Home About UH Academic Calendar Courses Undergraduate Education Graduate Education Degrees, Minors, & Certificates Colleges, Schools, & Academic Units


General Information


Undergraduate Programs

Graduate Programs

Student Organizations

Honors and Awards

Civil and Environmental Engineering

Electrical Engineering

Mechanical Engineering

Mechanical Engineering

Holmes 302
2540 Dole Street
Honolulu, HI 96822

Tel: (808) 956-7167
Fax: (808) 956-2373
E-Mail: meoffice@eng.hawaii.edu
Web: www.eng.hawaii.edu/ME/


*Graduate Faculty

*B. E. Liebert, PhD (Chair)—materials, corrosion, failure analysis
*J. S. Allen, PhD—acoustics, bubblology, biomedical applications
*P. J. Berkelman, PhD—haptic interfaces, surgical robotics, magnetic levitation
*B. H. Chao, PhD—combustion, perturbation methods
*C. F. M. Coimbra, PhD—applied math in multiphase flows, heat and mass transfer
*M. N. M. Ghasemi Nejhad, PhD—thermomechanics, composite materials processing
*L. H. Hihara, PhD—materials, corrosion, mechanical behavior of materials
K. M. Htun, PhD—properties of materials, materials processing
*R. H. Knapp, PhD—solid mechanics, design
*M. Kobayashi, PhD—computational fluid dynamics, aeroacoustics, dynamical systems
*L. H. Laiho, PhD—design, biomedical imaging, optical biopsy, spectroscopy, tissue engineering
*W. Qu, PhD—boiling heat transfer, microscale heat transfer, heat sinks
*Y. Yan, PhD—robotics, controls, biomolecular imaging

Adjunct Faculty

*J. Yuh, PhD—control, robotics, design

Cooperating Graduate Faculty

M. J. Antal Jr., PhD—alternate energy, combustion
C. M. Kinoshita, PhD—combustion, energy systems, thermochemical systems
B. Y. Liaw, PhD—materials, energy conversion, solid-state ionics
S. M. Masutani, PhD—combustion, turbulent transport phenomena, energy systems
R. Rocheleau, PhD—thin film ceramic materials
S. Q. Turn, PhD—thermo chemical energy conversion, fuels processing, energy systems

Degrees Offered: BS in mechanical engineering, MS in mechanical engineering, PhD in mechanical engineering

Mission Statement

The overriding objective of the Department of Mechanical Engineering at UH Manoa is to prepare students for successful professional careers and lifelong learning and to instill in them principles of ethical behavior that will lead to their being concerned, good citizens of their community and the world. Achievement of this overriding objective requires the achievement of the following three major “component objectives”:


  • to teach our students the basic laws of nature that are relevant to the fields of mechanical engineering, and to closely related fields, and how to use those laws to formulate and solve engineering problems using applicable analytical, computational, and experimental techniques;
  • to develop in our students the skills pertinent to the design process, to think creatively, to communicate effectively, and to work collaboratively;
  • to instill in our students an understanding and acceptance of their professional and ethical responsibilities, a respect for diversity of opinion and culture, and a concern for a healthy and aesthetic environment.


In order to achieve the Mission Statement, the ME students are educated to effectively develop:

  1. an ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering
  2. an ability to design and conduct experiments, analyze and interpret data
  3. an ability to design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs
  4. an ability to solve multidisciplinary problems
  5. an ability to identify, formulate and solve engineering problems
  6. an understanding of professional and ethical responsibility
  7. an ability to communicate effectively
  8. the broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a social context
  9. a sound basis and motivation to engage in life-long learning
  10. a knowledge of contemporary issues
  11. an ability to use the techniques, skills and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice
  12. an understanding and concern for the need of the State of Hawai‘i to expand and diversify its economic and technological base
  13. valuable life-long friendships with classmates and a sense of pride in, and a desire to support their Ala Mater after graduation.

The Academic Program

Mechanical engineering (ME) is concerned with the design of all types of machines, conversion of energy from one form to another, instrumentation and control of all types of physical and chemical processes, the manufacturing and utilization of engineering materials, and control of human and machine environments. Mechanical engineers conceive, plan, design, and direct the manufacture, distribution, and operation of a wide variety of devices, machines, instruments, materials, and systems used for energy conversion, heat and mass transfer, biomedical applications, environmental control, control of human and machine environment, physical and chemical process control, materials processing, transportation, manufacture of consumer products, materials handling, and measurements. Mechanical engineers also employ Computer Aided Design (CAD), Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM), Computer Aided Testing (CAT), Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD), computer modeling and simulations, novel materials, robotics, and mechatronics (integration of computers with electromechanical systems) in their day-to-day activities. Mechanical engineers find opportunities for employment in every branch of industry and in a variety of government agencies. Work may involve research, development, design, analysis, manufacture, testing, marketing, or management.

Undergraduate Study

Bachelor’s Degree

The BS degree requires completion of at least 125 credit hours of course work. The curriculum consists of a group of required courses chosen to provide the students with the basic tools for the professional practice of mechanical engineering and to assist students in developing a sense of responsibility as professionals. The objectives of the lower division curriculum are to build a foundation in the basic sciences and mathematics, provide an introduction to engineering design and professional ethics, develop communications and computer programming skills, and acquire an appreciation for the humanities and social sciences. The objectives of the upper division program are to provide a sound foundation in the engineering sciences; build on that foundation for applications in the areas of energy conversion, mechanical systems and control, experimentation, and manufacturing; and encourage creativity culminating in a “capstone” design experience. To provide sufficient flexibility, technical elective courses enable students to acquire additional competence in areas compatible with their career objectives.

