Mechanical Engineering


Whether your goal is to advance the energy sector, design public water systems, or oversee the manufacturing of equipment and products, St. Ambrose University has a program to help you reach your goals.

Our graduates work at Accenture, ExxonMobil, Genesis Health System, Boeing Charleston, Deere & Company, HON Company, and Sierra Nevada Corporation Space Systems.


Ambrose Advantages

  • Research and Design Experience
  • Personal Attention
  • Exceptional Lab Facilities

engineering class

bridge project

Students with dust masks

Our rigorous, but rewarding, Mechanical Engineering program gives you hands-on, real-world experience. You will be guided by expert and engaged faculty and gain skills that make you a sought-after asset in the workforce.

See our mechanical engineering fact sheet (pdf)


Accreditation

ABET logo

Accreditation


The St. Ambrose Industrial and Mechanical Engineering Programs are accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET (www.abet.org).

ABET.org


More Information on Mechanical Engineering

What will I learn?

Mechanical Engineering uses a combination of human, material, and economic resources to provide solutions to problems faced in society. As an applied science, it focuses on design, development, manufacture, management and control of engineering systems. Courses include engineering design, materials science, manufacturing processes, thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, and control theory.

St. Ambrose is the only university in the Quad Cities region that offers this degree. If you want to dual major in Industrial Engineering (pdf), we offer that program, too.

Full-time students can earn the dual major in five years, and we give part-time students up to eight years to complete any of the engineering programs. No matter what you choose, you will work closely with engaged faculty who give you a real-world education in and outside the classroom.

Read course descriptions

What kind of lab facilities will I use?

Our state-of-the-art Engineering and Physical Science Laboratories offer you all of the equipment and technology you need to build and apply what you are learning.

Our facilities include:

  • Thermo-Fluids Laboratory where you can visualize, control, and test concepts in thermodynamics, fluid flow, and heat transfer, then apply that knowledge to design and build systems involving energy.
  • Mechatronics Laboratory which serves as collaborative learning classroom. Junior and senior level engineering courses that require specialized technology are issued laptops equipped with software, including ProE, Solidworks, ANSYS, PSpice, MatLab, and LabView.
  • Machine Shop with fabrication facilities for woodworking, welding, milling (including CNC programming), 3D printing, and programming an industrial robot. If you complete the manufacturing course, you can use the facilities, under faculty/staff supervision, for academic-related projects.
  • Computer and Prototyping Lab with a new 3D printer that extrudes plastic filament, creating a high-quality, customer-ready product.
  • Engineering Computer Lab, which is open 24/7 for engineering students. You can use upgraded computers and monitors, and access the software you need for engineering-specific assignments and projects. Printing is free in the lab.

All engineering faculty have offices in Hayes Hall, and there is a small prototyping and student work room.

What unique learning opportunities will I get at SAU?
  • Internships: Through our extensive network of engineering alumni and companies across the country, you get on-the-job experience in a mandatory internship at leading manufacturers such as Deere & Company, the Rock Island Arsenal, Caterpillar and more.
  • Design Experience: Enroll in sophomore design courses and undertake a real project for a real customer, then present your work at an Engineering Showcase. Our students have completed projects for local companies and even engineered ways to help people with disabilities lead more active lives.

Watch how SAU engineering students helped people with disabilities in Brazil by creating new assistive technologies.

  • Engineering Club: The club hosts pizza and study nights throughout the year, members volunteer at events that promote engineering and community service, organizes tours of local companies, and participate in Quad Cities Engineering and Science Council events.

What happens when the Engineering Club partners with Enactus? Read this story about their "ornamental" success.

  • Society of Women Engineers: Our official chapter of SWE focuses on professional development and outreach to youth. Our members go to area high schools and tell students about the opportunities that abound in STEM fields. We annually host Introduce a Girl to Engineering Night, and in the Spring of 2017, it garnered a crowd of more than 500 girls, ages 3-13, who learned about engineering through hands-on activities.
  • Engineering Ambassadors: You, too, can represent SAU's Mechanical and Industrial Engineering programs. Ambassadors share their experiences as Ambrosians and members of the engineering program. They help with recruiting, retention, outreach, and industry relations for the Engineering and Physical Science Department.
What are some potential career outcomes?

