School of Engineering

Mechanical Engineering

Program Details

Program of Study

The 120-semester hour mechanical engineering bachelor's degree is delivered primarily at Moline campus, with the freshman and sophomore years also offered in Macomb. All four years of the mechanical engineering degree can be completed at the Quad Cities campus. The program articulates with Pre-Engineering transfer programs at colleges in Illinois, Iowa, and Missouri; and WIU-QC offers a dual enrollment program through which students simultaneously enroll at a partner community college and our mechanical engineering program. Students in the dual enrollment program who maintain full-time status can take advantage of the Western tuition cost guarantee.

Mechanical Engineering is the broadest field of engineering and the efforts of mechanical engineers affect every aspect of our lives. The clothes we wear, the vehicles we ride in, the materials we build with, the devices, tools and machines that make our lives safe, pleasant and productive have undoubtedly been designed by mechanical engineers. Nationally, 20 percent of all engineers are mechanical engineers, but can and do work in virtually all areas of human design and manufacturing. There are too many areas of specialization to list, but the most prevalent are: automotive systems; combustion and propulsion; design of machinery; robotics; automation; dynamic systems and controls; energy systems and thermodynamics; fluid mechanics; heat transfer; manufacturing and production; materials behavior and processing; bioengineering; and microscale and nanoscale sensors and systems.

State-of-the-Art Engineering Program

Western is the only public institution in the Quad Cities to offer an Engineering program. The WIU School of Engineering is housed at the new, ultramodern Riverfront Campus. Like the campus, equipment, tooling and computer resources are the latest and best available.

Academic Club for Engineering (ACE)

The purpose of the Academic Club for Engineering (ACE) is to enhance each members’ educational experience by providing academic resources, hands-on experience and community service opportunities. Furthermore, the club will strive to represent and promote the Engineering Department at WIU-QC by hosting and participating in local engineering related activities. Learn more about the ACE.

Additional Resources

Career Path Examples for Mechanical Engineering

Regardless of the emphasis chosen, there are multiple career paths available.

  • Design Engineer
  • Mechanical Engineer
  • Sales Engineer
  • Structural Engineer
  • Engineering Manager
  • Manufacturing Engineer
  • Producation Engineer
  • Quality Engineer
  • Mechatronics Engineer
  • Robotics Programmer
  • Senior Engineering Analyst
  • Test Engineer

U.S. Department of Labor Job Forecast for Mechanical Engineers

  • 2015 Median Pay: $83,590 per year
  • Job Outlook (2014-24): Employment of mechanical engineers is projected to grow 5 percent from 2014 to 2024, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Job prospects may be best for those who stay abreast of the most recent advances in technology.
  • Additional details are available in the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook.

Industry Partnership

The program is unique because of Western’s strategic partnerships with industry in the region. There are ample opportunities for practical, hands-on, educational engineering experiences through Western’s links to businesses, manufacturers, industry and the Quad City Manufacturing Lab. Students can start paid internships as early as their sophomore year if enrolled in the Engineering program, have the opportunity to “earn while they learn” and, at the same time, gain invaluable practical experience. The senior capstone design projects typically are completed with industry, often at their facility, and many times result in an offer of employment before graduation.

Applied Research and Entrepreneurial Technology Development

The WIU-QC Engineering program is proud of its partnership with the Digital Manufacturing Design Innovation Institute (DMDII) and the Quad City Manufacturing Laboratory (QCML), located at the Rock Island Arsenal. These partnerships allow the engineering program to offer students hands-on experiences working with government entities and international corporations on leading-edge projects and technology development.

Engineering Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

The following are frequently asked questions and answers concerning engineering at Western Illinois University.

I’m confused about all the different engineering degrees at Western, what are the differences?
There are only two Engineering Degrees at Western.
  1. Engineering is an ABET accredited degree with five emphasis areas that leads to a Bachelor of Science in Engineering. By passing the NCEES Fundamentals of Engineering Exam, Engineering graduates complete the first step in their professional career and are recognized by the State of Illinois as “Engineering Interns”.
  2. Mechanical Engineering is a new degree that leads to a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering. Students select one of three emphasis areas, must pass the NCEES Fundamentals of Engineering Exam, and are recognized by the State of Illinois as “Engineering Interns”.

There are three other programs that have the name “Engineering” in the title, hence the confusion. Let’s talk about each one.

