Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering College of Engineering University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering College of Engineering University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Lincoln, NE
student ratio
total students
average amount to complete degree
fall application deadline
Not Reported
acceptance rate
9 Degrees Offered
degrees offered


Programs of Study

The Department of Mechanical & Materials Engineering offers programs leading to the MS and PhD degrees in mechanical engineering, materials engineering, biomedical engineering, and engineering mechanics. There are 7 primary areas of emphasis within the department:

- Thermal sciences

- Fluid mechanics

- Solid mechanics

- Systems, design and controls

- Dynamics and vibrations

- Computational methods

- Materials engineering

The department also has 4 strategic focus areas of emphasis:

- Biomedical engineering

- Energy

- Micro/nanotechnology

- Materials

The department offers a broad program of study leading to MS degrees in mechanical engineering (ME), engineering mechanics (EM), or international double master's degrees in mechanical engineering and materials engineering (MEME) or engineering mechanics and materials engineering (EMME). The thesis-based master's requires 24 hours of graduate course work and at least 6 hours of thesis credit. Students may obtain MS degrees in mechanical engineering with specializations in metallurgical engineering or, by taking stronger materials course concentrations, with specializations in materials science engineering. It typically takes 2 years to complete the master's program. The international double master's in mechanical engineering and materials engineering (MEME) includes one year at UNL and one year in the materials program at the University of Rouen in France. The international double master's in engineering mechanics and materials engineering (EMME) includes one year at UNL and one year in the materials program at either the University of Rouen in France, or at Lulea Technological University in Sweden.

Students in the doctoral program may obtain the Doctor of Philosophy in engineering with designated fields of mechanical engineering, engineering mechanics, or materials engineering. A PhD supervisory committee, in consultation with the student, arranges an appropriate program of doctoral course work. Some areas require qualifying examinations after the completion of the first year of study. After the course work is substantially completed, the graduate student must pass a written comprehensive exam administered by the supervisory committee. In addition to the course work, doctoral students must complete written PhD dissertations with oral presentations and defenses. It typically requires 3 years of study after the MS is earned to complete the PhD, but an MS is not required for admission.

Research Facilities

In addition to individual faculty research facilities on polymers, bio-materials, blast mechanics, nano-polymers, magnetic materials, trauma-mechanics, and many other areas, there are a number of specialized research laboratories in the Department of Mechanical & Materials Engineering. These include:

- The Advanced Nanomaterials and Nanomanufacturing Laboratory, which is a multidisciplinary experimental facility on nanomanufacturing, nanomaterials, and nano/micromechanics;

- The Atomic Force Microscopy, Nano-Indentation, and Nano-DMA Laboratory, which is a research facility focused on characterization of elastic and inelastic characteristics of traditional and biological materials at the nano scale;

- The Computational Thermal-Fluid Sciences Laboratory, which is a state-of-the-art workstation facility for research using finite-difference, finite-element, and Green's functions methods applied to problems in fluid flow, heat transfer, combustion, and DNA replication;

- The Computational Mechanics Laboratory, which is a constantly evolving computational facility used to support the blast loading facility, the modeling and simulation of complex material response, solving inverse problems with medical applications, and the non-local analysis of fracture;

- The Midwest Roadside Safety Facility, which focuses on the design, simulation, and crash testing of roadside safety;

- The Dynamic Loading and Dynamic Tribology Laboratory, which is a leading-edge facility focused on tribology and materials characterization under impact loading using high speed loading and optical facility;

- The Dynamics, Vibrations, and Ultrasonic Materials Characterization Laboratory, which is focused on characterization of material properties and defects through vibration interactions and acoustic wave propagation and scattering;

- The Polymer Composites and Nondestructive Evaluation Laboratory, which is focused on the construction and evaluation of advanced polymer composites;

- The Robotics and Mechatronics Laboratory, which performs research on surgical, industrial, planetary, mobile, and highway maintenance robots;

- The Thin Film Laboratory, which is focused on thin-film deposition and characterization, with work in the X-Ray Diffraction Laboratory focuses on powder and single-crystal X-ray diffraction;

- Physical/Mechanical Materials Characterization Laboratory, which is focused on measurement and characterization of the mechanical and physical properties of materials;

- and The Central Facility for Electron Microscopy, which provides hands-on access, with training, to comprehensive, well-equipped electron microscopes, sample preparation, and related computing for surface and nanoscale observation and characterization of materials. It is supported by the university's Nebraska Center for Materials and Nanoscience.

