Montana State University

Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering

Contact Information

Application Deadlines:
           Fall:                        July 1                      (March 1, if applying for teaching assistantship)
           Spring:                   November 15
Note: International applicants must submit their applications two months prior to the above dates.

Department Head

C.H.M. Jenkins, Ph.D., P.E.
220 Roberts Hall; (406) 994-2203

Graduate Program Coordinator - Industrial and Management Engineering

D.K. Sobek II, Ph.D.
306C Roberts Hall; (406) 994-7140

Graduate Program Coordinator - Mechanical Engineering

D.S. Cairns, Ph.D.
320 Roberts Hall; (406) 994-6050

Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Professors

  • M.R. Amin:  heat transfer, fluid mechanics, numerical methods, fire phenomena energy systems.
  • D.S. Cairns:  materials, composites, numerical modeling, solid mechanics, mechanics of materials and structures, applications to energy systems.
  • V. Cundy: heat transfer; heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC).
  • C.H.M. Jenkins:  computational and experimental mechanics, analysis and design of compliant structures, continuum and solid mechanics, theoretical and experimental structural dynamics, mechanical design.
  • R.J. Marley:  human factors/ergonomics, applied statistics, engineering management.
  • J. Stanislao (Adjunct):  engineering economics, manufacturing, process engineering.
  • N.J. Ward:  traffic safety, driver behavior, system interface design, product design and usability analysis, human factors, ergonomics.

Associate Professors

  • S. Codd:  magnetic resonance microscopy studies of ceramics, fluid dynamics in hydrogels, biofilms, and polymer electrolyte membranes.
  • A.H. George:  heat transfer, measurements and instrumentation.
  • E.L. Mooney:  discrete optimization, scheduling, systems modeling, operations research.
  • D.K. Sobek II:  management engineering, product development, production engineering and management, lean manufacturing, healthcare engineering.

Assistant Professors

  • A. Mian:  microsystems (MEMS and BioMEMS) design, fabrication, reliability, and packaging.
  • D. Miller:  experimental mechanics of materials, structures/property relationships to strength and damage, shape memory alloys, dynamic properties of materials.
  • S. Sofie:  innovative ceramic processing, microstructure/nano structure engineering, solid oxide fuel cells, high-temp piezoelectrics, high-temp superconductors, thermoelectrics, and photoluminescent ceramics.
  • L.M. Stanley:  ergonomics, traffic safety, system interface design, human factors, biomechanics.

Research Professors

  • R. Badaliance:  materials and structures.

Degrees Offered

M.S. in Industrial and Management Engineering
M.S. in Mechanical Engineering
Ph.D. in Engineering -- Industrial Engineering and Mechanical Engineering options

The department offers the Master of Science degree in Industrial and Management Engineering and the Master of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering. These degrees may be accomplished under Plan A (thesis required) or Plan B (project or professional paper). Under either plan, a program of study is arranged for each student according to his/her particular goal. The department also participates in the Doctor of Philosophy in Engineering degree coordinated through the College of Engineering (refer to the College of Engineering section).


The minimum requirement for admission is a bachelors degree in engineering, and evidence of an ability to maintain a minimum 3.0 grade point average while pursuing a graduate degree.  Graduates from outside fields are eligible to apply, but may be required to make up subject matter deficiencies upon admission.  For complete information, refer to the Admission Policies and Application Requirements sections. Successful applicants are accepted into both the department and the Division of Graduate Education.

M.S. in Industrial and Management Engineering Degree Requirements

For the M.S. degree in Industrial and Management Engineering, research is required for Plan A only. Areas of study include operations research, engineering economy, computer modeling, applied statistics, simulation, logistics, management engineering, human factors, ergonomics, quality control, and production planning and scheduling.
Master's students following Plan B choose additional coursework and/or a graduate project (I&ME 575) in lieu of completing a thesis.  Plan B students completing a graduate project pursue a particular area of interest under the supervision of a professor, and demonstrate their ability to define, organize, and follow through on a small research investigation.

Plan A - Thesis Option

I&ME 500-level courses

12 cr.

I&ME 400-level courses

  9 cr.

I&ME 590 Thesis

10 cr.

Plan B - Non-Thesis Option

I&ME 500-level courses

21 cr.

I&ME 400-level courses  

12 cr.

Students may use a 500-level course to meet a 400-level course requirement. Students entering with a degree in Industrial Engineering may substitute non-I&ME courses to meet the 400-level course requirement. Plan B students may elect to use three credits of I&ME 575 Research or Professional Paper/Project to meet the I&ME 500-level course requirement. 

M.S. in Mechanical Engineering Degree Requirements

For a M.S. in Mechanical Engineering, research is required in Plan A only. Students following Plan B are not required to write a thesis, but are required to complete a graduate project under the supervision of a professor.

Plan A - Thesis Option
21 formal, graded course credits: 12 required, plus 9 elective.  10 credits of thesis.
Required Courses

ME 510

Engineering Analysis I  

3 cr.

ME 511 

Engineering Analysis II 

3 cr.

EM 525

Continuum Mechanics  

3 cr.

3 Graduate course credits outside the student's emphasis

3 cr.

ME 594

Seminar  ( two semesters) 

2 cr.

ME 590


10 cr.

Elective Courses (Maximum of 3 cr. ME 570)

9 cr.

Plan B - Non-Thesis Option
The Plan B option substitutes a professional paper (3-4 credits) and additional coursework in lieu of the 10 thesis credits.

Research Facilities

The laboratories of the department are well equipped for research in all areas supported by the department. Flexible manufacturing systems, robotics, machine vision, and computer-aided manufacturing are supported by a computer integrated manufacturing laboratory. Extensive facilities for destructive and non-destructive testing of advanced materials and structures are available. Advanced manufacturing facilities for composite materials and structures are continually expanding. An ergonomics/human factors laboratory concentrates on industrial ergonomics with equipment to address biomechanical and physiological aspects of industrial tasks. Facilities for decision support systems, facilities design, and expert systems are undergoing expansion. Arrangements can also be made for graduate students to use the research facilities of other University departments. State-of-the-art computer facilities are available at the department, college, and university levels. Research is sponsored by industry and governmental agencies.


All Mechanical Engineering and Industrial and Management Engineering master's degree students must follow the degree requirements listed in the For Master's Students section.
Doctoral candidates are required to pass three examinations: Ph.D. qualifying examination, Ph.D. comprehensive examination, and Ph.D. thesis defense. Refer to the For Doctoral Students and Ph.D. in Engineering sections for additional information.
Students are expected to be familiar with department, college and Division of Graduate Education requirements.

Financial Assistance

Both teaching and research assistantships are available on a competitive basis. Teaching assistantships involve assisting professors with the conduct of their classes, including preparation and grading. Research assistantships provide the opportunity for work on a research grant or industry sponsored project under the direction of a faculty member. Interested applicants should make inquiry directly to the Graduate Program Coordinator in I&ME or ME.

See the Graduate Assistantships sections for detailed information on appointment criteria.

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