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Message from the Department Chair: Timothy Fisher


Timothy Fisher

Welcome to UCLA’s Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Website and thank you for visiting.  As you navigate the various pages you will find details about our vibrant education and research programs.

The College of Engineering was opened in 1945 with an initial cohort of 379 students.  In 1969 the College became the School of Engineering and Applied Science to better address the upward shift in education level of engineers and the crucial role of the engineer in society.  The School was organized into seven departments, one of which has become today’s Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering.  The common thread woven throughout the history of MAE at UCLA is excellence in education and research.

MAE is undergoing a major expansion.  With the completion of Engineering VI, we are expanding the size of our faculty and will be accepting a significantly increased number of our truly outstanding undergraduate and graduate school applicants.

Mechanical Engineering is the broadest of the engineering disciplines.  Mechanical engineers design, fabricate, and test all types of devices and systems that draw from expertise that is applicable from nano technology to space vehicles, and from sustainable electrical power generation to medical technology. The mechanical engineer incorporates concepts from mechanical, thermal, and fluid systems implemented in software-controlled hardware solutions.  MEs provide the foundation of the engineering discipline, work in every industry including transportation, energy, electronics, bioengineering, and manufacturing, and move into major leadership roles in industry, government, and academia throughout their careers.

Aerospace Engineering has considerable overlap with Mechanical Engineering, but in addition AEs understand the many complexities associated with air and space based systems.

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering research at UCLA is truly world class. Within the MAE department you will find a major robotics thrust, joint air and space programs with AFRL and JPL, sustainable energy and smart grid research, and the NSF-TANMS nanotechnology engineering research center.  Housed adjacent to the California NanoSystems Institute and the UCLA Medical School, MAE researchers are on the forefront of the development of new technology in these areas.

The research activities of our faculty and students are broad, and the size of our growing program provides challenging experiences for our students in areas beyond the typical core of mechanical engineering programs. Multi-disciplinary programs abound, and the research experience of our faculty is reflected in the classroom experience, enabling our ME students and graduates to go out and address the world’s grand challenges.