Mechanical Engineering

Doctoral Program

Doctoral Programs in Mechanical Engineering

The UMass Lowell Department of Mechanical Engineering offers two doctoral degree tracks with two options each.

Ph.D. Option in Mechanical Engineering

The intent of the Doctor of Philosophy program is to prepare engineers for leadership positions in industry, academia and government. The programs includes advanced graduate course work in engineering and allied subjects and research, culminating in a doctoral dissertation. The Ph.D. degree is oriented toward academic research.

Admission Requirements

Applicants must have a minimum of a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering, or a closely related field with a minimum grade point average of 3.0 and an min GPA of 3.25 in science and engineering courses. Applicants with a M.S. in Mechanical Engineering, or a closely related field, must have a minimum graduate GPA of 3.25.

One of the letters of recommendation submitted as part of the graduate school application should be from a mechanical engineering department faculty member willing to act as thesis advisor.

Transfer Credits

  1. A student with a master's degree in Engineering or a closely related field may apply to have coursework for the master's degree up to a total of 24 credits.
  2. A student with graduate-level work completed at an accredited US of Canadian university may apply for transfer of up to 24 semester credits in acceptable graduate engineering courses (with grade of B or better) towards the doctoral program, upon approval by the Department Graduate Coordinator.
  3. In cases where a student has an M.B.A., or has completed the Business Administration Minor for Engineering students, in addition to a B.S. in engineering or a closely related field, portions of the management component of the Doctor of Engineering program may be waived upon review by the administering department.

Note: Students may be required to make up prerequisites which they lack in comparison to the equivalent Engineering curriculum at the University of Massachusetts Lowell.

Degree Requirements

A total of 63 credit hours of graduate level courses are required for the Ph.D. degree. The Ph.D. degree must involve a traditional research-based dissertation, plus:

  • A minimum of 30 approved credit hours of graduate-level engineering courses, including associated science and math courses.
  • A minimum of 21 credit hours of doctoral dissertation.
  • The balance of the remaining 12 credits can be a mix of graduate-level engineering including associated science and math course and dissertation credits at the discretion of the department, faculty advisor and dissertation committee.

In addition to these 63 semester hours of approved graduate courses and thesis:

  • The student must have a minimum grade point average of 3.25 in order to graduate.
  • The student is required to take and pass the doctoral qualifying examination.

Among the coursework, the Ph.D candidate must take:

  • One Course in advanced mathematics:
    • MECH.5200 Numerical Methods for Partial Differential Equations
    • ENGY.5390 (CHEN.5390) Mathematical Methods for Engineers
    • MATH.5300 Applied Math I
    • MATH.5450 Partial Differential Equations
    • Or another advanced mathematics approved by the graduate coordinator
  • Four courses from the following five areas of concentration:

1. Mechanics & Materials Concentration:

  • MECH.5120 Applied Finite Elements
  • MECH.5130 Finite Element Analysis I
  • MECH.6140 Finite Element Analysis II
  • MECH.6010 Special Topics: Mechanics/Materials
  • MECH.5970 Processing of Composites
  • MECH.5960 Composite Materials
  • MECH.5910 Mechanical Behavior of Materials
  • MECH.5690 Fracture Mechanics
  • MECH.5620 Solid Mechanics I
  • MECH.5140 Finite Element Analysis of Composites

2. Thermofluids Concentration:

  • MECH.5400 Heat Conduction
  • MECH.5420 Convective Heat and Mass Transfer
  • MECH.5450 Advanced Industrial Heat and Mass Transfer
  • MECH.5490 Cooling of Electronic Equipment
  • MECH.5530 MEMS & Microsystems
  • MECH.5580 Aero/Wing Engineering
  • MECH.5590 Multi-Scale Computational Fluid Dynamics I
  • MECH.5600 Multi-Scale Computational Fluid Dynamics II
  • MECH.5810 Advanced Fluid Mechanics
  • MECH.5830 Advanced Aerodynamics
  • MECH.6020 Special Topics: Thermofluids
  • CHEN.5280 Advanced Transport Phenomena

3. Energy Concentration:

  • MECH.5040 Energy Engineering Workshop
  • MECH.5210 Solar Fundamentals
  • MECH.5250 Grid-Connected Solar Electric System
  • MECH.5260 Transport Processes in Energy Systems
  • MECH.5270 Solar Energy Engineering
  • MECH.5280 Photovoltaics Manufacturing
  • MECH.5340 Green Combustion and Biofuels
  • CHEN.5280 Advanced Transport Phenomena
  • ENGY.5050 Reactor Physics
  • ENGY.5070 Reactor Engineering and Safety Analysis
  • ENGY.5090 Dynamic Systems