  1. Engineering Technology: This degree leads to a Bachelor of Science in technology and is accredited by ATMAE. It is a good program for those who want to be involved in technology but don’t want to do the math required for engineering degrees.
  2. Engineering Physics: This is a physics option that leads to a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics.
  3. Pre-Engineering or Pre-Professional Engineering: This is a transfer program and is not a degree at WIU.
Is Engineering offered at both the Macomb and Quad Cities Campus?

Yes and No. The School of Engineering is located at the new Quad Cities Riverfront Campus. You can complete both engineering degrees at the Quad Cities Campus. You can also take freshman and sophomore classes at the Macomb campus (or at a community college), but you will have to move to the Quad Cities Campus to take all your junior and senior engineering classes.

Do I need to enroll in pre-engineering at Western before I can enroll in the engineering degree program?

No. Enroll in our ABET accredited Engineering degree or our new Mechanical Engineering degree.

If my goal is to become a professional engineer, where should I start?

Register for one of our Engineering degree programs and see your advisor as soon as possible.

  • Quad Cities: Ms. Alex Wenger, (309) 762-5787,
  • Macomb: Ms. Andi Potter, (309) 298-2100,
I enrolled in pre-engineering at a community college. I heard about “Linkages” or dual enrollment with WIU Engineering. What should I do?

Call and make an advising appointment with an advisor as soon as possible.

What kind of work do engineers do?

Engineers perform a lot of different kinds of work including field and office activities ranging from developing new product concepts to supervising manufacturing and construction, contract negotiations, equipment sales, marketing and public relations. It's not all number crunching! To learn more, Register for an open house to learn more about the program and tour our Riverfront facilities

Please refer to the undergraduate catalog for detailed program information and course requirements.

Engineering (ENGR) Courses

ENGR 105 Engineering Graphics

An introduction to drafting including shape description, geometric construction, orthographic and isometric drawing, sectioning, dimensioning, and applied descriptive geometry. Basic dimensioning, tolerancing, and pictorial drawings will be covered. An introduction to computer based drafting.

ENGR 211 Engineering Statics

The first course in Engineering Mechanics for engineers; mechanics of forces and force systems, static equilibrium, forces in structures and machines, friction, centroids, moments of inertia, radii of gyration, and virtual work are examined.

ENGR 212 Engineering Dynamics

Kinematics, Newton’s laws of motion, work-energy and impulse-momentum relationships, and vibrations applied to engineering systems.

ENGR 220 Computational Methods for Engineers

Programming basic numerical methods using MATLAB for engineering applications. Matrix algebra, order of convergence, root finding, quadrature, solution of linear and nonlinear equations, eigenvalue problems, numerical integration, differentiation, ordinary differential equations, error analysis, and problem solving related to engineering applications.

ENGR 251 Strength of Materials

Introduction to stress and deformation analysis of basic structural materials subjected to axial, torsional, bending, and pressure loads.

ENGR 271 Engineering Electrical Circuits

An introductory electrical circuits course for all engineering disciplines; provides comprehensive coverage of electronic theory, fundamentals, practices, and analysis and problem solving strategies for DC and AC circuitry, and RLC networks. Includes use of engineering software to simulate and analyze.

ENGR 300 Engineering Thermodynamics

First and second laws of thermodynamics, equations of state for liquids and gases, heat and work transfer, phase equilibrium and change, mass and energy balance for control volumes, availability, exergy, power and refrigeration cycles; strategies for solving engineering problems.

ENGR 310 Fluid Dynamics

Introduction to the concepts and applications of fluid mechanics and dimensional analysis with an emphasis on fluid behavior, internal and external flows, analysis of engineering applications of incompressible pipe systems, and external aerodynamics.

ENGR 320 Mechanical Design I

Mechanical design including an overview of the design process, engineering mechanics, failure prevention under static and variable loading, bearings, transmission elements, lubrication, and characteristics of the principal types of mechanical elements. Includes use of engineering software to simulate and analyze.

ENGR 322 Mechanical Design II

Kinematics and dynamics of machinery, including analytical kinematics, force analysis, cam design, and balancing. Application of elementary mechanics of solids to analyze and size machine components for stress and deflection. Finite element analysis with emphasis on beam and plate models.

ENGR 331 Engineering Project Management

Concepts, steps, and techniques required to select, organize, manage, and deliver a successful technical or engineering project. Includes concepts in managing innovation and change, entrepreneurial engineering, engineering management, and ethical responsibilities of engineers.

