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Mechanical Engineering - Student Opportunities

We offer a many opportunities, for students to put classroom lessons into practice through hands-on projects. The options range from course-related activities to student competition teams, or working on real-world projects at Rose‑Hulman Ventures.

Hands-On Opportunities

A key feature of the Mechanical Engineering program at Rose-Hulman is the broad variety of hands-on opportunities available to students. Here, you can apply your classroom knowledge to solve real-life problems—while tackling projects you’re passionate about. Learn more below.

Female student cuts cardboard for a team project as male student assists in the Branam Innovation Center.

Competition Teams

Teams ranging from Rose-Hulman Grand Prix Racing to Design-Build-Fly develop and test their latest designs before competing in national or international contests.

Male student rides single-person electric vehicle in the Branam Innovation Center as laughing female student looks on.

Individual & Group Design Projects

Whether for a class or just for the fun of it, you’ll have the faculty support, workspace, and resources to complete senior projects, experimentation, and innovation that is only limited by your imagination.

Two male students examine plastic object at Rose-Hulman Ventures.

Rose-Hulman Ventures Internships

At Ventures, student interns learn to find innovative solutions for real-world clients with real-world problems. A Ventures internship will prepare you to tackle for any engineering challenge as you apply your academic studies to hands-on problem-solving.

Facilities & Resources

We believe the best way to learn is by doing, so we place emphasis on lab work with a hands-on approach. Our teaching, research, and MiNDs laboratories, and observatory, are stocked with modern equipment. Here, you’ll have the opportunity for hands-on undergraduate research experiences that most schools reserve for graduate students.

Students working in the Branam Innovation Center

Branam Innovation Center

At the Branam Innovation Center (BIC) you’ll be able to practice innovation and bring your creations from concept to reality. This 16,200-square-foot open workspace is where teams huddle ahead of intense competitions, clubs unveil new innovations, and individual students tweak their latest projects. 

Student welding in the machine shop.

Machine Shop

Every mechanical engineer needs to know “How’s that made?” and we bring everyone into the machine shop—beginning with EM103 Intro to Design freshman year, and again in their junior year for ME317 Design for Manufacturing. This is where you’ll learn about what you can do with saws, drills, lathes, and mills. We also have welding equipment and a plasma cutter, and offer a “Shop Badge Level I” opportunity for students who have very little experience and want to learn more in a small group (4 students/instructor). Then you’ll be ready to learn more on your own.

Students using shop equipment for project.

Manufacturing Lab

Our manufacturing lab contains most of our automated machine tools (Computer Aided Manufacturing, or CAM tools). One of our most popular electives is ME520 CAD/CAM uses this lab to teach students about the various tools--you can get one-on-one training on the machines, as well. A large bed foam router supports our competition teams’ needs in creating molds for composite shells, and laser cutters allow us to create “links” for the EM121 Statics Link competition (freshman year).

Close-up of an item in a 3-D printer

Materials Lab

Get hands-on experience in our newly renovated Materials Lab. We use this lab for courses such as Materials Engineering and for course projects in ME Laboratory. It’s also used extensively for independent projects. Here, you can use digital microscopes to examine the effects of heating and quenching on the structure and strength of metals. Or use tensile testing equipment to find out just how much load that material can handle before it breaks, as well as machines to see how the material stands up to sudden impacts.

Students use robotic arm to apply paint to paper.

Mechatronics Lab

Mechatronics (ME430) is a required class for all mechanical engineering majors which deals with microprocessor control of lights and motors. It is taught as a “flipped” class where you watch the lectures outside of class and then spend all of your class time working together with a partner on hands-on labs and a team project—and this lab is where the magic happens! Students have done all sorts of projects from ball launchers for dogs to gas-propelled nerf guns.
Students making adjustments to robotic device.

Robotics Lab

Many mechanical engineering students participate in the Robotics minor, but even those who don’t often take electives in Robotics Engineering (ME435), Mobile Robotics (ECE425), and Robot Dynamics and Control (ME497). The robotics lab is used for teaching team-based, hands-on classes such as EM103 Intro to Design or ME421 ME Laboratory. It’s set up for collaboration with tables for teams and monitors for each table.  And our new “human-safe” robot doesn’t need a cage around it when it operates, so you can get up-close and personal.
Exterior of the Rotz Lab

Rotz Lab

Whether you’re fascinated with the principles of aerodynamics or need to understand them for a class, you’ll be able to test them in the Rotz Lab. Located just east of Moench Hall, Rotz Lab houses wind tunnels used and engine testing equipment that students use for testing, tweaking and learning.
Dr. Lorraine Olson smiling

Dr. Lorraine Olson

Dr. Olson joined the faculty of Rose-Hulman in 2002. She is a graduate of Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and was awarded the Rose-Hulman Board of Trustees Outstanding Scholar Award in 2013. Her scholarship activities have included finite element methodology applied to non-traditional areas, and much of her research involves early detection of breast cancer.

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Contact Us

Department of Mechanical Engineering
Moench Hall C103
5500 Wabash Avenue
Terre Haute, IN 47803
812-877-8422
denny@rose-hulman.edu