Undergraduate Research

The Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics offers undergraduate students numerous opportunities in research, hands-on experience, and real-world client work.

Student using a microscope

A Hands-On Curriculum

In their second and third years, undergraduate students enroll in a four-course sequence that provides exposure to hands-on learning, open-ended problems, computational tools, teamwork, and communication. Students also have opportunities for specialization in their senior year.

Undergraduate Research Opportunities

Undergraduate Research Opportunities

Opportunities exist for undergraduate students to become involved in research projects lead by mechanical engineering-engineering mechanics faculty. These research projects often require help from students for running simulations, taking data, analyzing results, etc. Participation in research projects provides students with experience that strengthens their technical skills, enhances their resumes, and provides a glimpse into graduate school. These opportunities may be paid, depending on the availability of funds on the particular project.

Students interested in participating in undergraduate research should consult with ME-EM faculty to find available opportunities. To get technical elective credit for the research, students should refer to the ME-EM advising center.

Senior Capstone Design

Senior Design

The Senior Design Program in mechanical engineering builds on our lab-based, hands-on curriculum to provide students with “their first job,” a project supplied by companies and entrepreneurs. A capstone project span two semesters. Proceeding through concept generation and selection, and then through the system- and component-level design stages, each team ultimately produces a working prototype that is tested and refined to meet the project objectives.



Enterprise teams are student-driven, multidisciplinary, and work like companies on real-world client projects. The deliverable could be an innovative product, a pioneering solution, or a much-needed service. The hallmark of the Enterprise Program is the experiential training it provides to students. The program gives teams of students from varied disciplines the opportunity to work for several semesters in a business-like setting to solve real-world engineering problems supplied by industry partners.

Watch Charged Up: PSTDL Advances to Final Round of NASA's Lunar Power Competition video
Preview image for Charged Up: PSTDL Advances to Final Round of NASA's Lunar Power Competition video

Charged Up: PSTDL Advances to Final Round of NASA's Lunar Power Competition

Michigan Technological University’s Planetary Surface Technology Development Lab (PSTDL) was one of four teams recently selected to advance to the final round of NASA’s Watts on the Moon Challenge.

The Challenge asked teams from around the country to design new technologies for storing, distributing, and managing energy for use throughout the lunar day/night cycle. All four teams received a $400,000 award and a chance to compete for a share of the competition’s grand prizes: $1 million for the winner and $500,000 for the runner-up. The PSTDL team will now get the chance to prove their design for a lunar power management system to NASA engineers at NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio. They call their solution TEMPEST — the TEthered Mechanism for Persistent Energy Storage and Transmission.

"I’ve had the privilege of working in a wide range of technical areas, but the basic engineering principles I learned at Michigan Tech still apply. My experiences allow me to approach problems from an unusual perspective and come up with creative ways to do what sometimes seems impossible."Mike Milosh '81 mechanical engineering