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Faculty of Engineering

Bachelor of Applied Science and Bachelor of Software Engineering Specific Degree Requirements

Mechanical Engineering
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Mechanical Engineering is a broad, well established yet dynamic engineering discipline that involves the design and building of machines, devices, and processes that extend human physical capabilities and improve the quality of life. Mechanical engineers are trained on such a wide range of topics and technical problem-solving capabilities that they are in demand in virtually every industry.

The program offers the study of mechanics of solids and bodies, fluid mechanics, controls, thermal sciences and materials sciences, as well as, mechanical engineering design in these areas. Mechanical engineers apply the principles governing motion, energy and force, and use computational tools such as computer-aided design (CAD) and finite element analysis and simulation, to develop physical things from tiny micro-scale to grand macro-scale systems, as well as, systems and processes to control, monitor, troubleshoot, and improve such systems, for use on our planet and in outer space.

Mechanical engineering can be found in almost all technological activities, particularly power generation, energy conservation, advanced manufacturing and assembly, transportation, aerospace and other exploration, and biomedical devices/systems. Power generation includes internal combustion engines, nuclear, gas turbines, wind turbines, solar energy, wave and tidal energy, fuel cells and hybrid systems. Energy distribution and conservation systems such as heating and ventilation, and refrigeration and air-conditioning, are important for reducing heat losses and improving the efficiency of buildings. All forms of transportation including automotive, high-speed trains, marine, air and spacecraft are products of mechanical engineering. Manufacturing industries, which are critical to economic growth, rely on mechanical engineers to design and control industrial equipment and develop high volume processes such as casting, welding, machining, and forming of metallic and non-metallic materials, as well as, to control processes like component assembly, and packaging. Aerospace and other exploration includes development of remotely-controlled as well as autonomous systems for exploration, and mapping of space, undersea, and remote terrestrial environments. Mechanical engineering is also employed in the biomedical field through the design, manufacture and control of assisting devices for the disabled, prosthetic implants, lab-on-a-chip diagnostic devices for detection of bacteria and toxins, and platforms for diagnostic imaging devices like Computed Tomography (CT) and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI).

The diverse background of mechanical engineers allows them to readily interact with the other engineering disciplines. Graduates who wish to deepen their knowledge and skills may pursue research careers which interweave discovery with innovation, while others who wish to see their knowledge and skills applied in innovative ways may opt to become entrepreneurs.

The Mechanical Engineering Program

The degree of Bachelor of Applied Science (BASc) in Mechanical Engineering is accredited and permits registration as a Professional Engineer in the Professional Engineering licensing body in every Canadian province upon completion of the work experience requirement and upon passing the exams in law and ethics.

The Mechanical Engineering undergraduate program contains a core of basic subjects that must be taken by all students. The first year shares some courses with Civil and Electrical Engineering. The second and third years provide courses in Mechanical Engineering and Electrical Engineering with further development in mathematics and physics. In fourth year, a significant two-term capstone design project will be undertaken that will facilitate and promote integration of the knowledge and skills acquired in previous years of study and development of project management skills. Opportunities for more in-depth study in theme areas exist during the fourth year, where a choice of technical elective courses arranged into five different theme areas of expertise is available. Students may also choose to take the Welding and Joining Specialization. Five required non-technical, complementary studies elective (CSE) courses are distributed throughout the program but do not appear in all terms.

Each student is responsible for selecting their own program of electives, in keeping with the student's ultimate career objective after graduation. Each term, certain faculty members are selected by each class to give information and advice to students. To assist in ensuring that course selections satisfy all academic requirements, each student's course selections are approved by the Department's Undergraduate Advisor and/or the Associate Chair. Students may take any desired combination of technical electives or they may take a majority of their technical electives from one of the theme areas or specialization listed below:

Fluid Mechanics

The courses in this theme area deal with a broad range of applications of the principles of fluid mechanics, often coupled with elements of thermodynamics and heat transfer. Emphasis is on topics of industrial significance – for example, aerodynamics, flows with heat and mass transfer, turbomachinery, fire safety, flows in the micro-scale, and flows in the natural environment. Many courses in fluid mechanics and thermal engineering are closely linked.

Machine Design and Solid Mechanics

The courses offered in this theme area range from those which provide the mathematical and physical basis of the subject matter through to those which are largely applied in nature. Subjects treated are: mechanics (including vibrations); theories of elasticity, plasticity and fracture; machine design and design optimization.

Materials Engineering and Processing

This theme area consists of a comprehensive series of courses in materials including physical and industrial metallurgy, nanomaterials and non-metallic materials, including plastics, ceramics, and composites, as well as, courses in materials processing such as heat treatment, welding and deformation processes. 

