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Mechanical Engineering

Jamil A. Khan, Interim Chair

Abdel Bayoumi, Ph.D., North Carolina State University, 1982
Yuh Jin Chao, Ph.D., University of Illinois, 1981, John Ducate Sr. Chair of Mechanical Engineering
Xiaomin Deng, Ph.D., California Institute of Technology, 1990, Graduate Director
Victor Giurgiutiu, Ph.D., Imperial College for Science, Technology, and Medicine, 1977
Jamil A. Khan, Ph.D., Clemson University, 1988, Undergraduate Director
Jed S. Lyons, Ph.D., Georgia Institute of Technology, 1990
Walter H. Peters III, Ph.D., Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, 1978
William F. Ranson III, Ph.D., University of Illinois, 1971
Curtis A. Rhodes, Ph.D., Carnegie-Mellon University, 1963
Michael A. Sutton, Ph.D., University of Illinois, 1981, Carolina Distinguished Professor

Associate Professors
Sarah Collins Baxter, Ph.D., University of Virginia, 1995
Donald A. Keating, M.S., University of Dayton, 1967
Xiaodong Li, Ph.D., Harbin Institute of Technology, China
Stephen McNeill, Ph.D., University of South Carolina, 1986
Jeffrey H. Morehouse, Ph.D., Auburn University, 1976
Anthony P. Reynolds, Ph.D., University of Virginia, 1990
David N. Rocheleau, Ph.D., University of Florida, 1992

Assistant Professors
Jeff Bischoff, Ph.D., University of Michigan, 2001
Jeff Darabi, Ph.D., University of Maryland, 1999
Marc Garland, Ph.D., University of Maryland, 2004
Travis Knight, Ph.D., University of Florida, 2000
Philip Voglewede, Ph.D., Georgia Tech, 2004

Visiting Lecturers
Elwyn Roberts, Ph.D., University of Sheffield, England, 1960

Research Associates
N. Li, Ph.D., Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, 1980
W. Tang, Ph.D., Xi’an Jiaotong University, 1995

W. Zhao, Ph.D., Beijing Institute of Aeronautical Materials 1989
J. Zuo, Ph.D., Xi’an Jiaotong University, 1996

Distinguished Professors Emeriti
L. Neuman Connor Jr., Ph.D., North Carolina State University, 1965
Harry King McMillan, Ph.D., Purdue University, 1
Elmer G. Schwartz, Ph.D., Carnegie-Mellon University, 1964


The mechanical engineer is concerned with the design, development, and manufacture of both mechanical and thermal systems. These systems may vary from the internal combustion engine to power automobiles and airplanes to the use of computer vision in biomedical and automated manufacturing applications.

The objectives of the mechanical engineering undergraduate program are: to educate students in the application of mathematics, science, and engineering principles for solving mechanical engineering problems; to develop students' professional skills that enable a successful career; and to provide students with the broad education necessary to practice engineering in a global and societal context.

These objectives are met through a curriculum that provides a strong foundation in the basic and applied sciences and in the liberal arts, with increasing emphasis on mechanical engineering topics in the junior and senior years. The curriculum also includes a wide variety of technical electives, a series of engineering laboratory courses to supplement the theory presented in lecture as well as liberal arts courses to give the mechanical engineering student a well-balanced education. A capstone senior design experience gives the student opportunities to integrate and apply the knowledge and skills learned throughout the mechanical engineering curriculum.

Degree Requirements

Mechanical Engineering Curriculum

(126 hours)
ENGL 101, 102 (6 hours)
ECON 421 (3 hours)
Freshman elective (3 hours)
Ethics elective (3 hours)
History elective (3 hours)
Fine arts elective (3 hours)
Arts and Sciences (curriculum I) elective (3 hours)

Math and Science
MATH 141, 142, 241, 242 (14 hours)
CHEM 111, 112 (8 hours)
PHYS 211, 211L, 212, 212L (8 hours)
STAT 509 (3 hours)

Engineering Topics
ELCT 221 (3 hours)
EMCH 111, 200, 201, 260, 290, 310, 327, 332, 354, 360, 361, 367, 371, 377, 394, 427, 428, 467 (54 hours)
Engineering electives (12 hours)
A listing of acceptable elective courses is maintained in the department office.