Financial Aid

Approximately 65 percent of the department's full-time graduate students are currently supported by research assistantships, teaching assistantships, and/or fellowships. Applicants with degrees from US institutions and highly qualified international students are considered for such awards on a competitive basis. In addition to monthly stipends, students holding research or teaching assistantships receive tuition waivers so they pay only program and facilities fees.

Overall Cost of Study

Fees are based on the number of hours the student is enrolled; to calculate, refer to Students are expected to pay the program and facilities fees, library fees, engineering fees, course fees, registration fees, and international fees. N-Card charges and late fees may apply.

Living and Housing Costs

For more information on campus housing, visit Privately owned rental units within walking distance are also readily available; these units are advertised by the owners.

Student Group

The Department of Mechanical & Mechanical Engineering has approximately 86 full-time and 5 part-time graduate students. Approximately 65 percent of the graduate students are supported either by the department or research. The student population is diverse; currently 60 percent of the students in the department are international students.

Student Outcomes

MS and PhD graduates readily find positions in a wide range of academic institutions, government agencies, consulting firms, and industries. National and international employers include Black & Veatch, Boeing, Caterpillar, Ford, General Electric, General Motors, Goodyear, Honda, Intel, McDonnell-Douglas, SIMULIA and Toyota. MS graduates also continue onto PhDs at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln or elsewhere.


Lincoln is located in the Great Plains and has the reputation of being one of the Midwest's most beloved cities, with a population of more than 250,000 people. As Nebraska's state capital and a university community, Lincoln provides the amenities of a big city and the serenity of country living. The city offers fine culinary and artistic experiences, a live music scene, numerous parks and bike trails, golf courses, and a friendly Midwestern attitude. The continental climate varies by season; winters are cold but relatively dry, and summers are hot and humid.

The University and The Department

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) is the largest component of the University of Nebraska system. UNL began as a land-grant university chartered in 1869 and granted its first engineering degree in 1882. Mechanical & Materials Engineering is one of eleven departments in the college and has the only mechanical engineering program in the state of Nebraska. The student population on the Lincoln campus is over 24,600 students and over 2,700 of those students are enrolled in engineering programs. Current enrollment in the Department of Mechanical & Materials Engineering is over 480 undergraduate and 140 graduate students.


Applicants for MS degrees should select either:

- Mechanical Engineering. Students who select mechanical engineering must specify interest areas: thermal/fluids, systems/design, or materials. They must also specify interest in the double international masters in Mechanical Engineering and Materials Engineering (MEME) with the University of Rouen, France.

- Engineering Mechanics. Students who select engineering mechanics must specify interest in the double international masters in Engineering Mechanics and Materials Engineering (EMME) with the University of Rouen, France.

PhD applicants should specify engineering and select one of the following field areas:

- Mechanical Engineering

- Engineering Mechanics

- Materials Engineering

- Biomedical Engineering

PhD applicants need not have MS degrees.

Applicants to the MS or PhD programs should have BS degrees in mechanical engineering or in closely related fields of engineering, science, or math.

Applicants to the MS in mechanical engineering with a metallurgical or materials specialization or the PhD in engineering in the field of materials engineering are expected to have BS degrees in mechanical engineering or materials science or in closely related fields of engineering or science.

International applicants without degrees from US institutions are required to take the TOEFL test and are highly encouraged to take the GRE General Test, particularly if they want to be considered for financial support. Faculty members in each applicant's area of interest evaluate his or her application on an individual basis. Applications are evaluated as they arrive, and full processing of an application may take about 2 months. Applicants who lack the background that is a prerequisite for required courses in their chosen programs are informed of any required prerequisite courses in their letters of offer of admission.

Faculty and Research

E. Baesu, Associate Professor; Ph.D., Berkley, 1998. Solid mechanics: electromechanical effects, fiber networks, and biomechanics.

J. P. Barton, Professor; Ph.D., Stanford, 1980. Laser beam/particle interactions, acoustics, electromagnetic wave theory, high-temperature gas dynamics, fluid mechanics, experimental methods, data acquisition and analysis.

