Graduate Studies at the Department of Mechanical Engineering

Graduate students play a central role in the success of research projects and programs led by faculty members at the Department of Mechanical Engineering. They are responsible for conducting cutting edge research in core (thermo-fluids, mechanics, design and control/measurement, and manufacturing) and interdisciplinary (sustainable energy systems, dynamics and control of electromechanical systems, advanced manufacturing and materials, and micro-systems and bio-systems) areas of mechanical engineering. The research outcomes and findings achieved through the graduate program are of utmost significance for various key industrial sectors such as medical devices, automotive, aerospace, electronics packaging,
manufacturing, shipping, transportation, energy production and usage, mechanics of human body and living organisms, mechatronics, nanotechnology, robotics, microsystems, sustainable building systems, control and industrial simulators, and rehabilitation technology. Graduates from the Graduate Program in Mechanical Engineering can expect to pursue careers in any of the above areas as well as related research and development, certification, inspection, maintenance, implementation and life-cycle management functions. Moreover, they may be excellent champions in creating new ventures by translating their own research into commercialized products and services.

Our graduate students are expected to initiate and fulfill the degree-level research requirements below in the Mechanical Engineering Graduate Program, in full consultation with their supervisor(s).

Supervision

  • Within the first two (2) weeks of study, graduate students must establish their supervisor(s) using this form and submit the fuly signed form to the Graduate Program Coordinator.
  • If the research requires ethical approvals of any sort, students must visit this page and consult with their supervisor(s) and the Graduate Program Director about the process.

Annual Committee Meeting

  • Within the first two (2) terms of study, you are required to form your supervisory committee.
  • Your Annual Committee Meeting is a meeting with your supervisory committee that must happen at least once a year to track and help with your progress.
    • Only MASc students who had all their committee members attend their MECH 6000 seminar and consulted with them about research are exempted from holding a meeting. They still must fulfill the item ii below.
    • A Supervisory Committee Meeting Report Form. must be completed and submitted to the Graduate Program Assistant by all students.

Comprehensive Exam

Within the first 12 to 18 months of starting the graduate program, each PhD student must pass the PhD comprehensive examination. Direct entry PhD students must complete their comprehensive examination within 24 to 30 months of beginning the program. Students who are unable to meet the academic and research requirements for the PhD degree may have the option to be transferred to the MASc degree with appropriate course credits, as recommended by a committee comprised of the chair of the Department of Mechanical Engineering, the Graduate Program Director, and the Associate Dean Research & Graduate Studies, Lassonde School of Engineering or their representative.

The purpose of this comprehensive examination is two-fold: to assess the student’s fundamental knowledge in mechanical engineering and of the subject matter relevant to the dissertation; and to assess the student’s ability to conduct independent research of highest quality. The student must prepare a short report outlining their research work conducted, proposed research plan and timeline for completion of their degree requirements. The student must present this report in front of the doctoral comprehensive examination committee. This is an open presentation, typically 15-20 minutes, followed by a question and answer period from the audience attending the presentation part of the examination. The presentation is followed by a closed-door oral examination by the examination committee members. Typically, the first round of questions assesses the student’s fundamental knowledge in the discipline. The second and subsequent round of questions assesses the student’s understanding of the research topic.

Thesis, Dissertation and Defense

MASc students are required to become involved in research activities immediately upon registration in the Mechanical Engineering program and under the general direction of their supervisors. They must be registered for non-credit Mechanical Engineering 9001 0.0: MASc Thesis course. Students are required to submit a progress report to their supervisory committee in compliance with the requirements of the Faculty of Graduate Studies. The progress report documents courses taken, teaching assistant duties, knowledge dissemination through publications and presentations and supervisory committee’s direct feedback on the overall performance of the graduate student. If the performance of the student in research is deemed unsatisfactory by the supervisory committee, they may be asked to withdraw from the program immediately. If recommended to continue, students are obliged to conduct and conclude their research and to submit a written thesis to their supervisory committee at the end of their degree period. The thesis should clearly demonstrate the candidate’s ability to conduct independent research and creative activities with guidance, resulting in contributions to the body of knowledge in the area of investigation. The research undertaken and the thesis should be defended by the student in an oral examination session, according to the Faculty of Graduate Studies regulations. The examination committee members are selected and the defence is conducted based on regulations set by the Faculty of Graduate Studies.

PhD students are required to conduct research independently through defining, planning and solving of scientific problems to lead and advance knowledge in their field of specialization. Research outcomes should lead to creativity and competence at an international level and have the significance and standard level that can be disseminated in the form of scientific publications. The PhD student’s research progress is examined annually by meeting with their supervisory committee. Students are required to submit a progress report which documents courses taken, teaching assistant duties, knowledge dissemination through publications and presentations, and supervisor’s direct feedback on the student’s overall performance. If the annual performance of the student in research is deemed unsatisfactory by the supervisory committee, they may be asked to withdraw from the program immediately, even after successful completion of the PhD comprehensive examination. If recommended to continue, students are obliged to conduct and conclude their research and to submit a written dissertation to their supervisory committee at the end of their degree period. The dissertation must clearly demonstrate the candidate’s ability to conduct independent research and creative activities, resulting in contributions to the body of knowledge in the area of investigation. The research undertaken and the dissertation must be defended by the student in an oral examination session. The examination committee members are selected and the defence session is conducted based on regulations set by the Faculty of Graduate Studies.

  • MASc students must submit their MECH-TD1 and FGS-TD1 forms to the Graduate Program Assistant at the end of their first year of studies.
  • PhD and Direct PhD students must submit their MECH-TD1 and FGS-TD1 forms to the Graduate Program Assistant at their Comprehensive Exam date.
  • Other FGS-TD forms can be found here, based on requirements in FGS-TD1.
  • Your Recommendation for Oral Examination Form (MASc, PhD and Direct PhD) should be submitted to the Graduate Program Assistant a minimum of one (1) month before your desired defense date.
  • Your thesis/dissertation should be sent to your examination committee a minimum of three (3) weeks before your desired defense date

Post-Defense

  • The Oral Exam Report should be submitted by your examination committee to the Graduate Program Assistant a maximum of three (3) days after your defense. Please ensure that your examination committee submits the Oral Exam Report.
  • The Revisions Approved Memorandum must be submitted to the Graduate Program Assistant a maximum of three (3) days after you finalize your revisions and receive signatures from your supervisor and the chair of the defense examination committee on this form.
  • Requests for delay of thesis/dissertation publication (Embargo) can be submitted here.

Other Requirements

  • Submission of an External TA/RA Form to the Graduate Program Assistant before acceptance of any TA, RA and/or GA position outside Mechanical Engineering Graduate Program.

Important Note: Students must submit a petition to the Graduate Program Committee (GPC), before or within 10 days after missing a program deadline, to request exemption and more time to fulfill the requirement.

Other Documents

All students are expected to familiarize themselves with the following information:

Additional resources related to add/drop courses, student life, academic resources, campus services, …etc. can be found at this link: http://www.yorku.ca/yorkweb/cs.htm