At Bucknell, mechanical engineering students acquire a firm foundation in fundamental courses including thermodynamics, rigid body mechanics, fluid mechanics, strength of materials, and heat transfer. This knowledge is applied in subsequent courses in manufacturing, mechanical and thermal design, finite element analysis, and system dynamics. The curriculum culminates in a yearlong senior design sequence wherein teams of students design, build and test devices for real customers. Students also acquire specialized knowledge through senior-level engineering electives with topics including biomechanics, fracture mechanics, composite materials, combustion, internal combustion engines, mechatronics, and mechanism design.
The curriculum in mechanical engineering consists of a strong laboratory component in which students obtain experience with state-of-the-art hardware, software, and experimental techniques. The laboratory experience reinforces content presented in courses while also providing students with the opportunity to interact in a more personal environment with faculty and staff. All labs are taught by faculty with support provided by technical staff. In the lab, students become familiar with wind tunnels, lasers, heat transfer equipment, stress-sensing equipment, automotive engines, robots, rapid prototyping equipment and several computerized data collection and control systems.