Jun 04, 2023  
2017-2018 Graduate Catalog 
2017-2018 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Mechanical Engineering (MENG)

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CHARLES EGGLETON, Professor and Chair
NEIL ROTHMAN, Graduate Program Director

Degrees Offered

M.S., Ph.D., P.B.C. (Degree Types )



CHARALAMBIDES, PANOS G., Ph.D., University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign; Fracture mechanics, mechanics of composites, non-linear material behavior, biomechanics, finite elements, computational mechanics, technology transfer
EGGLETON, CHARLES D., Ph.D., Stanford University; Biomechanics, computational fluid mechanics
KHAN, AKHTAR S., Ph.D., The Johns Hopkins University; Dynamic plasticity, constitutive modeling of finite plastic behavior, fracture mechanics, rock mechanics, experimental mechanics
TOPOLESKI, L.D. TIMMIE, Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania; Biomaterials and biomechanics, fracture and fatigue of natural and biological materials
ZHU, LIANG, Ph.D., City University of New York; Biomechanics and heat transfer
ZHU, WEIDONG, Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley; Vibrations and dynamics

Associate Professors

FARQUHAR, TONY, Ph.D., Cornell University; Mechanics of living structures, mechanical design
MA, RONGHUI, Ph.D., Stony Brook University (SUNY at Stony Brook); Computational heat transfer and fluid dynamic with specific emphasis on novel materials processing and MEMS devices
ZUPAN, MARC, Ph.D., The Johns Hopkins University; Micro-mechanics of materials and structures

Assistant Professors

GADSDEN, S. ANDREW, PhD., PE, PMP, McMaster University (Ontario); advanced control systems; state and parameter estimation theory
LEE, SOOBUM, Ph.D., KAIST Korea; Energy Harvesting, Design Optimization
ROMERO-TALAMÁS, CARLOS, Ph.D., California Institute of Technology; Plasma science and industrial applications, self organization in strongly coupled complex plasmas, magneto fluids
YU, MEILIN, Ph.D., Iowa State University; state-of-the-art numerical tools, renewable energy harvesting, flapping wing aerodynamics, fluid-structure interaction, numerical optimization, high-order numerical methods, and efficient algorithms for solving nonlinear systems

Professors of the Practice

ROTHMAN, NEIL, Ph.D., The Johns Hopkins University; Product design and development, medical device design and manufacturing, application of design thinking, innovation and creativity, entrepreneurship, intellectual property strategy
SPENCE, ANNE, Ph.D., University of Maryland, College Park; Engineering education, helicopter stability and control


SANCHEZ, MARIA, Ph.D., Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University; Fluid Mechanics, Thermodynamics, Heat and Mass Transfer, Mechanical Systems, Engineering Analysis (Finite Element Analysis

Professors Emeritus

CARMI, SHLOMO, Ph.D., University of Minnesota; Hydrodynamic stability and transition to turbulence, non-Newtonian fluid flow, heat and mass transfer, numerical methods and computer simulations, manufacturing process
TASCH, URI, Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Automatic controls, robotics, manufacturing, grasping mechanics
VON KERCZEK, CHRISTIAN, Ph.D., The Johns Hopkins University; Theoretical and computational fluid mechanics, internal combustion engines

Program Description

The Department currently offers two graduate degree programs; the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Mechanical Engineering. These are primarily research degrees. Although in some cases the M.S. degree may be based on primarily course work and no thesis, it nevertheless requires research exposure. Our goal is to broaden the graduate degree offerings to meet the needs of industry and local professional engineers for updated skills. To this end the Department develops graduate certificate programs consisting of four courses each.

The mission of the graduate program in Mechanical Engineering is to conduct cutting edge engineering science research and provide students at the graduate level with a strong fundamental education in Mechanical Engineering to prepare them for life-long contributions to the field, and for leadership positions in academics, industry, and government agencies and laboratories. The M.S. program focuses on providing students advanced training in the fundamental sciences and technology of Mechanical Engineering to enable them to pursue careers in applied research and development. The Ph.D. program focuses on training engineering scientists who will devote their professional careers to the development of fundamental knowledge and technology from which applications will emerge.