R. Bishu, Professor; Ph.D., SUNY Buffalo, 1985. Ergonomics, quality control, information processing, design and experiments, and statistics.

F. Bobaru, Associate Professor; Ph.D., Cornell, 2001. Computational methods: peridynamics for fracture and impact, nanostructured materials, meshfree methods for shape and material optimization, granular materials on vibrating structures, multidisciplinary optimization, inverse problems, adaptive refinement, and multiscale and multiphysics methods.

N. Chandra, Professor; Ph.D., Texas A&M, 1986. Computational material science, mechanics of nano, bio, and structural materials, finite deformation, multiscale modeling and simulation, molecular dynamics, nonlinear finite elements, cohesive zone models and fracture, superplasticity, composites, high velocity impact, interfaces in solids, thermal properties of nanoscale composites.

K. D. Cole, Professor; Ph.D., Michigan State, 1986. Heat transfer and diffusion theory, Green's functions and symbolic computation, numerical modeling, thermal sensor technology, thermal conductivity measurements.

Y. Dzenis, R. Vernon McBroom Professor; Ph.D. U. Texas-Arlington, 1994, and Latvian Academy of Sciences, Latvia, 1990. Advanced functional nanomaterials and nanomanufacturing.

S. M. Farritor, Professor; Ph.D., MIT, 1998. Robotics for planetary exploration, design and control of mobile robot systems, industrial robot programming, mobile robot planning, modular design, computer-aided creative design.

R. Feng, Professor; Ph.D., Johns Hopkins, 1993. Experimental and computational mechanics of materials: Inelastic deformation, damage and failure mechanisms, high strain rate and shock wave phenomena, rheology of polymers and polymer compounds, surface mechanics and tribology, polycrystal modeling and simulations, and hybrid atomistic-continuum modeling and simulations of defects/heterogeneities.

L. Fernandez-Ballester, Research Assistant Professor; Ph.D., CalTech, 2007. Understanding the relationship between molecular structure, processing conditions, morphology obtained and final properties in polymers with emphasis on revealing the pathway and kinetics of structure formation in real-time.

G. Gogos, Professor; Ph.D., U. Pennsylvania, 1986. Computational heat transfer and fluid flow; perturbation methods; fundamental processes associated with vaporizing/combusting sprays with applications in liquid-fueled rocket engines, gas turbines, diesel engines, and industrial furnaces (evaporation/combustion of moving droplets, subcritical and supercritical droplet evaporation, transition of envelop to wake flames in burning droplets, droplet interactions, interaction of sprays and buoyant diffusion flames); natural convection; heat transfer and material deposition in rotational molding.

L. Gu, Assistant Professor, Ph.D., U. Florida, 2004. Computational mechanics with experimental validation, multiscale modeling, fluid-structure interaction, material characterization, traumatic brain injury, vascular mechanics including vascular remodeling, mechanism of in-stent restenosis and atherosclerosis, minimally invasive medical device design.

S. Hallbeck, Professor; Ph.D., Virginia Polytechnic, 1990. Innovative design and ergonomic analysis: Development of laparoscopic surgical tools, methodology standardization for operating room medical device usability, development of neutron detection sensors.

J. Hawks, Research Assistant Professor; Ph.D., U. of Nebraska-Lincoln, 2010. Robotics and design.

J. Huang, Assistant Professor; Ph.D., UCLA, 2007. Polymer solar cells, organic field-effect transistors, organic photodetectors, organic spintronics, polymer light emitting diodes, nano-based sensors and capacitors.

J. Y. Jung Yul Lim, Assistant Professor; Ph.D., Seoul National University, Korea, 1999. Utilization of biomaterial surface engineering/patterning tools (nanotexturing, surface energy tuning, chemical or topographic micro/nanopatterning) in combination with biophysical stimuli (shear stress, mechanical strain, high pressure loading) to regulate functions of stem cells, musculoskeletal cells, neuronal cells, etc.

S. Ndao, Assistant Professor; Ph.D., Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), 2010. Micro/Nano systems energy conversion, storage and power generation, Micro/Nanoscale Heat Transfer, Microscale combustion, Microfluidics & Functional nanofluids, Multiphase flow/heat transfer, BioMEMS, Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS).