Bachelor's/Master's Degrees Accelerated Program

The Bachelor's/Master's Degrees Accelerated Program in Mechanical Engineering allows undergraduate students to complete both the B.S.E. degree and M.E. or M.S. degree in as few as five years. The use of dual credit--courses that can be used toward both degrees--enables acceleration of the program, reducing the total enrollment of the student by one semester.

Mechanical engineering undergraduate students may apply for approval of an accelerated education plan in the semester in which they will complete 90 hours of undergraduate course work. In addition, students must have a sufficient foundation in mechanical engineering course work to enable them to take graduate-level courses. University and department regulations stipulate that applicants must have a minimum GPA of 3.40, both overall and in mechanical engineering courses. Students in the accelerated program must maintain a GPA of 3.40 while pursuing the B.S.E. degree.

Students applying to this program must submit to The Graduate School a completed "Application for Admission to a Combined Bachelor's/Master's Education Plan" with endorsements of the undergraduate advisor, the department graduate director, and the department chair. The dean of The Graduate School has final authority for approving accelerated education plans. A "Senior Privilege Course Work Authorization" must be submitted for each semester in which one or more of these courses are taken.

Participation in the accelerated program does not require acceptance into The Graduate School. After completing the B.S.E. degree, students wishing to continue toward a master's degree in mechanical engineering at USC must apply formally to The Graduate School by submitting the appropriate form and required supporting documents. Students in the accelerated program will be eligible for graduate assistantships upon admission to The Graduate School.

Only graduate-level courses (numbered 500 and above, including up to three credit hours of project/research work leading to a master's thesis) satisfying both B.S.E. and master’s degree requirements may be used for dual credit. No more than nine credit hours may be used as dual credit. The graduate courses used for dual credit must be taken during the student’s final undergraduate year. No more than nine credit hours (including those obtained under senior privilege and the college's Plan "M" for undergraduate juniors and seniors) may be applied toward a master's degree.

Course Descriptions (EMCH)

