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Green Engineering Electives

Suggested Technical Electives for BSME Students Majoring in Mechanical Engineering who are Interested in Sustainability and Green Engineering

(see also: Green Engineering minor offered through the College of Engineering)

Mechanical Engineering majors can use courses to count as both technical electives towards their BSME degree and also towards a Green Engineering minor. Courses used for the BME minor must be taken A-F.   For more information about the minor, please see the Green Engineering website. You may contact Dr. Sean McGinnis, if you have questions about the minor. 

Technical Electives

Mechanical Engineering majors must complete 12 credits of tech electives; no more than 3 credits can be used from List #2.  Be sure to consult the graduation checksheet for the year in which you entered Virginia Tech for to see a full list of approved technical electives and the rules for technical elective selection. Please see the Timetable of Classes for course availability, which can change without warning.  Most technical electives are taught no more than once per year.

List #1 Technical Electives

ENGR 3124 – Introduction to Green Engineering (3 credits) - typically taught Fall & Spring ***Required course for Green Engineering minor***
Note: Some course sections may be restricted to Green Engineering minors only prior to the start of the semester check the timetable for restrictions. Students can add the Green Engineering minor during the change of major application window at the end of the Fall, Spring, and Summer academic terms.
Introduction to green engineering and global environmental issues. Impacts of human and engineering activities on the environment, and techniques that can be utilized to minimize adverse environmental impacts with emphasis on ISO 14000, and environmentally conscious design and manufacturing. Pre: (CHEM 1035 (MIN grade of P), (ENGE 1216 (MIN grade of P) (MIN grade of P) , PHYS 2306 (MIN grade of P).

ENGR 4134 – Environmental Life Cycle Analysis & Materials Selection (3 credits)- typically taught Spring only
Quantification of the environmental impacts for products, processes, and systems across all engineering disciplines. A detailed look at life cycle phases and formal and informal Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) methodologies including ISO standards, stream-lined LCA, green building ratings systems, carbon footprints, and other environmental ratings systems. Pre: ENGR 3124.

ME/ESM 4194 - Sustainable Energy Solutions (3 credits) - typically taught Fall 
Addresses energy metrics, global and US energy supply and demand, transitional energy sources (natural gas, petroleum, coal, nuclear), sustainable/renewable source (solar, geothermal, hydro, tidal, wind, biofuels), and methods for increasing efficiencies (energy storage, batteries, green building, conservation). Options for transportation, electricity, lighting and heating needs of industry, agriculture, community, and citizens. Production, transmission, storage, and disposal issues considered in the context of global political, economic, and environmental impacts. Senior Standing in major may be substituted for pre-requisite ENGL 3764. Pre: (Chem 1035 or 1055), PHYS 2306, and ENGL 3764.

CEE 3104 – Introduction to Environmental Engineering (3 credits) - typically taught Fall and Spring
Note: Course is typically restricted to CEE majors during course request and opened up to others during drop/add - please see the timetable comments for dates that restrictions will change.
Overall view of environmental engineering with emphasis on hazardous waste management, water treatment, wastewater treatment, air pollution and its control, solid waste management, groundwater pollution and environmental regulations. Pre: C- or better in CHEM 1035, CHEM 1045, MATH 1226, and PHYS 2305. 

ME 4034: Bio-Inspired Technology- typically taught Spring only
Introduction to engineering solutions inspired by biological systems. Overview over the approach of bio-inspired technology and the state of the art. Exploration of the relationship between engineered and natural biological systems. Explanation of concepts of biological systems, such as evolutionary optimization, sensing, actuation, control, system integration, assembly and materials in engineering terms. Practice of interdisciplinary analysis skills in technical report writing projects where man-made and biological systems are evaluated for parallels to engineering and their technological potential. Must be a graduating senior. UG/G and Dual students must register for ME 5034. Pre: (PHYS 2205, PHYS 2206) or (PHYS 2305, PHYS 2306).