Welding and Joining Specialization

Welding and joining techniques are used to fabricate almost all manufactured products. Recent developments of new automated manufacturing methods have made welding and joining more important than ever before. The courses in this specialization are intended to prepare students to work in all areas related to welding and joining, including welding metallurgy, welding and joining processes (including robotic welding), and welding design. The specialization is the only one of its type in Canada and compares well with programs in Europe and the United States. Table B below outlines the normal sequence of courses for this specialization. 

Automation and Control

The courses in this theme area are designed to provide students with understanding of principles of integration and control of machinery and equipment. It entails sensing, signal processing, feedback, actuation and control algorithm development as well as the associated programming to effectively design and integrate precision and automated systems. It addresses many application areas including robotics, machine tools, automotive, fluid power control systems, and unmanned ground and aerial vehicles.

Thermal Engineering

The courses in this theme area develop and apply the principles of thermodynamics, heat transfer (conduction, convection, radiation), and fluid mechanics to such topics as combustion, emissions, and environmental impact and remediation; heating, ventilation, and air conditioning of buildings; and energy conversion, energy systems optimization, and sustainable energy systems. Many courses in fluid mechanics and thermal engineering are closely linked.

Mechanical Engineering Core with a Designated Option

Mechanical Engineering students may also obtain a Designated Faculty Option, which typically involves courses in other departments. If all requirements for the Designated Option are satisfactorily completed, the Option is designated on the student's graduation transcript and University of Waterloo degree. The Designated Options are described elsewhere in this Calendar. Most designated options are open to Mechanical Engineering students. The most popular designated options for Mechanical Engineering students are the Biomechanics, Mechatronics, and Management Sciences Options. Each Option requires students to complete a set of specific elective courses and require that the student take at least one extra course. Some Options permit Complementary Studies Courses (defined below) to be included in the courses counted towards the Option. Students interested in a Designated Option must therefore plan the choice of complementary studies courses very carefully in order to ensure that both the Option requirements and the complementary studies requirements will be met.

Mechanical Engineering Core Program (excluding First Year)

  • Credit Courses
    ME 201 Advanced Calculus
    ME 202 Statistics for Engineers
    ME 203 Ordinary Differential Equations
    ME 212 Dynamics
    ME 219 Mechanics of Deformable Solids 1
    ME 220 Mechanics of Deformable Solids 2
    ME 230 Control of Properties of Materials
    ME 250 Thermodynamics 1
    ME 262 Introduction to Microprocessors and Digital Logic
    ME 269 Electromechanical Devices and Power Processing
    ME 303 Advanced Engineering Mathematics
    ME 321 Kinematics and Dynamics of Machines
    ME 322 Mechanical Design 1
    ME 340 Manufacturing Processes
    ME 351 Fluid Mechanics 1
    ME 353 Heat Transfer 1
    ME 354 Thermodynamics 2
    ME 360 Introduction to Control Systems
    ME 362 Fluid Mechanics 2
    ME 380 Mechanical Engineering Design Workshop
    ME 481 Mechanical Engineering Design Project 1
    ME 482 Mechanical Engineering Design Project 2 
  • Non-Credit Courses
    ME 200A/ME 200B Seminar
    ME 300A/ME 300B Seminar
    ME 400A/ME 400B Seminar

In fourth year, a two-term Mechanical Engineering capstone design project must be undertaken under the auspices of ME 481 in the 4A term and ME 482 in the 4B term. This project may include involvement in either an inter-varsity student design competition team or small group design project of the student's choosing.

Elective Courses - Complementary and Technical

  • Complementary Studies Electives
    Students entering the program will take MSCI 261 - Engineering Economics (a List B CSE course) plus four Complementary Studies Elective courses in other non-technical subjects. The marks obtained in these courses will be included in the calculation of term averages. These courses are organized on a faculty basis and described elsewhere in this Calendar under the section Complementary Studies Requirements for Engineering Students. Credit for an additional complementary studies elective is earned by obtaining satisfactory evaluations for the required work-term reports. These reports are based on work term experience and are intended to develop skill in technical report writing; further information on work-term reports can be found in the section on Examinations and Promotions.
  • Technical Electives 
    Seven technical elective courses are required in addition to the core courses listed above to fulfill the requirements of the Mechanical Engineering program.

    Each term, certain faculty members ("Class Professors") are selected by each class to provide information and advice to students. A student who has an unusual career goal in mind should discuss choices with one of the designated faculty members, since it is possible to combine courses from different theme areas or specialization, to take courses from other departments and in some circumstances to take graduate-level courses. Students who are contemplating graduate study are particularly urged to discuss their study plans with a faculty member.

