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Mechanical Engineering

College of Engineering

Mechanical engineers design and develop a wide variety of products. From power generators to smart phones, they are responsible for creating the new technologies that impact human life.

San Luis Obispo, California

The mechanical engineering curriculum includes a broad spectrum of courses in general and mechanical engineering topics as well as in-depth understanding of physics, math and materials.

Mechanical Engineering Curriculum

Opportunities are available for undergraduate and graduate work in many fields of interest.  The following laboratories are available for course work and research projects:

  • Bently Pressurized Bearings CAD Lab
  • Composites Laboratory
  • Design Studios
  • Engine Laboratory
  • Fluids Laboratory
  • Graduate Studies Room
  • Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning Laboratory
  • Mechatronics Laboratory
  • Mustang 60 Machine Shop
  • Open Lab
  • Parker Hannifin Controls Laboratory
  • Rapid Prototyping Laboratory
  • Robotics Laboratory
  • Solar Turbines and Bently-Nevada Vibrations and Rotordynamics Lab
  • Student Projects Machine Shop in the Hangar
  • Thermal Sciences Laboratory

Energy Resources Concentration

The Energy Resources concentration is designed for undergraduate mechanical engineering students to acquire a fundamental understanding of energy conversion technologies and their environmental impacts. Courses in this diverse concentration cover renewable energy technologies, nuclear power, petroleum engineering, and combustion engines.

More about the Energy Resources Concentration

General Mechanical Engineering Concentration

The general concentration gives you a fundamental understanding of engineering sciences, including mathematics, chemistry and physics as well as deep training in engineering design. The principles of solid mechanics, fluid mechanics and thermal sciences are included throughout the curriculum, giving you the knowledge and skill set to design solutions to problems encountered in the professional world.

More about the General Mechanical Engineering Concentration

HVAC & R Concentration

The HVAC & R concentration prepares you for a career in the heating, ventilating, air-conditioning and refrigeration industry and focuses on the design of mechanical systems for commercial and industrial buildings.

More about the HVAC & R Concentration

Manufacturing Concentration

Advances in manufacturing are changing how products are designed and built around the world. This concentration will allow you to delve deeply into manufacturing processes for the digital age and develop the essential knowledge to leverage as you create the products of the future.

More about the Manufacturing Concentration

Mechatronics Concentration

Mechatronics focuses on designing, manufacturing and maintaining smart machines that have both mechanical and electronic components. This rapidly growing field includes industries like robotics, medical and assistive technology, driverless vehicles, human-machine interaction and more.

More about the Mechatronics Concentration

Mechanical engineering majors are able to participate in a blended program where you can earn your bachelor's and master's degrees at the same time.

There are four blended programs available to mechanical engineering students and requirements are different for each program:

BS in Mechanical Engineering and MS in Biomedical Engineering

BS in Mechanical Engineering and MS Industrial Engineering

BS in Mechanical Engineering and MS Mechanical Engineering

BS in Mechanical Engineering and MS Engineering Management

About the Program

Mechanical Engineering students work with autonomous robots in the Mechatronics Lab.

Mechanical Engineering at Cal Poly is one of the most practical, hands-on programs available to undergraduates.

Beyond a general focus, you can choose to concentrate on mechatronics, manufacturing, energy resources or heating, ventilation, air-conditioning and refrigeration. Regardless of your concentration, the lab intensive program will teach you the basic principles of solid mechanics, fluid mechanics and thermal sciences and how it relates to the design, manufacturing, and application of this equipment. The program is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET and ranked first in California and second in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.

Learn by Doing

Through labs, machine shops, internships and co-ops, you will learn how to design, manufacture and integrate a wide variety of equipment ranging from manufacturing machinery and power generation equipment to consumer goods. From designing and building a bike to building and testing a brewery's air and refrigeration system, there are opportunities to work on a variety of projects.

Mechanical Engineering students with paddleboard they created for use with those with spinal cord injuries.

Help People Surf

Adapt a paddleboard to be used by those with spinal cord injuries.

Our Graduates

Mechanical engineering graduates are employed by manufacturers, energy companies, consultants and government agencies.

Graduates are involved in product design, mechanical design, testing, engineering management, engineering sales, design of manufacturing systems and development of maintenance procedures. Our graduates often go onto graduate study as well as medical, law or business school.