Graduate Program

The Department of Mechanical Engineering offers graduate programs leading to Master of Science and Ph.D. degrees in Mechanical Engineering.  Current areas of research include Biomedical Engineering, Biomimetics, Composite Materials and Structures, Computational Mechanics, Design Optimization, Fluid Mechanics, Heat Transfer, Marine Renewable Energy, Offshore Engineering, Reduced-Order Modeling, Robotics, Smart Materials, Solid Mechanics, Thermal Sciences, Uncertainty Quantification, and Engineering Education. Admission is based on an appropriate baccalaureate degree and satisfying the requirements of the Graduate School at UMaine. Applicants holding a bachelor’s degree in another science or engineering discipline may be admitted; however, some undergraduate courses may be required without graduate credit.

Each graduate student, in consultation with his or her graduate committee, prepares an individual program of study. The Ph.D. degree program is more narrowly focused on a topic of interest to the student and the faculty advisor. For students with a strong interest in other disciplines, excellent opportunities exist for an interdisciplinary program of study in which up to 40% of the MS degree credit is earned in another department in the university.  Interdisciplinary Ph.D. research is performed in collaboration with faculty in other disciplines as a part of a coherent graduate degree program in Mechanical Engineering.

The Master of Science degree with thesis requires a minimum of six credit hours of thesis research in addition to 24 credit hours of acceptable coursework. The non-thesis Master’s degree requires a minimum of 30 credit hours of coursework and a comprehensive examination.  Application submission deadlines are July 31 for spring semester admission and January 31 for fall semester.  Prospective students are encouraged to contact the mechanical engineering faculty to discuss their interest when submitting an application.  The department offers a limited number of teaching assistantship positions. Research assistantships may be offered by the individual faculty. Other forms of support through external fellowships are strongly encouraged. The list of graduate faculty appears below with additional information provided in the respective profiles.

Graduate Faculty in Mechanical Engineering

Michael T. Boyle, Ph.D. (University of Connecticut, 1984), Associate Professor. Experimental fluid mechanics and heat transfer, three-dimensional flow through gas turbine passages, electronics cooling, thermal modeling of industrial devices.

Vincent Caccese, Ph.D. (Drexel University, 1985), Professor. Nonlinear finite element analysis, hybrid connections, seismic behavior and vibration analysis and design, fatigue analysis, impact resistant materials for personal protection.

Sheila Edalatpour, Ph.D. (University of Utah, 2016), Assistant Professor. Near- and far-field radiative heat transfer, computational heat transfer, electromagnetic wave scattering, high-performance computing.

Wilhelm Alexander Friess, Ph.D. (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 1997), Associate Professor.  Engineering education, energy efficiency in buildings, experimental fluid mechanics, sports engineering.

Andrew J. Goupee, Ph.D. (University of Maine, 2010), Libra Assistant Professor.  Simulation and model testing of floating offshore structures, solid mechanics, structural optimization

Donald A. Grant, Ph.D. (University of Rhode Island, 1969), Emeritus Professor, Vibrations of discrete and continuous systems.

Graduate Faculty in Mechanical Engineering (continued)

Zhihe Jin, Ph.D. (Tsinghua University, 1988), Professor and Graduate Coordinator. Fracture mechanics, thermal stresses and thermal shock behavior of advanced materials, energy efficiency of thermoelectric materials, mechanics problems in geophysics.

Justin H. Poland, Ph.D. (University of Colorado, 1979), Associate Professor. Heat transfer, thermodynamics and fluid mechanics of refrigeration systems, and heating and cooling of buildings.

Masoud Rais-Rohani, Ph.D. (Virginia Tech, 1991), Department Chair and Richard C. Hill Professor. Structural and multidisciplinary design optimization, crashworthiness, lightweight and composite structures, structural reliability and uncertainty quantification, reduced-order and surrogate modeling.

David Rubenstein, Ph.D. (The Pennsylvania State University, 1995), Research Associate Professor.  Mathematical and dynamic simulation development, sensor fusion and estimation algorithms and software, guidance, navigation and control (GN&C) system design, autonomous systems, turbine control technologies.

Mohsen Shahinpoor, Ph.D. (University of Delaware, 1970), Professor. Smart/Intelligent materials, biomimetics and artificial muscles, mechatronics, electroactive polymers, advanced nanocomposites, biomedical engineering.

Richard Sayles, Ph.D. (Brown University, 1981), Associate Professor. Fluid mechanics and heat transfer.

James Sucec, M.S. (University of Connecticut, 1963), Adjunct Professor. Transient forced convection heat transfer. Heat transfer across turbulent boundary layers.

Krish Thiagarajan, Ph.D. (University of Michigan, 1993), Professor and Presidential Chair in Energy.  Hydrodynamics of offshore structures, fluid-structure interaction, dynamic response of marine platforms, computational modeling and marine renewable energy.

Senthil S. Vel, Ph.D. (Virginia Tech, 1998), Arthur O. Willey Professor. Solid mechanics, composite materials, finite element and meshless methods, simulation-based design of advanced material systems, smart structures, structural optimization.

Qian Xue, Ph.D. (Johns Hopkins University, 2012), Assistant Professor. Computational fluid dynamics, biofluids, microfluidics.

Xudong Zheng, Ph.D. (George Washington University, 2009), Assistant Professor.  Fluid mechanics, computational fluid dynamics, flow structure interaction, biofluids.