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Technical Elective Focus Areas

The department offers technical elective courses from multiple areas. Students can choose their technical elective courses in a variety of areas or a single area to create a more focused experience.

Aerospace
Automotive
Biomechanics
Design and Manufacturing / CAD
Dynamic Systems, Controls, and Robotics
Energy Systems
Fluid Mechanics
General Mechanical Engineering
Materials
Structural Dynamics and Acoustics

AEROSPACE

Aerospace engineering focuses on the wide array of systems and principles associated with air vehicles (both manned and un-manned) and spacecraft, including satellites and space launch systems. Closely related are underwater vehicles, wind turbines, and high performance automobiles. For information about the official Mechanical Engineering: Aerospace emphasis, please see our ME Aerospace Emphasis page.

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    • ME EN 412 Applications to Fluid Dynamics: This class builds upon the elementary fluid dynamics covered in ME EN 312 and provides introductions to aerodynamics, turbomachinery, high speed gas flows, and basic computational fluid dynamics. Prerequisites: ME EN 312
    • ME EN 415 Flight Vehicle Design: Fundamental principles for designing flight vehicles (e.g., airplanes and rockets), with a hands-on project. Introductions to flight aerodynamics, structures, stability, propulsion, and performance. Prerequisites: ME EN 312
    • ME EN 426 Gas Turbine and Jet Engine Design: An introduction to the design and analysis of gas turbines that are used for land-based energy generation and aircraft propulsion. The main types of engine design, including turbojet, turbofan, and turboprops are addressed extensively. Prerequisites: ME EN 312 and ME EN 321
    • ME EN 431 Design of Control Systems: Learn frequency response and time domain approaches to control systems, which are pervasive in large scale systems such as aircraft and automobiles. Both analytical and computer simulation approaches of modeling control systems are introduced. Prerequisites: ME EN 335 or EC EN 380
    • ME EN 456 Composite Material Design: An introduction to analyzing and designing composite structures, which are heavily used in modern aerospace applications. Prerequisites: ME EN 250
    • ME EN 501 Stress Analysis and Design of Mechanical Structures: This course gives depth in advanced methods of stress analysis and deflection of structures using both traditional analytical approaches and modern computational methods. Applications include an array of mechanical and aerospace structure design scenarios. Prerequisites: ME EN 372 or CE 321
    • ME EN 510 Compressible Fluid Flow: This class focuses on the study of gases moving at very high speeds. Applications include design of nozzles for aircraft and space launch vehicles, forces acting on aircraft at very high speeds, shock waves associated with supersonic flight, and implications for aircraft component design. Prerequisites: ME EN 312
    • ME EN 515 Aerodynamics: The science of forces acting on flying machines including airfoils, wings, and blades. Includes an introduction to using computational fluid dynamics. Prerequisites: ME EN 273 and ME EN 312
    • ME EN 523 Aircraft Structures: This class provides an in-depth investigation of the requirements, objectives, loads, materials, and tools for design of airframe structures. This includes the behavior of thin-wall structures and durability and damage tolerance. Prerequisites: ME EN 250 and ME EN 372
    • ME EN 575 Optimization Techniques in Engineering: Optimization methods are frequently used in aerospace applications because the problems are strongly multidisciplinary and the performance requirements are challenging to satisfy. Optimization seeks to find the best feasible solution(s) amongst competing alternatives. By using numerical optimization algorithms, computers can help engineers understand complex tradeoffs and make better design decisions. Prerequisites: MATH 302 or MATH 213, ME EN 273

      AUTOMOTIVE

      Automotive engineering allows students to focus on the analysis and design of automobiles and all of the related components (engine, transmission, control systems, brakes, drive train, exhaust, etc.). Courses at BYU related to this tend to be focused on fundamental principles that are critical in many of the elements involved in automobile design and manufacture.