Engineers can work in design, manufacturing, robotics, electrical systems, quality, process improvement, and in civil engineering for local, state and federal governments.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics puts the median pay for mechanical engineers at $84,190 and the field is growing (2016). In fact, 95% of SAU engineering program graduates who pursue employment are working in the field. Many of our students are sought out by employers before they graduate.

What have alumni of this program done?
  • Samantha (Lee) Barkley '09 was a Fulbright Scholar, and worked in a HIV/AIDS clinic in Trinidad and Tobago where she researched medical record processes and developed ways medical centers could provide better care. She is now a process engineer for ASEA Brown Boveri in St. Louis.
  • Santiago Gonzalez '14 is the Chief Design Engineer for Fraustchi, and runs his own thriving business.
  • Jeff Menke '99 is a Pella Windows senior engineer and recently designed custom windows for the Ambrose Hall renovation at SAU.
  • Jeff Stebel '01 is a systems engineer for Dream Chaser Space, which supports NASA and the International Space Station.

Many of our graduates seek advanced degrees, and have been admitted to programs at Southern Illinois University Medical School, Northern Illinois University, University of Florida, Bradley University and Oregon State University.

Degree Requirements

Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering

Courses are 3 credits unless otherwise noted.

Engineering:
ENGR 105 Introduction to Engineering, 2 credits
ENGR 112 Engineering Graphics, 4 credits
ENGR 220 Statics
ENGR 265 Engineering Economy
ENGR 270 Materials Science
ENGR 296 Manufacturing Processes: Fundamental and Computer-Aided
ENGR 301 Engineering Participation, 0 credits
ENGR 302 Engineering Dynamics
ENGR 303 Strength of Materials
ENGR 401 Engineering Exit Survey, 0 credits
ENGR 450 Professional Experience, 1-6 credits

Mechanical Engineering:
ME 310 Engineering Measurements and Instrumentation
ME 312 Thermodynamics
ME 315 Fluid Mechanics
ME 350 Machine Design
ME 351 Mechanical Engineering Design Laboratory
ME 405 Control Theory
ME 410 Heat and Mass Transfer
ME 412 Applied Thermodynamics, 2 credits
ME 415 Mechatronics
ME 490 Senior Design Seminar

Math:
+MATH 191 and 192 Calculus & Analytic Geometry I and II, 4 credits each
MATH 290 Elementary Linear Algebra
MATH 291 Calculus & Analytic Geometry III, 4 credits
MATH 300 Modern Probability and Statistics
MATH 301 Statistical Modeling or MATH 320 Ordinary Differential Equations

Physics:
+PHYS 251 General Physics I: Mechanics, 4 credits
PHYS 253 General Physics II: Electricity, Magnetism, and Optics, 4 credits
PHYS 306 Electronics

Chemistry: (Choose One)
+CHEM 103 Principles of Chemistry, 4 credits
+CHEM 104 Chemistry for Engineering Students, 4 credits
+CHEM 105 General Chemistry I, 4 credits

Ethics:
+PHIL 207 Ethics, +PHIL 305 Business Ethics, +PHIL 310 Biomedical Ethics, or +THEO 311 Environmental Ethics

Elective:
one IE elective, ENGR 320 Research Topics, or IE/ME 460

GPA Requirements

A minimum GPA of 2.50 must be earned for all semester credits used to satisfy the course requirements shown above, a minimum GPA of 2.00 in all IE and ENGR  prefix course numbers, MATH  191 and 192, or their equivalents, must be completed with a grade of C or better. A minimum overall GPA of 2.00 must be earned in the combination of semester credits and attempted transfer credits.

Students attending continuously on a part-time basis are expected to complete the requirements within eight years. 

Plan to Graduate

This is the suggested plan of study to graduate in four years with a degree in Mechanical Engineering.

This plan assumes the student hasn't taken three years of foreign language in high school.

