Apr 17, 2024  
2019-2020 Undergraduate Catalog 
2019-2020 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Mechanical Engineering

Chair: Samuel W. J. Welch
Office: North Classroom 2024
Telephone: 303-315-7500
Fax: 303-315-7504


Peter E. Jenkins, PhD, Purdue, MBA, Pepperdine, Professional Engineer, PE-Texas

Associate Professors:
R. Dana Carpenter, PhD, Stanford University
Ronald A. L. Rorrer, PhD, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, PE-Colorado
L. Rafael Sanchez, PhD, Michigan Technological University, PE-Colorado
Mohsen Tadi, PhD, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Samuel W. J. Welch, PhD, University of Colorado at Boulder
Christopher M. Yakacki, PhD, University of Colorado at Boulder

Assistant Professors:
Kannan N. Premnath, PhD, Purdue University
Kai Yu, PhD, Georgia Tech University      

Assistant Professor (Clinical Teaching Track):                        
Maryam Darbeheshti, PhD, University of Denver                    

Senior Instructor:
Joseph F. Cullen Jr., MS, University of Colorado

Professor Emeritus:
James Gerdeen, PhD, Stanford University
J. Kenneth Ortega, PhD, University of Colorado at Boulder

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, master’s (MS and MEng) and PhD programs in mechanical engineering for a diverse group of working students.

Program Objectives

The program offered by the Department of Mechanical Engineering of the University of Colorado Denver can be completed in the afternoon and evening hours to accommodate both working and traditional students. The department seeks to graduate a diverse population of students with a bachelor’s degrees who within a few years of graduation are able to:

  1. be employed by a diverse group of industries, research laboratories and educational institutions 
  2. pursue careers in engineering, interdisciplinary areas, research and education 
  3. pursue post-graduate education and advanced degrees. 

Undergraduate Information

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:

  • thermodynamics
  • heat transfer
  • fluid mechanics
  • solid mechanics
  • motorsports engineering
  • power
  • bioengineering
  • dynamics and controls
  • computer-aided design and manufacturing
  • thermomechanical systems
  • composite materials
  • additive manufacturing

Concurrent Bachelor’s/Master’s Degrees

In addition to the bachelor of science in mechanical engineering , the department offers a concurrent bachelor’s/master’s degree. 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 undergraduate degree. This option is open only for students seeking both degrees at CU 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 advisor for restrictions and guidelines.