Postgraduate Programs 2017/18
Master of Philosophy and Doctor of Philosophy Programs in Mechanical Engineering
Award Title

Master of Philosophy in Mechanical Engineering
Doctor of Philosophy in Mechanical Engineering

Program Short Name

MPhil(MECH)
PhD(MECH)

Mode of Study

Both full- and part-time

Normative Program Duration

MPhil

Full-time: 2 years
Part-time: 4 years


PhD

Full-time: 3 years (with a relevant research master’s degree), 4 years (with a bachelor’s degree only)
Part-time: 6 years

Program Advisor

PG Programs Coordinator:
Prof Kai TANG, Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

The Master of Philosophy (MPhil) Program focuses on strengthening students' background in the fundamentals of mechanical and aerospace engineering and exposing them to the environment of academic research and development. A candidate for an MPhil degree is expected to demonstrate knowledge in the discipline and to synthesize and create new knowledge, making a contribution to the field.


The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) Program aims at equipping the students with the capability of identifying and solving academic and/or real problems creatively. A candidate for a PhD degree is expected to demonstrate mastery of knowledge in the chosen discipline and to synthesize and create new knowledge, making an original and substantial contribution to the discipline.

The program is offered by the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering with the following research foci, providing rigorous academic and professional training in a wide range of areas.


Research Foci

The Department's research concentrates on energy and environmental engineering, mechanics and materials, mechatronics and manufacturing, and aeronautical engineering. Research covers several major areas:


Solid Mechanics and Dynamics

These are two of the fundamental pillars of Mechanics research. The Department has a diverse faculty with expertise in these fields. Research activities range from applied issues to theoretical problems, and have a marked multidisciplinary nature. They involve: applied mathematics, solid mechanics, nonlinear dynamics, computations, solid state physics, material science and experiments for various kinds of solid materials/ systems and mechanical behaviors. Faculty members work on problems of both static and dynamic natures with different types of evolutions. These problems also involve multi-field coupling on different scales of time and length, from micro-second to long time creep processes and from a very small carbon nanotube or a cell to macroscopic scale composite materials and electro-mechanical devices/ systems.


Materials Technology

Materials engineering focuses on characterizing and processing new materials, developing processes for controlling their properties and their economical production, generating engineering data necessary for design, and predicting the performance of products. Research topics include: smart materials, biomaterials, thin films, composites, fracture and fatigue, residual life assessment, materials issues in electronic packaging, materials recycling, plastics flow in injection molding, advanced powder processing, desktop manufacturing, and instrumentation and measurement techniques.


Energy/ Thermalfluids and Environment Engineering

Research in energy, thermalfluids and environmental engineering includes fuel cells and batteries, advanced renewable energy storage systems, thermoelectric materials and devices, nanoscale heat and mass transfer, transport in multicomponent and multiphase systems, innovative electronics cooling systems, energy efficient buildings, and contaminant transport in indoor environments.


Design and Manufacturing Automation

These elements lie at the heart of mechanical engineering in which engineers conceive, design, build, and test innovative solutions to "real world" problems. Research is being conducted in the areas of geometric modeling, intelligent design and manufacturing process optimization, in-process monitoring and control of manufacturing processes, servosystem control, robotics, mechatronics, prime-mover system control, sensor technology and measurement techniques, and bio-medical systems design and manufacturing.


Microsystems and Precision Engineering

Micro ElectroMechanical Systems (MEMS) is a multidisciplinary research field which has been making a great impact on our daily life, including various micro sensors used in personal electronics, transportation, communication, and biomedical diagnostics. Fundamental and applied research work is being conducted in this area. Basic micro/ nanomechanics, such as fluid and solid mechanics, heat transfer and materials problems unique to micro/nanomechanical systems are studied. New ideas to produce microsystems for energy, biomedicine and nanomaterials, micro sensors and micro actuators are explored. Technology issues related to the micro/ nanofabrication of these devices are being addressed.