4. Vibrations/Dynamics/Controls Concentration:

  • MECH.5100 Dynamics and Diagnostics of Rotating Machinery
  • MECH.5130 Finite Element Analysis I
  • MECH.5150 Modal Analysis
  • MECH.5160 Experimental Modal Analysis
  • MECH.5180 Signal Processing Techniques
  • MECH.5240 Fundamentals of Acoustics
  • MECH.5300 Autonomous Robotic Systems
  • MECH.5500 Vibrations
  • MECH.5540 Dynamic Systems and Controls
  • MECH.5790 Robotics
  • MECH.6030 Special Topics: Vibration Dynamics
  • MECH.6110 Matrix Methods
  • EECE.5130 Control Systems
  • EECE.5840 Probability and Random Processes

5. Manufacturing Concentration:

  • MECH.5120 Applied Finite Elements
  • MECH.5490 Cooling of Electronic Equipment
  • MECH.5530 MEMS & Microsystems
  • MECH.5710 Collaborative Engineering
  • MECH.5720 Manufacturing Processes
  • MECH.5740 Design for Reliability Engineering
  • MECH.5750 Industrial Design of Experiments
  • MECH.5760 Engineering Project Management
  • MECH.5770 Event Driven Manufacturing
  • MECH.5790 Robotics

Combined Qualifying Examination and Dissertation Proposal

The Doctoral Qualifying Exam will consist of a written dissertation proposal (a document of typically 20 to 50 pages without appendices) and associated oral presentation by the examinee to an audience of peers and a committee of faculty members (minimum of three) where one of whom must be the examinee's dissertation advisor. The committee may have in addition one or more members from outside UML.

At least one week prior to the date of the presentation of the dissertation proposal, an announcement document must be submitted to the department graduate coordinator and to the Associate Dean of Graduate Studies in the College of Engineering by the Associate Dean of Graduate Studies.

The dissertation proposal is open to the public. The proposal will outline the motivation for the research, give a summary of the related past work in the area and present the scope of the proposed dissertation research. The presentation should be approximately 30 minutes. The proposal should clearly articulate the proposed contribution of the student to the knowledge base and how it differs from the past work. The examinee will be expected to answer question from the audience that demonstrate his/her understanding of the proposed research, as well as demonstration his/her proficiency in the general research field related to the dissertation proposal.

D.Eng. Option in Mechanical Engineering

The intent of the Doctor of Engineering program is to prepare engineers for leadership positions in industry, academia and government. The programs includes advanced graduate course work in engineering and allied subjects and research, culminating in a doctoral dissertation. Compared to the Ph.D. degree, the D.Eng is oriented toward industry.

Admission Requirements

Applicants must have a minimum of a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering, or a closely related field with a minimum grade point average of 3.0 and an min GPA of 3.25 in science and engineering courses. Applicants with a M.S. in Mechanical Engineering, or a closely related field, must have a minimum graduate GPA of 3.25.

In the cases where a student has an M.B.A., or has completed the Business Administration Minor for Engineering student, in addition to a B.S. in engineering or its equivalent, portions of the management component of the Doctor of Engineering program may be waived upon review by the administering department.

One of the letters of recommendation submitted as part of the graduate school application should be from a mechanical engineering department faculty member willing to act as thesis advisor.

Transfer Credits

  1. A student with a master's degree in Engineering or a closely related field may apply to have coursework for the master's degree up to a total of 24 credits.
  2. A student with graduate-level work completed at an accredited US of Canadian university may apply for transfer of up to 24 semester credits in acceptable graduate engineering courses (with grade of B or better) towards the doctoral program, upon approval by the Department Graduate Coordinator.
  3. In cases where a student has an M.B.A., or has completed the Business Administration Minor for Engineering students, in addition to a B.S. in engineering or a closely related field, portions of the management component of the Doctor of Engineering program may be waived upon review by the administering department.

Note: Students may be required to make up prerequisites which they lack in comparison to the equivalent Engineering curriculum at the University of Massachusetts Lowell.

Degree Requirements

A total of 63 credit hours of graduate level courses are required for the D.Eng degree. These credits are composed of the following three componants:

  • 33 approved credit hours of graduate-level engineering courses, which must include doctoral core, described below.
  • 9 credit hours of approved management-type courses.
  • 21 credit hours of doctoral dissertation. The D.Eng. degree can involve a dissetation that involves an industry-based project.

In addition to these 63 semester hours of approved graduate courses and thesis:

  • The student must have a minimum grade point average of 3.25 in order to graduate.
  • Students are required to take and pass the doctoral qualifying examination.
  • Students must take a doctoral candidacy (thesis defense) examination.

