Virginia Tech®home

Machine Design Electives

Suggested Courses for ME Students Interested in Machine Design


Technical Electives:

Mechanical Engineering majors must complete 12 credits of tech electives; no more than 3 credits can be used from List #2, with 6 credits of 3000- or higher level ME and/or NSEG subject courses.  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 #2 Technical Electives

BSE 2484 – Engines and Power Trains (3 credits) - typically taught Fall and Spring
Fundamentals of the construction and operation of current internal combustion power units. Control of power utilizing clutches, transmissions, drive shafts, and differentials.  NO FORCE ADDS.

List #1 Technical Electives

ESM 3054 (MSE 3054): Mechanical Behavior of Materials (3 credits)  - typically taught Fall and Spring
Mechanical properties and behavior of solid materials subjected to static, cyclic, and sustained loads resulting from stress states, environments, and stress histories typical of service conditions; multiaxial failure criteria; behavior of cracked bodies; fatigue of materials; creep of materials; microstructure-property relationships; design methodologies. Pre: ESM 2204 and (MSE 2034 or MSE 2044 or MSE 3094 or AOE 3094 or CEE 3684).  
*Note: It is NOT necessary to also enroll in the 1 credit lab (ESM/MSE 3064).

ESM 3064 (MSE 3064): Mechanical Behavior of Materials Laboratory (1 credit)  - typically taught Fall and Spring
Laboratory experiments on behavior and mechanical properties of solid materials. Tension, compression, bending, hardness, nano-indentation, and impact tests; behavior of cracked bodies; fatigue and crack growth tests; creep deformation; microstructure-property relationships; laboratory equipment, instrumentation, and computers. Pre: ESM 2204. Co: ESM 3054. (3L,1C)
*Note: MUST also enroll in the 3 credit lecture (ESM/MSE 3054).

ESM 3124: Dynamics II Analytical & 3D Motion (3 credits) - Fall only
Review of Newton's Laws, introduction to Lagrange's equations, rotating coordinate systems, particle dynamics, systems of particles, rigid-body dynamics, small amplitude oscillations, holonomic and nonholonomic constraints, phase space and energy methods. Pre: 2304, (MATH 2214 or MATH 2214H), (MATH 2204 or MATH 2204H). (3H,3C)

ESM 3154: Solid Mechanics (3 credits) - Spring only
Introduction to tensors, mathematical description of deformations and internal forces in solids, equations of equilibrium, principle of virtual work, linear elastic material behavior, solution for linear elastic problems including axially and spherically symmetric solutions, stress function solutions to plane stress and strain problems, solutions to 3-D problems, energy methods. Pre: 2204 and MATH 2214 Co. MATH 4574. (3H,3C)

ESM 4024: Advanced Mechanical Behavior of Materials (3 credits) - Spring only
Mechanical behavior of materials, emphasizing solid mechanics aspects and methods for predicting strength and life of engineering components. Plasticity, failure criteria, fracture mechanics, crack growth, strain-based fatigue, and creep. Microstructure-property relationships, and laboratory demonstrations. Pre: 3054 or MSE 3054. (3H,3C)

ESM 4044: Mechanics of Composite Materials (3 credits) - Fall only
Introduction to the deformation, stress, and strength analysis of continuous-fiber-polymer-matrix laminated composites. Fabrication, micromechanics of stiffness and expansional coefficients, classical lamination theory (CLT). Environmentally induced stresses. Computerized implementation and design. Pre: ESM 2204 or AOE 2024. (3H,3C)

ME 3604 – Kinematics & Dynamics of Machinery (3 credits) - offering to be determined
Kinematic analysis and design of cams, gears, and linkages, velocity, acceleration and force analysis, kinematic synthesis, balancing, kinematic and force analysis by complex numbers, computer-aided analysis, and synthesis of linkages. Pre: ESM 2304.

ME 4034 - Bio-Inspired Technology (3 credits) - 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. UG/G and Dual students must register in ME 5034 - Bio-Inspired Technology.

ME 4524 – Introduction to Robotics and Automation (3 credits) - Fall only
Automation, robot technology, kinematics, dynamics, trajectory planning, and control of two- dimensional and spatial robots; robot programming; design and simulation of robotic devices. Pre: ME2004, ME3524, and ME3534. Co: ME 4584. Graduating seniors only. Cannot be taken P/F.  
*Note: Must also enroll in ME4584 (Robotics Laboratory, 1 credit).

ME 4584 – Robotics Laboratory (1 credit) - Fall only
Automation, robot technology, kinematics, dynamics, trajectory planning, and control of two- dimensional and spatial robots; robot programming; design and simulation of robotic devices. Pre: ME2004, ME3524, and ME3534. Co: ME 4524. Graduating seniors only. Cannot be taken P/F.
*Note: Must also enroll in ME4524 (Robotics & Automation, 3 credits).

ME 4654 – Optimization Tech in Eng (3 credits) - Spring only
Fundamental mathematical concepts for optimization and optimality conditions. Classification of optimization techniques/problems in engineering. Concepts of forward and inverse design. Linear programming. Step-size calculation methods. Search direction calculation methods. 1st and 2nd order gradient-based algorithms. Evolutionary strategies for optimization. Pattern search/genetic algorithm. Sensitivity analysis. Reliability-based and robustness-based optimization. Pre: ME2004 or programming course (see timetable for options).

ME 4614 – Mechanical Design II (3 credits) - Spring only
Design of mechanical elements such as welded joints hydrodynamic bearings, spur gears, shafts, brakes. Alternative fatigue design methods, cumulative fatigue, mechanical design computer software. Pre: ME 3624.

ME 4624 – Finite Element Practice in Machine Design (3 credits) - Fall only
Application of the finite element method to stress analysis problems in mechanical design. Modeling techniques, proper use of existing computer programs, interpreting of results, application to design modification. Pre: ME 3624.

ME 4634 – Intro Computer-Aided Design and Manufacture (3 credits) - Spring only
Participants will study the computer-aided design and manufacturing of mechanical systems. A mechanical system will be designed including preliminary design, analysis, detail design, numerical control programming, and documentation. Applications programs will be written and interfaced to the CAD/CAM database. All assignments will be carried out on a CAD/CAM system. This course cannot be taken Pass/Fail.

ME 4644 – Rapid Prototyping (3 credits) - check timetable for offering(s), currently Fall only.
Participants will study topics fundamental to rapid prototyping and automated fabrication, including the generation of suitable CAD models, current rapid prototyping fabrication technologies, their underlying material science, the use of secondary processing, and the impact of these technologies on society. The rapid prototyping process will be illustrated by the actual design and fabrication of a part. Programming skills required. This course may not be taken P/F. Graduating Seniors only.

ME 4664 – Intro Global Collaborative Engineering Design (3 credits) - Fall only
Participants will study topics fundamental to global collaborative engineering design, product data management, and collaborative product data management. These topics will be applied during a team project with team members located overseas, utilizing state-of-the-art collaborative engineering and product data management software and hardware technologies. Partially duplicates 5664. Credit may only be received for one course. Pre: ME3024