Most of the graduate courses in Mechanical Engineering are offered in the late afternoon or early evening to enable part-time working students from local industries and government laboratories to participate in the program. The university allows, and the Department encourages, qualified students to enroll in graduate courses as non-degree-seeking, special students. Changing to degree-seeking, regular graduate student status is encouraged, should the student so qualify. The Department offers courses, and its faculty and students conduct research in the following four areas of specialization:

BioMechanical Engineering

Biofluid dynamics, bioheat transfer, biomaterials, and biomechanics. BioMechanical Engineering (BIOM) studies the fluid dynamics, thermal transport, elastic and dynamic process, and materials in living systems. The research efforts focus on development of fundamental and applied engineering knowledge related to biomechanical systems, and the application of engineering principles toward the design and development of biological materials, treatment of diseases, and performance of biomedical devices. Significant research efforts are aimed at developing a fundamental understanding of aging and disease processes in living systems. Faculty in this area are conducting interdisciplinary research in the following areas:

  1. Understanding the properties of hard biological tissues (i.e. bone, dentin and enamel), the engineered materials that replace them, the interfaces between hard tissues and biomaterials, and development of new manufacturing processes that can be applied to biological materials and/or biomaterials in dental and medical treatments.
  2. Understanding the mechanical behavior of deformable particles, including living cells, and the influence of hydrodynamic forces and applied external forces on their behavior, and high throughput measurements of cell mechanical properties
  3. Investigating the heat and mass transfer in magnetic nanoparticle hyperthermia and photothermal therapy using gold nanoshells/nanorods in cancer therapy, targeted brain cooling using an interstitial cooling device, and bacterial disinfection in endodontics using laser or heating catheters.
  4. Surface modifications to biomaterials to prevent wear and corrosion; micro- and nano-structural modifications to increase fatigue and fracture resistance; understanding the structure/function changes in human arteries that occur as a result of aging or disease, and responses to interventions used to treat heart disease. The BioMechanical Engineering faculty in the Mechanical Engineering Department at UMBC maintain close collaborative relationships with other institutions in the Baltimore-Washington area, including the University of Maryland Medical and Dental Schools, the Johns Hopkins University Medical School, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).
Design, Manufacturing and Engineering Systems

Advanced manufacturing processes, mechatronics, mechanical design, dynamics, vibrations, controls, kinematics, mechanisms, robotics, and virtual reality. The Design, Manufacturing, and Engineering Systems (DMES) area encompasses the study of design, computer-aided design, mechatronics, design for manufacturing, traditional and non-traditional manufacturing processes, manufacturing processes in dental and medical practices, computer-aided manufacturing, multibody system dynamics, control systems, compliant mechanisms, virtual reality simulation, computational kinematics, robotics, electro-mechanical systems, manufacturing systems, production systems, dynamics and vibrations of mechanical systems, vibrations of continuous systems, cable dynamics, finite element modeling, modal testing, model updating, structural damage detection, system identification, energy harvesting, and system optimization.

Solid Mechanics and Materials Science

Solid Mechanics and Materials Science (SMMS) encompasses the computational, analytical, and experimental solid mechanics, the mechanical behavior of materials and materials science, and engineering. Research projects currently conducted by faculty include fatigue crack growth, nanoindentation, mechanical behavior of hard tissues and structure-property relationships; finite elements applied to fracture mechanics, micro-mechanics of composites, modeling of composites (unidirectional, laminate and woven polymer and ceramic matrix composites); mechanics of water filtration and temperature sensitive biochemical reaction, kinematics of accurate surface feature tracking in rugged 3D terrain, effect of post-fabrication surface treatment on permeability and corrosion resistance of reinforced concrete; responses and constitutive modeling of emerging materials (nano-materials, polymers and newly developed metal alloys) over wide range of strain rates and temperatures, study of anisotropic plastic responses of metals and constitutive modeling of the observed responses, grain-size reduction using severe plastic deformation (milling and ECAP) and investigations of reduced grain-size metals; modeling and design of biomedical devices, surface modification and wear of artificial joints, structure/function relationships in aging and diseased human tissue; fracture and fatigue of biomaterials microscale specimen testing, carbon nanotube infused multi-length scale composites, and friction stir welding.

