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Department of Mechanical Engineering


The Mechanical Engineering program at South Dakota State University offers programs of study leading to a variety of careers in a challenging and rewarding profession. Mechanical engineers develop ways to safely and sustainably use the materials and forces of nature for the benefit of humankind. They rely on a knowledge of the mathematical and natural sciences gained through study, experience and practice.

We encourage you to explore the links in the navigation menu to learn more about us and our programs. Degrees offered include Bachelor of Science (B.S.), Master of Science (M.S) and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.).

The mechanical engineering (B.S.) program at South Dakota State University is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET. Our faculty members are dedicated to guiding students to develop their full potential as creative and effective problem solvers and leaders. In addition to their work in the classroom, our faculty members are involved in a wide variety of research activities. Current projects include:

  • Biomedical applications.
  • Biomaterials development.
  • Computational fluid dynamics and high-performance computer modeling and simulation.
  • Emerging fabrication techniques, including additive manufacturing (3D Printing).
  • Methods for characterizing material properties.
  • Flight control for aerial and space vehicles.
  • Renewable energy development.
  • Development and applications of new materials.
  • Robotics and autonomous systems.
  • Development of advanced heat transfer devices.
  • Improving process energy efficiency.

Our students have the opportunity to participate in many of these projects as well as other engineering projects sponsored by industries and agencies throughout the region. Students gain experience through design projects conducted within the curriculum as well as numerous opportunities for internships. ABET enrollment and graduate data of the Mechanical Engineering Department can be found online.

Department of Mechanical Engineering News

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Alan Cowl drives the SDSU entry in the endurance contest at the Baja SAE Williamsport, Pennsylvania, contest hosted by Pennsylvania College of Technology at it heavy equipment operations site. SDSU finished 47th overall out of 110 teams.

Offroad continues to improve in Baja SAE contest

The SDSU entry in Baja SAE continues to score more points in the annual contest overseen by the Society of Automotive Engineers. This year at Baja SAE Williamsport hosted by Pennsylvania College of Technology at Montgomery, the team earned 360.95 points and placed 47th overall out of 110 college teams (57th percentile) from the United States, Brazil and Canada from May 15-19. Last year the team ranked 49th out of 86 teams (43rd percentile) with 311 points.

Jackrabbit in the spotlight—Allea Klauenberg / A story of trials, triumphs and determination

Allea Klauenberg long thought her career would be in engineering. As a child growing up on an acreage near Ogden, Iowa, 30 miles west of Ames, she played with Tinkertoys and Legos, not Barbies. “I always knew I wanted to do engineering. I just didn’t know the focus,” Klauenberg, who choose mechanical because she was told it was the broadest field of engineering. So broad, it could take her into the field of aerospace and give her an opportunity to be a leader in South Dakota State University’s Space Trajectory project.

SDSU rover design places third in NASA’s RASC-AL contest

Competing against the best and the brightest, a South Dakota State University engineering team finished third overall in a NASA contest and again was awarded for building the best prototype. The SDSU students were one of 14 teams selected from 75 higher education entries to compete in the finals of the Revolutionary Aerospace Systems Concepts – Academic Linkage (RASC-AL) competition June 10-12 in Cocoa Beach, Florida.