ME Undergraduate Program
Mechanical Engineering majors at CSUN receive a solid education in the fundamentals of the discipline augmented by hands-on experience that the employers of our graduates have found to be invaluable.
The program includes study of modern topics including lab courses in contemporary measurement methods and mechatronics, the interaction between mechanical and electronic systems.
The freshmen and sophomore years provide the student with a breadth of knowledge that is required in specialized courses and in the career work of the mechanical engineer. During these years, students take courses in mathematics, chemistry, physics, engineering materials, engineering mechanics, and electrical systems. The junior year courses include engineering economics, engineering dynamics, strength of materials, thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, heat transfer, mechanical design, and the numerical analysis of engineering systems.
The senior year is composed of a group of required courses and elective courses that are related to the student’s area of specialization within Mechanical Engineering. The required courses include system dynamics, mechatronics, and two semesters of senior design. Students can take their electives to obtain more in-depth knowledge in the specialization areas listed below.
The Mechanical Engineering Department takes a practical approach to engineering, offering hands-on design experience as well as theoretical knowledge. A key to this practical training is the department’s senior design program, which is modeled on the industry workgroups that students will encounter on the job. Like professional engineers, our students design and develop a project, from conception through manufacture. In the process they gain valuable experience in working as a team, overcoming technical and management challenges and developing communication skills.
Past senior design projects have included: human-powered and solar-powered vehicles, super mileage vehicles, mini Baja (off-road) race cars, Formula SAE race cars, intelligent ground vehicles/mobile robots, battle-bots, and payload maximized model aircraft.
The ME Department offers a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering (BSME) degree. Mechanical engineering majors may elect one of the following specialization areas:
• Energy and power
• Mechanical design
• Mechatronics and robotics
All mechanical engineering majors must complete the same set of requirements, but each specialization area will consist of a different set of senior electives.
CECS Policy on Double Majors
For students who wish to pursue a double major, where both majors are offered by the College of Engineering and Computer Science, two conditions must be satisfied:
a) The second major must require at least 30 units of additional non-overlapping course work.
b) The chairs of both departments offering the two majors must sign the approval form (except if both majors are in one department, then that chair's signature is sufficient)."
Additional information about the undergraduate program is available in the CSUN catalog.
To apply for admission, or to learn more about CSUN, visit the Admissions and Records website.
ME 101/L. INTRODUCTION TO MECHANICAL ENGINEERING and LAB (1/1)
Prerequisite: MATH 102, 104, 105, 150A or 150B, or a passing score on the Math Placement Test (MPT) that satisfies prerequisites for MATH 150A or MATH 255A. Corequisite: ME 101L.Corequisite: ME 101L. Freshman orientation course for the Mechanical Engineering program, the profession, and an introduction to the University. “Tools of the trade” - the internet, word processing, spreadsheets, power point, computer-aided design, basic lab measurement instruments, commercial component catalogs, and numerically controlled machine tools to support prototype fabrication are introduced in the context of engineering practice. Fundamental engineering analysis/design is explored through simple examples covering all aspects of Mechanical Engineering. 1 hour lecture; 3 hours lab per week.
ME 122. ENERGY AND SOCIETY (3)
Prerequisite: Completion of the lower-division writing requirement. Energy production and utilization in a technological society. Sources of energy. Relations between energy, technology, and industrial output. Present and projected use patterns. Alternative energy sources for the future. Designed for non-majors. Regular written assignments are required. (Available for General Education: Subject Explorations - Lifelong Learning)
ME 125. HOW THINGS WORK (3)
Prerequisite: Completion of the lower-division writing requirement. Intended for nonscientists seeking a connection between science and technology and the world in which they live. Primary goal is to allow students to begin to see science and technology in everyday life. How Things Work is about ordinary objects and the application of physical concepts that make them possible. Commonly used objects such as automobiles, amplifiers, cameras, airplanes and rockets, the sea and surfing, computers, etc., are used as examples to provide an easy-to-understand look at the role science and technology plays in our society. Designed for non-engineering majors. (Available for General Education: Subject Explorations - Lifelong Learning)
ME 196A-Z/L. EXPERIMENTAL TOPICS COURSES IN MECHANICAL ENGINEERING (1/1)
Corequisites: ME 196AL-ZL
ME 186/L. COMPUTER-AIDED DESIGN AND LAB (1/1)
Prerequisites: ME 101/L. COREQUISITE: ME 186L. Introduction to concepts in engineering graphics and their implementation with Computer-Aided Design (CAD) parametric modeling tools. Creation of sketches, parts, assemblies, and engineering drawings. Application to group project, including oral and written reports. One hour of lecture and three hours of lab per week.
