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Cornell University    
  Sep 25, 2017
Courses of Study 2017-2018

Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

In the College of Engineering .

Course Offerings  


N. Andarawis-Puri, C. T. Avedisian, D. L. Bartel, R. Barthelmie, G. P. Bewley, R. Bhaskaran,  L. J. Bonassar, J. F. Booker, J. Burns,  J. R. Callister, M. E. Campbell, D. A. Caughey, L. R. Collins, P. R. Dawson, O. Desjardins, A. Diaz-Artiles, D. C. Erickson, S. Ferrari, E. M. Fisher, A. R. George, F. C. Gouldin, C. Hernandez, G. Hoffman, C. Hui, B. J. Kirby, H. Kress Gazit, S. Leibovich,  M. Y. Louge, D. G. MacMartin, M. P. Miller, F. C. Moon, F. K. Moore, M. A. Peck, P. Pepiot, S. L. Phoenix, S. B. Pope, M. L. Psiaki, R. Rand, E. L. Resler, Jr., H. Ritz, A. Ruina,  W. Sachse, D. Savransky,  D. Selva, R.F. Shepherd, M. Silberstein, A. Singh, M. Ulinski, M. C. H. van der Meulen, H. B. Voelcker, Z. Wang, Z. Warhaft, C. H. K. Williamson, A. Zehnder, K. M. Zhang

Mechanical Engineering:

Offered by the Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Contact: 125 Upson Hall, (607) 255-3573,

The Mechanical Engineering major is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET,

This major is designed to provide a broad background in the fundamentals of the discipline as well as to offer an introduction to the many professional and technical areas in which mechanical engineers work. The program covers both major streams of mechanical engineering.

  1. Mechanical systems, design, and materials processing is concerned with the design, analysis, testing, and manufacture of machinery, vehicles, devices, and systems. Other topics covered are engineering materials, computer-aided design, vibrations, dynamics and control systems. Particular areas of concentration are robotics, vehicle engineering, space systems and biomechanic.
  2. Engineering of fluids, energy, and thermal systems is concerned with the efficient conversion of energy, aerospace and surface transportation, the environmental impact of engineering activity (including pollutants and noise), aeronautics, and the experimental and theoretical aspects of fluid flow, heat transfer, thermodynamics, and combustion. Specific areas of concentration include aerospace engineering, energy and the environment, and thermo-fluids engineering.

During the fall semester, sophomores who plan to affiliate with the mechanical engineering major take ENGRD 2020  (also MAE 2020 ) as an engineering distribution course. ENGRD 2210  (also MAE 2210 ) is required for the major (but not required to affiliate). The Sibley School supports students who have unusual requirements, but delays or substitutions must be discussed with and receive approval from their major advisor.

The major requires 13 courses (beyond ENGRD 2020  already mentioned) plus four major program electives, which include two major-approved electives, one math elective, and one technical elective.

Design requirement:

Each Mechanical Engineering student must complete a senior design elective involving MAE 4291 . One way of satisfying this requirement is to take a 3+ credit section of MAE 4291 , directed by a faculty member as an individual or team exercise. The other option is to take a 4-credit senior design elective course (MAE 4021 , MAE 4131  , MAE 4141 ,MAE 4161 , MAE 4231 , MAE 4341 MAE 4641 MAE 4651 , MAE 4701 , or MAE 4861 ).


Students should use the flexibility provided by the major electives, advisor-approved electives, and liberal studies distribution electives to develop a program to meet their specific goals.

M.E. major program electives:

M.E. students must complete any two upper-level major-approved electives totaling at least 6 credits. The major-approved electives must be chosen from any of the seven areas listed below. Students may choose to focus on one topic, but it is not necessary to select both courses from one topic.


*Students who took MAE 3780  as a required course (see above) may not use it again as a major-approved elective.

**   MAE 5200  is a 2 credit course; if it is used as a major approved elective, an additional major approved elective course or courses must be selected, so that the total number of credits toward major approved elective I and II requirements is 6 or greater.

Math elective:

Each student must complete an approved upper-level math course taken after MATH 2940 . The course must include some statistics. Currently, the approved courses are MAE 3100 , ENGRD 2700 , ENGRD 3100 , CEE 3040 , and ENGRD 3200 .

Technical elective:

The technical elective may be any course at an appropriate level, chosen from engineering, math, or science (physics, chemistry, or biological sciences). Appropriate level is interpreted as being at a level beyond the required courses of the college curriculum. Courses in biology and society(BSOC), economics, business, and organizational behavior are not accepted; advisors may approve such courses as advisor-approved electives.

MAE 4980  may not be used as an M.E. major program elective.

Advisor-approved electives:

To maximize flexibility (i.e., the option for study abroad, Co-op, internships, pre-med, and flexibility during the upper-class years), the Sibley School faculty recommends that students delay use of advisor-approved (AA) electives until after the third semester. Students must seek advisor approval before taking an AA elective. Advanced placement credit may not count as an AA elective. Up to 6 credits of Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) courses numbered 3000 or above or co-listed in an academic department are allowed as AA electives.

Students must document AA electives approved before MAE affiliation within a month of affiliation as an M.E. student. Because these courses should help develop and broaden the skills of the engineer, advisors will generally accept the following as approved electives: One introduction to engineering course, engineering distribution courses, courses stressing oral or written communication, upper-level engineering courses, advanced courses in mathematics, and rigorous courses in the biological and physical sciences. Advisors are likely to approve courses in business, economics, and language that serve the student’s educational and academic objectives. In other cases, a student’s interests might be better served by approved electives that expand the major, or other parts of the curriculum, including the liberal studies requirements.

Other considerations:

It is recommended that the liberal studies distribution electives include studies in history of technology, societal impacts of technology, history, foreign languages, ethics, communications, political science, aesthetics, economics, and/or architecture.

The Sibley School facilitates its students to spend a semester or year abroad at foreign universities with which the college has an exchange agreement, such as the Ecole Centrale de Paris.

The technical-writing requirement of the common curriculum is satisfied by MAE 4272 .

A limited set of second- and third-year courses is offered each summer under the auspices of the School of Continuing Education and Summer Sessions and the Engineering Cooperative Education Program.

Preparation in Aerospace Engineering:

There is no separate undergraduate major in aerospace engineering, but students may prepare for a career or graduate program in this area by majoring in mechanical engineering and taking courses from the aerospace engineering minor, for example, spacecraft engineering, introduction to aeronautics, and aerospace propulsion systems. It is also possible to prepare for a career or graduate program in aerospace engineering through appropriate course selection in other majors, for example: electrical and computer engineering, engineering physics, or the physical sciences. Subjects recommended as preparation for aerospace engineering endeavors include thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, structures, vibrations, feedback controls, applied mathematics, chemistry, and physics.