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Welcome to The J. Mike Walker '66 Department of Mechanical Engineering at Texas A&M University!
Mechanical Engineering students doing hands-on research

Howdy!

Thank you for your interest in the J. Mike Walker '66 Department of Mechanical Engineering at Texas A&M University.

The mechanical engineering department is one of 15 departments in the Texas A&M University College of Engineering (the largest college on the Texas A&M campus). Among public institutions in the nation, our graduate program is ranked ninth and our undergraduate program is ranked seventh. Our department is ranked ninth in the world by ShanghaiRanking’s Global Ranking of Academic Subjects.

Through the curriculum, our department strives to prepare our undergraduate and graduate students for careers in traditional mechanical engineering fields as well as careers in cross-disciplined areas in research, academia and industry.

We also pride ourselves on our research. Our faculty’s research expertise includes; energy conversion and combustion, heat transfer and thermodynamics, materials, fluid mechanics, solid mechanics, design and CAE, controls, and dynamics, vibrations and acoustics.

The best way to learn more about Mechanical Engineering at Texas A&M is to schedule a visit.

We hope to see you soon!

Mission

The mission of the J. Mike Walker ’66 Department of Mechanical Engineering is to serve the students of Texas A&M University, the State of Texas, and the nation by:

  • Providing quality education that is well-grounded in the fundamental principles of engineering, fostering innovation, and preparing students for leadership positions and successful careers in industry, government and academia.
  • Advancing the knowledge base of mechanical engineering to support the competitiveness of existing industry and to spawn new economic development in Texas and the nation through active involvement in basic and applied research in a global context. 
  • Providing professional development opportunities for practicing engineers through continuing education, service, and outreach activities.

Department Goals

In pursuit of higher national and international visibility, and to better serve the State of Texas, the faculty of the J. Mike Walker '66 Department of Mechanical Engineering are working to accomplish the following goals:

Elevate our faculty, teaching, research, and scholarships

Recruit and retain outstanding faculty
Establish endowments for critical research initiatives and distinguished visitors
Establish new research centers and strengthen existing centers with strong mechanical engineering affiliation
Increase faculty visibility
Establish visiting professorships

The department is recruiting strong faculty to improve the student to faculty ratio. As well, faculty with skills to address emerging research challenges with critical societal impact are being recruited. The department continually strives to increase resources to provide competitive salaries, professorships, and resources to retain top faculty.

The J. Mike Walker '66 Department of Mechanical Engineering currently has strong affiliations with the Turbomachinery Laboratory, the Energy Systems Laboratory, the Center for Autonomous Vehicle and Sensor Systems (CANVASS), the Army Futures Command (AFC), the Energy Institute, and the Center of Innovation in Mechanics for Design and Manufacturing (CiMDM). The department will continue to support affiliations with these Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station (TEES) and university centers. In addition, mechanical engineering faculty are supported to affiliate with other TEES and university-level collaborative research initiatives. To increase department visibility, faculty members are involved with professional societies and the goal is that each senior faculty member is a Fellow of their respective societies.

Strengthen our graduate programs

Recruit highest quality graduate students
Fund 100% of our doctoral students with assistantships and fellowships
Modernize graduate curriculum and prepare students for successful careers in academia, industry and government
Diversify the composition of the graduate student body

The department seeks to attract the highest quality domestic and international students to the graduate program. The department currently has more than $7 million in endowments for graduate fellowships, providing more than $370,000 per year of funding to graduate students. These fellowships are in addition to research or teaching assistantships and the new graduate program fee, which will provide over $1M annually at a steady state. The graduate office works to match prospective students to current faculty who have parallel research interests and to develop competitive funding packages to recruit the best students. Qualified students will also be nominated for college- and university-level funding packages. Currently, more than 90% of doctoral students are funded by assistantships or fellowships. The department’s goal is to fund 100% of doctoral students through a stronger faculty research program and endowed fellowships.

The graduate program will also work to modernize the graduate curriculum in mechanical engineering by developing new courses and changing existing courses. For example, topical courses including, but not limited to, machine learning, data science, advanced manufacturing, robotics, and autonomous vehicles are being developed. The majority of the department’s graduates work in industry after graduation. The department would like to see more placement of graduates in academia by strengthening graduate mentoring and training through a variety of programs, such as the graduate teaching fellow program and special training courses.

The graduate program aims to diversify the student population. Currently 66% of mechanical engineering graduate students are international, 6% are underrepresented minorities, and 13% are female. The five-year goal is to have a student population that is at least 40% domestic, 20% female, and 10% underrepresented minorities. To attain this, targeted recruitment efforts must be implemented by the graduate office and in close collaboration with faculty.

Enhance the undergraduate experience

Improve the quality and diversity of incoming freshmen
Increase scholarships for undergraduates
Improve and streamline curriculum in undergraduate laboratories and classrooms to address contemporary issues
Increase participation in co-operative and study abroad programs
Introduce program specific ethics modules

Undergraduate scholarships have increased significantly in the last five years. The department will continue to increase those scholarships and recruit diverse and high quality students to the program by communicating exciting opportunities in many areas of mechanical engineering, and by providing long-term scholarships that carry through to students’ graduation.

Laboratories provide students with ‘hands-on’ experience of instrumentation, manufacturing, systems and control, fluids, and heat transfer. The Zachry Engineering Education Complex has allowed for significant improvements and modernization of laboratory facilities and equipment. The department continues to improve the curriculum in undergraduate laboratories revolving around new and modern equipment and contemporary needs of graduating mechanical engineering undergraduates. The department is also updating the undergraduate curriculum and streamlining courses to enhance the undergraduate experience. The goal is to lead the nation in such efforts to modernize and enhance the mechanical engineering curriculum. Recently, an elective course focused on entrepreneurship and another focused on innovation mindset were introduced in both the undergraduate and graduate curriculum.

Cooperative, internship, and study-abroad experiences enrich the undergraduate program in mechanical engineering.  The department will continue to increase these offerings to provide additional student opportunities.

As a collegewide effort, general engineering ethics has been added to the common introduction to engineering courses. The department will develop and introduce program-specific ethics modules in key mechanical engineering courses.