ENGR 340 Manufacturing Engineering

A comprehensive overview of the manufacturing process. Key concepts include production system structure and design, manufacturability, quality control, and the techniques, tools, and methods that organizations use to improve overall performance while meeting customer cost, performance, and delivery requirements.

ENGR 345 Continuous Improvement: Quality

The study of Continuous Process Improvement. Students will learn about PDCA/ DMAIC models, fundamental quality tools, FMEA, minimizing variation through Statistical Process Control, process capability studies, reliability, VOC, layered audits, and performance metrics.

ENGR 351 Engineering Material Science

This course covers the use of materials in engineering designs including structures of polymers, metals, and ceramics; processes such as heat treatment and solidification; failure mechanisms in service and design techniques to avoid failures; and strategies for material selection.

ENGR 360 Structural Analysis

Modeling, analysis, and requirements for static design of trusses, frames, cable, and other common structural shapes including an introduction to light weight structures, use of computer analysis methods and other tools.

ENGR 370 Micro-Electronics I, Circuit Analysis and Design

An electronics course for interdisciplinary engineers dealing with the design, analysis, and strategies for using OpAmps, semi-conductor devices in both analog and digital power electronics, communications systems, sensor systems, and electric power applications as part of a Mechatronic System.

ENGR 410 Intermediate Thermo-Fluid Dynamics

Differential equation form of the conservation of mass, momentum, and energy applied to internal flows, boundary layers, lift-drag, and open channel flows. Applications include turbomachinery, gas-vapor mixtures, psychrometrics, combustion, and compressible flow.

ENGR 411 Heat Transfer

Fundamentals of engineering heat transfer. Steady and transient heat conduction in solids. Finned surfaces. Numerical solution techniques. Forced and free convection, condensation, and boiling. Design and analysis of heat exchangers. Radiation heat transfer. Problems in combined convection and radiation.

ENGR 452 Geotechnical Engineering

An introduction to soil mechanics and geotechnical engineering. Topics covered include the origin of soil, definition of soil properties, phase relationships, soil classification, compaction, seepage, subsurface stress, settlement, and 1-D consolidation.

ENGR 453 Geotechnical Design

Introduction to shear strength based design of foundations and structures in geotechnical engineering. Topics covered include bearing capacity and settlement of shallow foundations, deep foundations, earth retaining structures and slope stability; testing and analysis of soil for shear strength.

ENGR 460 Steel Design

Design of structural steel elements using the LRFD (load and resistance factor design) methodology to resist the action of axial, shear, bending, and combined stresses; includes stability of structural elements and connections, and use of modern engineering software in design.

ENGR 461 Concrete Design

This course covers the analysis and design of reinforced concrete members using current design standards including design of members for flexure, shear, and axial forces; serviceability criteria, bond and development length considerations; use of modern engineering software in design.

ENGR 470 Mechatronics I

Mechatronics is the integration of mechanical, electrical, computer control, and systems dynamics design engineering. This course brings together all previous instruction in structures, mechanisms, electronics, programming, and design and makes use of modern integrated software to design a mechatronic system.

ENGR 471 Microelectronic Circuits II

This course covers analysis and design of microelectronic devices and circuits with industrial applications. Devices and circuits will include: digital, single-ended, linear amplifiers, and other integrated circuits.

ENGR 472 Mechatronics II

This course is a continuation of ENGR 470 and involves the design, fabrication, and demonstration of a novel practical mechatronic system.

ENGR 473 Industrial Controls

This course will emphasize basic to advanced knowledge of methods used in industry to deliver, control, and monitor electrical devices. Course content will focus upon understanding and creating wire diagrams, selection of electrical devices and programmable logic devices applications.

ENGR 481 Finite Element Analysis

The finite element method and its application to engineering problems: truss and frame structures, linear elasticity, plane stress and plane strain, axisymmetric elements, isoparametric formulation, heat conduction, transient analysis; use of commercial software; overview of advanced topics.

ENGR 482 Parametric Modeling

The application of computer aided design techniques utilizing industrial software within a minicomputer and workstation environment.

ENGR 490 Engineering Senior Design

Students working in teams solve an industry selected problem. Students will be required to research, provide analysis and solutions to assigned projects. The course will also focus upon communication, team building, and critical thinking skills.

ENGR 491 Engineering Internship

Off-campus work experience in engineering. Written weekly reports and copies of all projects, analysis, and other work are required. Recommend completion before entering last term on campus.