Thermal/Fluid Sciences

Thermal-Fluids Sciences (TF) involves the application of experimental techniques and mathematical methods based on principles from physics, fluid and gas dynamics, and heat transfer to the development and operation of energy conversion systems, such as solar panels, wind turbines, and internal combustion engines. Research projects currently conducted by faculty in the thermal fluid sciences involve heat and mass transport processes, microfluidics, fluid dynamics, hydrodynamic stability theory and fluid-structure interaction problems, many that are associated with biological and medical applications. Employing a combination of experimental methods with mathematical models, we are investigating the effects of fluid dynamics and heat and mass transfer on strategies for the delivery of therapeutics agents within tissue and through the circulatory system, the design of biomedical devices for the identification and separation of specific biological cells, and for manufacturing novel materials and coatings with localized material properties. Faculty are conducting interdisciplinary research in the following areas:

  1. Mechanical behavior of deformable particles, including living cells, and the influence of hydrodynamic forces and applied external forces on their behavior; high throughput measurements of cell mechanical properties.
  2. Heat and mass transfer in magnetic nanoparticle hyperthermia and photothermal therapy using gold nanoshells/nanorods in cancer therapy; targeted brain cooling using an interstitial cooling device; bacterial disinfection in endodontics using laser or heating catheters.
  3. Transport phenomena, phase change, chemical reaction kinetics in material processing (directional solidification, chemical vapor deposition, ribbon growth on substrate); nanomaterial transport and deposition in porous structure.
  4. Hydrodynamic stability and transition to turbulence, non-Newtonian fluid flow, heat and mass transfer, numerical methods and computer simulations, engineering education.

Program Admission Requirements

The basic admission requirement for graduate studies in Mechanical Engineering is a bachelor’s degree in mechanical, aerospace, civil or chemical engineering. Students with undergraduate backgrounds in electrical engineering, physics, chemistry or mathematics may enter the program contingent on fulfilling a minimum number of undergraduate prerequisites to graduate courses in mechanical engineering (this number depends on the student’s credentials). In addition, student applicants must satisfy a minimum level of achievement for favorable consideration of their application for admission into the program as indicated as follows.

Admission to the Master’s Program
Overall GPA of at least 3.0 (on a 4.0 point scale). International students whose universities do not mark on this grade point system should either rank in the top 20 percent of their class or graduate in at least the first division. Students with a GPA of less than 3.0 who have a baccalaureate degree from ABET-accredited school in the United States may be admitted into the graduate program on a provisional status, provided their overall GPA is at least 2.5 and their GPA in the technical and mathematical courses is at least 2.75. Conditions for removal of this provisional status and transfer to the regular graduate student status will be determined and clearly specified upon admission. The Graduate Record Examination (GRE)(quantitative) must be >148 (>600 if taken prior to August 2011). The GRE is mandatory for international students and can be waived only in exceptional circumstances. The GRE is optional but highly recommended for students from ABET-accredited schools in the United States. All international students are required by the university to have a TOEFL score of at least 550 (paper) or 80 (IBT). In addition, international students must take and pass an English oral examination upon arrival at UMBC to determine whether they should take remedial English.

Admission to the Ph.D. Program
Overall GPA must be at least 3.3 (on the 4.0 point system). International students whose universities do not mark on this system should rank in the top 10 percent of their class or graduate in the high first division with distinction. GRE (quantitative) must be >153 (>675 if taken prior to August 2011). The GRE is mandatory for international students and can be waived only in exceptional circumstances. The GRE is optional but highly recommended for students with degrees from ABET-accredited schools in the United States. All international students are required by UMBC to have a TOEFL score of at least 550 (paper) or 80 (IBT). In addition, international students must take and pass an English oral examination upon arrival on campus to determine whether they should take remedial English. More details on the Mechanical Engineering faculty and the graduate program can be found on the Department of Mechanical Engineering website.

Admission Process
All original application documents must be sent directly to the UMBC Graduate School:

University of Maryland, Baltimore County Graduate School
1000 Hilltop Circle
Baltimore, MD 21250
Do not send applications to the Department of Mechanical Engineering. Students may, however, communicate with the department regarding the status of their application by letter to the Mechanical Engineering graduate coordinator, by fax at 410-455-1052 or by e-mail to megrad@ umbc.edu. Note: Applications will be kept on file in the Department of Mechanical Engineering for one year.