All electives are subject to the approval of an adviser.

College Requirements

Students must complete the College Requirement courses for engineering (see “Undergraduate Programs” within the College of Engineering).

Departmental Requirements

Students must complete the following coursework:

  • ME 113 Introduction to Engineering Design (2)
  • ME 213 Introduction to Engineering Design II (2)
  • CEE 270 Applied Mechanics I (3)
  • CEE 271 Applied Mechanics II (3)
  • MATH 190 Basic and Fortran Programming (1)
  • MATH 302 Introduction to Differential Equations I (3)
  • MATH 407 Numerical Analysis (3) or PHYS 305 Computational Physics (3)
  • EE 211 Basic Circuit Analysis I (4)
  • ME 331 Materials Science and Engineering (3)
  • ME 341 Manufacturing Processes/Lab (3/1)
  • ME 371 Mechanics of Solids (3)
  • ME 372 Component Design (3)
  • ME 373 Experimental Stress Analysis (2)
  • ME 374 Kinematics/Dynamics Machinery (3)
  • ME 375 Dynamics of Machines and Systems (3)
  • ME 311 Thermodynamics (3)
  • ME 312 Applied Thermodynamics (3)
  • ME 322 Mechanics of Fluids (3)
  • ME 422 Heat Transfer (3)
  • ME 401 Mechanical Engineering Experimentation (3)
  • ME 402 Dynamics Systems Lab (2)
  • ME 480 Thermoflud Design (3)
  • ME 481 Design Project I (3)
  • ME 482 Design Project II (3)
  • Technical electives (9). Three courses that can be selected from ME 400-level technical electives (3), CEE 405 and another that can be replaced with a non-ME course (3) (with approval from chair), and a second that can be replaced with an ME 600-level course (3) (3.00 GPA minimum and approval from chair) or ME 499 (3).

Graduate Study

The department offers graduate programs leading to MS and PhD degrees in mechanical engineering, with areas of concentration in thermal and fluid sciences conversion (heat and mass transfer, thermodynamics, combustion, thermal environmental engineering), in materials/manufacturing (composite and smart materials, mechanical properties, failure analysis, electrochemistry and corrosion, processing, marine materials), and in mechanics, systems, and controls (robotics, dynamics, control, continuum mechanics). For qualified graduate students, teaching assistantships, research assistantships, and scholarships are available.

Master’s Degree

Applicants for admission to the MS program must have completed a BS degree in engineering or its equivalent from a reputable institution.


Students are required to follow the Plan A (thesis) program. However, under special circumstances, a petition to follow Plan B (non-thesis) may be granted by the graduate faculty. A minimum of 30 credit hours is required for graduation, including 1 credit hour for seminar. Plan A students must take 8 credit hours for thesis, 12 credit hours in the ME 600 course series, and 9 credit hours in technical electives. Technical elective courses must be at the 400 level or above, selected from engineering, mathematics, or physical sciences approved by the student’s thesis committee.

For graduation, each candidate must present an acceptable thesis (research report for Plan B) and must pass a final oral examination based on the thesis for Plan A or on the course work and the research report for Plan B.

Doctoral Degree

Applicants for admission to the PhD program must have completed the requirements for the MS in mechanical engineering at UH Manoa or an equivalent degree from a reputable institution.


Intended candidates for the PhD are required to pass an oral qualifying examination within the prescribed period of time. The purpose of the qualifying examination is to judge students’ ability to pursue research. After passing the qualifying examination, the student will be admitted to the status of “candidate” in the PhD program. At the discretion of the qualifying examination committee, students who fail the qualifying examination will be dropped from the program.

Students must satisfactorily complete a minimum of 50 credit hours in course work beyond the BS level. They are required to select one major and one minor field of study within the following three areas of concentration: materials/manufacturing, mechanics/systems/controls, or thermal/fluid sciences.

Students who enter the program may, with the approval of the graduate chair, be credited with up to 30 credits for equivalent work to be counted toward their PhD-credit-hour requirement. Up to 8 of these 30 credit hours may be assigned for prior MS thesis work. Students who possess a second MS degree may be credited with up to 9 additional credit hours for equivalent work. Up to 6 credit hours may be assigned for course work taken as an unclassified graduate student. All courses shall be selected by students but must be approved in writing by their committees. These courses must form an integrated education plan. A minimum of 2 credit hours in ME 691 or its equivalent must be included in every PhD program.

Students who desire teaching experience may, with the approval of the PhD committee chair, request that the department chair assign them teaching responsibility for a particular undergraduate course. The department chair will determine whether students are qualified to teach the course in question, and, if they are deemed qualified, they may be given the teaching assignment. Students who teach a course or courses will be assigned a maximum of 3 credit hours toward their PhD course work requirements.

Comprehensive Examination

PhD candidates must pass an oral comprehensive examination to demonstrate their comprehension of the chosen areas of study relevant to their dissertation proposals and basic knowledge of courses taken in their major and minor fields. Students who fail the comprehensive examination may, at the discretion of the graduate faculty concerned, repeat it once after at least six months. Students who fail the examination a second time will be dropped from the program.

Final Examination

Students are required to complete a satisfactory doctoral dissertation and to pass an oral final examination based primarily upon the dissertation. The final examination will be administered by the respective PhD committee. A student passes the final examination upon the favorable recommendation of a majority of the PhD committee.

ME Courses