Welcome to the Department of Mechanical Engineering (MECH) at Rice University, one of nine academic departments in the George R. Brown School of Engineering. Almost 200 undergraduates major in mechanical engineering at Rice, and about 50 graduate students are working toward advanced degrees. The department has eleven tenured and tenure-track faculty, each of whom teaches undergraduate courses and has a research program, many with undergraduates in their labs. The department employs three lecturers, all of whom have Ph.D.s in mechanical engineering. One is a former astronaut.
Rice University is consistently ranked among the nation's top education and research institutions. In aligning itself with the university's mission, the Department of Mechanical Engineering makes a commitment to excellence in education and aspires to path-breaking research that contributes to society.
The Department's curricula are designed to prepare a diverse group of students to become leaders within and outside of engineering. Our graduates have a strong technical foundation, an ability to attack open-ended problems successfully and the professional skills to work and communicate in a complex, ever-changing world. With this preparation, graduates can truly become leaders, whether they are pursuing a post-graduate education or entering a career in industry or government.
All of our constituents (students, faculty, alumni, industry and government) are continually evaluating and improving the department's degree programs to fulfill our mission of excellence in education. Student work is assessed and evaluated to determine the knowledge and skills that students acquire. For graduate students, important milestones like preliminary candidacy exams, qualifying exams and thesis proposals are assessed. Senior design projects and sample work from core courses provide feedback on undergraduate courses. Students also provide constructive feedback through town hall meetings, the university's exit surveys and ongoing informal discussions with faculty. Both the university and the school of engineering survey MECH alumni. Finally, the institutions and industries that educate and employ our graduates are well represented by the department's external advisory committee, which meets annually to review and advise the department on objectives and strategic direction.