Facilities and Special Resources

The department is located in the Engineering (ENGR) Building and has developed research and instructional laboratories with state-of-the-art equipment, instruments and machines. The department continues to maintain research facilities in the Technology Research Center at UMBC. Special research facilities are dedicated to studies in the three areas of specialization of the department.
The design and manufacturing systems program includes laboratories in robotics, mechatronics and manufacturing:

  • The Advanced Manufacturing Processes Laboratory is located in Rooms 110 and 111 of the ENGR Building and occupies about 2,300 square feet of floor space. The major equipment contained within the laboratory includes an OMAX Model 2652 CNC Abrasive Waterjet, a Fadal CNC Vertical Machining Center and a Methods Slant 50 CNC Turning Center. In addition, the laboratory contains two Dyna CNC mills, a Dyna CNC lathe and supporting manual equipment, including a table grinder and vertical and horizontal band saws. Computer equipment includes three Silicon Graphics Indigo workstations, a Power Macintosh 6500, a Gateway Pentium and a laser printer. The lab also contains a Hommel T8000 Surface Roughness Analysis System that is complemented with a Form 1000 Measuring Instrument that is capable of form measurements and analysis.
  • The BioMechanical Engineering Program is supported by research facilities in the Laboratory for Implantable Materials and Biomechanics, the Living Structures Laboratory and the Biofluid Mechanics Laboratory.
  • The Laboratory for Implantable Materials and Biomechanics, principally focuses on the investigation of the mechanical properties of both hard and soft tissues (bone, ligament and tendon) and implantable materials to determine the structure function correlation of the materials to their macro-mechanical behavior. The laboratory is equipped with an MTS 851 materials testing machine, Elite 3-D kinematic analysis system, and associated computer, biochemical and histological support equipment.
  • Tony Farquhar’s Living Structures Laboratory uses engineering mechanics to study the effect of natural forces on living and life-like machines, including plants, animals and robots. For example, computer-aided video-photography was used to measure the dynamic frequency response of wheat, and the department wind tunnel was used to study the rodynamics of the same plants. Other topics of interest include the failure mechanics of articular cartilage and tunable vibration absorbers for use in micro-gravity. An educational project involving several undergraduates led to the development of a dancing robot that performed in several cities. Off-site research has been conducted with the United States Department of Agriculture and with the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center in Mexico.
  • The Biofluid Mechanics Laboratory is dedicated to the study of the mechanical behavior of suspensions of red blood cells and other flexible capsules. Experiments are conducted to determine the relationship between the flow conditions and the mechanical properties of these membranes. The laboratory is equipped with a computerized cell transit analyzer, a Coulter counter for mean red cell volume measurement, a cardiac phantom that duplicates the pressure variations within the left ventricle, an Artholux II optical microscope and other support equipment.

Other research and teaching laboratories in the department include:

  • The Inelastic Impact Dynamics Laboratory, focused on the study of the behavior of materials (metals, ceramics, composites, biological and rock-like materials) at high rates of loading, to understand the mechanics of plastic wave propagation and damage due to impact in these materials, as well as to investigate penetration mechanics.
  • The Non-Linear Material Characterization Laboratory is used for investigating the non-linear behavior of metals and rock-like biological and composite materials under triaxial loading in controlled pressure-temperature-humidity environments. This laboratory recently has acquired two MTS testing systems, one with a 110 kips tension-compression cyclic loading capability, and the other with 55 kips tension compression coupled with 20 in-kips torsion capabilities. These are computer-controlled with automatic data acquisition system. The laboratory also has an X-ray diffraction system and an electron microscope.
  • The Phase Change Heat Transfer Laboratory is used to study fundamental processes associated with boiling heat transfer, with emphasis on the study of the mechanisms that lead to critical heat flux and the phenomena associated with the boiling of mixtures.
  • The Computational Fracture Mechanics and Composites Laboratory (CFMC Lab) offers individual access to high-end Unix computing workstations and other PC systems used in conducting computational studies in the areas of fracture and composite materials. The research conducted in the lab is funded through government agencies such as the National Science Foundation, local industry and the state of Maryland through the Maryland Industrial Partnerships Program (MIPS). Current research includes computational studies on the mechanical and fracture behavior of woven polymer and ceramic matrix composites and finite element simulations on thermo-mechanical deformations induced during the fabrication of high-end rapid prototyping molds. The lab also is used for software development studies on interactive engineering that led to the development of the DENDRO technology transfer finite element software, which features a state-of-the-art Graphical User Interface (GUI).
  • The Virtual Reality &Mechanisms Laboratory (VRML, accessible at http:/www.umbc.edu/ engineering/me/vrml/index.html) has been established to provide undergraduate and graduate students, the research and education on mechanism science, computational kinematics, design of machine systems, and application of advanced virtual reality techniques in engineering design. Current research interests include: (1) Automatic and interactive design of compliant mechanisms, (2) Virtual reality applications in design, manufacturing, and bio/nantechnologies, (3) Computer-aided mechanism design, (4) Computational and theoretical kinematics and robotics and (5) Solving polynomial systems with resultant elimination and homotopy continuation methods.

