The Doctor of Philosophy in Mechanical Engineering prepares students for careers in research and academia. Our collaborative faculty are investigating a diverse range of research areas like additive manufacturing, air quality, cellular biomechanics, computational design, DNA origami, energy conversion and storage, nanoscale manufacturing, soft robotics, transdermal drug delivery, transport phenomena, machine learning, and artificial intelligence.
Interested? Visit our research pages for more information, including faculty areas of expertise and research videos.
Students typically complete the Ph.D. degree requirements in three to five years. Early in the program, students focus on course-work that enhances their knowledge as they prepare to conduct research.
Within one year, students must pass the departmental qualifying exam, an oral exam that tests research skills and knowledge of a core mechanical engineering subject area.
Student research forms the core of the Ph.D. program. Research involves active student-directed inquiry into an engineering problem, culminating in a written thesis and oral defense.
Ph.D. Financial Support
The majority of full-time Ph.D. students accepted through the standard application process receive fellowships that cover full tuition, the technology fee, and a stipend for living expenses for up to five years, as long as sufficient progress is made toward degree completion. These awards are sufficient to cover all expenses for the year (including summers). Students are required to pay for health insurance, the transportation fee, the activity fee, books, and course supplies. Off-campus housing is available within walking distance of campus. At least one year of residency is required for the Ph.D. We offer two ways to enter the Ph.D. program.
Advanced entry Ph.D.
The advanced entry Ph.D. is for students with an M.S. in engineering or a related field. Students may take fewer courses and can conduct research sooner than direct Ph.D. students.
The direct Ph.D. is for students entering the program with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering or a related field. These students take more courses than advanced entry Ph.D. students to build their knowledge of core concepts.
Direct Ph.D. students can receive their M.S. degree once they have completed all the M.S. degree requirements while working toward their Ph.D. degree.
For a comprehensive overview of the programs, including degree requirements, please consult the most recent handbook.
Ph.D. candidate Remesh Shrestha, co-advised by Professors Sheng Shen and Maarten de Boer, explains his research to create polymer nanowires that have high thermal conductivity: