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Mechanical & Aeronautical Engineering

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Graduate Study in Mechanical & Aeronautical Engineering

The Department of Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering currently has 20 active faculty members and 47 graduate students. The department strives to maintain a close and friendly educational atmosphere. The excellent education we provide has drawn many compliments from our alumni.

The department is located in the CAMP building, which houses the departmental administrative offices, and instructional and research laboratories. Among the major departmental research facilities are labs for fluid mechanics, CAD, aerosol, microgravity, composite materials, metal joining, and a class-10 cleanroom.

Clarkson has a parallel computer and several network servers. Most graduate students do their computing on workstations or microcomputers. There are many pentium-based microcomputers and SUN workstations in the department. The workstations, microcomputers, and mainframes are interconnected through a network in support of research activities. This network is connected to various national and international computer networks. The department also has laser printers, scanners, high-quality plotters, and digitizer facilities.

A wide variety of well-funded research projects are ongoing, serving both the United States government and private industry. Annually, the faculty obtain close to $1.2 million in external support grants for research. In a typical year, this research leads to more than 70 scholarly articles published in respected journals, and over 90 talks at various universities and national/international meetings. Primary research areas include:

  • Aerodynamics
  • Aerosols
  • Automated materials handling systems
  • Composite materials
  • Computational fluid mechanics
  • Computational heat and mass transfer
  • Crystal growth
  • Experimental fluid mechanics
  • Finite and boundary element methods
  • Flow separation
  • Atomization and spray
  • Fluid mechanics and aerodynamics
  • Fracture mechanics
  • Heat transfer
  • Mechanism vibration and synthesis
  • Microcontamination
  • Microgravity fluid mechanics
  • Multiphase flows
  • Nonlinear mechanics
  • Optimal design and computer graphics
  • Optoelectronics
  • Particle adhesion and transport
  • Plasticits
  • Random vibration
  • Robotics
  • Shape optimization
  • Space structures
  • Turbulence and stochastic modeling
  • Smart material controllers
  • Welding metallurgy
  • Wind machines

To promote interaction among faculty working in different areas of research and to enhance interdepartmental cooperation, the activities of the department faculty are grouped in the following four categories: Multiphase Fluid Mechanics; Heat and Mass Transfer; Materials; and Computer Aided Design and Manufacturing. Many of the faculty also participate in University-wide groups such as the Center for Advanced Materials Processing (CAMP), Center for Air Resources Engineering and Science (CARES) and the Nonlinear Studies Institute.

Center for Advanced Materials Processing
The Center for Advanced Materials Processing (CAMP) was formed in 1986 to further develop Clarkson's research and education program in materials processing. In 1986 and 1987 New York State legislatures appropriated $24.5 million for the planning, design, and construction of this huge research facility. CAMP's primary mission is to perform innovative research on the processing of high-technology materials of interest to industry. In pursuit of this goal, the center has been organized to: (1) greatly increase the mutually beneficial relationship between industrial organizations and the University; (2) strengthen graduate and undergraduate education in materials processing; and (3) serve as a catalyst for, and generator of, increased economic activity.

Impressed with the caliber of materials processing research at Clarkson, the New York State Science and Technology Foundation designated CAMP a Center for Advanced Technology (CAT) in June 1987. CATs are foundation-sponsored centers of world-class technological excellence within New York State's top research institutions. The foundation, whose major goal is to foster interaction between the academic and industrial communities, provides up to $1 million per year for CAMP/CAT operating funds.

Advanced materials researchers work with solids such as metals, glasses, powders, plastics, and ceramics. They utilize processing techniques to create new materials and to shape and fabricate new products. A unique feature of the graduate program in Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering at Clarkson is the opportunity to participate in the activities of CAMP.

Center for Air Resources Engineering and Science (CARES)
The Center for Air Resources Engineering and Science (CARES) was established in 2003. The goal of the Center is to provide a scientific basis for air quality management in New York State including the understanding of the sources, transport, and chemistry that gives rise to indoor and outdoor exposure to air pollutants including noice, their potential health and welfare effects, and ways in chich these effects can be reduced or eliminated.

The presence of contaminants in the atmosphere can produce a wide variety of adverse effects including increased mortality and morbidity in the public, deterioration of buildings and monuments, acidification of lakes and rivers, and forest and crop damage. The healther effects of atmospheric contaminants cannot be avoided by staying inside since ambient air is transported indoors along with its pollutants while indoor sources can add to the problems.

CARES brings together the world-class expertise that is available at Clarkson. This expertise is focused in air sampling and analysis, receptor modeling, atmospheric deposition, and the application of computational fluid dynamics to air pollution problems. CARES also interacts with Syracuse University, Cornell University, the University of Rochester, SUNY ESF, SUNY UMU, SUNY Albany, SUNY Buffalo, The Upstate Freshwater Institute, and the Institute for Ecosystems Studies through the NYSTAR Environmental Quality Systems Center at Syracuse. A number of MAE faculty members and their graduate students are involved with CARES research projects.

Institute for Nonlinear Studies
The Institute for Nonlinear Studies is interdisciplinary in nature with the engineering, physics, and mathematics departments cooperating to provide a creative environment for study and research in pure and applied phases of nonlinear systems. Many of our faculty members belong to this institute.

Clarkson Space Grant Program
Clarkson has joined with Cornell University as a member of the New York Space Grant Consortium. A NASA Fellowship is provided through this grant at Clarkson.

Industrial Grants
The department enjoys various industrial supports and receives numerous NASA graduate fellowships.

Master of Science Degree Program
Students entering with a B.S. degree are required to take a minimum of 20 hours of course and seminar work and six to 10 credit hours of thesis for the minimum total of 30 credits required for the M.S. degree.

Master of Engineering Degree Program
This special nonthesis program, offering advanced training in Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering, is a professional extension of the traditional four-year undergraduate engineering program. Financial assistance in the form of a partial tuition waiver may be given on a competitive basis. Typically, a maximum of one calender year is required to complete the M.Eng. program.

The program for a M.Eng. student is 30 credit hours consisting of course, seminar (two hours), and project work (at least four hours). An average of B (3.0) or better is required for graduation. The M.Eng. student has the option of continuing towards a Ph.D. degree if accepted as a candidate by the graduate committee.

For further information please visit the Master of Engineering page.

Ph.D. Degree Program
A minimum of 90 credit hours (beyond B.S.) are required for the Ph.D. This corresponds to a minimum of three academic years of full-time study, of which two must be in residence at Clarkson. The M.S. degree may be accepted in lieu of a maximum of 30 credit hours.

At Clarkson, a student usually completes the M.S. degree as part of a Ph.D. program, unless an M.S. degree has been received from another institution.

Of the 90 credit hours required, 39 must be in coursework. This 39 credit minimum must include the following:

  • a minimum of 15 credit hours in the major field
  • a minimum of 9 credit hours in a minor field
  • a minimum of 6 credit hours must be out-of-department courses

Beyond the 39 required hours of coursework, six credit hours of seminar work are required and the remaining 45 hours are made up of thesis or coursework.

Financial Assistance
All applicants for the M.S. and Ph.D. degree are considered for financial assistance. The most common formsare described below.

Teaching Assistantships (TA) provide a stipend of $18,500 per year plus full tuition for the year 2003-2004. Duties involve an average of 12 hours of work per week and may include assisting in the laboratory or recitation sections and grading reports or homework.

Research Assistantships (RA) provide a stipend of $18,500 or more per year plus full tuition. Fellowships require no teaching duties, and provide a stipend ranging from $18,500-22,000 plus full tuition.

Students who receive full one-year TA or RA appointments are also entitled to two weeks vacation and University-observed holidays.

Applicants for Ph.D., M.S., and M.Eng. degrees are also considered for partial tuition scholarships on a competitive basis.

Career Center
The staff of the Career Center conducts workshops on resume preparation and letter writing, and will also assist you individually in critiquing your resume and letter. Following this process, workshops are offered on interviewing techniques, utilization of the career library, job search techniques, job trips, and decision making. You may schedule videotaped practice interviews with one of the Center's staff members. Throughout the year, you are encouraged to meet with these staff members to discuss career concerns.

Most graduate students live in off-campus apartments. Clarkson owns several homes close to the campus that are available to graduate students. The Residence Life Office also maintains a list of off-campus apartments. You are encouraged to make arrangements for housing prior to July of the year you plan to enter the program. Housing information may be obtained by calling the Residence Life Office at 315-268-6642.

Application Procedure
Applications for admission to Clarkson graduate programs in engineering should be submitted to:

The School of Engineering
Graduate Studies Office
Clarkson University
PO Box 5625
Potsdam, NY 13699-5625
Phone: 315-268-7929
Fax: 315-268-7994

We require that applicants whose native language is not English take the TOEFL examination and have a score of at least 550 on the paper-based exam or 213 on the computer-based exam. We also require that students take the Graduate Record Examination.

We encourage submission of application forms and letters of recommendation as early as possible. Decisions on financial aid and admission are made in April for the fall semester and in November for the spring semester. The application deadline is May 15 for fall enrollment and October 15 for spring enrollment.

Equal Opportunity Policy
Clarkson University does not discriminate on the basis of race, gender, color, creed, religion, national origin, age, disability, sexual orientation, veteran or marital status in provision of educational opportunity or employment opportunities and benefits. Clarkson University does not discriminate on the basis of sex or disability in its educational programs and activities, pursuant to the requirements of Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the American Disabilities Act of 1990, respectively.