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Mechanical Engineering and Mechanics Welcome Message

Suhada JayasuriyaWelcome to the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Mechanics (MEM) at Drexel where world class faculty, highly motivated and talented students, and  dedicated staff offer a unique engineering education environment integrated with  a co-op program where students gain real-world experience through three six-month cycles of employment in industry at companies such as Boeing, Exelon, Lockheed Martin, NAVSEA, Johnson & Johnson and NASA for those interested primarily in becoming practicing engineers. Students who are interested in further graduate study may choose a co-op experience geared towards research in one of our research labs in the MEM and other departments across Drexel, working closely with faculty on a research project that could earn a dual BS/MS degree in five years.
These experiences enable our students to discover and appreciate the ability to self-learn as key to a successful and enjoyable engineering career.  Our world class faculty in lecture settings provides the inspiration for students to understand important topics leaving a lasting effect on their competence and attitudes.  We strive to instill in our students that the ability to inquire for oneself prepares them well to maintain their skills and acquire new ones through life-long learning. Our students learn to think, gain a broad understanding of technical possibilities, learn to be sensitive to societal needs, acquire the vision to perceive solutions, and gain the confidence to see them through.

We provide our students opportunities to engage in experiments, design work, project work, industrial training and team work to enhance the learning process so vital for a well-rounded engineering education. In addition, our students can engage in research early on in their careers working with our outstanding faculty to gain a deeper level of expertise in a selected area. These undergraduate research experiences are an extension of knowledge that can provide a pathway for graduate work or a professional degree. Our students compete for graduate research fellowships offered by federal agencies such as the National Science Foundation, Department of Defense, and NASA to pursue graduate work leading to a Ph.D. at an institution of their choosing - including the opportunity to continue their graduate work here at Drexel.

In their senior year, our students have the opportunity to work on “real world” design projects sponsored by industry.  These projects cover the breadth of what a typical mechanical engineer does from energy harvesting concepts, advanced sensors and actuators, automobiles and other transportation systems, power systems, machinery design, biomedical devices, automation and robotics, control systems, and autonomous vehicles.  Our students work in small design teams under the supervision of an MEM faculty member and often with an industry advisor to develop conceptual designs and, in many cases, build a prototype – potentially leading to patents!

MEM faculty are highly reputed in their fields and have earned numerous honors and awards. Our recently recruited faculty have very promising careers ahead and will soon become leaders in their fields. Many have won prestigious research awards from reputed funding agencies such as NSF, DoD, NASA, the Department of Energy, and the commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Our faculty are active in research, engage undergraduate and graduate students, and post-doctoral research associates in their research groups to generate new knowledge leading to the technologies of the future. They publish their work in highly reputed journals and present their work at prestigious national and international conferences. Research thrusts in MEM for graduate work include robotics and intelligent systems, plasma, advanced manufacturing including MEMS and bio-manufacturing, bio-inspired engineering, biomechanics, energy, combustion, and computational mechanics.  MEM department’s annual externally funded research expenditures exceed $5 million. Our website provides you with access to our faculty, their research interests and their current projects. We are continually striving to improve the quality of our programs by finding new ways of structuring our curricula, new delivery methods, and decreasing the student to faculty ratio.  In the next five years, MEM will recruit several new faculty to meet the educational needs of the ever increasing number of students wanting to be a part of the exciting opportunities here in the MEM department at Drexel.

In short, the MEM department is unique among all engineering programs in the world in that it has a co-op program integrated into its curriculum to educate and train its students for engineering practice, dual BS opportunities, and a BS/MS option for those interested in pursuing further graduate study either at Drexel or another institution. Our students find it very easy to make well informed decisions when selecting areas for research or further professional training based on the rich Drexel education experience they will acquire. The MEM department has several active student societies, including the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), Mechanical Engineering Honor Society (Pi Tau Sigma), Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), Mechanical Engineering Graduate Student Association (MEGA).  These activities promote the importance of networking through regular meetings, inviting memorable guest speakers, taking field trips to visit companies who recruit our students, and participating in regional competitions and conferences.  

If you are a prospective undergraduate or graduate student, a faculty or staff member, alum, a recruiter from industry or government, or a potential donor, you’ll find that the MEM Department at Drexel is a great place. Feel free to browse our website to learn more about the exciting opportunities abound in our department. If you would like additional information, please contact me by mail, telephone, fax, or E-mail, and I’ll be more than happy to assist you.

Suhada Jayasuriya, Ph.D., P.E.
University Distinguished Professor and Head
MEM Department
Room 115, Randell Hall
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Phone: (215) 895-1481
Fax: (215) 895-1478