  • 111 -- Introduction to Engineering Graphics and Visualization. (3) Principles and practice of visualization and graphical representation using modern computer-aided design tools.
  • 200 -- Statics. (3) (Prereq: MATH 141; coreq: EMCH 201) Principles of mechanics; equilibrium of particles and rigid bodies; distributed forces, centroids, and center of gravity; moments of inertia of areas; analysis of simple structures and machines. Friction.
  • 201 -- Introduction to Applied Numerical Methods. {=PHYS 311} (3) (Prereq: MATH 142; coreq: EMCH 200, MATH 241)) Introduction and application of numerical methods to the solution of physical and engineering problems. Techniques include iterative solution techniques, method of solving systems of equations, and numerical integration and differentiation.
  • 260 -- Introduction to the Mechanics of Solids. (3) (Prereq: EMCH 200 with a grade of C or better and MATH 241) Basic concepts of stress and strain. Stress and strain transformation concepts. Basic developments for stresses. Tension, torsion, axial load, and pressure. Deformations of elastic relationships between stress and strain.
  • 290 -- Thermodynamic Fundamentals. (3) (Prereq: MATH 241) Definitions, work, heat, and energy. First law of analyses of systems and control volumes. Second law analysis.
  • 308 -- Introduction to Finite Element Stress Analysis. (3) (Prereq: EMCH 260) Introduction to stress analysis for beams, plates, shells, and solids using finite element based computer tools.
  • 310 -- Dynamics. (3) (Prereq: EMCH 200 with a grade of C or better) Kinematics of particles and rigid bodies. Kinetics of particles, emphasis on Newton's second law: energy and momentum methods for the solution of problems. Applications of plane motion of rigid bodies.
  • 327 -- Design of Mechanical Elements. (3) (Prereq: EMCH 260) Design against static failure and fatigue failure of structural members and machine parts: design and selection of components including fasteners, welds, shafts, springs, gears, bearings, and chain drives.
  • 330 -- Mechanical Vibrations. (3) (Prereq: EMCH 200 with a grade of C or better, MATH 242) Analysis of forced and damped one-degree-of-freedom systems. Rotating unbalance and vibration isolation. Introduction to two-degrees-of-freedom systems.
  • 332 -- Kinematics and Dynamics of Machines. (3) (Prereq: EMCH 210, EMCH 201) The application of vector and graphical analysis for the determination of velocities, accelerations, and forces in linkages normally used in modern machinery. Concepts for correcting rotating and reciprocating unbalance are applied to machines and engines.
  • 354 -- Heat Transfer. (3) (Prereq: EMCH 290, 360, MATH 242) One- and two-dimensional steady and unsteady conduction; free and forced convection; boiling and condensation; heat exchangers.
  • 360 -- Fluid Mechanics. (3) (Prereq: EMCH 200 with a grade of C or better, 201, 310, MATH 241) Mechanical engineering applications of fluid statics and dynamics. Conservation of mass, momentum, and energy. Similitude and dimensional analysis, open channel flow, lift and drag. Introduction to turbulent flow.
  • 361 -- Measurements and Instrumentation. (3) (Prereq: ELCT 221, STAT 509, PHYS 212; prereq or coreq: EMCH 260) Principles of measurement, probability of statistics, analysis of data, and experimental planning. Measurement of parameters in mechanical engineering systems.
  • 367 -- Microcontrollers in Mechanical Engineering. (3) (Prereq: EMCH 361) Study of microcontrollers and their applications as measurement and control devices in mechanical engineering.
  • 371 -- Engineering Materials. (4) (Prereq: EMCH 260 and EMCH 361) Structures and properties of engineering metals, ceramics, and polymers; atomic bonding, crystalline structures and microstructures; mechanical behavior and deformation mechanisms; processes for controlling structures and properties; corrosion.
  • 377 -- Manufacturing Processes. (3) (Prereq: EMCH 371) Basic principles of metal processing; applied mechanics of metal cutting and forming; cost analysis of manufacturing operations.
  • 394 -- Applied Thermodynamics. (3) (Prereq: EMCH 201, EMCH 290) Vapor and gas cycles; non-reactive mixtures and psychrometrics; chemical equilibrium.
  • 427 -- Mechanical Design I. (3) (Prereq: EMCH 327, 354, 371, 394, ECON 421, STAT 509; coreq: EMCH 332) Lecture topics include design specifications and planning, innovation, economic factors, safety, reliability, ethics and social impact. Selection, specification, and feasibility study of an open-ended design project to be completed in EMCH 428.
