I welcome you to Mechanical Engineering at The University of Akron, a department whose history dates back over 95 years. We are pleased that you are interested in us. You will find a brief summary of our department below, and this site contains much more detailed information about our students, faculty, research, and facilities. We maintain a balanced program between undergraduate and graduate education; we make sure that the learning and research go together.
Professor and Chair
Mechanical Engineering is the largest department in the College of Engineering, in both number of students and number of faculty. The American Society of Engineering Education ranks our program 57 out of over 214 mechanical engineering programs in the category of “2009 Bachelor's Degrees Awarded” in this country. We are placed 49 out of 227 in the category of “2009 Total Tenured/Tenure-Track Faculty.” The US World News College Ranking lists the College of Engineering at position 129 out of over 300 colleges that offer both undergraduate and graduate degrees.
Our department offers three undergraduate degrees:
The department has 23 tenured/tenure track faculty and seven part time faculty supported by four technical and administrative staff. We currently have about 850 undergraduate students and in the last four years have grown by 55%. In a typical year, we award approximately 90 B.S. engineering degrees. We maintain full ABET accreditation in our eligible programs.
Our major undergraduate student-lead design projects include: Formula Car (both hybrid and conventional), Baja Car, Aero Design, and Supermileage Vehicle. All these projects are supported by the Society of Automotive Engineers which organizes international student design competitions. Our record over the past ten years is among the best in the nation. The success of our students has established our department as a leader in the area of undergraduate student projects. The student chapter of ASME has also been recognized as the best in North America and has won the prestigious Region V Bendix/Allied Signal/Ingersoll Rand Awards for 13 years. Our graduates consistently achieve high passing grades on the Fundamentals of Engineering Exam; historically the department has an average passing rate close to 90%.
We offer both M.S. and Ph.D. programs. We have four areas of emphasis in the department:
The department supports over 35 students every year using teaching or instructional assistantship contracts. In a typical year, we have over 90 graduate students and we award approximately 20 M.S., and five Ph.D. engineering degrees. The mechanical engineering faculty support the graduate program with over $1.2M/year in external research funding.
The College of Engineering was instituted with the Mechanical and Civil Engineering programs in 1914, making the College and Department 96 years old. The Electrical Engineering program joined four years later in 1918. The Department of Chemical Engineering was founded in 1964, and the Department of Biomedical Engineering was introduced in 1984.
The first department head for Mechanical Engineering was Dr. Fred S. Griffin, who served until 1952. In addition, the department has over 5000 alumni, beginning with 3 in the class of 1919, and adding 110 in the 2008-2009 academic year.
The Department of Civil Engineering will host the National Student Steel Bridge Competition (NSSBC) in May 2014. The NSSBC is is co-sponsored by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) and the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC).