The Catholic University of America

Course Descriptions

Mechanical Engineering (ME) Undergraduate Courses

To view the complete schedule of courses for
each semester, go to Cardinal Station.

ME 311: Introduction to Energy and Energy Systems

3.00 Credits

This is a required, 3-credit course, primarily for Mechanical Engineering juniors. It is the first course for energies, and energy systems and technologies, including electric utility, power, propulsion, HVAC, refrigeration, and cryogenic systems. It is a course in applied thermal sciences, and discusses internal and external combustion heat engine cycles, heat pump cycles, mixtures and psychrometrics, fuels and combustion, and their associated engineering components and subsystems. An overview of form/type of energy, energy consumption, production, and reserves in the USA and the world, and modern direct energy converters are also discussed. Emphasis is placed on the quantitative analysis of performance of various energy systems and processes, and on the tradeoffs necessary for improved efficiency, operational characteristics, and environmental acceptability.

ME 314: Fundamentals of Mechatronics

3.00 Credits

This is a 3-credit, upper-level course offered to engineering juniors, seniors and graduate students. This course covers the fundamentals of technologies involved to understand, design and optimize mechatronic systems. Topics include: electric circuits and components, semiconductor electronics, digital circuits, operational amplifiers, A/D & D/A converters, sensors and measurement systems, actuators, microcontrollers and interfacing, control system and system response. The course will take a narrative approach, emphasizing the understanding of fundamentals, the importance of building intuition and integration of engineering systems.

ME 342: Junior Design

3.00 Credits

General topics: Standards; engineering economics; manufacturing processes; and intellectual property. Fundamentals of mechanical design: stress analysis; deflection analysis; failure theories; fatigue. Design of machine elements: screws; fasteners; springs; bearing; gears; shafts. Design process and the assignment of an open-ended design problem. An introduction to solid modeling.

ME 344: System Dynamics

3.00 Credits

Major topics: Mathematical modeling of dynamic systems, Laplace transforms. Transient response analysis and frequency response analysis of mechanical, electrical and fluid systems. Computational solutions of responses of dynamic systems in state space. MATLAB used for analysis and design problems.

ME 362: Heat Transfer

3.00 Credits

This is a survey course of basic heat transfer: conduction, convection, and radiation. The approach is to present the fundamental governing equation for each mechanism and discuss the relevant simplifications for practical engineering applications. This course emphasizes the practical aspects of the student's engineering education; hence, the course seeks to develop and refine the student's ability to analyze arbitrary engineering applications.

ME 371: Introduction to Aerospace Engineering

3.00 Credits

no description available

ME 373: Fundamentals of Flight

3.00 Credits

This course presents the practical aspects of flight: basic aerodynamic principles; lift and drag calculations for airfoils and wings; airplane performance parameters (thrust, glide ratio, etc.); stability and control. Time permitting, elements of propulsion and space flight will also be introduced.

ME 392: Dynamics Laboratory

2.00 Credits

Computer simulation of dynamic mechanical systems. Experimental methods for measuring the temporal and frequency response of dynamic systems. Statistical theories of measurement (error analysis, sampling, averaging, correlation).

ME 404: Structural Mechanics

3.00 Credits

no description available

ME 432: Design of Power & Propulsion Systems

3.00 Credits

no description available

ME 441: Senior Design

3.00 Credits

Students will learn topics essential for the design of mechanical systems. Topics will include design, materials and manufacturing, lubrication, friction and wear, columns, and pressure vessels. Students will incorporate engineering standards, and use freehand sketching as well as PC based tools including CAD and Matlab. The course will emphasize individual and group projects. Effective communication of complex ideas through formal oral or written form and informal free hand sketching will be emphasized.

ME 442: Senior Project

3.00 Credits

Provides students with optimum design and synthesis techniques of thermal and mechanical systems. Students apply the presented methods to creative design of complex thermal and mechanical systems. Risk, reliability, and economic analyses are introduced and utilized in the design process. Group discussion, teamwork, oral presentation, and oral reports.

ME 447: Modelling and Simulation of Mechanical/Thermal-Fluid Systems

3.00 Credits

A practical course in the application of finite element methods, computational fluid dynamics, and computational heat transfer in solving real, complex mechanical and thermal-fluid systems. Emphasis will be given to the underlying physics of the problems, specifying boundary and initial conditions, specifying materials, and verifying and interpreting results.

ME 457: Applied Rigid Body Dynamics

3.00 Credits

This course consists of a thorough coverage of kinematics and kinetics of particles, rigid bodies, and multibody systems in three dimensions. A Newton-Euler approach is used for developing equations of motion, and computer simulation of mechanical systems is used extensively. Emphasis is placed on engineering applications, including dynamics of marine, ground, and aerospace vehicles, robotics, machine tool dynamics, and biomechanics. Students are assumed to have familiarity with the fundamentals of particle and rigid body dynamics . Prerequisite: ENGR 202

ME 476: Aerodynamics

3.00 Credits

no description available

ME 487: Thermal Science Lab

2.00 Credits

This course includes the hands-on performance of and the analysis of results for selected experiments to support the lecture courses of thermodynamics (ENGR 211), fluid mechanics (ENGR 331), heat transfer (ME 362), and energy systems (ME 311). Also, students are taught technical writing skills and are required to submit laboratory reports of professional quality.