Purdue School of Engineering and Technology

Purdue School of Engineering and Technology

Graduate Certificate in Computer-Aided Mechanical Engineering

Many engineers today are required to routinely solve complex problems in fluid mechanics, heat and mass transfer, structural mechanics, vibrations, and acoustics, using computational tools such as solid modelers, computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing (CAD/CAM) systems, system simulators, and finite element simulation. The proficiency in using such systems enables engineers to model complex engineering design and to analyze problems competently and efficiently. 

The graduate certificate program in computer-aided mechanical engineering is designed specifically to: 

  • train engineers to become professionally certified in the computer-aided mechanical engineering field without formally pursuing a graduate degree. 
  • provide a set of integrated courses on the fundamentals of finite element analysis and CAD/CAM, and 
  • enable students completing the certificate program to understand the theoretical foundations of modeling and analysis of various mechanical components and to conduct performance analysis. 

The program's emphasis will be on fundamentals of analysis and design, which will be supplemented by learning commercially available computer codes such as ProEngineer, Ansys, StarCD, Patran, and Abaqus. 

What are the requirements to complete the graduate certificate program? 

To earn a graduate certificate you must complete 12 credit hours of graduate coursework, equivalent to four graduate courses, and obtain at least a "B" average over all courses applicable towards the certificate. The minimum grade acceptable is "C". Courses with a grade of "C-" or less must be retaken to count towards the certificate. All requirements for the certificate must be completed within three years of admission. 

Specialty Areas 

There are two specialty areas for the certificate program. You may select one of the two following specialties: 

  • Computations of Mechanical Systems 
  • Computations of Fluid and Thermal Systems 

Required and Elective Courses 

There are two required and two elective courses for each specialty area. 

The required courses for both specialties are:

  1. ME 551 Finite Element Analysis
  2. ME 546 CAD/CAM: Theory and Applications

Computations of Mechanical Systems specialty area 

Select two electives from the following:

  • ME 550 Advanced Stress Analysis
  • ME 552 Advanced Applications of the Finite Element Method
  • ME 561 Optimum Design: Theory and Practice
  • ME 563 Mechanical Vibrations
  • ME 569 Mechanical Behavior of Materials
  • ME 558 Composite Materials
  • ME 597 Advanced Mechanical Engineering Projects I

Computations of Fluid and Thermal Systems specialty area. 

Select two electives from the following:

  • ME 505 Intermediate Heat Transfer
  • ME 509 Intermediate Fluid Mechanics
  • ME 525 Combustion
  • ME 552 Advanced Applications of the Finite Element Method
  • ME 581 Numerical Heat Transfer and Fluid Flow
  • ME 597 Advanced Mechanical Engineering Projects I
  • ME 614 Computational Fluid Dynamics

Will any of these four courses count toward a graduate degree? 

Yes! All four courses may be used toward the requirements for a graduate degree in mechanical engineering, if you wish to pursue a formal degree program. 

What are the requirements for admission to the certificate program? 

You must have a bachelor's degree with a minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale and in an area of study, which provides the necessary mathematical preparation for an engineering degree. Applicants with non-engineering degrees, including mathematics, physical sciences, and engineering technology, may be required to take undergraduate mechanical engineering courses before admission to the program. Appropriate work experience also will be taken into account in making decisions about admission. Students will be required to submit a statement of purpose and three letters of recommendation. 

I have completed a few graduate courses in the past. Can I use the credits toward the certificate program? 

If you have already earned credits for one or more of the equivalent courses from another institution or another certificate program, you may request to transfer up to a maximum of three credits of these courses toward this certificate. A maximum of 6 equivalent credit hours taken prior to admission to the certificate program, including 3 credit hours taken from another institution, may be counted towards the certificate. The rest of the courses must be completed at IUPUI within a three-year period from the time of admission. Any waivers or substitutions require approval. No undergraduate courses can be applied to this certificate program. 

How do I apply for admission to the certificate program? 

To apply for admission, contact Valerie Lim Diemer, Coordinator for Graduate Engineering Programs by telephone at (317) 278-4961 or by email: 

Program Course Listing and Descriptions 

ME 505 Intermediate Heat Transfer (3). Heat and mass transfer by diffusion in one-dimensional, two-dimensional, transient, periodic, and phase change systems. Convective heat transfer for external and internal flows. Similarity and integral solution methods. Heat, mass, and momentum analogies. Turbulence. Buoyancy-driven flows. Convection with phase change. Radiation exchange between surfaces and radiation transfer in absorbing-emitting media. Multimode heat transfer problems. 

