Mechanical Engineering Mission and Program Outcomes


The mission of the Mechanical Engineering Department is to provide a high-quality, visionary engineering education that reflects professional engineering standards and prepares students to become engineers and leaders capable of solving technical challenges that industry and society face now and in the future; to conduct quality research by developing and/or applying engineering knowledge and tools to address society's technical needs and challenges; and to provide quality professional and public services to our communities.

Program Educational Objectives

Our Program Educational Objectives are based on the needs of the program’s constituencies: employers, alumni, students and faculty. We expect our graduates to attain the following educational objectives within three to five years after earning a B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering from NIU:

1. Develop a holistic and practical understanding of what is required to create a viable engineered product, project, or service.

The most productive practicing engineers have a broad knowledge and understanding of the types of products they are developing. These include: an understanding of what customers need or desire; an ability to apply appropriate standards and specifications, and account for constraints; an ability to perform necessary analysis, testing, and simulation; ability to assess risk, and product life cycle; understanding of the trade-offs for choosing different materials and manufacturing processes; understanding of how the product fits into a larger system; understanding of costs, margins, profit along with an ability to determine feasibility of different choices; an ability to source materials and select vendors; an ability to schedule and manage a project effectively; an ability to assemble a skilled team to work on a project, and to provide leadership.

2. Expand expertise in using engineering tools and techniques, beyond the foundational skills learned as an undergraduate, as needed to become a productive practicing engineer.

Different companies, and different industries have their own specific process, commercially available programs, proprietary software, and other tools and techniques for performing engineering simulation, testing, analysis, and design. Recent graduates should be able to take the foundational skills developed in their undergraduate degree program to become productive practicing engineers in their work environment.

3. Communicate vital technical information about engineered products to non-engineers.

This ability builds on communication to a broad audience outcome developed in the undergraduate degree program. The objective combines a deep technical knowledge of how an engineered device or product works, combined with an understanding of what other constituents (e.g. customers, technicians, salespeople, business people, vendors, investors, lawyers) need to or want to know about the product.

Student Outcomes

The graduates of the undergraduate mechanical engineering program should demonstrate the following outcomes by the time of graduation: an ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science and engineering:

  • An ability to identify, formulate and solve complex engineering problems by applying principles of engineering, science and mathematics.
  • An ability to apply engineering design to produce solutions that meet specified needs with consideration of public health, safety and welfare, as well as global, cultural, social, environmental and economic factors.
  • An ability to communicate effectively with a range of audiences.
  • An ability to recognize ethical and professional responsibilities in engineering situations and make informed judgments, which must consider the impact of engineering solutions in global, economic, environmental and societal contexts.
  • An ability to function effectively on a team whose members together provide leadership, create a collaborative and inclusive environment, establish goals, plan tasks and meet objectives.
  • An ability to develop and conduct appropriate experimentation, analyze and interpret data and use engineering judgment to draw conclusions.
  • An ability to acquire and apply new knowledge as needed, using appropriate learning strategies.

Contact Us

Department of Mechanical Engineering
Engineering Building, Room 226
590 Garden Road  

Northern Illinois University
DeKalb, IL 60115

Back to top