Virginia Tech is the home of Virginia’s premier engineering program, known nationally and internationally for its excellent programs in education, research, and public service. The Department of Mechanical Engineering is one of the largest departments within Virginia Tech, awarding approximately 270 undergraduate, 47 Master of Science, and 20 Doctoral degrees annually. Despite its large enrollment, the average graduate class size in the department is fewer than 30 students and the depart-ment offers many opportunities for graduate stu-dents beyond the typical classroom educational experience. The ME department at Virginia Tech has one of the largest and most active ASME (American Society of Mechanical Engineers) student sections in the United States. In addition, the department offers opportunities for students to attend professional conferences and internships, as well as attend professional development courses offered through the VT Graduate School’s Transformative Graduate Education program. The graduate program in Mechanical Engineering at Tech is consistently ranked in the top 10-15% of Mechanical Engineering Departments in the nation by U.S. News and World Report. We are currently ranked 14th in the nation.


Accreditation

In compliance with ABET, the Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering (BSME) degree program at Virginia Tech has developed and maintained a well-defined set of Program Educational Objectives and desired Student Outcomes. These objectives and outcomes have been modified over the years, following our commitment to continuous improvement. The Program Educational Objectives are the goals of the Mechanical Engineering program relative to all of our constituencies (students, alumni, employers, faculty, and the Commonwealth). Through surveys and other assessment tools, the department attempts to ensure that these objectives and desired outcomes are being met in a long-term feedback loop. The most recent version of our Program Educational Objective list is below:

Program Educational Objectives

Within a few years after graduating from the Mechanical Engineering Department at Virginia Tech, the graduates will attain:

  1. Positions where they utilize fundamental technical knowledge and skills in mathematics, science, and engineering to analyze and solve problems, and apply these abilities to generate new knowledge, ideas or products in academia, industry or government.
  2. Practical experience and organizational skills, enabling them to interact and communicate effectively (written and/or oral) with others (e.g., supervisor, client and/or team) with regard to the diversity of the stakeholders involved in their work.
  3. Roles of increasing responsibility leading to leadership positions that benefit themselves, their employers and society.
  4. Skills in life-long learning through: (a) self-study, (b) continuing education/short courses or workshops, and/or (c) formal graduate level education, and encourage co-workers to have this same motivation.
  5. Roles in professional and personal life where they demonstrate professional and ethical responsibilities toward peers, employers, and society and follow these precepts in their daily lives.

The Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering (BSME) degree program at Virginia Tech is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, 111 Market Place, Suite 1050, Baltimore, MD 21202-4012, telephone: (410) 347-7700. One important objective of the Department of Mechanical Engineering is to ensure that every mechanical engineering graduate has the knowledge, ability, and understanding required to meet the basic ABET guidelines. The structure and sequence of courses is designed to provide these requirements for every graduate. The department is committed to providing students with an exceptional experience in both the theory and practice of mechanical engineering. In the senior capstone sequence, students are required to apply classroom knowledge to complex engineering problems requiring teamwork, problem formulation, economic analysis, effective communication, and product realization. These projects are carefully selected and updated to ensure relevancy to contemporary technical issues and needs. The department encourages the involvement of underclass students and students outside the department and college in these projects. The department also encourages hands-on student involvement by providing dedicated machine and welding shops that exclusively serve the undergraduate program. The required sophomore-level Manufacturing Processes Laboratory course and certification by a professional machinist are required prior to use of either of these shops. Opportunity for professional development is provided by participation in student professional organizations, such as the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, ASME. The ASME student section at Virginia Tech is one of the most active in the nation.

(updated September 2013)