  • 428 -- Mechanical Design II. (3) (Prereq: EMCH 427) Synthesis, analysis, construction, testing, and evaluation of the design begun in EMCH 427. Consideration of economics, safety, reliability, and social impact. Written and oral reports.
  • 460 -- Special Problems. (1-3) (Prereq: Advance approval of project proposal by advisor and instructor) Individual investigation or studies of special topics. A maximum of three credits may be applied toward a degree.
  • 441 -- Automotive System Fundamentals. (3) (Prereq: EMCH 260, 394) Automotive engineering systems, descriptions, and associated operating and design principles. Past, present, and future automotive systems and components.
  • 467 -- Mechanical Engineering Laboratory. (2) (Prereq: EMCH 327, EMCH 354, EMCH 367, EMCH 394) Experiments directly related to advanced mechanical engineering courses. Written and oral presentation techniques.
  • 497 -- Design of Thermal Systems. (3) (Prereq: EMCH 354, 394) Methodology of design, mathematical modeling of thermal equipment, system simulation, system optimization using digital computer, and investment economics. Requires a semester-long design project. Two lectures and one problem session per week.
  • 498 -- Topics in Chemical Engineering. (1-3) (Prereq: upper division standing) Reading and research on selected topics in chemical engineering. Course content varies and will be announced in the schedule of classes by suffix and title. May be repeated two times as topics vary. Pass-Fail grading.
  • 501 -- Engineering Analysis I. (3) (Prereq: MATH 242) Engineering applications of solution techniques for ordinary and partial differential equations, including Sturm-Liouville theory, special functions, transform techniques, and numerical methods.
  • 502 -- Engineering Analysis II. (3) (Prereq: MATH 242) Engineering applications of optimization methods, calculus of variations including approximate methods, and probability concepts.
  • 507 -- Computer-Aided Design. (3) (Prereq: EMCH 201, 327) Solid modeling using commercial computer-aided design (CAD) applications package to reverse engineer-manufactured parts. Analytical curves and surfaces, transformation matrices, assembly modeling, and computer tools for analyzing parts and mechanisms.
  • 508 -- Finite Element Analysis in Mechanical Engineering. (3) (Prereq: EMCH 201, 327) Development of the fundamental concepts of finite element modeling. Matrix equation assembly and reduction. Mechanical engineering applications in structures, stress analysis, ideal flow, and heat transfer problems.
  • 509 -- Computer-Aided Manufacturing. (3) (Prereq: EMCH 367 or equivalent) Optimizing computer-controlled machining processes, programmable logic controllers (PLCs), motion control of servomechanisms, CNC machining practices and programming, and robotics.
  • 516 -- Control Theory in Mechanical Engineering. (3) (Prereq: EMCH 330) An introduction to closed-loop control systems; development of concepts, including transfer function, feedback, frequency response, and system stability by examples taken from mechanical engineering practice; control system design methods.
  • 520 -- Technology Planning. (3) (Prereq: Senior or graduate standing) Assessment of technological needs in the organization; coupling research and development to production; selection and evaluation of the technical project/program; technical planning, resource allocation, direction, and control; effective use and development of the engineering staff; the process of and barriers to technological change; technology, values, and policy.
  • 521 -- Concurrent Engineering. (3) (Prereq: EMCH 327) A systematic approach to the mechanical design of products, requiring the concurrent design of all related processes.
  • 522 -- Design Manufacture and Assembly. (3) (Prereq: EMCH 327 and 377) Product design principles for early consideration of issues to shorten product development time and to ensure smooth transition to manufacturing, thus accelerating time-to-market.
  • 527 -- Design of Mechanical Systems. (3) (Prereq: EMCH 327) Summary of mechanical design, project management, product liability and the law, intellectual property ethics and professionalism.
  • 528 -- Product Safety Engineering. (3) (Prereq: senior standing) Design considerations and methodologies for products to ensure adequate safeguards for the prevention of accidents, failures, and injuries.
  • 529 -- Sustainable Design and Development. (3) (Prereq: consent of instructor/senior standing) System design and development accomplished with consideration of environmental/ecological, economic, and social constraints. Students will be introduced to sustainable design and accomplish a design project.