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        • ME EN 425 Internal Combustion Engines: An introduction to the fundamental operating characteristics of internal combustion engines, including both spark and compression ignition. Engines are analyzed using a thermodynamic cycle analysis, and their performance and emissions characteristics are explored analytically. Experimental testing is also conducted. Prerequisites: ME EN 321
        • ME EN 431 Design of Control Systems: Learn frequency response and time domain approaches to control systems, which are pervasive in large scale systems such as aircraft and automobiles. Both analytical and computer simulation approaches of modeling control systems are introduced. Prerequisites: ME EN 335 or EC EN 380
        • ME EN 437 Kinematics: Kinematics is the study of the motion and forces of linkages in mechanisms. In this class, students will use traditional and computational methods to model the velocities, accelerations, and force transmission in mechanisms are covered. Prerequisites: CE 204; Recommended: ME EN 273
        • ME EN 472 Mechanical Systems Design Applications: An in-depth coverage of failure mechanisms and design approaches to mitigate failure. Extended coverage of machine components and using finite element methods to analyze components. Prerequisites: ME EN 372
        • ME EN 501 Stress Analysis and Design of Mechanical Structures: This course gives depth in advanced methods of stress analysis and deflection of structures using both traditional analytical approaches and modern computational methods. Applications include an array of mechanical and aerospace structure design scenarios. Prerequisites: ME EN 372 or CE 321

        BIOMECHANICS

        Biomechanics is the application of mechanics to biology and has origins dating back to Aristotle. Biomechanics seeks to understand the mechanics of living systems, from molecules to organisms. Biomechanical engineering is the practical implementation of this understanding, and embodies the attempts of humans to design and develop mechanical devices that mimic, measure, improve, repair, or replace the function of living systems.

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          • ME EN 501 Stress Analysis and Design of Mechanical Structures: This course gives depth in advanced methods of stress analysis and deflection of structures using both traditional analytical approaches and modern computational methods. Applications include an array of mechanical and aerospace structure design scenarios. Prerequisites: ME EN 372 or CE 321
          • ME EN 552 Introduction to Neuromechanics: This class covers biomechanics and neural control of human movement, including in-depth discussion of the dynamics of neuromusculoskeletal systems, human-machine interaction, movement disorders, assistive/rehabilitative technology, and current research techniques. Prerequisites: ME EN 335
          • ME EN 555 Introduction to Biomechanics: An introduction to a continuum mechanics-based approach to the structure, function, mechanical response, and active remodeling of hard and soft tissues of the body. Prerequisites: ME EN 372
          • CH EN 518 Biomedical Engineering Principles: This class provides an opportunity to apply chemical engineering principles to model physiologic systems and to solve medical problems. Prerequisites: CH EN 374 and CH EN 376
          • Cell 305 Human Physiology and Lab: Learn proper physiology terminology and gain a well-integrated and comprehensive understanding of cells, organ systems, and the function of the human body in health and disease. Prerequisites: Chem 101 and Cell 210 or 220
          • Chem 351 Organic Chemistry: This class focuses on the fundamentals of bonding, structure, and reactions of organic compounds, including molecular geometry, polarity, conformation, isomerism, functional groups, stereochemistry, reactions and reaction mechanisms, and spectroscopy. Prerequisites: Chem 105 or Chem 111
          • EXSC 462 Clinical Biomechanics: Advanced biological and mechanical perspectives into the etiology, diagnosis, and therapeutic resolution of common musculoskeletal disorders. Taught Fall Semesters of odd numbered years. Prerequisites: EXSC 362 & CELL 220; or CE 204

          DESIGN AND MANUFACTURING / CAD

          Engineering design affects everyday life - everything around us has been designed. Design involves the systematic interplay between creation and validation with the intent to bring useful parts, products, or systems, to the marketplace. Researchers in engineering design develop theories, methodologies, and tools that improve the design process and bring new capabilities to the hands of the mechanical designer. This includes computer aided engineering, systems design, product development, numerical and optimization methods, and the integration of engineering with other disciplines.