ME 209. PROGRAMMING FOR MECHANICAL ENGINEERS (1)
Corequisite: MATH 150A. Basic programming concepts, implemented with Visual Basic for Applications (VBA), with an emphasis on engineering problem solving. Topics include the use of flowcharts, variable types, the Excel/VBA environment, decision and looping structures, and program debugging. Three hours of lab per week.
ME 280. DIFFERENTIAL EQUATIONS FOR MECHANICAL ENGINEERS (3)
Prerequisites: MATH 150B. Recommended preparatory course: Math 250. Introduction to differential equations used in engineering applications. Engineering analysis of physical systems described by differential equations: pendulums, mass-spring damper, R-L-C circuits, vibrations, beam bending, heat transfer, and hydrodynamics. Exploration of solution techniques, including undetermined coefficients, power series, and Laplace Transform. Determination of initial/boundary conditions. Linear algebra and solution of systems of differential equations. Introduction to partial differential equations and separation of variables. Not available to students with credit for Math 280 or ECE 280.
ME 286. MECHANICAL ENGINEERING DESIGN (2)
Prerequisites: ME 186/L. Introduction to mechanical design, design methodology, and design for manufacturing. Engineering materials selection, metal forming/removal theory and practice. A group design project is required. Two hours of lecture per week.
ME 296A-Z. EXPERIMENTAL TOPICS COURSES IN MECHANICAL ENGINEERING (1-4)
ME 309. NUMERICAL ANALYSIS OF ENGINEERING SYSTEMS (2)
Prerequisites: MATH 150B; ME 209 or COMP 106/L or ECE 206/L or CE 280/L. Features engineering problems which require the use of algorithms and numerical analysis to obtain a solution. Modern tools such as spreadsheets with imbedded high level languages are used for analysis and code development. Program documentation which requires extensive use of computer-based technical writing skills with graphical presentations. Cross section of problems are selected from various branches of engineering. Two 3-hour labs each week.
ME 330 MACHINE DESIGN (3)
Prerequisites: ME 286; CE 340. Engineering principles and practice in the selection and design of fasteners, bearings, couplings, shafting, transmissions and other mechanical power transmission devices. Design Project. 3 hours
lecture per week.
ME 335/L. MECHANICAL MEASUREMENTS and LAB (1/1)
Prerequisites: PHYS 220B/L. Corequisite: ME 335L. Measurement of temperature, pressure, flow rate, force, and motion. Statistical methods for analysis of uncertainty and experiment design. Use of data acquisition software for data collection and storage. Analysis of dynamic response of instruments. Written and oral presentations of experimental results. One hour lecture and one
3-hour lab per week.
ME 370. THERMODYNAMICS (3)
Prerequisites: MATH 250; PHYS 220A/L. Fundamental theories and engineering applications of thermodynamics with emphasis of 1st and 2nd laws of thermodynamics. Thermodynamic properties of solids, liquids, gases, and mixtures. Work-producing and work-absorbing systems. Applications to design.
ME 375. HEAT TRANSFER I (3)
Prerequisites: MATH 250; PHYS 220A/L. Basic principles of heat transfer and their application. Introduction to conductive, convective, and radiative heat transfer. Applications to design.
ME 384. SYSTEM DYNAMICS: MODELING, ANALYSIS AND SIMULATION (3)
Prerequisite: AM 316; ECE 240/L. Corequisite: ME 390. Modeling of dynamic engineering systems in various energy domains: mechanical, electrical, hydraulic and pneumatic; using bond graphs, block diagrams and state equations. Analysis of response of system models. Digital computer simulation.
ME 386/L. COMPUTER-AIDED ANALYSIS AND DESIGN AND LAB (2/1)
Prerequisites: ME 286. COREQUISITES: ME386, ME 330. This course addresses the use of Finite Element Analysis (FEA) tools for effective and efficient design of mechanical elements. A commercial, general purpose FEA software application is used for the solution of non-trivial problems. Emphasis will be placed on the selection of suitable FE models, and interpretation and critical evaluation of the results. The integration of the use of FEA tools in a well organized design process is also emphasized. Lecture material is complemented by laboratory case studies and a design project. Two hours of lecture and three hours of lab per week.
ME 390. FLUID MECHANICS (3)
Prerequisite: MATH 250; PHYS 220A/L. Fundamental equations of fluid mechanics are derived and applied to engineering problems, with emphasis on understanding the physical principles involved. Basic developments are applied to compressible as well as incompressible fluids. Selective exploration of the state of the art of experimental knowledge in major areas of applications. Applications to design.