  • 532 -- Intermediate Dynamics. (3) (Prereq: EMCH 332) Kinematics and dynamics of particles and rigid bodies using Newtonian mechanics. Work/energy, impulse/momentum, 3-D motion.
  • 544 -- Compressible Fluid Flow. (3) (Prereq: EMCH 354) Application of the conservation laws of a compressible fluid to isentropic flows, flow with friction, and flows with heating or cooling. Shock and expansion waves. Nozzle and diffuser design.
  • 552 -- Introduction to Nuclear Engineering. (3) Radioactivity and nuclear reactions; steady state and transient nuclear reactor theory.
  • 553 -- Nuclear Fuel Cycles. (3) (Prereq: EMCH 552) Processing of nuclear fuel including fabrication, irradiation, and waste disposal or storage. In-core and out-of-core fuel management. Fuel cycle economics.
  • 554 -- Intermediate Heat Transfer. (3) (Prereq: EMCH 354) Radiant heat exchange, combined modes of heat transfer, computer techniques in heat transfer analysis and design, environmental heat transfer.
  • 555 -- Instrumentation for Nuclear Engineering. (3) (Prereq or coreq: EMCH 552 or PHYS 511) Basic operational principles of radiation detection and nuclear instrumentation systems. Selection of the proper detector to measure readiation. Statistical analysis of results.
  • 555L -- Nuclear Instrumentation Laboratory. (1) (Coreq: EMCH 555) Use of nuclear radiation detection and instrumentation systems and computers. Data acquisition and analysis.
  • 560 -- Intermediate Fluid Mechanics. (3) (Prereq: EMCH 310, 360) Integral and differential analysis of fluids. Potential flow. Boundary layer analysis. Flow in closed and open channels. Flow dynamics of turbomachinery. Steady and unsteady flows.
  • 561 -- Current Topics in Mechanical Engineering. (1-3) (Prereq: Consent of instructor) Special topics related to current issues in mechanical engineering. Course content varies and will be announced in the schedule of classes by suffix and title.
  • 571 -- Mechanical Behavior of Materials. (3) (Prereq: EMCH 260, 371) Micromechanisms of the deformation and fracture of structural materials; brittle versus ductile behavior; fatigue and creep; strengthening mechanisms; mechanical testing techniques; methods in analysis of mechanical failures.
  • 572 -- Physical Metallurgy. (3) (Prereq: EMCH 371) Equilibrium and phase relations in metallic systems; kinetics of phase transformations; annealing and precipitation phenomena.
  • 575 -- Adaptive Materials and Smart Structures. (3) (Prereq: EMCH 260, 310) A multidisciplinary introductory course addressing the engineering field of adaptive materials and smart structures.
  • 580 -- Mechanics of Solid Biomaterials. (3) (Prereq: MATH 242) Introduction to the mechanical behavior of solid biomaterials. Structure and mechanical properties of tissue including skin, myocardium, and tendon. Mathematical treatment of anisotropic elasticity, nonlinear elasticity, linear and quasi-linear viscoelasticity, muscle activity.
  • 584 -- Advanced Mechanics of Materials. (3) (Prereq: EMCH 260) Topics in stress analysis, including unsymmetrical bending, three-dimensional stress-strain; torsion; rotational stress; thick-walled pressure vessels; beams on elastic foundations; and stress concentration.
  • 585 -- Nature of Composite Materials. (3) (Prereq: EMCH 327, 371, MATH 242) Properties of orthotropic laminated composites. Analysis of composite structures. Structure/property relationships. Characterization of modern composite materials. Design considerations.
  • 586 -- Experimental Stress Analysis. (3) (Prereq: EMCH 260) Stress analysis utilizing experimental techniques including transmission and scattered light photoelasticity, strain gauges, and brittle coatings. Introduction to modern concepts of coherent optics in stress analysis with emphasis on engineering applications.
  • 592 -- Introduction to Combustion. (3) (Prereq: EMCH 354, 394) Chemical thermodynamics, reaction kinetics, and combustion phenomena in energy production. Application to the modeling of coal combustion, incineration, and combustion engines.
  • 594 -- Solar Heating. (3) (Prereq: EMCH 290, EMCH 354, or ECHE 321) Solar radiation; review of heat transfer and radiation characteristics of relevant materials; flat plate and focusing collectors; energy storage models for design of solar heating systems; system design by computer simulation; direct conversion by solar cells.
  • 597 -- Thermal Environmental Engineering. (3) (Prereq: EMCH 354, 394) Vapor compression and absorption refrigeration systems. Heat pumps. Properties of refrigerants. Cryogenic refrigeration. Heating and cooling of buildings. Solar heating and cooling systems.

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