Department Mission, ABET Objectives and Outcomes

     The mission of the Mechanical Engineering Department is to provide students with a strong foundation in mechanical engineering, to instill a systematic approach to problem solving, to prepare students for leadership and innovation by emphasis on independent thinking as well as teamwork, and to promote a keen awareness of the role of engineering in a modern society.

Program Educational Objectives

The bachelor of science in mechanical engineering program is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, http://www.abet.org. Fulfilling the requirements set forth in the mechanical engineering curriculum automatically satisfies ABET requirements. Student enrollment and graduation data from this program are available on the McCormick School website.

Objectives of the mechanical engineering undergraduate program at Northwestern University are to produce graduates trained in the following:

  • Knowledge — Application — Innovation
    Graduates will use their foundational knowledge and understanding of fundamental mathematics and physical science, skill and expertise in practical tools, and hands-on experience in design, manufacturing, and engineering science. Graduates will use their knowledge to think critically, formulate problems, and find innovative solutions in engineering practice in industry or academia, or in pursuit of other fields.
  • Leadership — Teamwork — Broader Contribution
    Graduates will employ their interpersonal and team skills to enable leadership in multidisciplinary settings. Their careers will reflect their liberal education with a well-rounded and multi-dimensional educational experience, particularly with regard to an understanding of the societal, ethical, and professional implications of engineering decisions.
  • Intellectual Curiosity — Continuous Learning — Professional Adaptability

    Graduates will demonstrate intellectual curiosity as they continually learn new concepts and tackle new challenges and opportunities. Graduates will identify new directions and adapt in response to the needs of an evolving, professional and social environment.

Student Outcomes

Northwestern University mechanical engineering undergraduates must attain:

  • An ability to apply knowledge of math, engineering, and science
  • An ability to design and conduct experiments, as well as to analyze and interpret data
  • An ability to design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs within realistic constraints such as economic, environmental, social, political, ethical, health and safety, manufacturability, and sustainability
  • An ability to function on multidisciplinary teams
  • An ability to identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems
  • An understanding of professional and ethical responsibility
  • An ability to communicate effectively
  • The broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global, economic, environmental, and societal context
  • A recognition of the need for, and an ability to engage in, life-long learning
  • A knowledge of contemporary issues
  • An ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice