Mechanical Engineering

Becoming skilled in traditional engineering concepts while gaining communication skills, professionalism and an understanding of societal and global issues

Quick Facts

Number of full-time faculty: 15

Average number of majors per class year: 32

Career Paths

Bucknell mechanical engineering graduates are highly sought by industry. Companies that have a history of hiring Bucknell mechanical engineers include General Electric, Air Products, United Technologies, Accenture, Corning and Lockheed Martin. Recent alumni have secured the following positions:

  • Consultant Analyst, Accenture
  • Design Engineer, Mechanology
  • Engineer, Clark Construction Group, LLC
  • Investment Banking Analyst, Morgan Stanley
  • Project Development Engineer, Johnson Controls
  • Quality Assurance, Engineer Picatinny Arsenal

Grants & Awards

Mechanical engineering faculty members have recently secured grants from:

  • Office of Naval Research (unmanned ground vehicles in urban terrain)
  • National Science Foundation (mathematical design framework for the synthesis of biologically inspired systems)
  • National Science Foundation (cyber infrastructure)
  • National Science Foundation (instrumentation purchase)
  • National Science Foundation (Faculty Early CAREER Development Award)
  • Department of Energy (Advanced Water Power Technologies) 


Mechanical engineering students can gain career experience and networking opportunities through summer internships. Recently, students have been interns at places including:

  • Main Tape Company
  • Clark Construction Group, LLC
  • Institute for Human and Machine Cognition
  • General Electric
  • Exelon

Courses Offered

Through the following courses, mechanical engineering students acquire not only a strong theoretical foundation in mechanical engineering principles, but also a solid practical understanding of engineering systems through extensive laboratory work.

Advanced Dynamics
Advanced Energy Conversion
Advanced Engineering Problems
Advanced Engineering Thermodynamics
Advanced Fluid Mechanics
Advanced Mechanics of Solids
Applied Finite Element for Mechanical Engineering
Applied Fracture Mechanics
Boundary Layers and Convection Heat Transfer
Compressible Fluid Dynamics
Computer Integrated Manufacturing
Engineering Acoustics and Noise Control
Engineering Analysis
Engineering Composite Material
Engineering Optimization
Environmental Fluid Dynamics
Exploring Innovation
Finite Element Methods
Finite Elements in Analysis and Design
Flow-induced Noise and Vibration
Fluid Dynamics
Form and Function
Fundamentals of Combustion
Graphics for Design and Manufacture
Heat Transfer
Internal Combustion Engines
Introduction to Mechatronics
Machining for Manufacturing Technology
Manufacturing Processes
Manufacturing Processes and Systems
Mechanical Design
Mechanism Design
Senior Design I and II
Solid Mechanics
System Dynamics
Thermal Design
Thermal Environmental Engineering
Thermodynamics I and II
Vibration Analysis

Graduate School

Mechanical Engineering majors often choose to pursue graduate or professional degrees after their time at Bucknell. Recently, alumni have gone on to graduate programs at:

  • Pittsburgh University
  • Bucknell University
  • Penn State University
  • Cornell University
  • Purdue University
  • Harvard University
  • American University
  • Stanford University
  • Carnegie Mellon University

Program Details

  • Mechanical engineering students work in an academic setting that combines a vibrant engineering program with the rich learning environment of a small liberal arts college.
  • The College of Engineering's Department of Biomedical Engineering has strong ties to mechanical engineering, creating opportunities for student projects and for students to obtain a minor in biomedical engineering.
  • Senior mechanical engineering students participate in a yearlong design project in which student teams design, build and test mechanical engineering components and systems. Several recent projects have been defined by and jointly supervised by industry or major research centers.
  • Mechanical engineering students interested in management may apply to a unique two-summer program, the Institute for Leadership in Technology and Management. Jointly taught by engineering and management faculty, the program provides hands-on learning opportunities, along with career networking and internships.
  • Bucknell’s Small Business Development Center provides opportunities for students to work on engineering problems for local industry.


James Baish
B.S.M.E. Bucknell; M.S.E., Ph.D. Pennsylvania
Scholarly interests: biological heat and mass transport, biological growth processes, medical instrumentation and control systems

Craig Beal
Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering, Stanford University
Research Interests: Control system design and implementation, Vehicle dynamics and control, Mechatronics, Design, Robotics, Modeling of dynamic and nonlinear systems

Laura Beninati
B.S. in Architectural Engineering; B.S.C.E., M.S. in Civil Engineering; M.S.M.E., Drexel; Ph.D. University of Iowa
Scholarly interests: environmental fluid mechanics, river mechanics, sediment transport, turbulent flow and transport, vortex-dominated flows, marine renewable energy

Indranil Brahma Mechanical Engineering, India; M.S. in Thermal Engineering, India; Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering, Wisconsin-Madison
Scholarly interests: automotive emission control, energy systems, artificial intelligence and statistics in engineering, new modeling methods

Christine Buffinton
B.S. in Engineering Science, Cornell; M.S., Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering, Stanford
Scholarly interests: biomechanics, heart development, solid mechanics, finite element methods

Keith Buffinton
B.S.M.E. Tufts; M.S., Ph.D. Stanford
Scholarly interests: rigid and flexible multibody dynamics and control, robotics, parametrically excited vibration, engineering management education

Emily Geist
B.S., Mechanical Engineering, Bucknell; M.S., Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering, Carnegie-Mellon
Scholarly interests: medical device design, computational tools, finite element analysis

Charles Kim
B.S.M.E. California Institute of Technology; M.S.E., Ph.D. University of Michigan
Scholarly interests: synthesis of compliant mechanisms and their applications to real-world problems

Charles Knisely
B.S.M.E.; M.S.M.E. Bucknell; Ph.D. Lehigh
Scholarly interests: unsteady fluid dynamics, flow-induced vibrations, energy conversion machinery, thermodynamics, acoustics, noise control

Sarah Manoogian
Ph.D. Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Scholarly interests: dynamic tissue testing, tissue mechanics, pregnant occupant safety, crash dynamics and reconstruction, impact biomechanics

Christopher Mordaunt
B.S.M.E., Lehigh University; Ph.D. Pennsylvania State
Scholarly interests: combustion instabilities, alternative fuel combustion, green energy conversion systems

Mala Sharma
B.S., M.S., Ph.D., Pennsylvania State
Scholarly interests: materials processing, testing and development; nano-materials, environmental degradation, fracture and fatigue

Steven Shooter
B.S., M.S., Ph.D., Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Scholarly interests: design theory and methodology, knowledge-based design, design for manufacturing, robotics, kinematics, dynamics of machinery

Nathan Siegel
Ph.D., Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Research Interests: Solar Power and Fuels, Thermal Energy Storage, Fuel Cells, Optics, Energy Conversion Technologies, Energy Conservation and Efficiency

Peter Stryker
B.S. Michigan; B.S. New Mexico; M.S., Ph.D. Minnesota
Scholarly interests: hybrid vehicles, experimental and computational thermal analysis of internal combustion engines, green building design and evaluation

Sinisa Vukelic
Dipl. Ing., Aeronautic Engineering, Serbia; M.S., Ph.D., Mechanical Engineering, Columbia
Scholarly interests: laser material processing; cancer diagnostics

Wendelin Wright
B.S., M.S., Ph.D., Materials Science and Engineering, Stanford University
Scholarly interests:
mechanical deformation at the micro and nano scale, bulk metallic glasses, nanoindentation

Constance Ziemian
B.S., M.Eng., M.B.A. Cornell; Ph.D. Pennsylvania State
Scholarly interests: manufacturing process modeling and optimization, processing effects on mechanical and material properties, and materials characterization.

Undergraduate Research

The Department of Mechanical Engineering encourages students to participate in research opportunities with faculty. In recent years students have worked on the development of walking robots, a newly equipped combustion laboratory, robotic fish, an automatic hockey puck launcher and non-destructive testing research. Sample project titles include:

  • PWC and Input Shaping Applied to a Flexible System
  • Enhancing Robotic Precision Using Adaptive Tabular Pulse-width Control
  • Verification of Compliant Mechanism Theory through Process Computerization
  • Description and Analysis of a Novel Means of Assembling a Bicycle Frame without the Use of Welds or Similar Joinery Techniques
  • Experimental Evaluation of Pulse-Width Control Applied to Prismatic-Jointed Flexible Robotic Arms
  • Development of an Information Management Infrastructure for Product Family Planning and Mass Customization
  • Development of an Impedance-based Measurement Technique for the Monitoring of Suspended Sediment Concentration in Multi-phase Flows
  • Design, Construction, and Validation of an Atmospheric Combustor for Alternative Fuel Studies
  • Impact of Carbon Dioxide Doping on Methane Combustion in an Atmospheric Combustor

Selected Faculty Publications

Bucknell’s mechanical engineering faculty members’ scholarship has appeared in the following publications:

ASME Journal of Mechanical Design

60th Annual Meeting of the Fluid Dynamics Division of the American Physical Society

International Conference on Engineering and Mathematics

Materials Characterization

The International Journal of Engineering Education

ASME Journal of Dynamic Systems, Measurement, and Control

Journal of Fluid Mechanics

SAE, SAE Proceedings

Acta Materialia

Facilities & Resources

Bucknell’s computer science program is supported by state-of-the-art computing laboratories that are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Most computer science courses make use of the engineering college workstation environment: three laboratories with a total of 70 Linux PCs. Other computing facilities include:

  • Center for Computer-Aided Design and Computational Thermo-fluids and Solid Mechanics
  • Product Development Laboratory, primarily used for the fabrication of student projects; contains Computer-Numerically-Controlled milling machines and lathes as well as a plunge Electrical-Discharge-Machining station
  • Bioengineering Instrumentation Laboratory, an interdisciplinary facility for the development and testing of medical instruments and the characterization of physiological properties and processes
  • Hybrid Powertrain and Internal Combustion Laboratory, an educational and research facility for advanced hybrid control and powertrain design
  • Integrated Design, Manufacturing and Robotics Laboratory, an educational and research facility integrating the processes associated with design, manufacturing and robotics; contains a laser engraver
  • Wind Tunnel Laboratory, which contains a small calibration wind tunnel, a closed-return wind tunnel and an open-return wind tunnel and fluid dynamics and thermodynamics experimentation hardware
  • Materials Characterization and Non-Destructive Evaluation Laboratory with testing equipment including a scanning electron microscope, an x-ray spectrometer, microscope with quantitative metallography, ultrasonic testing equipment, acoustic emission sensors and a salt fog/humidity corrosion testing chamber
  • Combustion Research Laboratory for the study of alternative fuels; consists of a combustion chamber, liquid and gaseous fuel lines and emission analyzers
  • Environmental Fluid Mechanics and Hydraulic Laboratory with a 4 ft. x 32 x 1.5 ft. open-channel flume facility with gantry positioning system and acoustic doppler velozimetry.

Study Abroad

Mechanical engineering students are encouraged to consider a semester or year of studying engineering outside of the United States in countries such as Australia, England, Scotland, Ireland, Germany, Singapore and Czech Republic.

Additionally, the College of Engineering has recently created new Bucknell-faculty-led study abroad opportunities for engineering students, which have taken students to England, Argentina, Switzerland, Germany, France, Sweden, Norway and Brazil.