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Mechanical Engineering (Ph.D.)

  • Location IconBrookings Main Campus

The mechanics of the real world.

The Ph.D. in mechanical engineering is designed to develop the depth of knowledge that will allow students to investigate new concepts and new applications of technology to advance the state of the art in the discipline. It will also provide students with practical training and experience in the scientific methods needed to conduct reliable experiments and to apply and properly validate engineering models of physical systems. Critical thinking and communication skills developed in the program will prepare students for leadership roles. Overall, the knowledge and skills gained will prepare them for life-long careers in highly desirable research and development positions.

This program offers students an opportunity to undertake research and advanced study in emphasis areas such as:

  • Advanced manufacturing processes, including research and development of innovative automation and control strategies and techniques such as additive manufacturing/3D printing.
  • Development of biomedical processes, equipment and systems in support of the growing high-impact regional medical industry.
  • Engineering of systems used in production agriculture, including technology for precision agriculture.
  • Biomaterials, renewable energy and bio-resource conversion technologies.
  • Advanced materials and quality control technologies focused on composition, properties, and integrity of materials.
  • Systems modeling using computational fluid dynamics and finite element methods leveraging high-performance computing technologies.

Research Awards Received by Mechanical Engineering Faculty in 2022-2023


From research funding from NIH, NSF, NASA, SD Space Grant Consortium, North Central Regional Sun Grant Center, as well as industry.

Is it for you?

This program will be a good fit if you:

  • Have an undergraduate/master degree in Mechanical Engineering or related engineering field.
  • Want to conduct research in the field.
  • Are a creative problem solver.
  • Work well independently and as part of a team.

Career Opportunities

  • Mechanical engineer
  • Scientist in a national laboratory
  • Researcher in industrial research and development
  • Engineering project manager
  • Professor at a university
  • Design engineer
  • Test engineer
  • Manufacturing engineer
  • Product engineer
  • Entrepreneur