The lab facilities in UMassD's Mechanical Engineering Department are one of our best features. Students actively participate in labs in virtually every area of mechanical engineering. Our labs are carefully designed so that every student participates actively; no one is a spectator.

Robotics Lab

Today, manufacturing jobs are shifting from hands on the manufactured products to hands on the robots that manufacture those products. Mechanical engineers design, install, program, maintain, and repair highly complex and advanced robotic systems. The future looks bright for engineers skilled in robot technology.

Systems Design & Control Lab

The Systems Design & Control Lab introduces students to the principles of control systems. The basics of mechanical, electrical, hydraulic, and pneumatic control systems are examined, and Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs) are explored in some detail. Although this was once a physical lab with hands-on experiments, a recent switch to a computer-based virtual lab allowa more flexibility and modernization.

Fluids Lab

Mechanical engineers are often challenged to design complex systems that involve fluidic or hydraulic components that require a keen understanding of the underlying physics of moving, pressurized liquids. The Fluids Lab follows the curriculum of the Fluid Mechanics course and complements computer lab exercises that model various fluidic systems. Students gain direct, hands-on experience translating theory and math into practical, visible, and measurable results.

Thermal Systems Lab

A cornerstone of mechanical engineering is understanding the relationships among heat, energy, work, and power in both open and closed systems. This lab, with the accompanying computational lab exercises, develops a hands-on understanding of the theory taught in the companion course. Students explore how various types of work can create thermal imbalances, and how thermal imbalances can be exploited to produce work. Students are challenged to explain sources of error and explain the various ways that thermal energy can enter or leave a defined system.

Mechanics of Materials Lab

Design engineers must be acutely aware of internal stresses in structural members that sustain loads. These loading effects can have a significant impact on the integrity and reliability of a complex mechanical system. By knowing these stresses and their effects on the system, the designer can select appropriate materials for the application and can find the correct size and shape to assure that the design is functional and safe.

Materials Science Lab

The Materials Science Lab exposes mechanical engineering students to the important relationships between the chemical and atomic characteristics of materials and the physical and mechanical behaviors that can result from these and significantly influence the engineer's design choices. 

Design for Manufacturing Lab

This lab, fondly called the "machine shop," accompanies the Design for Manufacturing course. It is also accessible to qualified senior students when needed for prototype manufacturing/testing in capstone projects. It gives students hands-on experience with the relationships between an effective design and a manufacturable product. A key part of this lab course is offering students a healthy dose of industrial safety training. Every lab session is carefully monitored to ensure that students follow all safety instructions and proper behavior.

Computer Lab

The use of computers in engineering design has become critically important because designs have become more complex—because synthetic materials have become more common in designs, and because testing new designs has driven up product costs and extended time-to-market. Thus, effective computer simulation and analysis to complement testing has become an extremely important component of all phases of product engineering design. For this reason, computer simulation, modeling, and analysis is integrated into essentially all mechanical engineering courses.

Senior Design Project Lab

Engineering students engage in a senior project, which extends through the full senior year. These projects are sponsored by industry: a few big names, such as Raytheon, Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics, MBTA, United Technologies, as well as many medium and small companies and start-up companies. This exposure offers employers a chance to attract and evaluate potential new hires. The affiliation with industry brings realistic engineering design projects to our seniors—very often, engineering challenges that result in new or improved products or processes.