Year One

FallCreditPre-reqSpringCreditPre-req
MATH 191 Calculus I* 4 MATH 171 MATH 192 Calculus II* 4 MATH 191
ENGR 105 Introduction to Engineering 2 ENGR 265 Engineering Economy 3 (MATH 191)
CHEM 103/4/5 General Chemistry 4 MATH 171 ENGR 270 Materials Science 2 CHEM 103/4/5
ENGR 112 Engineering Graphics 4 Humanities 3
ENGL 101 English Composition 3 Communications 3
IL 101 Information Literacy 1 Philosophy 3
Total Credits 18 Total Credits 18

Year Two

FallCreditPre-reqSpringCreditPre-req
MATH 291 Calculus III (Multi-Variable Calculus) 4 MATH 192 MATH 290 Linear Algebra 3 MATH 191
MATH 300 Probability & Statistics 3 MATH 191 PHYS 253 General Physics II 4 PHYS 251
PHYS 251 General Physics I 4 MATH 191, (MATH 192) ENGR 280 Engineering Statics & Strength of Materials 4 PHYS 251
ENGR 296 Manufacturing Process 4 ENGR 270; ENGR 111 or 112 Humanities 3
ENGR 201 Service 0 KIN Activity 1-2
KIN 149 1
Creative Arts Course 2
Total Credits 18 Total Credits 15-16

Year Three

FallCreditPre-reqSpringCreditPre-req
PHYS 306 Electronics 3 PHYS 253, MATH 290, MATH 320 ME 310 Measurement and Instrumentation 3 MATH 300
MATH 320 Ordinary Differential Equations 3 MATH 290 ME 312 Thermodynamics 3 PHYS 253
ME 350 Machine Design 3 ENGR 112 AND 302 IE 351 Mechanical Engineering Design Lab 3 PHYS 306, ME 350, ENGL 101
ENGR 302 Engineering Dynamics 3 ENGR 280 Foreign Language 101 3
ENGR 301 Participation 0 Social Science Course 3
PHIL/THEO 300+ 3
Total Credits 15 Total Credits 15

Year Four

FallCreditPre-reqSpringCreditPre-req
ME 405 Control Theory 3 MATH 320 and 290 ME 415 Mechatronics 3 PHYS 306, ME 310 AND 405
ME 412 Adv. Thermodynamics 2 ME 312 ME 490 Senior Design Seminar 3 ME 312, 405, 351; ENGL 101
ME 315 Fluid Mechanics 3 MATH 291, ME 312 PHIL 207/305 Ethics 3
Foreign Language 102 3 ENGR 401 Exit Survey 0
ENGR 450 Professional Experience 1 ME Heat Transfer 3 ME 315
Theology 3 ENGR Elective 3
Total Credits 15 Total Credits 15


#Must be taken at SAU to satisfy writing intensive
*Must receive a grade of C or better

Dual Major in Industrial and Mechanical Engineering

Students interested in designing to fit humans into mechanical systems may consider the dual degree option.

This five-year program will result in Bachelor of Science degrees in Industrial and Mechanical Engineering.

Engineering:
ENGR 105 Introduction to Engineering, 2 credits
ENGR 112 Engineering Graphics, 4 credits
ENGR 201 Engineering Service, 0 credit
ENGR 265 Engineering Economy
ENGR 270 Materials Science
ENGR 296 Manufacturing Processes: Fundamental and Computer-Aided
ENGR 301 Engineering Participation, 0 credits
ENGR 302 Engineering Dynamics
ENGR 401 Engineering Exit Survey, 0 credits
ENGR 450 Professional Experience, 1-6 credits

Industrial Engineering:
IE 305 Work System Design and Analysis, 2 credits
IE 335 Quality Control and Reliability
IE 340 Ergonomics and Occupational Safety
IE 350 Operations Planning, Scheduling and Control
IE 360 Introduction to Simulation
IE 391 Operations Research Probability Models
IE 403 Design Fundamentals for Industrial Engineers
IE 409 Operations Research Mathematical Programming
IE 415 System Integration and Design
IE 490 Senior Design Seminar

Mechanical Engineering:
ME 310 Engineering Measurements and Instrumentation
ME 312 Thermodynamics
ME 315 Fluid Mechanics
ME 350 Machine Design
ME 351 Mechanical Engineering Design Laboratory
ME 405 Control Theory
ME 410 Heat and Mass Transfer
ME 412 Applied Thermodynamics
ME 415 Mechatronics
ME 490 Senior Design Seminar