School of Engineering

Dr. William Pratt, Director and Professor
Location: 207B Riverfront Hall
3300 River Drive
Moline, IL 61265
Phone: (309) 762-9481 ext. 62788
Fax: (309) 764-7172

Engineering Directory

Engineering Advisors
Quad Cities Campus

Alex Wenger, Academic Advisor
Location: QC Riverfront 109
Appointments: (309) 762-5787
Phone: (309) 762-9481 ext. 62789

Macomb Campus

Andi Potter, Academic Advisor
Location: Knoblauch Hall 110
Phone: (309) 298-2100

College of Business & Technology (CBT)

Dr. John A. Elfrink, Interim Dean
CBT Email:
Location: Stipes Hall 101
1 University Circle
Macomb, IL 61455-1390
Phone: (309) 298-2442
Fax: (309) 298-1039

CBT Website

Contact CBT

ABET Accredited Logo


Is WIU's Mechanical Engineering Program ABET Accredited?

Yes. The Engineering Accreditation Commission (EAC) of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) granted accreditation to Western Illinois University’s Mechanical Engineering program in August 2018


From the ABET Website: “Accreditation is an assurance that the professionals that serve us have a solid educational foundation and are capable of leading the way in innovation, emerging technologies, and in anticipating the welfare and safety needs of the public. When a program becomes ABET-accredited, it means that it has received international recognition of its quality, promotes "best practices" in education, and directly involves faculty and staff in self-assessment and continuous quality improvement processes”.

What are the ABET requirements for a Mechanical Engineering Program?

The curriculum requirements for any ABET accredited program are, in general: 1) satisfy the General Education requirements of the institution (WIU); 2) complete one year of Math and Science appropriate to the engineering degree; 3) complete a year and a half of Engineering Courses; and 4) complete the requirements for a bachelor degree. In addition to these general requirements, Mechanical Engineering Programs have the additional requirement of "ASME Mandated Program Criteria: The curriculum must require students to apply principles of engineering, basic science, and mathematics (including multivariate calculus and differential equations); to model, analyze, design, and realize physical systems, components or processes; and prepare students to work professionally in either thermal or mechanical systems while requiring topics in each area."

ABET Program Educational Objectives and Student Outcomes

Program Educational Objectives

Program educational objectives describe career and professional accomplishments within 3-5 years following graduation.

  1. Create: Graduates will analyze problems and create innovative designs based on sound engineering principles and that consider functionality, cost effectiveness, sustainability, safety, aesthetics, and satisfy the requirements of a customer.
  2. Communicate: Graduates will use modern technology and design tools, work effectively as individuals and in teams, and clearly and effectively communicate ideas in written, oral, and graphical form.
  3. Continue to Learn: Graduates will increase their personal knowledge and skills through graduate work and other professional education, to maintain an appropriate level of expertise and remain current in their chosen profession.
  4. Citizenship: Graduates will serve as a team member or as a team leader and use the principles of ethical leadership, both in their chosen profession and in other activities.
  5. Community: Graduates will contribute their time and talents to improve their communities.
Student Outcomes

Student Outcomes for the Engineering Program are those skills and knowledge graduates should have on the day of graduation.

  1. an ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering
  2. an ability to design and conduct experiments, as well as to analyze and interpret data
  3. an ability to design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs within realistic constraints such as economic, environmental, social, political, ethical, health and safety, manufacturability, and sustainability
  4. an ability to function on multidisciplinary teams
  5. an ability to identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems
  6. an understanding of professional and ethical responsibility
  7. an ability to communicate effectively
  8. the broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global, economic, environmental, and societal context
  9. a recognition of the need for, and an ability to engage in life-long learning
  10. a knowledge of contemporary issues
  11. an ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice.

ASME Learning Objective: ASME Mandated Program Criteria:

The curriculum must require students to apply principles of engineering, basic science, and mathematics (including multivariate calculus and differential equations); to model, analyze, design, and realize physical systems, components or processes; and prepare students to work professionally in either thermal or mechanical systems while requiring topics in each area.

Mechanical Engineering Program Enrollment and Degrees Conferred

Fiscal Year (Fall) Enrollment Degrees Conferred
2017 27 6
2018 28 11
2019 52

Full information on the enrollment by year, students graduated, and many other details of the School of Engineering can be found within WIU's Institutional Research and Planning Factbooks.