Pertinent engineering periodicals and technological publications are available on campus as well as on the inter-library loan network. Assistance for the acquisition of reference materials may be obtained from the university library.

Financial Assistance

Graduate teaching assistantships (GTA), graduate research assistantships (GRA) and graduate fellowships are available in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. Graduate fellowships may include Northrop Grumman Fellowships, GAANN Fellowships and the Meyerhoff Graduate Fellowships. It is departmental policy to give priority for financial aid to students committed to pursuing the doctorate at UMBC. Exceptional master’s students also may be considered for financial aid. However, it must be emphasized that graduate teaching assistantships are awarded only to the best applicants, as judged by the departmental graduate committee. Graduate research assistantships are awarded by the professor in charge of the research project, although admission into the graduate program still goes through the department’s graduate committee. See the Mechanical Engineering website (me.umbc.edu) for details on departmental financial assistance opportunities.

Graduate Teaching Assistantships
Several GTA positions are available in the state-supported budget of the department. These are awarded to qualified and deserving students to assist the faculty in its teaching responsibilities. The UMBC Graduate School establishes the policies on the qualifications for level of support, the amount to be paid and the benefits that accompany the appointment. The department assigns the responsibilities the GTA must assume. A doctoral student awarded a GTA will receive a stipend, remission of tuition for a maximum of 10 credits each semester, fall and spring, plus health benefits. In return for this assistantship, the GTA is expected to provide the equivalent of 20 hours per week of curriculum- related services to the department. The GTA may be assigned to lead in recitation and discussion periods, assist in laboratory courses, grade papers and reports for courses and other services required by the department to accomplish its teaching responsibilities. GTA’s are expected to participate in at least one credit hour of dissertation research each semester (ENME 799 or ENME 899) under the supervision of their advisor.

The Mechanical Engineering graduate committee evaluates all applications for admission to the Mechanical Engineering graduate program and makes the selection for awarding these assistantships in a competitive manner on the basis of the following criteria: (a) potential for completion of the doctorate; (b) faculty needs for teaching and other tasks; and (c) ability of the student to undertake the needed tasks for a teaching assistant, e.g. skill and experience in laboratory work, design and computers. Assignment of teaching duties will depend on the GTA. To receive a GTA, international students must possess a required level of proficiency in verbal English.

Graduate Research Assistantships
GRA appointments are made to support research grants/contracts developed by faculty members. In a research project, the GRA becomes a team member dedicated to accomplishing and attaining certain research objectives. Therefore, the appointment of the GRAs is left entirely to the discretion of the faculty in charge of the research grant/contract. The remuneration for the GRA, stipend, tuition remission and health benefits are comparable to that of the GTA. The amount of work expected of the full GRA is also 20 hours per week. It must be emphasized that this appointment to work on a research contract or grant is principally to undertake contracted tasks that may coincide with the doctoral dissertation or master’s thesis work of the student. It is also important to note that if students abrogate their commitments to the GRA or GTA appointments that they have accepted, further financial aid is not guaranteed.




    Mechanical Engineering

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