By Glen Thorncroft, ME Professor
The mission of the mechanical engineering program is to impart knowledge in the art and science of mechanical engineering through a comprehensive curriculum true to the traditional Cal Poly learn-by-doing philosophy that produces mechanical engineers of high ethics and skill, fully prepared for entry into industry, government, graduate school and private enterprise.
We see our mission as to educate the best engineers for California, the country, and the world. Our students have a strong foundation in theory – many of them go on to graduate schools - but the education we provide our students makes them sound, practicing engineers from the moment they graduate. In fact, our industrial partners tell us that they seek out our graduates because, in their words, “they hit the ground running.” So how do we do it?
We offer one of the most practical, hands-on programs available. Our curriculum is laboratory-intensive: some 20 courses have required laboratories! We encourage our students to take internships and/or cooperative education opportunities to get real industry experience. And in our year-long, capstone Senior Project course, students design, build, and test systems they develop for industry sponsors. And let’s not forget the facilities available to our students, like the 24-hour labs and the student machine shops!
Above all, we have the most dedicated, student-focused faculty anywhere. Most of our faculty have spent years in industry, or have other significant industrial experience (what better way to learn engineering than to learn it from engineers?). And yet, our first love is to be educators. Our faculty teach the labs; Graduate Teaching Assistants are rare. Faculty are involved in our clubs and team projects. Finally, students have a rapport with professors that is hard to find elsewhere, with plentiful office hours and open doors. We know (most of) our students by name!
We believe that the reputation of or program is built on the accomplishments of our students and alumni. Come visit us, and see for yourself!