Regardless of area of concentration, hands-on research in labs, interdisciplinary research centers or other facilities provides invaluable experience to the mechanical engineering student. Working with the tools and technologies of the trade on open-ended problems creates a paradigm of best practices and standards.
Honors Research–Senior Year
If you are interested in working on a research project with a faculty member in order to obtain "Department Research Honors" at graduation, here is what you need to do:
- Now (before you register for fall semester senior year) is the time to start planning.
- To obtain "Department Research Honors" at graduation, you must have a QPA of 3.2 or higher. You must also have completed at least 18 units of research under 24-491/492 Departmental Research Honors with a grade of B or better. Your faculty mentor establishes the requirements for your course grade; a written thesis describing your research and results is required to obtain recognition and the certificate for research honors at graduation.
- Find and shop around for a faculty member with whom you would like to work on a project. You need not necessarily have taken a class from that professor. Check the faculty listing on the department's web site to become familiar with different research areas and projects that are underway. Stop by during office hours or send an email to the professor and discuss your
- interest. You could also have a project of your own in mind that you can suggest as a research topic. You might need to meet with several potential advisers and discuss projects until you converge on the right one for you. The project should be intellectually challenging, and of a scope that can be completed in one academic year. Projects must be supervised by a mechanical engineering faculty member. Summaries of research project information are also available in SH 426
- During the registration period enroll in 24-491/492 Departmental Research Honors. You will need a total of 18 units, so consider signing up for 9 units each semester of the senior year. Note that this represents a commitment of 9 hours per week of work on the research project. Your advisor will expect you to show initiative, and be productive at that level of effort. Registration for these courses is handled by the Academic Advisor in Scaife 426. Please have the name of your faculty advisor and the number of units available when you ask for course registration.
- You can potentially also work on the project over the summer, to the extent that your advisor has funds to support you with a stipend. You cannot be paid as a research assistant over the summer and receive course credit at the same time.
- Juniors with an accumulated QPA of 3.5 will be invited to participate in the CIT Honors Research Program. A student who completes all requirements for CIT Honors Research (please register in the Dean's Office for 18 units of 39-500) will also receive Departmental Research Honors recognition at commencement provided the project is completed under the supervision of a mechanical engineering faculty member.