Aerospace Engineering

Aerospace engineering is a major branch of engineering concerned with research, development, manufacture and operation of aircraft and spacecraft. Within the aerospace engineering group, fundamental and applied research is being conducted in areas such as aerodynamics, aeroacoustics, aircraft and engine noise and performance, combustion dynamics, thermoacoustics, atomization and sprays, and aircraft design and optimization. Advanced experimental facilities and high-fidelity computational methods are being developed and used. The group boasts two world-class anechoic wind tunnels for aerodynamics and aeroacoustics research, and is home to a major research center on aircraft noise technology.

To qualify for admission, applicants must meet all of the following requirements. Admission is selective and meeting these minimum requirements does not guarantee admission.

 

1. General Admission Requirements of the University
  • Applicants seeking admission to a master's degree program should have obtained a bachelor’s degree from a recognized institution, or an approved equivalent qualification;

  • Applicants seeking admission to a doctoral degree program should have obtained a bachelor’s degree with a proven record of outstanding performance from a recognized institution; or presented evidence of satisfactory work at the postgraduate level on a full-time basis for at least one year, or on a part-time basis for at least two years.

2. English Language Admission Requirements

Applicants have to fulfill English Language requirements with one of the following proficiency attainments:
 

Proficiency Test Minimum Scores
TOEFL-iBT 80
TOEFL-pBT 550
IELTS (Academic Module) Overall score: 6.0 and All sub-scores: 5.5


Applicants don't need to present TOEFL or IELTS score if

  • their first language is English, or

  • they obtained the bachelor's degree (or equivalent) from an institution where the medium of instruction was English.

  1. Minimum Credit Requirement

MPhil: 12 credits

PhD: 24 credits (without a master’s degree)/ 12 credits (with a master’s degree)

 

  1. Credit Transfer

PhD students who are HKUST MPhil graduates in Mechanical Engineering may be granted credit transfer of up to 12 credits on condition that these credits have not been used in their MPhil degree or any other academic qualification. Subject to the approval of the departmental PG Committee, students who obtained master’s degree from other universities may be granted credit transfer of up to 6 credits on condition that these credits have not been used to earn another academic qualification, and that the courses must be at 4000-level or above.

 

  1. Required Courses

MPhil:

Students are required to complete 12 credits of postgraduate courses, excluding courses from School of Business and Management and School of Humanities and Social Science, of which 9 credits must be from MECH courses.


PhD:

Students without a master’s degree are required to take 24 credits of postgraduate courses, excluding courses from School of Business and Management and School of Humanities and Social Science, of which 18 credits must be from MECH courses.
 

Students with a master’s degree are required to complete 12 credits of postgraduate courses, excluding courses from School of Business and Management and School of Humanities and Social Science, of which 9 credits must be from MECH courses.
 

PhD students deemed to be missing relevant background in Mechanical Engineering may be required to take extra MECH courses, which will be specified by the departmental Admissions Committee.

 

  1. School Requirements on PhD Programs

In addition to the program requirements, all full-time and part-time PhD students are required to complete the school requirements, which aim to help students gain a wider exposure to multidisciplinary areas, and attain all-rounded learning by broadening their knowledge base.


PhD students are required to take at least a 3-credit course at 5000-level or above outside their programs offered by the School of Engineering. The 3 credits may be satisfied by courses from other Schools upon approval.


In some exceptional cases where students can provide sufficient justifications and obtain prior approval from their supervisors, PG Coordinators, and Heads of Department/Program Directors or designees, they are allowed to take the 3-credit course within their home departments/programs but the course must be in areas outside their specialty.

Details of the requirements are available on the website of the School of Engineering.

 

  1. Professional Development Course Requirement
PDEV 6770


Students are required to complete PDEV 6770. The 1 credit earned from PDEV 6770 cannot be counted toward the credit requirements.
 

PhD students who are HKUST MPhil graduates and have completed PDEV 6770 or other professional development courses offered by the University before may be exempted from this requirement, subject to prior approval of the School.