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            • ME EN 472 Mechanical Systems Design Applications: An in-depth coverage of failure mechanisms and design approaches to mitigate failure. Extended coverage of machine components and using finite element methods to analyze components. Prerequisites: ME EN 372
            • ME EN 501 Stress Analysis and Design of Mechanical Structures: This course gives depth in advanced methods of stress analysis and deflection of structures using both traditional analytical approaches and modern computational methods. Applications include an array of mechanical and aerospace structure design scenarios. Prerequisites: ME EN 372 or CE 321
            • ME EN 550 Microelectromechanical Systems (MEMS): This class discusses design, fabrication, and applications of MEMS, including mechanical properties governing design and reliability and the processing technologies for MEMS fabrication. Prerequisites: EC EN 450 or ME EN 372
            • ME EN 570 CAE Software Engineering: This class focuses on programming methods for the development of engineering software, including data structures, architecture, libraries, and graphical user interfaces, with applications to CAD systems. Prerequisites: ME EN 273
            • ME EN 575 Optimization Techniques in Engineering: Optimization seeks to find the best feasible design(s) amongst competing alternatives. By using numerical optimization algorithms, computers can help engineers understand complex tradeoffs and make better design decisions. Prerequisites: MATH 302 or MATH 213, ME 273
            • ME EN 576 Product Design: Discuss emerging design methodology and design strategies used for complex systems, including decomposition methods and sensitivity analysis. The class also covers advanced CAD/CAE/CAM technologies applied to design. Prerequisites: ME EN 475
            • ME EN 578 CAD/CAM Applications: Master principles and practices for parametric surface and solid modeling, associativity, and NC tool path generation. Construct complete CAD models for design, analysis, and manufacture. Prerequisites: ME EN 570
            • ME EN 579 Global Product Development: Prepare to be a leader in globally-influenced product development organizations. While in this class, students will visit companies and universities in the U.S. and abroad. Prerequisites: ME EN 476

            DYNAMIC SYSTEMS, CONTROLS, ROBOTICS

            Many modern engineering systems, including robots, biomedical devices, vehicles, sensors, and machinery are comprised of interconnected dynamic elements. The ability to design, model, and control such systems is essential in modern engineering. Current areas of focus related to dynamic systems and controls at BYU include unmanned air vehicles (UAVs), microelectromechanical systems (MEMS), active noise control, haptic interfaces, and robotics.

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              • ME EN 431 Design of Control Systems: Learn frequency response and time domain approaches to control systems, which are pervasive in large scale systems such as aircraft and automobiles. Both analytical and computer simulation approaches of modeling control systems are introduced. Prerequisites: ME EN 335 or EC EN 380
              • ME EN 437 Kinematics: Kinematics is the study of the motion and forces of linkages in mechanisms. Traditional and computational methods to model the velocities, accelerations, and force transmission in mechanisms are covered. Prerequisites: CE 204; Recommended: ME EN 273
              • ME EN 501 Stress Analysis and Design of Mechanical Structures: This course gives depth in advanced methods of stress analysis and deflection of structures using both traditional analytical approaches and modern computational methods. Applications include an array of mechanical and aerospace structure design scenarios. Prerequisites: ME EN 372 or CE 321
              • ME EN 534 Dynamics of Mechanical Systems: Master the theory and integrated applications of Hamiltonian and Lagrangian dynamics, generalized coordinates, linear and angular momentum, Euler angles, rigid-body motions, and gyroscopic effects. Prerequisites: ME EN 335
              • ME EN 535 Mechanical Vibrations: Introduction to energy methods for system modeling, eigenvalues and mode shapes, frequency response, and spectral characterization of vibrations. Prerequisites: ME EN 335
              • ME EN 537 Robotics: Kinematics, Dynamics, and Control: Study the kinematics and dynamics of advanced mechanisms, such as robots, with computer simulation of mechanism motion. Prerequisites: ME EN 335
              • ME EN 538 Compliant Mechanisms: Learn about the design and analysis of compliant mechanisms and compliant structures. Methods include large-deflection analysis, force displacement relationships, and mechanisms synthesis. Prerequisites: ME EN 372 and ME EN 475
              • ME EN 552 Introduction to Neuromechanics: This class covers biomechanics and neural control of human movement, including in-depth discussion of the dynamics of neuromusculoskeletal systems, human-machine interaction, movement disorders, assistive/rehabilitative technology, and current research techniques. Prerequisites: ME EN 335
              • ME EN 570 CAE Software Engineering: This class focuses on programming methods for the development of engineering software, including data structures, architecture, libraries, and graphical user interfaces, with applications to CAD systems. Prerequisites: ME EN 273

              ENERGY SYSTEMS

              The dual specters of global warming and political instability in oil-exporting countries have made the development of efficient and sustainable energy systems a national priority. Design, analysis and optimization of systems that transport or convert energy are based on thermodynamics and heat and mass transfer at all length scales (nano-, micro-, macro- and meso-scales). At BYU, we use experimental and analytical methods to investigate methods to enhance and/or control processes that are essential in a host of applications (combustion, aerospace, biosensors, power harvesting, etc.).​

