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Department ofMechanical Engineering


Doctor of Philosophy Program 

Mission Statement

The mission of the Mechanical Engineering Department, at the graduate level, is to empower students to play a pivotal role in shaping the future through impactful and transformative careers in mechanical engineering and related fields. We offer a robust foundation in mechanical sciences and cutting-edge research techniques. Guided by Jesuit principles, we aim to educate ethically conscious and innovative problem solvers who can creatively address real-world challenges. Our commitment to pioneering research ensures graduates are well-equipped to make substantial contributions to state-of-the-art knowledge in the field and build strong connections with the local industry in Silicon Valley.

Student Learning Outcomes

Students will be able to

  • Apply advanced concepts in mechanical engineering, mathematics, and science to solve complex mechanical engineering problems.
  • Employ fundamental concepts to adapt to evolving technologies and emerging advancements in the field of Mechanical Engineering.
  • Understand the ethical and societal impacts of technological innovations and engineering solutions.
  • Conduct original independent research to identify and address scientific research questions contributing to current literature.
  • Communicate research findings effectively through oral, visual, and written means.

The Doctor of Philosophy degree is conferred by the School of Engineering primarily in recognition of competence in the subject field and the ability to investigate engineering problems independently, resulting in a new contribution to knowledge in the field.

See the section on Academic Regulations for details on admission and general degree requirements. The following departmental information augments the general School requirements.

Academic Advisor

A temporary academic advisor will be provided to the student upon admission. The student and advisor must meet prior to registration for the second quarter to complete a preliminary program of studies, which will be determined largely by the coursework needed preparatory to the preliminary exam.

Preliminary Exam

A preliminary exam is offered at least once per year by the School of Engineering as needed. The purpose is to assure that the students have sufficient knowledge of fundamental principles in one or more Mechanical Engineering disciplines. The exam will test material covered in typical first-year graduate level MECH subjects, and we expect students to spend sufficient time (at least a couple of months) to pass the exam. Each student is required to choose one Mathematics subject and two MECH subjects for the test in consultation with their PhD advisor. Up to two hours will be given for each subject, but detailed arrangements of the test may vary for subjects. Candidates must reach out to the faculty in charge of each subject to understand the scope and arrangement of the exam (duration, use of a calculator, open/closed books, suggested textbooks for preparation, etc.)

MECH courses (choose 2): Dynamics; Controls; Fluid Mechanics; Heat Transfer; Solid Mechanics; Finite Element Analysis; Materials; Thermodynamics; Mechatronics; Robotics; Design

MATH course (choose 1): Engineering Math; Linear Algebra; Probability & Statistics