Math:
+MATH 191 and 192 Calculus & Analytic Geometry I and II, 4 credits each
MATH 290 Elementary Linear Algebra
MATH 291 Calculus & Analytic Geometry III, 4 credits
MATH 300 Modern Probability and Statistics
MATH 301 Statistical Modeling or 320 Ordinary Differential Equations

Physics:
+PHYS 251 General Physics I: Mechanics, 4 credits
PHYS 253 General Physics II: Electricity, Magnetism, and Optics, 4 credits

Chemistry: (Choose one)
+CHEM 103 Principles of Chemistry, 4 credits
+CHEM 104 Chemistry for Engineering Students, 4 credits
+CHEM 105 General Chemistry I, 4 credits

Ethics:
+PHIL  207 Ethics, +PHIL 305 Business Ethics, +PHIL 310 Biomedical Ethics, or +THEO 311 Environmental Ethics

GPA requirements

A minimum GPA of 2.50 must be earned for all semester credits used to satisfy the course requirements shown above, a minimum GPA of 2.00 in all IE, ME and ENGR  prefix course numbers, MATH 191 and 192, or their equivalents, must be completed with a grade of C or better. A minimum overall GPA of 2.00 must be earned in the combination of semester credits and attempted transfer credits.

Students attending continuously but on a part-time basis are expected to complete the requirements within eight years. +

= satisfies a general education requirement

Click here to read course descriptions for Mechanical Engineering

Scholarships

Scholarships and Grants

For academic/merit-based awards, eligible students are matched to the qualifying award; some of them are listed below.

For need-based support, eligibility is determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

You may also qualify for a scholarship or grant due to your talent in the fine arts or athletics. Give us a call or send an email so we can get to know you and find the best package for you. (You're also encouraged to seek outside scholarships and begin that search early.)

Institutional scholarships (2018-19)

To receive an institutional grant or scholarship students must meet specific criteria, and some may require a certain GPA to stay eligible. There is no need to apply for these; students automatically are eligible if they meet the criteria.

The Admissions Office calculates the award amount by using high school GPA and ACT/SAT scores.

Ambrose Scholar
For First Year, on-campus residents only. Straight As on high school transcript and a minimum 30 ACT score. Applicants who meet Ambrose Scholar criteria will be invited to compete for a full tuition scholarship for $@{17-18-Tuition}.

Trustee Scholar
$22,000/year - For First-year, on-campus residents only. Unweighted 3.8 GPA, 28+ACT. May be offset by state and/or federal aid if eligible.

Academic Scholarship
$14,000-17,000/year - Based on GPA and ACT/SAT score

University Grant
$12,000/year - Based on high school GPA and ACT/SAT score

Additional Awards

If you want to apply for any of the scholarships below, contact the Admissions Office.

Fine Arts Scholarships
Award based on performance and ability in art, music, or theatre. Includes the Michael Kennedy Theatre Scholarship. Audition or portfolio required.

Athletics Scholarships
Award varies. Based on performance and ability. Marching Band scholarships available. See below.

Freeman Pollard Minority Scholarship
$1,000 for on-campus students; $500 for off-campus. For accepted minority students.

Diocese of Davenport Catholic Parish Scholarship
Award varies. For First Year students only who are recommended by their parish pastor in the Diocese of Davenport. Recommendation to be completed by your pastor available here (pdf).

Father Welch Alumni Scholarship
$1,000/year. For on-campus students only whose parent is a St. Ambrose graduate.

Athletic Scholarships

The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) awards millions of dollars annually to student-athletes at more than 250 colleges and universities. These scholarships allow you to earn a college education while competing in the sport that you love. At Ambrose, we embody that value of developing both the mind and body.

How do I qualify for an athletic scholarship?
You must first be eligible to play a sport at St. Ambrose. You can read about those qualifications here. The NAIA also has a complete website on how to register for eligibility at playNAIA.org

Transfer Scholarships

Amounts are for transfer students entering St. Ambrose in the 2018-19 academic year. For questions about any of the awards below, give our friendly Financial Aid Office a call at 563-333-5775.