Doctoral Core Requirement

Students must satisfy the following doctoral core requirement:

  • One Course in solid mechanics
  • One Course in Thermal fluids (approved by grad coordinator)
  • Two Courses in advanced mathematics (approved by grad coordinator)
  • Four courses from the following five areas of concentration:

1. Mechanics & Materials Concentration:

  • MECH.5120 Applied Finite Elements
  • MECH.5130 Finite Element Analysis I
  • MECH.5140 Finite Element Analysis of Composites
  • MECH.5620 Solid Mechanics I
  • MECH.5690 Fracture Mechanics
  • MECH.5910 Mechanical Behavior of Materials
  • MECH.5960 Composite Materials
  • MECH.5970 Processing of Composites
  • MECH.6010 Special Topics: Mechanics/Materials
  • MECH.6140 Finite Element Analysis II

2. Thermofluids Concentration:

  • MECH.5400 Heat Conduction
  • MECH.5420 Convective Heat and Mass Transfer
  • MECH.5450 Advanced Industrial Heat and Mass Transfer
  • MECH.5490 Cooling of Electronic Equipment
  • MECH.5530 MEMS & Microsystems
  • MECH.5580 Aero/Wing Engineering
  • MECH.5590 Multi-Scale Computational Fluid Dynamics I
  • MECH.5600 Multi-Scale Computational Fluid Dynamics II
  • MECH.5810 Advanced Fluid Mechanics
  • MECH.5830 Advanced Aerodynamics
  • MECH.6020 Special Topics: Thermofluids
  • CHEN.5280 Advanced Transport Phenomena

3. Energy Concentration:

  • MECH.5040 Energy Engineering Workshop
  • MECH.5210 Solar Fundamentals
  • MECH.5250 Grid-Connected Solar Electric Systems
  • MECH.5260 Transport Processes in Energy Systems
  • MECH.5270 Solar Energy Engineering
  • MECH.5280 Photovoltaics Manufacturing
  • MECH.5340 Green Combustion and Biofuels
  • CHEN.5280 Advanced Transport Phenomena
  • ENGY.5050 Reactor Physics
  • ENGY.5070 Reactor Engineering and Safety Analysis
  • ENGY.5090 Dynamic Systems

4. Vibrations/Dynamics/Controls Concentration:

  • MECH.5100 Dynamics and Diagnostics of Rotating Machinery
  • MECH.5130 Finite Element Analysis I
  • MECH.5150 Modal Analysis
  • MECH.5160 Experimental Modal Analysis
  • MECH.5180 Signal Processing Techniques
  • MECH.5240 Fundamentals of Acoustics
  • MECH.5300 Autonomous Robotic Systems
  • MECH.5500 Vibrations
  • MECH.5540 Dynamic Systems and Controls
  • MECH.5790 Robotics
  • MECH.6030 Special Topics: Vibration Dynamics
  • MECH.6110 Matrix Methods
  • EECE.5130 Control Systems
  • EECE.5840 Probability and Random Processes

5. Manufacturing Concentration:

  • MECH.5120 Applied Finite Elements
  • MECH.5490 Cooling of Electronic Equipment
  • MECH.5530 MEMS & Microsystems
  • MECH.5710 Collaborative Engineering
  • MECH.5720 Manufacturing Processes
  • MECH.5740 Design for Reliability Engineering
  • MECH.5750 Industrial Design of Experiments
  • MECH.5760 Engineering Project Management
  • MECH.5770 Event Driven Manufacturing
  • MECH.5790 Robotics

Management Courses for the Doctor of Engineering Degree

D.Eng. students are required to take 9 credits of graduate management courses from the following list:

  • MECH.5760 Engineering Project Management (3 credits)
  • PLAS.5070 Plastics Industry Organization (3 credits)
  • PLAS.5140 Statistics for Six Sigma (3 credits)
  • PLAS.5150 Lean Plastics Manufacturing (3 credits)
  • PLAS.5370 Business Law for Engineers (3 credits)
  • PLAS.5400 Commercial Development of Polymeric Systems (3 credits)
  • PLAS.5900 Survey of Intellectual Property (3 credits)
  • ACCT.5010 Financial Accounting (2 credits)
  • FINA.5010 Business Finance (2 credits)
  • MKTG.5010 Marketing Fundamentals (2 credits)
  • POMS.5010 Operations Fundamentals (2 credits)
  • MGMT.5010 Organizational Behavior (2 credits)
  • MGMT.5110 Global Enterprise & Competition (2 credits)
  • MGMT.6150 New Venture Creation (3 credits)

Qualifying Examination

Students must take the doctoral qualifying examination at the end of their first year of study. This examination tests basic competency at the undergraduate level. The student is permitted two attempts at passing the qualifying examination. Students who fail the qualifying examination the first time must retake the exam at its next scheduled offering. Students failing the doctoral exam twice will automatically be dismissed from the doctoral program. Those who do not take the examination at the prescribed time may lose all their financial support, if any, and may be dismissed from the doctoral program.

Candidacy Examination and Dissertation Proposal

The research work for the dissertation shall be conducted under the supervision of a departmental faculty advisor and a committee of two others. Students are required to submit and defend a dissertation proposal before a Department Doctoral Committee. Students may register for no more than six credit hours of research in preparing a formal dissertation proposal. This proposal, and the student’s ability to perform the research, must be orally defended before the student’s doctoral committee and other interested parties. This constitutes the candidacy examination.

Upon passing this examination, and completing all course requirements, the student becomes a candidate for the D.Eng degree and may register for additional research credit with the advisor’s approval.