ME 4154 – Industrial Energy Management (3 credits) - offering TBD
Comprehensive study of managing energy resources and usage in an industrial plant. Four areas of energy management are covered: how to organize an energy management program in an industrial plant; techniques for conducting industrial energy surveys; how to make energy systems more efficient; and the design and analysis of energy systems. Pre: ME3114 or ME3124.

ME4164 – Energy Systems for Buildings (3 credits) typically taught Fall only
Application of the fundamental principles of thermodynamics, heat transfer, and fluid flow to analyze energy use for building environmental control. Exploration of approaches for configuring basic thermal-fluid engineering components (e.g. pumps, piping, fans, heat exchangers, refrigeration cycles, etc.) to yield systems that provide heating, cooling, and ventilation. Introduction to techniques and software tools for estimating energy use by these systems and the associated economic and environment impact. Examination of alternate technologies for meeting building energy needs including small scale combined heat and power systems and renewable energy systems. Pre: ME 2134 (MIN grade of C-).

ME4204 – Internal Combustion Engines  (3 credits) - typically taught Spring only
Analysis and design of gasoline and diesel engines. Fundamental processes and their application in current technology. Thermodynamics: air standard and air-fuel cycles. Combustion: stoichiometry, fuels, chemical equilibrium, chemical kinetics, flame propagation, knock, pollutant formation and control. Flow processes: volumetric efficiency, intake and exhaust tuning, two-stroke scavenging, carburetion, fuel injection, super- and turbo-charging. Pre: ME 2134 (MIN grade of C-), ME 3414 (MIN grade of P). Cannot be taken P/F.

ME 4554 – Advanced Technology Motor Vehicles (3 credits) - typically taught Fall only
Energy use and environmental issues for motor vehicles: Emissions standards, fleet requirements, dynamometer testing, fuel economy, and vehicle performance. Alternative fuel vehicles: Characteristics and infrastructure of fuels, batteries, electric vehicles, and hybrid electric vehicles. Vehicle design: Modeling and simulation of vehicle energy use and performance, component sizing. Fuel cells for transportation. Heavy-duty vehicles and busses. Low mass vehicles and future vehicle technology. Pre: ME 2134 (MIN grade of C-).  Cannot be taken P/F. Graduating Seniors only.

NSEG 3145-3146 (3 credits each).  NSEG 3145 - Fall only, 3146 - Spring only
Application of fundamental principles of neutron physics and reactor theory. Introduction to nuclear cross-section data, neutron scattering, nuclear fission, and diffusion theory. Examination of current and next generation nuclear power. Pre: for 3145: MATH 2214 or MATH 2214H; for 3146: 3145.

NSEG 3604 - Radiation Detection, Protection, and Shielding - typically taught once per year - semester TBD
Radioactive decay, interaction of charged particles and photons with matter, methods of radiation detection and radiation dosimetry, counting statistics, radiation protection criteria and exposure limits, external radiation protection using time, distance and shielding. Co: MATH 2214 or MATH 2214H or MATH 2406H. Pre: PHYS 2306. 

UAP 4374 – Land Use and the Environment (3 credits) - typically taught Fall only 
***also an Interdisciplinary Elective for Green Engineering minor***
Environmental factors involved in land use planning and development, including topography, soils, geologic hazards, flooding and stormwater management, ecological features, and visual quality. Techniques used in conducting environmental land inventories and land suitability analyses. Policies and programs to protect environmental quality in land use planning and development. Pre: Junior standing.

UAP 4394 – Community Renewable Energy Systems (3 credits) - typically taugh Spring only ***also an Interdisciplinary Elective for Green Engineering minor***
Note: Consult ME undergraduate advisor to get on force-add list if you get a prerequite error for the elementary calculus courses.
Practical design fundamentals for small scale renewable energy systems: solar building heating and cooling; solar domestic hot water; wind, photovoltaic, and hydroelectric systems; alcohol, methane and other biomass conversion systems.  Developing plans, programs, and policies to stimulate development of renewable systems. Pre: (MATH 1016 or MATH 1025).

Technical Electives

Courses with an asterisk* have not been offered for at least one academic year and may not be available.