Guaranteed Minimum Scholarship Award 

based on GPA (Grade Point Average)
3.5-4.00 GPA: $12,000 per year scholarship award
3.0-3.49 GPA: $11,000 per year scholarship award
2.5-2.99 GPA: $10,000 per year scholarship award
2.0-2.49 GPA: $8,000 per year scholarship award

OR

Phi Theta Kappa National Honor Society

Based on Phi Theta Kappa National Honor Society membership. Award is $12,500 per year for new transfer students.

Awards are renewable each year up to a maximum eight semesters, including transfer hours. Scholarships awarded for fall and spring semesters only. GPA is based on 4.0 scale.

Award Terms

FAFSA forms must be filed every year.

  • To be considered for an Iowa Tuition Grant, the filing deadline is July 1.
  • The St. Ambrose priority deadline is March 15 for some institutional funds. 
  • The Financial Aid Office has the right to adjust your award at any time due to changes in your financial, academic, enrollment, or housing status. 
  • Awards offered from State and Federal programs are contingent upon legislative allocation of funds and maximum limits allowed.
  • You must report any assistance you receive from outside sources – including assistance from your employer – to the Financial Aid Office.

Institutional Aid

Undergraduate level students must be enrolled in at least 12 credit hours per semester to receive Institutional money. All students, undergraduate or graduate, must be enrolled at least half-time per semester to be eligible for student loans. (Half-time for Undergraduate level = 6 credits; Graduate level = 5 credits)

There is no institutional aid for summer sessions. Federal Loans may be available if you are enrolled at least 1/2 time.

You are eligible for institutional financial aid for up to eight semesters, including semesters taken at other schools, before or after time spent at the university (i.e. if you transfer in as a junior, you will receive 4 semesters of institutional aid; or you attended St. Ambrose, left to attend another school, and then returned). This means that if you continue into a fifth year of classes, you will not be eligible for any institutional funds you may have received previously. (Institutional funds are those awarded by the university, not state, federal, or outside based scholarships or grants.)

Loans

All financial aid awards, including loans, are disbursed in two disbursements: one for the fall term and one for the spring term. If you are a first-time borrower, there is a 30-day hold on your first disbursement. Once the loan funds have been applied to your account and if you have awards in excess of your costs, you may receive a refund. Any other questions regarding your financial aid should be directed to the Financial Aid Office.

Work Study

If you are receiving assistance under the work study program, you must understand that the amount shown on your award letter is the amount we expect you to earn during one academic year if you work all your allotted hours. Any additional earnings must be approved by your department supervisor and taken into consideration in your financial award package.

Endowed Scholarships

Part of the financial aid funds that St. Ambrose awards come from monies provided through the generous support of St. Ambrose University benefactors. Most endowed scholarships are meant to provide financial support for St. Ambrose University's academic and need based awards. Due to this, in some cases you may see a portion of your Academic Scholarship, for example, being replaced by a named endowed scholarship. The total dollar amount you receive between the two awards, however, will remain unchanged.

Recipients are chosen based on the criteria established by the donor, which include, but are not limited to: major, class rank, GPA, performance in a fine art, or residency. You may be contacted by the Advancement Office to write a thank you letter to the donor.

What happens if I withdraw or need to drop a class?

  • If you drop a class, it may affect the amount of aid you can receive. It is very important to visit your Financial Aid counselor if you are planning on dropping a class.
  • If you are going to withdraw completely from all your classes, your financial aid awards will be prorated according to the amount of time you were actually enrolled. It is possible that you may end up owing the University for a portion of your expenses incurred.
  • More information regarding this policy is available in the University catalog.
  • Please contact your Financial Aid counselor if you are considering dropping classes or withdrawing from the University.


Justin Keister '16


“Words can't express how happy I am with my decision to switch from a health science field to engineering. For a long time, I've wanted a job that would allow me to help people, and I had initially been leaning toward healthcare. After discovering engineering, though, I'm much more excited to be involved in the research and design of medical technology. I feel that engineering will allow me to make a much broader impact than I could in a clinical setting.”

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Contact


Jodi Prosise, PhD, Chairperson

Engineering and Physics Department
Hayes Hall
518 W. Locust St.
Davenport, IA 52803
563-333-6485
Engineering@sau.edu

So, what's next?

Are you ready to take the next step? St. Ambrose offers more than 60 programs and 26 athletic teams and sports to join on campus. Become an Ambrosian today!