1. An ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, calculus based science and engineering to mechanical engineering problems;
  2. An ability to design and conduct experiments, as well as to analyze and interpret data;
  3. An ability to design thermal and mechanical systems, components, or processes to meet desired needs;
  4. An ability to function on multi-disciplinary 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 with written, oral, and visual means;
  8. The broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global and societal context, and a knowledge of contemporary issues;
  9. A recognition of the need for, and the ability to engage in lifelong learning; and
  10. An ability to use modern engineering techniques, skills, and computing tools necessary for engineering practice.

State of Florida Common Program Prerequisites

The State of Florida has identified common program prerequisites for this University degree program. Specific prerequisites are required for admission into the upper-division program and must be completed by the student at either a community college or a state university prior to being admitted to this program. Students may be admitted into the University without completing the prerequisites, but may not be admitted into the program.

At the time this document was published, some common program prerequisites were undergoing revision. For the most current list of state-approved prerequisites, please visit:

The following lists the common program prerequisites or their substitutions necessary for admission into this upper-division degree program:

  1. MAC X311 or MAC X281
  2. MAC X312 or MAC X282
  3. MAC X313 or MAC X283MAP X302 or MAPX305
  4. CHM X045/X045L or CHM X045C, or CHS X440 and CHM X045L
  5. PHY X048/X048L or PHY X048C, or PHY X043 and PHY X048L
  6. PHY X049/X049L or PHY X049C, or PHY X044 and PHY X049L

Honors in the Major

The Department of Mechanical Engineering offers a program in honors in mechanical engineering to encourage talented juniors and seniors to undertake independent and original research as a part of the undergraduate experience. For requirements and other information, see the “University Honors Office and Honor Societies” chapter of this Catalog.

Definition of Prefixes

EGM - Engineering Mechanics
EGN - General Engineering
EMA - Materials Engineering
EML - Mechanical Engineering

Mechanical Engineering Department Graduate Programs

Chair: Emmanuel Collins
Associate Chair: Steven Van Sciver
Undergraduate Coordinator: Hollis, P.
Professors: Alvi Cartes, Cattafesta, Chen, Collins, Hellstrom, Kalu, Krothapalli, Larbalestier, Lin, Shih, Van Dommelen, Van Sciver
Associate Professors: Hollis, Hruda, Moore, Ordóñez, Xu
Assistant Professors: Clark, Guo, Kumar, Oates, Taira
Affiliated Faculty: Chuy, Han, Hussaini, Kopriva, Larson, Tam
Professors Emeriti: Buzyna, Cartes, Chen, Gielisse, Luongo

The Department of Mechanical Engineering offers two graduate degree programs: the Master of Science (MS) and the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD). The graduate program in mechanical engineering is designed to provide students with the necessary tools to begin a productive career in engineering practice or research, a career that probably will span a period of three to five decades. Although it is not possible to teach everything that one needs to know in the graduate program, the program provides the students with the skills, knowledge and philosophy that will enable them to continue to grow throughout his/her career. The graduate training a student receives emphasizes a fundamental approach to engineering whereby the student learns to identify needs, define problems and apply basic principles and techniques to obtain a solution. This philosophy is incorporated in classroom lectures, laboratory activities, design projects, and research.

It is essential that a successful department cultivates and maintains a diverse and dynamic program that is nationally recognized. The department is actively involved in basic research, which expands the frontiers of knowledge, as well as applied research designed to solve both present and future technological needs of society. The major research activities are focused in three primary areas: fluid mechanics and heat transfer, solid mechanics and material science, and dynamic systems and controls (including mechatronics and robotics). State-of-the-art laboratories are associated with each of these areas. In addition, much of the research is conducted in cooperation with the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory, the School of Computational Science and Information Technology, the Center for Material Research and Technology, and the Center for Advanced Power Studies.

