Mechanical Engineering

All engineers solve problems.

Mechanical engineers get to pick the most interesting problems, because we consider our field to be the most wide-ranging, versatile, and flexible.

By choosing mechanical engineering, you’ll be learning how natural elements in our world work, like heat and cold; fluids, solids, and gases; metals, plastics, and even human tissue—and how to control the stresses, motions, and designs of those elements.

Mechanical engineering is one of the oldest branches of engineering, and has been taught at UW–Madison for a century and a half. Over that time, traditional areas like manufacturing have evolved into fascinating studies of sustainable technologies using sensors, simulations, and a huge range of new materials. Our renowned energy labs are not just improving combustion-engine efficiency but also renewable energies and cryogenic strategies for quantum computing.

Today, mechanical engineering at UW–Madison means exploring nanotechnology and soft materials. It means wearable electronics, haptics, prostheses, and rehabilitation robotics.

It means high-performance computing to model and predict extremely complex interactions. It means cell and tissue mechanics and how physical forces affect joints and the brain.

Look over the courses that we teach. Learn more about the department, our research, and degrees.


UW–Madison has one of the top mechanical engineering programs in the nation, chosen by 1080 undergraduate and 230 graduate students (2021–2022 academic year).

It is also home to 36 faculty, 10 instructional staff, and 20 faculty affiliates (browse the directory).


We are hiring four assistant professors (2022 start):
• machine learning, AI, and data-driven approaches to modeling, simulation, and design; and
• robotics, controls, and automation.

Earn your degree

Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering

The flexibility of a mechanical engineering degree may surprise you. Courses in this long-standing branch of engineering have grown and expanded to combine both the fundamentals of motion, stress, heat, and fluids with the most cutting-edge explorations into how to apply these systems in manufacturing, health care, transportation, and sustainable energy careers.

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Master of Science and PhD in Mechanical Engineering

Graduate students benefit from a tier-one research university, working on pioneering research through grants from industry and government. Additionally, the department’s series of distinguished seminar speakers broadens exposure to current research endeavors in both academia and industry. Many of our graduates go on to academic careers as research or tenure track professors, while others will secure advanced positions in industrial and research institution careers.

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