Oct 20, 2018  
2009-2010 Downtown Campus Catalog 
2009-2010 Downtown Campus Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Mechanical Engineering

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Chair: Samuel W. J. Welch
Program Assistant: Petrina M. Morgan
Office: North Classroom, 3502
Telephone: 303-556-8516
Fax: 303-556-6371
Web site: www.cudenver.edu/mechanical


Peter E. Jenkins, PhD, Purdue, MBA, Pepperdine, Professional Engineer, PE—Texas
J. Kenneth Ortega, PhD, University of Colorado
John A. Trapp, PhD, University of California at Berkeley
Associate Professors:
Ronald A. L. Rorrer, PhD, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, PE—Colorado
L. Rafael Sanchez, PhD, Michigan Technological University
Mohsen Tadi, PhD, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Samuel W. J. Welch, PhD, University of Colorado
Sean E. Wright, PhD, University of Victoria
Adjoint Assistant Research Professor:    
Atousa Plaseied, PhD, University of Toledo    
Senior Instructor:
Joseph F. Cullen Jr., MS, University of Colorado
Professor Emeritus:
James Gerdeen, PhD, Stanford University
Associate Professor Emeritus:
B. Thomas Arnberg, MS, University of Colorado

Mission Statement


The mission of the Department of Mechanical Engineering is to contribute to the economic development of the state of Colorado and the Denver metropolitan area by providing high-quality bachelor’s and master’s programs (BS, MS/ME) in mechanical engineering for a diverse group of working students.



The mechanical engineer is concerned with satisfying the needs of society using a combination of material, human and economic resources. Mechanical engineering covers a wide spectrum of activities in the engineering profession. These activities include the conversion and transmission of energy and associated power processes; the kinematic, dynamic, strength and wear considerations, as well as economic aspects of the development, design and use of materials, machines and processes; and the analysis, synthesis and control of entire engineering systems.

The mechanical engineering curriculum begins with a strong emphasis on mathematics, physics and chemistry. It continues with a concentration in engineering sciences, including solid and fluid mechanics; thermodynamics, heat and mass transport; materials; and systems analysis and control. It concludes with laboratory and design courses that demonstrate the ways in which scientific knowledge is applied in the design and development of useful devices and manufacturing processes.

The mechanical engineering program may be roughly subdivided into two-year groupings. In the first two years, the program emphasizes the fundamentals of mathematics and basic science that are essential for an understanding of most branches of engineering. In the last two years of the program, the curriculum emphasizes engineering science and design and provides technical electives in the following areas:

heat transfer
fluid mechanics
solid mechanics
dynamics and controls
computer-aided design and manufacturing
thermomechanical systems
composite materials

To be awarded the BS (ME), a student must complete a minimum of 128 semester hours of course work, must satisfy all university graduation requirements and maintain at least a 2.0 in all mechanical engineering courses. All students are required to set up an appointment with the senior check-out advisor before registering for the last 30 hours of their degree program. The last 30 hours must be earned as a degree student in the College of Engineering and Applied Science at UC Denver.




The Department of Mechanical Engineering offers graduate courses, a master of science (MS) degree program and a master of engineering (MEng) program. The PhD in mechanical engineering is offered through the Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Colorado at Boulder. The areas of research interest in which a student may undertake studies at the Downtown Campus include manufacturing processes, fluid mechanics, solid mechanics, bioengineering, energy thermodynamics, and composite materials.

As a student in the MS program, you must meet with your graduate advisor before or during your first semester and design a sequence of elective courses that form a coherent program plan.

Requests for applications for graduate study in mechanical engineering should be addressed to UC Denver Department of Mechanical Engineering, Campus Box 112, P.O. Box 173364, Denver, CO 80217-3364.

Applicants who are not citizens or permanent residents of the United States should make application through the Office of International Admissions, Campus Box 185, P.O. Box 173364, Denver, CO 80217- 3364. All applicants for admission must submit complete credentials as outlined in the instructions that accompany the application materials.

Concurrent Bachelor’s/Master’s Degrees

Students wishing to obtain a BS degree with a major in mechanical engineering and either the MS or the MEng degree in mechanical engineering may do so with up to 6 semester hours of 5000-level or above courses applying to both degrees. The 5000-level courses must meet the degree requirements for the graduate degree sought and must be suitable technical electives for the BS. This option is open only for students seeking both degrees at UC Denver. Students must meet admission requirements to be accepted into the graduate program. Completion of two 5000-level courses does not guarantee admission into the graduate program. Please see an Engineering Student Services advisor for restrictions and guidelines.

PhD Program

The PhD in mechanical engineering is available through the Department of Mechanical Engineering at University of Colorado at Boulder. Downtown Campus faculty may serve as research advisors by individual arrangement.



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