A complete description of the mechanical engineering graduate program, including recent changes, may be found at

Research Programs and Facilities

The Florida Center for Advanced Aero-Propulsion (FCAAP) has been established to ensure that the State of Florida remains at the forefront of the aerospace industry and maintains a highly skilled workforce to develop, test, transition and manufacture the next generation of aerospace technologies. The center is a partnership between four state universities, with FSU as the leading institution. The Advanced Aero-Propulsion Laboratory (AAPL), also located at FSU, is the primary experimental and research facility. AAPL contains testing and diagnostic facilities not commonly available at university research centers. These include: a new Hot

Jet Anechoic facility capable of operating supersonic hot jets - up to 2000 Fahrenheit, a STOVL Test Facility, and optical diagnostic development lab, a supersonic and a large subsonic wind tunnel. In addition to AAPL, the center is home to several state-of-the-art research laboratories lead by an experienced team of internationally recognized scientists, researchers, and engineers. In collaboration with government and industry, FCCAP will serve as a technology incubator to promote innovative research and encourage a rapid transition of technologies to market. FCAAP plays a vital role in shaping the next generation of air and spacecraft designs, space transport systems, and aviation safety. FCAAP’s current research is focused on Active Flow, Noise and Vibration Control, Aero-optimization, Advanced Propulsion and Turbomachinery Systems, Sensor and Actuator Development, Advanced Diagnostics, Aero-Thermodynamics and Aeroacoustics, High Performance Computation, Smart Materials, Systems and Structures and other related fields.

The vision of the Center for Intelligent Systems, Control, and Robotics (CISCOR) is to use state-of-the-art technology to develop practical solutions to problems in systems, control, and robotics for applications in industry and government. CISCOR represents a cooperative approach for conducting interdisciplinary research in the automated systems area across two departments (Mechanical Engineering and Electrical and Computer Engineering) in the College of Engineering and the Department of Computer Science. The Center’s goal is to provide a means for the state of Florida to achieve national prominence in the area of automated systems and to assume a leadership role in the state of Florida’s technology of the future. Established in 2003, CISCOR has become a leading center in Florida for the development and implementation of technologies related to Intelligent Systems, Control, and Robotics.

The Energy and Sustainability Center (ESC) has been established to address our most challenging energy issues through the development of innovative alternative energy solutions for consumers and industry. The center will develop a portfolio of pre-commercial research programs to explore reliable, affordable, safe, and clean energy technologies. A key objective of ESC is to encourage future commercial application of the technologies that flow from the research. ESC has a number of specialized facilities for technology development and implementation including: a fuel-cell testing laboratory, a water-electrolysis electrode testing laboratory, a solar-thermal system component testing facilities, small-scale electrical power systems laboratory, and other facilities through collaborations with the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering, the Center for Advanced Power Systems (CAPS), and the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory (NHMFL).

The Institute for Energy Systems, Economics and Sustainability (IESES) at Florida State University will be an essential component of Florida’s leadership in sustainable energy. The Institute is a public resource. We carry out scholarly basic research and analysis in engineering, science, infrastructure, governance, and the related social dimensions; all designed to further a sustainable energy economy. The Institute unites researchers from the disciplines of engineering, natural sciences, law, urban and regional planning geography, and economics to address sustainability and alternative power issues in the context of global climate change. Our goal is scholarship that leads to informed governance, economics, and decision making for a successful Florida sustainable energy strategy.

The Active Structures and Microsystems Laboratory is equipped with quasi-static and dynamic characterization measurement systems and computational facilities for studying the field-coupled material behavior and dynamics of a number of adaptive materials and devices. Material characterization equipment includes a benchtop MTS load frame for soft materials, high voltage (10 kV) power supply, high impedance electrometer, and polarized optical microscope for /in situ/ material characterization. An additional facility at the Advanced Aero Propulsion Laboratory is equipped with a 1000V/7A switching power supply for driving piezoelectric materials, dSpace and Simulink for dynamics and controls experiments and coupling smart structures with flow environments. A new 3D visualization system is also available for imaging 3D simulations and data as part of a program in collaboration with the Department of Scientific Computing at Florida State University.

The Program in Computational Fluid Dynamics involves algorithm development and application in the areas of: 1) unsteady flows with large- scale separation; 2) computational and mathematical acoustics; 3) unsteady biofluid mechanics; 4) modeling of turbulent flows; and 5) parallel solution of partial differential equations. These are areas of considerable interest, as well as physical importance, which pose particular numerical simulation challenges. The computational program is supported by the Department of Scientific Computing at Florida State University, which operates an 168 node IBM SP-3 with 84 gigabytes of memory, as well as a heterogeneous compute cluster and several mid-range computers.

