While pursuing a rigorous course of study, PhD students in mechanical engineering may choose from a range of specializations.While pursuing a rigorous course of study, PhD students in mechanical engineering may choose from a range of specializations.

Graduate Study
Prospective PhD Students

The PhD program requires six quarters of course work beyond the bachelor's degree and the successful completion of a dissertation after at least six quarters devoted to research. Students entering the PhD program directly after completion of a bachelor's degree are not required to obtain an MS degree, but may choose to do so. The PhD program typically takes four to five years to complete.

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Core Research Disciplines

PhD students may focus their work on any of the active research areas in the department. ME Faculty work in three core disciplines:

Design and Manufacturing

Integrates predictive science, design methodologies, advanced manufacturing and surface engineering technologies, and cyber-infrastructure to innovate products, services and systems that address societal challenges and achieve environmental sustainability.

Mechanics and Materials

Applies fundamentals of solid and fluid mechanics from molecular to continuum scales to innovate in biomaterials, biosystems, composites, micro/nano systems, interfacial/surface engineering, thermal transport systems, nondestructive characterization, and computational methods.

Robotics and Biosystems

This discipline studies the fundamentals of dynamics, control, and robotics applied to human/machine interaction, haptics, sensors, MEMS, nanoscale medicine and systems engineering, neural engineering, neuromechanics, and rehabilitation engineering.

Cross Cutting Research Areas

Building on these core disciplines, we address pressing societal needs through seven cross-cutting research areas. Faculty members from all three core groups work in one or more of these areas. Faculty involvement with research areas is shown in the research matrix

Advanced Manufacturing

Innovating manufacturing processes, equipment, controls, predictive capabilities and connectivity for enhanced productivity, precision and sustainability

Core Faculty: Cao, Chen, Colgate, Ehmann, Guo, Krishnaswamy, Liu, Lynch, Park, Rubenstein, Sun, Truby, Wagner, Wang
Courtesy Faculty: Dunn, Chung, Ottino, Packman, Rogers, Vlahovska

AI and Design

Developing human-centered, physics-based, and AI-enabled design methods for innovating engineering products and systems that address societal challenges.

Core Faculty: Argall, Cao, Chen, Colgate, Ehmann, Espinosa, Gerber, Hartmann, Keten, Krishnaswamy, Liu, Lynch, MacIver, Murphey, Peshkin, Rubenstein, Sun, Truby, Wang
Courtesy Faculty: Akono, Dunn, Ottino

Biosystems and Health

Advancing translational and basic research to address critical healthcare issues and answer fundamental biological questions at scales from molecules to systems
Core Faculty: Argall, Balogun, Colgate, Espinosa, Hartmann, Huang, Keten, Lynch, MacIver, Murphey, Park, Patankar, Peshkin, Sun, Truby, Wagner
Courtesy Faculty: Akono, Johnson, Miksis, Packman, Rogers, Vlahovska

Computational Engineering

Advancing computational simulation to understand and predict phenomena across the natural and technological world
Core Faculty: Cao, Chen, Espinosa, Ghosal, Huang, Keten, Krishnaswamy, Lefèvre, Lichter, Liu, Lueptow, Patankar, Rudnicki, Wagner, Wang
Courtesy Faculty: Miksis, Ottino

Energy and Sustainability

Developing efficient energy conversion, energy utilization, water management, and pollution mitigation solutions with minimal environmental impact
Core Faculty: Balogun, Ghosal, Lichter, Lueptow, Park, Patankar, Rudnicki, Wang
Courtesy Faculty: Akono, Bazant, Dunn, Packman, Ottino


Probing, understanding, and manipulating matter at small scales to achieve unique functions in materials, mechanical systems, and biological systems.
Core Faculty: Chen, Balogun,, Espinosa, Ghosal, Guo, Huang, Keten, Krishnaswamy, Lefèvre, Lichter, Lueptow, Park, Patankar, Rubenstein, Sun, Wang
Courtesy Faculty: Akono, Bazant, Chung, Johnson, Miksis, Rogers, Vlahovska

Robotics and Autonomy

Create machines that interact with complex environments, make decisions, take action, and collaborate with humans and one another.
Core Faculty: Argall, Cao, Colgate, Ehmann, Guo, Hartmann, Lynch, MacIver, Murphey, Peshkin, Rubenstein, Truby
Courtesy Faculty: Rogers, Vlahovska