Dec 02, 2021  
2020-2021 General Catalog 
2020-2021 General Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Department of Mechanical Engineering

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Interim Chair: Eric Hellstrom

Professors: Alvi, Cattafesta, Cooley, Hellstrom, Kalu, Larbalestier, Oates, J. Ordòñez, Shih

Associate Professors: Clark, Guo, Hahn, Hollis, Hruda, Kametani, Kumar

Assistant Professors: Hubicki, Moore, Shoele, Yaghoobian;

Teaching Faculty: Ali, Campbell, Larson, McConomy, C. Ordòñez;

Adjunct Faculty: Vanderlaan;

Affiliated Faculty: Hussaini, Kopriva, Tam;

Research Faculty: Vahab, Gustavsson, Sellapa;

Professor Emeritus: Buzyna, Cartes, Krothapalli, Luongo, Van Dommelen, Van Sciver

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 identify, formulate, and solve complex engineering problems by applying principles of engineering, science, and mathematics;
  2. An ability to apply engineering design to produce solutions that meet specified needs with consideration of public health, safety, and welfare, as well as global, cultural, social, environmental, and economic factors;
  3. An ability to communicate effectively with a range of audiences;
  4. An ability to recognize ethical and professional responsibilities in engineering situations and make informed judgments, which must consider the impact of engineering solutions in global, economic, environmental, and societal contexts;
  5. An ability to function effectively on a team whose members together provide leadership, create a collaborative and inclusive environment, establish goals, plan tasks, and meet objectives
  6. An ability to develop and conduct appropriate experimentation, analyze and interpret data, and use engineering judgment to draw conclusions ;
  7. An ability to acquire and apply new knowledge as needed, using appropriate learning strategies.

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

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 materials 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, (NHMFL), the Department of Scientific Computing, the Center for Material Research and Technology (MARTECH), and the Center for Nonlinear and Non-equilibrium Aero Science.

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 is a cooperative research effort in the automated systems area across four departments (Mechanical, Chemical, Electrical and Civil) 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 multidisciplinary High-Performance Materials Institute (HPMI) performs research for emerging advanced composites, nanomaterials, mul-tifunctional materials and devices, and advanced manufacturing. Currently, HPMI is involved in four primary technology areas: High-Performance Composite and Nanomaterials, Structural Health Monitoring, Multifunctional Nanomaterials Advanced Manufacturing, and Process Modeling. Over the last several years, HPMI has proven a number of technology concepts that have the potential to narrow the gap between research and practical applications of nanotube-based materials.

The National High Magnetic Field Laboratory (NHMFL) is the only facility of its kind in the United States. The National High Magnetic Field Laboratory is the largest and highest-powered magnet laboratory in the world, headquartered in a sprawling 370,000-square foot complex near Florida State University. The lab also includes sites at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, and the University of Florida. Together these three institutions operate the lab, collaborating in a unique interdisciplinary way to advance basic science, engineering, and technology in the 21st century.

The Applied Superconductivity Center (ASC), a research division of the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory, was established to advance the science and technology of superconductivity and particularly superconductivity applications by investigating low temperature and high tempera-ture models.

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 ex-plore reliable, affordable, safe, and clean energy technologies. A key objective of ESC is to encourage future commercial application of the technolo-gies 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 Florda’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 alter-native power issues in the context of global climate change. Our goal is scholarship that eads to informed governance, economics, and decision mak-ing for a successful Florida sustainable energy strategy.

The Active Structures and Microsystems Laboratory is focused on the mechanics and physics of adaptive materials and their integration into structures and devices. This includes exploring fundamental field-coupled behavior (electric, magnetic, photomechanical, chemical), device and structural dynamics research, and the development of advanced and control designs for broadband performance and precision tracking. This requires synergies between materials science, engineering, and mathematics. We collaborate with several researchers that range in backgrounds that include physics, mathematics, experimental fluid dynamics, and materials science to advance the field.

The Cryogenics Laboratory, located in the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory, is a fully developed facility for conducting low-temperature experimental research and development. The laboratory, which occupies about 400 square meters, supports in-house development projects as well as scientific work. The experiment apparatus within the lab include the following; 1) Liquid Helium Flow Visualization Facility (LHFVF): This facility consists of a 5 m long, 20 cm ID horizontal cryogenic vacuum with vertical reservoirs at each end. A variety of experimental test sections can be installed in the facility for measurements of flow and heat transfer including flow visualization studies. The LHFVF is currently being used for PIV studies of fored flow superfluid helium. 2) Cryogenic Helium Experimental Facility (CHEF): This facility consists 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.  Currently, CHEF is being used to study high Reynolds number liquid helium flow through orifice plates. 3) Liquid Helium Research Test Stands: Numerous conventional vertical access dewars and insert cryostats are available for smaller scale experiments on heat transfer and flow. These include dewars between 10 cin ID with depths to 2 in. 4) Additional equipment: The laboratory contains all necessary equipment to carry out modern cryogenic experiments. Modern instrumentation for data acquisition is available to support experiments. High vacuum equipment includes a mass spectrometer leak detector and two portable turbo pump systems that provide thermal isolation. A high-capacity vacuum pump (500 liter/s) is used to support sub-atmospheric liquid helium experiments as low as 1.5K.

The Advanced Materials Processing and Applications Laboratory (AMPAL) is focused on processing, characterizing, and testing of materi-als in conjunction with micromechanical modeling. Materials of interest include, but are not limited to, super plastic alloys (Niobium, Copper, Alumi-num), structural steel, and high-strength conductors such as Copper- Silver. These materials are employed in a number of scientific and engineering applications ranging from superconducting and electronic applications (radio frequency cavities, magnetic materials, etc.) to structural applications. Processing involves the development of various sever plastic deformation methods such as tri-axial forging, equal channel angular extrusion (ECAE), rolling, swaging, and wire drawing suitable for producing bulk quantities of ultra-fine-grained material. Also currently being explored is a novel case hardening technique for both stainless steels and low carbon steels. The laboratory is equipped with various tools for characterization and testing. Some of the equipment include a high resolution analytical transmission electron microscope, field emission scanning electron microscope equipped with dual beams capable of perming in-situ ion-milling (ion
beam) and 2D/3D-electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD) measurements (electron beam). The micromechanics modeling efforts provide an opportunity to correlate the material properties with microstructure. The mechanical modeling effort is being used to explain tension, nano-indentation, shear, and superplasticity of advanced materials including composite. AMPAL collaborates with various other research groups and institutions both nationally and internationally to achieve our research goals.

The Scansorial and Terrestrial Robotics and Integrated Design (STRIDe) Laboratory is dedicated to the design, analysis and manufactur-ing 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 proto-typing 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


    Bachelor’s DegreeMaster’s DegreeDoctorate DegreeDual Degree

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