University of Florida - Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Chairman's Message

    I would like to introduce myself and offer a warm hello to all of our students and alumni. This summer (2011), I accepted the role of Department Chair of MAE and now find myself halfway through the fall semester. As I reflect back on the last five months, it is difficult to believe that time has passed so quickly. I would like to say a few words about my background, about where we now stand as a department, and about the vision of what we hope to achieve.

    I joined the former ME Department in 1998, went through the merger with the AEMES Department in 2002, and served as our Associate Chair for Academics for the past three years.

    I have witnessed dramatic growth in our department over this period; for example, I saw the enrollment in my undergraduate heat transfer class climb from 53 students in spring 1999 to more than 160 students in spring 2009.

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Mission & Vision

    The Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering department defines four objectives as the cornerstones of its mission. The first objective is naturally education. As an outstanding department in a top tier university, the department has an obligation to provide exceptional educational experiences to its students at the BS, MS, and PhD levels. Along these lines we are charged with the preparation of students in the mechanical and aerospace engineering fields for future leadership in industry, academia, and government. Our second objective is to conduct state-of-the-art basic and collaborative research towards advancing science and technology in mechanical engineering and aerospace engineering. Research is the lifeblood of any influential university. Thirdly we provide service to professional societies, our local community, and the state of Florida. With partnerships come great results and we keep this in the forefront of our activities as we partner with industry to address the needs of professional societies. Finally we profess our support of the college of engineering and the university in the fulfillment of their missions.

    Our vision for fulfilling our mission is composed of the following:

  • Attract, develop, and retain the best faculty and staff. Employing top people in our faculty and staff positions allow us to provide the educational experiences expected of our department. Faculty are the foundation of a strong department.
  • Recruit and educate the best undergraduate and graduate students. A department without students is an empty house. Students perform research which advances the department and it is the achievements of students which reflect on the department when our students find success in the world.
  • Conduct internationally recognized and well-funded fundamental & applied research. By performing research which is well-funded we ensure that our efforts coincide with relevant interests in the engineering community.
  • Maintain state-of-the-art teaching and research facilities. Investing in our facilities allows us to fulfill our educational and research goals.

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Research Summary

    Research in MAE covers a wide range of subjects and employs the latest experimental and high-speed computational techniques. Mechanical Engineering is broad in scope, encompassing design and analysis of vehicles, robotics, machinery, thermal and fluid engineering, and energy. Aerospace Engineering deals with all aspects of atmospheric and space flight such as aerodynamics, structural dynamics, propulsion, and vehicles dynamics and control. Most graduate students and many undergraduates participate in research which provides financial support and the basis for theses, dissertations, and external publications.

    Academic Programs leading to Bachelors, Masters, and PhD degrees are offered. Aerospace engineering studies may focus on aeronautics or astronautics and involve studies at the forefront of science, technology, and systems management associated with aircraft and spacecraft. Mechanical engineering studies may focus on vehicle design and power such as ships, trains, automobiles, and space vehicles. The design of intelligent machines and robots as well as the gears, cams, bearings, and couplings that facilitate and control all kinds of mechanical motion are an integral part of mechanical engineering.

    Faculty, staff, and students form the heart of MAE. A distinguished faculty including two members of the National Academy of Engineering, is supported by technical, computational, and administrative staff. Students benefit from social and professional opportunities through various student professional societies, such as the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the Society of Automotive Engineers, and the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

    We hope that you find our activities interesting and that you will want to join us.

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History of MAE

    In one sense aeronautical/aerospace engineering has come full circle at the University of Florida. An aeronautical option in the mechanical engineering department started in 1941. Aeronautical engineering became a separate department in 1946 with a faculty of three, leaving mechanical engineering with a faculty of five. After fifty-six years of parallel developments as separate academic departments, aerospace engineering and mechanical engineering reunited in 2002 to form the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. At merger, the two departments were approximately the same size, and the new department has more than 50 faculty members, 700 undergraduate students and 250 fulltime graduate students.

    Full article here

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ABET Accreditation

    Both the Mechanical Engineering and Aerospace Engineering Bachelor of Science programs are accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, ABET is the recognized accreditor for college and university programs in applied science, computing, engineering and technology.

    To contact ABET:
    ABET, Inc.
    111 Market Place, Suite 1050
    Baltimore, MD 21202

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New Building Information

    UF Alumnus William W. Gay, founder and CEO of W.W. Gay Mechanical Contractor, Inc., and his wife, Eloise D. Gay, are the first major contributors to the new mechanical and aerospace engineering building. Mr. and Mrs. Gay pledged $250,000, which will be matched by state funding. In addition, a lecture hall will be named for them in honor of their contribution.

    Gay, B.S.E., 1949, began his career in mechanical contracting as a part-time worker for henley & Beckwith while still an undergraduate at UF. After graduating, he worked full-time for Henley & Beckwith on commercial projects in Florida and Georgia. He continued to work in the field until he organized his own company in 1962.

    The Gays are native Floridians and reside in Jacksonville. Through their own charitable organization, the W.W. & Eloise D. Gay Foundation, they have generously supported both civic and professional organizations. When asked what motivates his generosity, Gay cites his heritage and the influence of his mentor, Mr. Henry Beckwith, Sr., for whom Gay first worked.

    Most recently, Gay received the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award in the category of real estate, hospitality and construction. This national award recognized “leaders and visionaries in 10 categories who demonstrate innovation, financial success and personal commitment of creating a world-class business.”

    The College of Engineering, and particularly the Department of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering, is honored to have W.W. and Eloise Gay as our first contributors toward building the future home of the MAE program at UF.

    If you are interested in learning more about the new MAE building campaign, part of the university-wide Florida Tomorrow campaign, please contact Rebecca Hoover, Director of Development at (352)392-6795, or Dr. S. Balachandar, Department Chair at (352)392-0961 or click here for more information.

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Travel Directions to MAE

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Student Organizations in MAE

    These are some of the student organizations active in our department. We encourage all new and current students to browse through and actively participate in them.

    • AIAA - American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
    • ASES - American Solar Energy Society
    • ASHRAE - American Society of Heating, Refrigerating & Air Condition Engineers
    • ASME - American Society of Mechanical Engineers
    • BMES - Biomedical Engineering Society
    • Pi Tau Sigma - Honorary Mechanical Engineering Society
    • SAE - Society of Automotive Engineers
    • Sigma Gamma Tau - National Honor Society in Aerospace Engineering
    • SSDC - Small Satellite Design Club
    • MCAA - Mechanical Contractors Association of America
    • MAE-GSC - Graduate Student Council
    • UUVS -

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