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                • ME EN 412 Applications to Fluid Dynamics: This class builds upon the elementary fluid dynamics covered in ME EN 312 and provides introductions to aerodynamics, turbomachinery, high speed gas flows, and basic computational fluid dynamics. Prerequisites: ME EN 312
                • ME EN 422 Applied Thermodynamics: Applied engineering thermodynamics including air and steam power cycles, thermodynamic relations, and introduction to combustion and equilibrium chemical reactions. Prerequisites: ME EN 321
                • ME EN 425 Internal Combustion Engines: An introduction to the fundamental operating characteristics of internal combustion engines, including both spark and compression ignition. Engines are analyzed using a thermodynamic cycle analysis, and their performance and emissions characteristics are explored analytically. Experimental testing is also conducted. Prerequisites: ME EN 321
                • ME EN 426 Gas Turbine and Jet Engine Design: This class introduces students to the design and analysis of gas turbines that are used for land-based energy generation and aircraft propulsion. The main types of engine design, including turbojet, turbofan, and turboprops are addressed extensively. Prerequisites: ME EN 312 and ME EN 321
                • ME EN 521 Intermediate Thermodynamics: Review of first and second law analysis; exergy; equations of state and other thermodynamic relations; properties of mixtures and multiphase systems; chemical reactions and equilibrium. Prerequisites: ME EN 321
                • ME EN 522 Combustion: Introduction to first- and second-law ideal gas combustion systems along with elementary models of homogeneous and heterogeneous premixed and/or diffusion flames. Prerequisites: Chem 105, ME EN 340, ME EN 422; or CH EN 373 and CH EN 376
                • ME EN 540 Intermediate Heat and Mass Transfer: Analytical approaches to conduction, convection, and radiation heat transfer. Introduction to mass transfer. Prerequisites: ME EN 340
                • ME EN 541 Computational Fluid Dynamics and Heat Transfer: Fluid dynamics and heat transfer analysis by numerical methods. Theory and implementation of finite difference and finite volume methods. Prerequisites: ME EN 312 and ME EN 340

                  FLUID MECHANICS

                  Fluid mechanics deals with the study of liquids and gases at rest or in motion. Research in fluid mechanics focuses on understanding how fluids move and interact with their surroundings over the range of length scales from the nano-scale to the global scale. Fluid mechanics research encompasses many complicated dynamic systems which are solved through a combination of experiments and direct observation, analytical methods, and computational fluid dynamics (CFD). Research topics at BYU are broad and include areas such as: biological flows, micro- and nano-fluidic systems, flow physics in turbomachines, turbulence, fluid-structure interactions, atmospheric and oceanic flow dynamics, aircraft aerodynamics, and reacting flows.

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                    • ME EN 412 Applications to Fluid Dynamics: This class builds upon the elementary fluid dynamics covered in ME EN 312 and provides introductions to aerodynamics, turbomachinery, high speed gas flows, and basic computational fluid dynamics. Prerequisites: ME EN 312
                    • ME EN 510 Compressible Fluid Flow: Compressible flow is the study of gases moving at very high speeds. Applications include design of nozzles for aircraft and space launch vehicles, forces acting on aircraft at very high speeds, shock waves associated with supersonic flight, and implications for aircraft component design. Prerequisites: ME EN 312 (Fluid Mechanics)
                    • ME EN 512 Intermediate Fluid Dynamics: Fluid transport properties, review of integral analysis, Navier-Stokes equations, exact and similarity solutions, boundary layers, vorticity, jets and wakes. Prerequisites: ME EN 312 and ME EN 505
                    • ME EN 515 Aerodynamics: The application of fluid dynamics principles to predict forces and moments on flight vehicles. Includes an introduction to using computational fluid dynamics. Prerequisites: ME EN 273 and ME EN 312
                    • ME EN 541 Computational Fluid Dynamics and Heat Transfer: Fluid dynamics and heat transfer analysis by numerical methods. Theory and implementation of finite difference and finite volume methods. Prerequisites: ME EN 312 and ME EN 340

                      GENERAL MECHANICAL ENGINEERING

                      The required courses in the BYU ME program cover a broad range of almost all of the topics you will encounter as a Mechanical Engineer, but it is often a second visit to the topic that solidifies understanding. If you want to improve both depth and breadth to your undergraduate education take the following courses to expand upon and solidify topics related to the required courses.