The Cryogenics Laboratory is a fully equipped facility for the conducting of low-temperature experimental research and development. The laboratory, which occupies approximately 400 m2 at the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory (adjacent to the College of Engineering), supports research and development projects in a wide variety of technical fields. Numerous experimental apparatus are available within the Cryogenics Laboratory for research projects. The Liquid Helium Flow Facility (LHFF) consists of a 5 m long, 20 cm ID horizontal cryogenic vessel with vertical reservoirs at each end containing circulation pumps and other hardware. The facility includes transverse viewing ports for flow visualization studies. The Cryogenic Helium Experimental Facility (CHEF) consisting of a 3 m long, 0.6 m ID cryogenic vessel with N2 and He temperature thermal shields. CHEF is equipped with a high-volume flow bellows pump capable of up to 5 liters/s. The Cryogenic Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV) Facility including apparatus to perform micro-scale imaging studies of flow fields in cryogenic fluids. A cryogenic vessel with optical windows, dual head pulse Nd:YAG laser and image processing equipment are included in the facility. Currently, this facility is being used to develop neutral density particles, including solid H2/D2, and observe flow fields in liquid helium. A cryogenic transport property measuring facility that includes a two stage GM Cryocooler with compressor that can achieve Tmin = 10 K and provide 30 W at 20 K and 60 W at about 70 K. All cryogenics facilities are supported by a full complement of cryogenic hardware to measure flow rate, void fraction, liquid level, temperature and pressure. Microcomputer data acquisition is available for interfacing to all experiments. The electronics available in the laboratory that may be accessed through this system include a full complement of amplifiers, signal conditioning equipment and data recorders. The laboratory contains all necessary equipment to perform modern cryogenic experiments. High vacuum equipment including a mass spectrometer leak detector and two portable turbo pump systems provides thermal isolation. A high-capacity vacuum pump (500 liter/s) is used to support subatmospheric experiments including those with superfluid helium.

The Robotics Laboratory conducts research in four broad areas: robust control, mechatronics and robotics, applications of adaptive and intelligent control, and computer aided design. In robust control research, emphasis is on the development of optimization-based, control synthesis techniques for the design of fixed-architecture, robust controllers for mechanical systems (e.g., jet engines and magnetic bearings) with uncertain dynamics. Mechatronics is an interdisciplinary design methodology based upon a synergistic integration of fundamental procedures and techniques from mechanical, electrical, and computer engineering. Research in this area involves the use of specialized microelectronic sensors, actuators, and processors. In the area of robotics the objective is to employ multiple sensors and actuators to monitor and control wheeled mobile robots. Adaptive and intelligent control focuses on distributed knowledge based control techniques for linear and nonlinear systems, which allow processes to adapt to changes in parameters and learn to respond properly under rapidly changing constraints. Research in this area requires highly integrated mechanical engineering, electrical and computer engineering, and computer science solutions and is conducted in the Power Control Lab of the Center for Advanced Power Systems. The research conducted in the Computer Aided Design facility (CAD) involves computer modeling of complex systems, such as solid assemblies, followed by the simulation of these same systems. The CAD facility is currently well equipped with IBM RS/6000 workstations, Silicon Graphics Indy workstations, multimedia Pentium personal computers, and several laser and color inkjet printers.

The Robotics Laboratory also conducts intelligent mechanical systems research including: manipulator design and control, haptic interface design and control, machine learning, mobile robot control, human-robot collaboration (COBOT), and telerobot control. Recent projects include: manipulator design for human-robot collaborative systems, novel suspension design for decreased mobile robot wheel slip, control algorithm development for parallel robots, mobile robot terrain classification using neural networks, mitigation of time delay effects in telerobot control, and lift hoists design for automatic inertia calculation of space systems. The laboratory offers research opportunities for students seeking master’s and doctoral degrees as well as for undergraduate students. The majority of students work on individual projects that involve: design of electro-mechanical systems to solve engineering problems; use of experimentation, mockups, and computer simulations to develop and study control algorithms and novel mechanism; production of CAD drawings, part manufacturing and assembly; and electronic control chassis design and construction.

The High Temperature Superconductors Magnets and Materials Laboratory (HTSMML) involves experimental and computational research that advances the fundamental understanding and applications of high-temperature superconducting materials. HTSMML research is interdisciplinary, involving materials processing, composite mechanical behavior, and electrical-magnetic-mechanical properties of these emerging technical superconductors. This research includes the investigation of the key obstacles to implementing HTS materials in practical magnet systems. Current research directions include the development of a 5 T insert coil, coil design optimization, electro-mechanical behavior of conductors for power applications, magneto-optical imaging of YBCO coated conductors subjected to axial tension, quench propagation measurements, ac loss measurements, processing of low ac loss conductors, processing of alternative conductor materials, and texturing of materials within high magnetic field. Computational research is motivated by the experimental research. Research in the HTSMML is lead by Professor Justin Schwartz and includes research staff from the NHMFL and the Center for Advanced Power Systems, post-doctoral researchers, graduate students, and undergraduate students.

