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Message from the Chair

Welcome to the University of Kentucky Department of Mechanical Engineering!

The Department of Mechanical Engineering was established in 1891 and has grown over its 125 year history to become the second largest department in the university with over 1,000 students pursuing mechanical engineering degrees. For undergraduate students, we offer a B.S. degree program that is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET ( Students can complete studies for the B.S. degree at the main campus in Lexington or at the extended campus in Paducah.

The mechanical engineering curriculum includes coverage of dynamics, fluid mechanics, design and heat transfer, among other areas to give students capabilities to apply fundamental of physics and mathematics to a broad range of practical problems. Students get hands-on experience in tackling these problems through a one-year senior Capstone Design program that is coupled with local industry.

Our undergraduate students have many opportunities to enhance their education beyond the classroom by:

  • participating in the co-op program where students get real-world industrial experience in alternating semesters
  • conducting research in the laboratories of our faculty
  • joining one of the student-led teams including Solar Car or Formula SAE, working each year to design, build and race cars against teams from universities around the world
  • studying abroad and gaining international experiences

Our graduate program at the Lexington campus offers both M.S. and Ph.D. degrees. Approximately 100 graduate students work with award-winning faculty on a wide range of research topics including manufacturing, smart materials, acoustics, controls, robotics, biomechanics and aerospace technology, among others. Several major centers and research consortia are affiliated with the department to provide the facilities needed for our student research projects. These include:

Beyond these centers, faculty members and their students conduct research in specialized laboratories with focus areas in manufacturing, mechanics, systems and design, and thermal-fluid science. I invite you to explore our website and see the detailed work and interest of our faculty and students. I also welcome you to visit our campus to learn more about our education and research programs and to find out how you can engage with the university, our faculty and our students.

Michael Renfro

Professor and Chair of the Department of Mechanical Engineering