Established in 1387 H (1966 C.E.), the Mechanical Engineering Department is one of the oldest Departments at King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals. The department started with two undergraduate students and currently accommodates approximately 1500. It has a long record of innovation and achievement in both undergraduate and graduate teaching and research. It prepares young men to become mechanical engineers whose role is to meet the growing technical requirements of various industries in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The undergraduate program, which is normally revised every five years, keeps track of the rapid development in science and technology and was recently accredited by the Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology (ABET). The department has two established graduate programs leading to the Master of Science (M.S.) and the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) Degrees in Mechanical Engineering. The faculty members conduct state-of-the-art research in order to enrich the literature in many areas such as thermo fluid sciences, applied materials, and engineering mechanics.
Mechanical Engineers play a significant role in the design and manufacturing of all of the products and systems essential to everyday modern life--from your home appliances, bikes, recreational equipment and automobiles, to satellites, wheelchairs, airplanes, robots, industrial equipment and environmental control systems. They are the designers and builders of the mechanical, thermal and fluid-flow related aspects of all such systems, including computer and feedback control of complex systems. In fact, mechanical engineers play a role in designing and manufacturing most of the things that people use--look around you and you'll see their contributions everywhere.
To design and build all of these great products properly involves a broad, basic education and significant knowledge of how to apply, interface and use computers in modern engineering systems. As engineers they work in almost every technical field imaginable, including aerospace, automotive, biomedical engineering, computer aided design and manufacturing, energy and environmental systems. Indeed, a Mechanical Engineering (M.E.) education is the broadest of all engineering disciplines, with the widest applicability and most flexibility in terms of career paths.
Mechanical engineering education involves learning how to creatively apply a strong scientific and mathematical basis to the design of safe, reliable, environmentally sound, and cost effective systems. Teamwork, communication skills and knowing how to apply and use modern computer simulations and control systems are important skills to all M.E.s. At the advanced degree level M.E.s perform the basic research needed to advance knowledge in the engineering sciences, knowledge needed to improve the world around us.
From an even wider perspective, the education of a Mechanical Engineer is very broad and focuses on the basic skills needed to be an effective problem solver in the modern world. Thus, many students combine the broad technical knowledge gained in their undergraduate M.E. studies with graduate study in M.E. Additionally, some M.E. students combine their M.E. knowledge with other technical disciplines, or use it as a basis for entry into Business, Law or Medical Schools.
In terms of the range of applications and employment opportunities, M.E. students are involved in diverse projects. For instance, Mechanical Engineers design advanced materials and structures to meet the demands of supersonic and hypersonic flight and space travel. Others are involved in efforts to cleanup and preserve the earth's environment.
Employment opportunities have attracted mechanical engineers to projects involving alternative energy sources, the improvement of engineering designs and the related manufacturing processes to be more energy efficient, to avoid the creation of pollutants, environmental monitoring and re-mediation projects. M.E.'s work in the energy field on both new methods for energy generation such as solar, fuel cell and wind generated power, and also on the design of traditional electrical power plants equipped with reactors, pressure piping, heat exchangers and other specialized components. In the automobile industry, mechanical engineers design the various parts of cars. In manufacturing companies of all kinds, they develop the systems that improve and speedup production processes.
Mechanical engineers also work alongside physicians, therapists, and other medical professionals to investigate the workings of the human body and to design aids and instruments for medicine applications. Other mechanical engineers work with trainers, coaches, and athletes on the design of sporting equipment. Mechanical Engineers involved in government research assist on key policy decisions regarding technology development and use.
Overall, we give our Mechanical Engineering students a broad based education that allows them to make numerous and significant contributions to solving society's problems in a wide variety of challenging, interesting and rewarding careers.