ME 396A-Z. EXPERIMENTAL TOPICS COURSES IN MECHANICAL ENGINEERING (1-4)
ME 400A. ENGINEERING DESIGN CLINIC I (1-3)
Group design experience involving teams of students and faculty working on the solution of engineering design problems submitted by industry and government agencies.
ME 400B. ENGINEERING DESIGN CLINIC II (1-3)
Prerequisite: ME 400A. Continuation of ME 400A.
ME 415. KINEMATICS OF MECHANISMS (3)
Prerequisite: AM 316; upper-division standing. Study of forces and motion of constrained mechanisms in machine systems. Analysis of linkages, cams, sliders, crank and rocker, offset crank-slider, universal joints, etc. Internal combustion engine is utilized to demonstrate application of these elements at a systems level.
ME 430. MACHINE DESIGN APPLICATIONS (3)
Prerequisite: ME 330; CE 340. Continuation of ME 330 with emphasis on fatigue of machine parts, life, wear and friction considerations. Turbine, pump, transmissions and other devices discussed and analyzed as case studies. Design project.
ME 432. MACHINE DESIGN LAB (1)
Prerequisite: ME 330. Examination of the design process and review of machine elements. Applications of CAD to machine design: design projects with machine drawings. Introduction to machining and machine tools: fabrication of machine parts.
ME 433. TRIBOLOGY: LUBRICATION, FRICTION AND WEAR (3)
Prerequisite: ME 390. Study of adhesion, friction, wear and lubricated behavior of solid surfaces in relative motion. Hydrodynamic lubrication, bearing load criteria, leakage and heat balance. Influence of bearing material, surface finish and lubricant composition on the design of lubricated mechanical systems including rolling elements, gears, cams and linkages.
ME 434. GEOMETRIC DIMENSIONING AND TOLERANCING (3)
Prerequisites: ME 330. Fundamental principles of geometric dimensioning and tolerancing (GD&T) and their applications in computer aided mechanical design. Interpretation of fits, limits, and tolerances. Thorough analysis of coordinate and positional tolerancing. Gaging techniques, material conditions and current standards examined. Design project required. Available for graduate credit. Three hours of lecture per week.
ME 435/L. MECHATRONICS and LAB (2/1)
Prerequisite: ECE 240/L. Corequisite: ME 435L. Recommended corequisite: ME 335 or ECE 320. Machine and process control applications, data acquisition systems, sensors and transducers, actuating devices, hardware controllers, transducer signal processing and conditioning. 2 hours lecture and one 3-hour lab each week. (Crosslisted with ECE 435/L)
ME 470. THERMODYNAMICS II (3)
Prerequisite: ME 370. Continuation of Thermo-dynamics I with applications to engineering systems. Gas and vapor cycles for power and refrigeration. Reactive and non-reactive mixtures. Introduction to combustion.
ME 482. ALTERNATIVE ENERGY ENGINEERING I (3)
Prerequisite: ME 370. Principles of non-fossil fueled energy conversion systems. Review of principles of energy release in nuclear reactions. Analysis and design techniques applicable to fission, fusion, and geothermal power plants. Environmental effects, safety and safeguards considerations.
ME 483. ALTERNATIVE ENERGY ENGINEERING II (3)
Prerequisites: ME 370; 375. Solar radiation characteristics. Solar energy collection and conversion devices. Design and analysis of passive and active solar energy systems. Solar electric power production. Wind energy conversion. Economic analysis.
ME 484/L. CONTROL OF MECHANICAL SYSTEMS and LAB (2/1)
Prerequisites: ME 384. Corequisite 484L. Classical feedback control theory emphasizing mechanical systems. Time domain, frequency domain, techniques: stability criteria, system sensitivity. Introduction to design compensation and methods. Digital computer simulation of translational and rotational mechanical, hydraulic and pneumatic systems. Control system design projects. 2-hour lecture and one 3-hour lab per week.
ME 485. INTRODUCTION TO ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING (3)
Prerequisite: ME 370. Application of concepts of mass and energy balances to environmental problems, as a basis for analyzing and understanding the multimedia aspect of environmental engineering. Introduction of principles of air pollution control and global climate change, water and wastewater treatment, groundwater contamination, hazardous waste, risk assessment, and resource recovery. Qualitative and quantitative analysis of sources of pollutants and treatment and reduction processes. Description of pertinent environmental legislations. A semester long team design project is assigned.
ME 486A. SENIOR DESIGN IN MECHANICAL ENGINEERING I (2)
Prerequisite: ME 386. First semester of a two semester capstone design experience, simulating professional mechanical engineering practice. Emphasis is on the application of engineering fundamentals to a comprehensive design project, utilizing Computer Aided Design and Analysis tools. Addresses effective group participation, and preparation of written and oral preliminary and critical design reviews. Ethical, regulatory, manufacturing, and economic issues are considered as required by the project definition. Two 3-hour labs per week.