Research programs in the Materials Processing and Applications Laboratory focus on the development of processes that put high performance materials into actual system or device applications. As such, the programs tend to be interdisciplinary and cooperative research efforts often are carried out with industrial firms. The laboratory’s aim is to provide novel ideas and approaches to solutions of engineering problems in cutting edge technologies and to educate students in complex real-life settings. Accomplishments include the development of a magnetometer system for nondestructive analysis of materials and the development of a software design tool for multilayer structures. Physical property measurements of materials are being conducted in a variety of areas, including the measurement of the thermal expansion of materials at cryogenic temperatures by digital micro-image processing.

Research in the Materials Testing and Characterization Laboratory is focused on the investigation of processing-structure-property relationships in advanced materials. Materials of interest include but are not limited to high temperature materials (titanium aluminides and their composites), superplastic materials (titanium and aluminum), superconducting materials, and high-strength conductors and polymeric matrix composites. The program is divided into three areas of specialization: processing and testing, materials characterization, and micromechanical modeling. Research in processing and testing employs deformation processing, such as rolling, forging or wire drawing to improve the mechanical properties of materials. Research in materials characterization aids in the improvement of the mechanical properties of materials by identifying and measuring vital metallurgical parameters at several stages of processing. The microstructural characterization facility consists of optical microscopes, an X-ray diffractometer, a scanning electron microscope, and an environmental scanning electron microscope. Research in micromechanical modeling relates the micromechanics to mechanical properties such as stress, strain rate and hardness.

A major part of the research activities in the Quantum Turbulence Visualization Program focuses on visualization study of turbulence in superfluid helium. Superfluid helium is an important cryogenic coolant for engineering applications. Heat transportation in helium however can be strongly affected by the presence of turbulence. Due to the quantum nature of the liquid, turbulence in superfluid helium possesses unique physical properties. Studying the turbulence in helium not only has practical significance but can also improve our understanding of turbulence in general. To visualize the flow in superfluid helium, we use metastable helium molecules as tracers. A laser-induced fluorescence technique has been developed to image the molecular tracers. Using this method, we have successfully unveiled a new form of turbulence when a heat current passes through superfluid helium. In the next experiment, we plan to use a strong femtosecond laser to create a line of helium molecules via laser-field ionization in liquid helium. Studying the drift and distortion of a molecular line shall provide us detailed information of the flow field. We also work on helium-based dark matter detector R&D. While evident through its gravitational effects, dark matter has an unknown intrinsic nature. Direct searches for light dark matter particles are especially challenging because of the low energies transferred in elastic scattering, resulting in few events above energy threshold for the heavy nuclear targets typically used in dark matter experiments. A helium-4 nucleus is kinematic matched to light dark matter particles. Using superfluid helium-4 as a target material shall allow us to explore the low-mass regime of the dark matter parameter space that other detectors can hardly access.

The Scansorial and Terrestrial Robotics and Integrated Design (STRIDe) Laboratory is dedicated to the design, analysis and manufacturing of novel and dynamic robotic systems. In order to imbue robotic systems with the agility and functionality akin to their biological inspirations, it is critical to understand the interplay between the structures’ underlying passive dynamics and the control systems that enervate them. Research in this lab involves working closely with biologists to understand the underlying functional principles behind successful animal locomotion. These principles are then encoded in simplified dynamic models. The analysis of these models leads to insight regarding the roles of passive and active elements in creating self-stabilizing dynamic systems. Innovative manufacturing processes, such Shape Deposition Manufacturing (SDM) and other rapid prototyping techniques are then applied to build robots capable of moving in a dynamic and agile manner over difficult terrain. To analyze and build these robots, the lab is equipped with dynamic motion analysis equipment as well as a suite of state-of-the-art manufacturing tools.

Graduate students participating in research are provided office space in the laboratories and have access to substantial staff support from their research group.

Definition of Prefixes

EGM - Engineering Mechanics
EGN - General Engineering
EMA - Materials Engineering
EML - Mechanical Engineering


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