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Mechanical Engineering

About Us

The Mechanical Engineering (ME) Department at the University of South Carolina takes great pride in the development and growth of its students. Through high quality teaching, research opportunities, co-ops, proper and careful advising, and numerous professional activities, our ME students have the opportunity to excel in the classroom, laboratory, and the field. In a personable atmosphere, the students become well prepared, ready, and confident to begin their professional careers or enter graduate school.

The ME undergraduate curriculum at USC allows students to develop various levels of expertise. The curriculum allows for areas of concentration in design/manufacturing, mechanics/materials, thermofluid/energy sciences, and sustainable design development. Undergraduates interested in pursuing a graduate degree can apply three hours of their undergraduate course load towards the requirements for a Masters of Science.

This allows for students to complete BS and ME degrees in five years. ME graduate students can take advantage of small class sizes, excellent teaching, industry-sponsored projects, on-campus and off-campus delivery mechanisms, and high quality funded research to expand their abilities beyond their undergraduate degrees. By building expertise in solid mechanics, materials processes, smart materials, manufacturing automation, concurrent engineering/design, sustainable design, or thermofluid/energy sciences, students become better prepared to join the Mechanical Engineering/Manufacturing community in South Carolina and beyond.

Areas of study

Degree programs in mechanical engineering include basic courses in science and mathematics, advanced topics in mechanical engineering, and many technical electives that enable USC students to specialize in a number of areas.

At USC, the study of thermo-fluids involves heat and/or mass transfer in porous media; electronics cooling; transport phenomena in joining and manufacturing processes; the design, fabrication, packaging, and modeling of microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) for micro cooling systems and micro fluidic and biomedical devices.

At USC, the study of mechanics of materials and nondestructive evaluation improves the understanding of engineering materials and structures and their mechanical response and failure behavior, develops digital deformation measurement systems for structural evaluation and characterization, and provides engineers with advanced theories, analysis methods, and modeling/simulation/design tools for cars, ships, aircraft, etc.

At USC, the study of smart structures and condition-based maintenance of machines focuses on characterizing piezoelectric/piezomagnetic active materials and utilizing them for structural health monitoring, damage detection, diagnostics/prognostics of machinery/active/adaptive vibration control, health monitoring of rotating machinery, aircraft, and condition-based maintenance of mechanical systems.

At USC, the study of mechatronics involves the integration of mechanical systems and electronics such as electromechanical systems with embedded sensors, microcontrollers, actuation, and process control; robots and autonomous vehicles; and automotive systems.

At USC, the study of nanotechnology develops nanostructured materials, including the design, fabrication/processing, reliability testing, nanomechanical characterization, and simulation of nanowires, nanofilms, and nanocomposites.

At USC, the study of manufacturing and materials processing includes the development and modeling of advanced joining technology for friction stir welding of Ti alloys, steel alloys, thick-section Al alloys, and Al metal matrix composites.

At USC, the study of nuclear engineering focuses on advanced nuclear fuels and materials, thermal hydraulics, reactor design, advanced fuel cycles, structural integrity of nuclear reactor vessels and piping systems, embrittlement of reactor vessel steels, and application of nuclear power in future energy economies for sustainability, including the production of hydrogen from nuclear energy and use of hydrogen as a fuel.