ME 486B. SENIOR DESIGN IN MECHANICAL ENGINEERING II (2)
Prerequisite: ME 486A. Continuation of ME 486A. Continuation and realization of the design project initiated in ME 486A. Project culminates in a final written report and oral presentation. Two 3-hour labs per week.
ME 486C. DESIGN LEADERSHIP (3)
Prerequisite: Instructor consent. Capstone design project management and design leadership through participation in large group simulation of Engineering design project that takes process from concept to demonstrated hardware.
ME 490. FLUID DYNAMICS (3)
Prerequisite: ME 390. Second-semester fluids course with applications to systems of engineering interest. Potential flows, boundary layers, duct flows, lubrication theory, lift and drag. One dimensional compressible flow with area change, friction, heating/cooling, normal shock waves, oblique shock waves, and Prandtl-Meyer expansions. Both numerical and analytical solution techniques are explored.
ME 491. THERMAL-FLUIDS LAB (1)
Prerequisite: ME 335; 370; 390; 375. Experimental studies of fluid mechanics, thermodynamics, and heat transfer. Measurement and analysis of performance of simple cyclic devices, aerodynamic shapes, turbomachines, piping systems, and heat exchangers. one 3-hour lab per week.
ME 493. HYDRAULICS (3)
Prerequisite: ME 390. Fundamental principles of incompressible fluid flow and their applications to pipe flow, open channel flow, and the performance of hydraulic turbomachines. Flow in pipe systems ranging from simple series systems to complex branched networks. Uniform flows, gradually varying flows, rapid transitions, and hydraulic jumps in open channels. Performance of radial, mixed-flow, and axial flow centrifugal pumps and turbines, and of impulse turbines.
ME 496A-Z. EXPERIMENTAL TOPICS COURSES IN MECHANICAL ENGINEERING (1-4)
ME 498. SUPERVISED INDIVIDUAL PROJECTS (1-3)
Studies in Mechanical Engineering. (See subtitle in appropriate Schedule of Classes)
ME 499A-C. INDEPENDENT STUDY (1-3)
COURSE DESCRIPTIONS - AEROSPACE ENGINEERING
- AE 196A-Z. Experimental Topics Courses in Aerospace Engineering (1-4)
- AE 296A-Z. Experimental Topics Courses in Aerospace Engineering (1-4)
- AE 396A-Z. Experimental Topics Courses in Aerospace Engineering (1-4)
- AE 400A. Engineering Design Clinic I (1-3)
- Group design experience involving teams of students and faculty working on the solution of engineering design problems submitted by industry and government agencies.
- AE 400B. Engineering Design Clinic II (1-3)
- Prerequisite: AE 400A. Continuation of AE 400A.
- AE 472. Aeropropulsion Systems (3)
- Prerequisites: ME 390; ME 370. Analysis of aeropropulsion systems: gas turbine, fan jet, ram jet, scram jet, scram-rocket, solid rocket and liquid rocket systems. Introduction to aero-thermodynamics, and advanced propellant combustion processes.
- AE 480. Fundamentals of Aerospace Engineering (3)
- Prerequisites: PHYS 220A/L; ME 390. Atmospheric structure/ space environment. Aircraft/spacecraft configurations. Aircraft/missile systems performance: flight envelope, aerodynamic approximations, available propulsion systems, structural form; take-off, landing, climb and range. Introduction to vehicle stability and control.
- AE 486A. Senior Design in Aerospace Engineering I (2)
- Prerequisite: Senior standing in Engineering. Capstone design experience, simulating the “real” engineering environment. Synthesis of engineering fundamentals applied to systems design through group participation. Computer-Aided-Engineering Design. Construct, develop and test proposed design components; use of wind tunnels, engine dynamometers, computerized simulations of systems performance. Two three-hour labs per week.
- AE 486B. Senior Design in Aerospace Engineering II (2)
- Prerequisite: AE 486A. Continuation of AE 486A. Students carry out the group design project initiated in AE 486A. Influence of technical, legal, ethical and regulatory constraints are considered. Computer-Aided-Engineering Design methods are utilized. Two three-hour labs per week.
- AE 496A-Z. Experimental Topics Courses in Aerospace Engineering (1-4)
- AE 498. Supervised Individual Projects (1-3)
- Studies in Aerospace Engineering with course content to be determined. (See subtitle in appropriate
- Schedule of Classes)
- AE 499A-C. Independent Study (1-3)