 

  1. English Language Requirement
LANG 5001


Students are required to complete LANG 5001. Students may be exempted from taking LANG 5001 with the approval of the Department Head and PG Coordinator. The 1 credit earned from LANG 5001 cannot be counted toward the credit requirements.

 

  1. Postgraduate Seminar 
MECH 6090


MPhil:

Students are required to complete MECH 6090 for at least three terms. Subject to the approval of the Department, students can take MECH 6090 for less than three terms.


PhD:

Students are required to complete MECH 6090 for at least four terms. Subject to the approval of the Department, students can take MECH 6090 for less than four terms.

 

  1. PhD Qualifying Examination

PhD students are required to pass an oral qualifying examination (QE) which can be attempted twice at most.
 

  1. PhD students admitted with only a bachelor’s degree should attempt the first QE within the first four regular terms of study, or if failed, the second QE within the fifth regular term of study.
     
  2. PhD students admitted with a master’s degree should attempt the first QE within the first three regular terms of study, or if failed, the second QE within the forth regular term of study.
     
  3. A student who fails the second attempt of QE is not allowed to continue with the PhD study. Subject to approval, he/she may be recommended for transfer to the MPhil program.

 

  1. Thesis Research
MECH 6990
MECH 7990


MPhil:

  1. Registration in MECH 6990 every regular term; and
  2. Presentation and oral defense of the MPhil thesis.

PhD:

  1. Registration in MECH 7990; and
  2. Presentation and oral defense of the PhD thesis.

 

Last update: 10 July 2017 

  1. Energy Technology Concentration

In addition to the existing program requirements, students who opt for the Energy Technology concentration are required to:
 

  1. MPhil: 
    Take one ENEG course, which can be counted toward the credit requirements of MECH courses.

    PhD: 
    Take one ENEG course, or up to two ENEG courses for PhD students without a master’s degree, which can be counted toward the credit requirements of MECH courses.
     
  2. Complete ENEG 6010 for one term. They can use ENEG 6010 to replace one term of registration of MECH 6090.
     
ENEG 6010

 

  1. Conduct research in energy area.

 

  1. Nanotechnology Concentration

In addition to the existing program requirements, students who opt for the Nanotechnology concentration are required to:
 

  1. MPhil: 
    Take one NANO course, which can be counted toward the credit requirements of MECH courses.

    PhD: 
    T
    ake one NANO course, or up to two NANO courses for PhD students without a master’s degree, which can be counted toward the credit requirements of MECH courses.
     
  2. Complete NANO 6010 for one term. They can use NANO 6010 to replace one term of registration of MECH 6090.
     
NANO 6010

 

  1. Conduct research in nano area.

 

  1. Scientific Computation Concentration

In addition to the existing program requirements, students who opt for the Scientific Computation concentration are required to:
 

  1. MPhil:
    Complete a minimum of 7 credits from the following course lists. Students must complete 3 credits of CSIC courses, which can be counted toward the credit requirements of MECH courses. 

    PhD:
    Complete a minimum of 10 credits from the following course lists. Students must complete 3 credits of CSIC courses, or up to 6 credits of CSIC courses for PhD students without a master's degree, which can be counted toward the credit requirements of MECH courses. 

    The credits earned under the concentration will be counted toward the total credit requirements of the programs.

    Core Courses
    MPhil: at least 3 credits
    PhD: at least 6 credits

    All students must take MATH 6915, which can be repeated for up to 2 credits. Students may use MATH 6915 to replace one term of registration of MECH 6090.
     
COMP 5112
CIVL 5390
orMECH 5930
CSIC 5001
CSIC 5011
CSIC 5031
MATH 5311
MATH 6915

 

Elective Courses

CHEM 5210
CHEM 5220
COMP 5212
COMP 5213
COMP 5331
COMP 5421
CSIC 5190
ELEC 5810
ELEC 5140
MATH 5350
MATH 5360
MATH 5411
MATH 5431
MECH 5230
MECH 5280
PHYS 5410

 

  1. Give a one-hour seminar on computation related research within their first four regular terms of study.
     
  2. Conduct research in the area of scientific computation.

 

Last update: 10 July 2017