    As a guide, typical lists of technical elective courses for the five theme areas and the Welding and Joining Specialization within the Department of Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering are given below. Students may take any desired combination of technical electives or they may choose to take a majority of their technical electives from one of the theme areas or specialization. Note that undergraduate students who complete the basic courses in each theme area or specialization will be permitted and encouraged to take relevant Mechanical Engineering graduate courses in that area.
    • Fluid Mechanics
      ME 563 Turbomachines
      ME 564 Aerodynamics
      ME 566 Computational Fluid Dynamics for Engineering Design
      ME 567 Fire Safety Engineering
      ME 571 Air Pollution
    • Machine Design and Solid Mechanics
      ME 423 Mechanical Design 2
      ME 435 Industrial Metallurgy
      ME 524 Advanced Dynamics and Vibrations
      ME 526 Fatigue and Fracture Analysis
      ME 538 Welding Design, Fabrication and Quality Control
      ME 555 Computer-Aided Design
      ME 559 Finite Element Methods
    • Materials Engineering and Processing
      ME 435 Industrial Metallurgy
      ME 436 Welding and Joining Processes
      ME 526 Fatigue and Fracture Analysis
      ME 531 Physical Metallurgy Applied to Manufacturing
      ME 533 Non-metallic and Composite Materials
      ME 535 Welding Metallurgy
      ME 538 Welding Design, Fabrication and Quality Control
    • Courses required for the Welding and Joining Specialization
      ME 435 Industrial Metallurgy
      ME 436 Welding and Joining Processes
      ME 526 Fatigue and Fracture Analysis
      ME 535 Welding Metallurgy
      ME 538 Welding Design, Fabrication and Quality Control
      ME 547 Robot Manipulators: Kinematics, Dynamics, Control (optional)
    • Automation and Control
      ME 435 Industrial Metallurgy
      ME 538 Welding Design, Fabrication and Quality Control
      ME 547 Robot Manipulators: Kinematics, Dynamics, Control
      ME 548 Numerical Control of Machine Tools 1
      ME 555 Computer-Aided Design
      ME 559 Finite Element Methods
      ME 561 Fluid Power Control Systems
    • Thermal Engineering
      ME 452 Energy Transfer in Buildings
      ME 456 Heat Transfer 2
      ME 459 Energy Conversion
      ME 557 Combustion 1
      ME 559 Finite Element Methods
      ME 567 Fire Safety Engineering
      ME 571 Air Pollution

The Mechanical Engineering Core Program

The Mechanical Engineering course structure for students entering fall 2013 and later is shown in Table A: 

Table A – The Mechanical Engineering Undergraduate Program

Key for next table:

++ A two-term capstone design project course. ME 481 must be taken in the 4A term. The project must be continued as ME 482 in the 4B term.
* Work-term Report - Stream 4
# Work-term Report - Stream 8
Δ Students who have taken MSCI 261 in 1B may replace this course with a CSE.

Term Courses

CHE 102
MATH 115 MATH 116 ME 100 PHYS 115
ME 100B
GENE 123 MATH 118 ME 101 ME 115 1 CSE
ME 200A ME 201 ME 202 ME 219 ME 230 ME 269 1 CSE  
ME 200B ME 203 ME 212 ME 220 ME 250 ME 262
WKRPT 200*
ME 300A ME 303 ME 321 ME 340 ME 351 ME 354
WKRPT 200#
WKRPT 300*
ME 300B ME 322 ME 353 ME 360 ME 362 ME 380 MSCI 261 Δ WKRPT 300#
ME 400A ME 481 ++

1 CSE WKRPT 400*
WKRPT 400#
ME 400B ME 482 ++



The Mechanical Engineering Welding and Joining Specialization

Only Mechanical Engineering students may take the Welding and Joining Specialization. To earn the Welding and Joining Specialization designation, students must take five (5) specific technical electives in their 4A and 4B terms; ME 435, ME 436, ME 526, ME 535, ME 538, as shown below in Table B:

Table B – The Mechanical Engineering Welding and Joining Specialization

Key for next table:

* Recommended Only

Term Courses
4A (F,S)
ME 400A ME 481 ME 435 ME 436 TE 1 CSE
4B (W)
ME 400B ME 482 ME 526 ME 535 ME 538 TE/ME 547* 1 CSE

An average of at least 60% in the five specialization courses and a grade of at least 50% in each of the five courses is required. For students that take and meet the specialization requirements, the credential is recognized on both the diploma and the transcript.


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