ME 509 Intermediate Fluid Mechanics (3). Fluid properties, basic laws for a control volume, kinematics of fluid flow, dynamics of frictionless incompressible flow, basic hydrodynamics, equations of motion of viscous flow, viscous flow applications, boundary layer theory, wall turbulence, and lift and drag of immersed bodies. 

ME 525 Combustion (3). Physical and chemical aspects of basic combustion phenomena. Classification of flames. Measurement of laminar flame speeds. Factors influencing burning velocity. Theory of flame propagation. Flammability, chemical aspects, chemical equilibrium. Chain reactions. Calculation and measurement of flame temperature. Diffusion flames. Fuels. Atomization and evaporation of liquid fuels. Theories of ignition, stability, and combustion efficiency. 

ME 546 CAD/CAM - Theory and Applications (3). Introduction to computer-aided design (CAD) and computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) theory and applications. Topics include CAD/CAM systems (Hardware and Software), Geometric Modeling using curves, surfaces and solids, CAD/CAM data exchange, CAD and CAM integration, Mechanical assembly, Mechanical Tolerancing, Mass property calculations, Process planning and Tool path generation, integration of CAD/CAM with the production machine, and Computer control of machines and processes in manufacturing systems. Projects focus on development of geometric procedures for design and manufacturing applications and the use of commercial CAD/CAM software for automating the production cycle. Applications will include NC machining, design of (optimum) cutting tools and modeling and design of fixtures for dies and molds. Hands-on experience is attained through laboratory experiment. 

ME 550 Advanced Stress Analysis (3). Studies of stresses and strains in three-dimensional problems. Failure theories and yield criteria. Stress function approach to two-dimensional problems. Bending of nonhomogeneous asymmetric curved beams. Torsion of bars with noncircular cross sections. Energy methods. Elastic stability. Introduction to plates. 

ME 551 Finite Element Analysis (3). Concepts of finite elements methods; formulations for different engineering problems and their applications. Variational methods, the finite element concept, and applications in stress analysis, dynamics, fluid mechanics, and heat transfer. 

ME 552 Advanced Applications of Finite Element Methods (3). Various algorithms for nonlinear and time-dependent problems in two and three dimensions. Emphasis on advanced applications with problems chosen from fluid dynamics, heat transfer, and solid mechanics areas. Independent project required. 

ME 558 Composite Materials (3). Basic concepts of reinforced composites, manufacturing, mechanics and analysis of composite laminates and their applications to engineering design. 

ME 561 Optimum Design: Theory with Practice (3). Optimization as an element of the engineering design process. Case studies that demonstrate the theory and application of nonlinear programming as a design tool. Comparative examination of unconstrained algorithms. Development and application of methods for the constrained case. Selected contemporary topics. 

ME 563 Mechanical Vibrations (3). Review of systems with one degree of freedom. Lagrange equations of motion for multiple-degree-of-freedom systems. Matrix methods. Transfer functions for harmonic response, impulse response, and step response. Convolution integrals for response to arbitrary inputs. Principle frequencies and modes. Applications to critical speeds, measuring instruments, isolation, torsional systems. Nonlinear problems. 

ME 569 Mechanical Behavior of Materials (3). How loading and environmental conditions can influence the behavior of materials in service. Elastic and plastic behavior, fracture, fatigue, low- and high-temperature behavior. Fracture mechanics. Failure analysis case studies emphasis on design. 

ME 581 Numerical Methods in Mechanical Engineering (3). The solution to problems arising in mechanical engineering using numerical methods. Topics include nonlinear algebraic equations, sets of linear algebraic equations, eigenvalue problems, interpolation, curve fitting, ordinary differential equations, and partial differential equations. Applications include fluid mechanics, gas dynamics, heat and mass transfer, thermodynamics, vibrations, automatic control systems, kinematics, and design. 

ME 597 Advanced Mechanical Engineering Projects I (3). Projects or special topics of contemporary importance or of special interest that are outside the scope of the standard graduate curriculum can be studied under the Mechanical Engineering Projects course. Interested students should seek a faculty advisor by meeting with individual faculty members who work in their area of special interest and prepare a brief description of the work to be undertaken in cooperation with their advisor. 

ME 614 Computational Fluid Dynamics (3). Application of finite difference methods, finite element methods, and the method of characteristics for the numerical solution of fluid dynamics problems. Incompressible viscous flows: vorticity transport equation, stream function equation, and boundary conditions. Compressible flows: treatment of shocks, implicit and explicit artificial viscosity techniques, and boundary conditions. Computational grids.