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                        • ME EN 412 Applications of Fluid Dynamics: This class builds upon the elementary fluid dynamics covered in ME EN 312 and provides introductions to aerodynamics, turbomachinery, high speed gas flows, and basic computational fluid dynamics. Prerequisites: ME EN 312
                        • ME EN 422 Applied Thermodynamics: Applied engineering thermodynamics including air and steam power cycles, thermodynamic relations, and introduction to combustion and equilibrium chemical reactions. Prerequisites: ME EN 321
                        • ME EN 431 Design of Control Systems: Learn frequency response and time domain approaches to control systems, which are pervasive in large scale systems such as aircraft and automobiles. Both analytical and computer simulation approaches of modeling control systems are introduced. Prerequisites: ME EN 335 or EC EN 380
                        • ME EN 437 Kinematics: Kinematics is the study of the motion and forces of linkages in mechanisms. Traditional and computational methods to model the velocities, accelerations, and force transmission in mechanisms are covered. Prerequisites: CE 204; Recommended: ME EN 273
                        • ME EN 456 Composite Material Design: Macro- and micro-mechanical analysis and design of uni- and multidirectional composite materials. Prerequisites: ME EN 250
                        • ME EN 472 Mechanical Systems Design Applications: An in depth coverage of failure mechanisms and design approaches to mitigate failure. Extended coverage of machine components and using finite element methods to analyze components. Prerequisites: ME EN 372

                        MATERIALS

                        Progress in materials science is at the heart of most exciting advances in modern engineering. Materials science consists in exploring the relationships between structure, properties and processing operations that define a material. The engineering materials group seeks to extract the processing, structure, property relationships in an effort to prepare advanced materials. We use cutting edge microscopy to determine material structure at the nano-scale, materials testing techniques to measure properties and the effects of processing, and modeling and mathematical tools to simulate behaviors in an effort to understand certain phenomena and create new and better materials.​ Additional materials related classes that may fulfill technical electives are listed on this page https://materials.byu.edu/courses.

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                          • ME EN 450 Engineering Materials: Selection for Design: Instruction emphasizes optimal materials selection techniques, practical materials-focused design, and an overview of commonly used engineering materials. These methods are applied in a practical design experience involving materials selection and manufacturing of a real product. Prerequisites: ME EN 250 and ME EN 372 (or concurrent)
                          • ME EN 456 Composite Materials Design: Macro- and micro-mechanical analysis and design of uni- and multidirectional composite materials. Prerequisites: ME EN 250
                          • ME EN 501 Stress Analysis and Design of Mechanical Structures: This course gives depth in advanced methods of stress analysis and deflection of structures using both traditional analytical approaches and modern computational methods. Applications include an array of mechanical and aerospace structure design scenarios. Prerequisites: ME EN 372 or CE 321
                          • ME EN 503 Plasticity and Fracture: Tensor algebra; stress and deformation tensors; relationships between dislocation slip, yielding, plastic constitutive behavior, and microstructure development; cracks and linear elastic fracture mechanics. Prerequisites: ME EN 250 and CCE 203
                          • ME EN 556 Materials Modeling: Theory and application of various computer simulations to model, understand, and predict the properties of real materials. Specific topics include: first-principles atomistic models, empirical potential atomistic models, mesoscale models, and continuum finite element analysis. Prerequisites: ME EN 250 and ME EN 273
                          • ME EN 558 Metallurgy: Fundamental principles of physical metallurgy and their application to design. Prerequisites: ME EN 250

                            STRUCTURAL DYNAMICS AND ACOUSTICS

                            Acoustics research at BYU is strongly cross-disciplinary in character and focuses on the following areas: active noise and vibration control, sound-structure interaction, nonlinear acoustics, audio acoustics and architectural acoustics. The research in acoustics is both experimental and computational in nature and includes simulation and measurement of physical systems, as well as signal processing. Structural dynamics research focuses on the interaction between aerodynamics and structures.

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                              • ME EN 501 Stress Analysis and Design of Mechanical Structures: This course gives depth in advanced methods of stress analysis and deflection of structures using both traditional analytical approaches and modern computational methods. Applications include an array of mechanical and aerospace structure design scenarios. Prerequisites: ME EN 372 or CE 321
                              • ME EN 535 Mechanical Vibrations: Introduction to energy methods for system modeling, eigenvalues and mode shapes, frequency response, and spectral characterization of vibrations. Prerequisites: ME EN 335
                              • ME EN 561 Fundamentals of Acoustics: Vibrating systems, elastic media, mechanical energy, and radiation. Sound generation, transmission, reflection, and reception. Prerequisites: PHSCS 318 and PHSCS 461