M. Nastasi, Elmer Koch Professor and Director of the Nebraska Center for Energy Sciences Research (NCESR); Ph.D., Cornell, 1986. Ion-solid interactions, irradiation induced phase transformations, ion irradiation and plasma modification of materials, ion beam analysis of materials, synthesis and properties of high strength nanolayered composites, and surface mechanical properties.

M. Negahban, Professor and Associate Chair for Graduate Studies and Research; Ph.D., U. Michigan, 1988. Theoretical modeling, computational simulation, and experimental characterize of large deformation thermo-mechanical response of polymers and biological materials, inverse problems, dynamic loading, inelastic and plastic response.

C. A. Nelson, Associate Professor; Ph.D., Purdue, 2005. Design and analysis of robotic and mechanical systems, robot-assisted surgery, design of novel medical devices, modular design, applied graph theory, rehabilitation engineering.

K. P. Rajurkar, Professor; Ph.D., Michigan Tech., 1981. Modeling and analysis of manufacturing processes, systems sensing and control of traditional and nontraditional macro, micro and nano manufacturing processes.

J. D. Reid, Professor; Ph.D., Michigan State, 1990. Vehicle crashworthiness and roadside safety design, analysis, and simulation; vehicle dynamics; nonlinear, large deformation, finite-element analysis; computer simulation.

B. W. Robertson, Professor; Ph.D., Glasgow, 1979. Nanoscale and nanostructured materials; electron beam-induced fabrication of materials with nm-scale resolution; development and application of characterization methods and instrumentation for quantitative nm-scale electron microscopy and spectroscopy; plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition of boron-carbide materials; novel materials for electronic, magnetic, and neutron detection, extreme radiation, and extreme temperature applications.

S. Ryu, Assistant Professor; Ph.D., MIT, 2009. Experimental investigations of multi-scale phenomena of fluid flow and cellular mechanics, and their applications in engineering systems.

J. E. Shield, Professor and Chair; Ph.D., Iowa State, 1992. Microstructural evolution in materials during processing, rapid solidification processing, structure/property relationships in magnetic materials, order/disorder transformations in materials, nucleation and growth, materials characterization by X-ray and electron diffraction and electron microscopy.

W. M. Szydlowski, Associate Professor; Ph.D., Warsaw Technical, 1975. Analysis and synthesis of mechanisms, computer simulation of mechanical systems, dynamics of machinery (mechanical impact and mechanisms of intermittent motion with clearances in particular), redundant constraints in large mechanical systems, application of genetic algorithms to synthesis of mechanisms.

L. Tan, Harold and Esther Edgerton Associate Professor; Ph.D., U. Michigan, 2002. Material design, self-assembly, and nanomanufacturing. Mechanics of nanomaterials and nanostructures.

B. S. Terry, Assistant Professor; Ph.D., U. Colorado-Boulder, 2012. Novel, long-term, ambulatory biosensors, expert systems for predictive failure analysis of biological systems, therapeutic medical devices, tissue mechanics.

C. W. S. To, Professor; Ph.D., Southampton, 1980. Sound and vibration studies (acoustic pulsation in pipelines, railway noise and vibration, signal analysis, structural dynamics, random vibration, nonlinear and chaotic vibration), solid mechanics (linear and nonlinear finite-element methods with application to laminated composite shell structures and modeling of aorta dissection), system dynamics (nonlinear and rigid-body dynamics), controls (deterministic and stochastic), nanomechanics.

J. A. Turner, Professor; Ph.D., U. Illinois, 1994. Experimental ultrasonics, nanoindentation, atomic-force microscopy, elastic wave propagation and scattering, linear and nonlinear vibrations, structural acoustics.

T. Wei, Professor and Dean of the College of Engineering; Ph.D. U. Michigan, 1987, Fluid dynamics.

R. Williams, Associate Professor; Ph.D. Nebraska, 1993. Abrasive flow machining, nontraditional finishing processes, rapid prototyping, tooling.

J. Yang, Professor; Ph.D., Princeton, 1994. Nonlinear mechanics of piezoelectric materials. Frequency stability of piezoelectric crystal resonators.

Z. Zhang, Associate Professor; Ph.D., Penn State, 2000. Numerical and experimental study of the laser-induced plasma and its application to pulsed laser deposition of thin films, numerical modeling of diesel particulate filters and other after-treatment devices, blast wave mitigation devices.

Location & Contact

Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering

College of Engineering
University of Nebraska-Lincoln

W342 Nebraska Hall
Lincoln, NE 68588-0526
United States

Dr. Jeffrey Shield


Phone: 402-472-2375

Jan Hostetler

Director of Graduate Admissions

Phone: 402-472-2878
Fax: 402-472-0589

Request More Info

Degrees & Award

  • Degrees Offered
    • Major Degree Levels Offered
    • Master of Science/Master of Science (MS/MS)
    • Mechanical Engineering Master of Science (MS) [metallurgical engineering]
      Master of Science (MS) [materials science engineering]
      Master of Science (MS) Dual degree program in mechanical engineering and materials engineering (MEME), with University of Rouen-France
    • Mechanical Engineering And Applied Mechanics Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
    • Materials Engineering Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
    • Engineering Mechanics Master of Science (MS)
      Master of Science (MS) Dual degree program in engineering mechanics and materials engineering (EMME), with University of Rouen-France and Lulea Technological University-Sweden
    • Biomedical Engineering Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
  • Degrees Awarded
    • Master's Degrees 9
    • Doctoral Degrees Not reported
    • First Professional Degrees Not reported
    • Other Advanced Degrees Not reported
    • * Shows the number of degrees awarded for the last academic year that data was reported.
  • Earning Your Degree
    • Part-time study available? Not reported
    • Evening/weekend programs available? Not reported
    • Distance learning programs available? Not reported
    • Terminal master's degree available? Not reported
  • Degree Requirements
    • Master's Degrees Optional
    • Doctoral Degrees Required and Required
    • First Professional Degrees Not reported
    • Other Advanced Degrees Not reported


  • Acceptance Rate
    • Applied Not Reported
    • Accepted Not Reported
    • Acceptance Rate Not Reported
    • Enrolled Not Reported
  • Applying
    • Application Fee - Domestic $40
    • Application Fee - International $40
    • Electronic applications accepted? Yes
    • Applications processed on a rolling basis? Yes
  • Application Deadlines
    • Type Domestic International Priority Date
    • Fall deadline March 1st Not Reported
    • Winter deadline Not Reported Not Reported Not Reported
    • Spring deadline Not Reported Not Reported Not Reported
  • Entrance Requirements
    • Master's DegreesGRE General Test
    • Doctoral's DegreesGRE General Test
    • First-Professional's DegreesNot Reported
    • Other Advanced DegreesNot Reported
    • International DegreesTOEFL required, 550 paper based

Tuition & Fees

  • Tuition & Fees
    • In-state tuition *$4,275
    • Out-of-state tuition *$11,525
    • International student tuition *$23,789.76
    • * Tuition for full-time graduate student per academic year
  • Fees
    • Per-academic year fees$1,400.30
    • Per-term feesNot Reported
    • One-time feeNot Reported
    • * Fees for full-time graduate students
  • Financial Support
    • Financial award applicants must submitNot Reported
    • Application deadlines for financial awardsNot Reported
    • Types of financial support availableResearch assistantships, teaching assistantships, and some non-departmental fellowships and scholarships

Student Body

  • Gender
    • Total Graduate Students139
    • Female Percentage49%
    • Male Percentage51%
  • Participation
    • Total Graduate Students139
    • Part-time Percentage26%
    • Full-time Percentage74%
  • Ethnicity
    • Hispanic / Latino5%
    • Black / African American0%
    • White / Caucasian91%
    • American Indian / Alaskan Native0%
    • Asian0%
    • Native Hawaiian / Other Pacific Islander0%
    • Two or more races0%
    • Unknown4%


  • Faculty Breakout
    • Total Faculty34
    • Full-time Percentage100%
    • Part-time Percentage0%
    • Female Percentage12%
    • Male Percentage88%


  • Existing Research
    • Focus of faculty researchMedical robotics, rehabilitation dynamics, and design; combustion, fluid mechanics, and heat transfer; nano-materials, manufacturing, and devices; fiber, tissue, bio-polymer, and adaptive composites; blast, impact, fracture, and failure; electro-active and magnetic materials and devices; functional materials, design, and added manufacturing; materials characterization, modeling, and computational simulation
    • Externally sponsored research expenditures last year$8,000,000