The Mechanical Engineering Program course curriculum is modern and rigorous. The courses in the program provide a solid foundation in subjects such as mechanical behavior of engineering materials, continuum mechanics, thermodynamics, experimental and numerical combustion, computational fluid dynamics and control theory. Our graduates are technically well trained to be productive members of the modern world society at large and specifically suited for research careers in academia, industry and government research laboratories.

We place a strong emphasis on class learning coupled with innovative research in a variety of areas.

Master's Assessment Test

**Mechanical Engineering Assessment Test Subjects**

**1. Basic Principles of Mechanics**

Topics included in the Principles of Mechanics assessment test:

Recommended References:

Sample question s from previous tests.

3. Engineering Mathematics and Basic Calculus

Topics included in the Engineering Mathematics assessment test:

Recommended References:

Sample questions from previous tests.

**4. Linear Algebra**

Topics included in the Linear Algebra assessment test:

Recommended References:

Sample questions from previous tests.

5. Vector Analysis and Ordinary Differential Equations

Topics included in the ODE assessment test:

Students are admitted to KAUST from a wide variety of programs and backgrounds. In order to facilitate the design of an appropriate study plan for each individual student, all MS and MS/PhD incoming students will be required to take an assessment during orientation week. There is no grade for the assessment. The purpose of the assessment is to determine whether students have mastered the prerequisites for undertaking graduate level courses taught in the program. The Advisor uses the results of the assessments to design, if necessary, a remedial study plan with a list of courses aimed at addressing content areas that may impede a student from successful completion of the degree requirements.

Students are encouraged to prepare for the assessment by refreshing the general knowledge gained from their undergraduate education before arriving at KAUST.

Mechanical Engineering students will be tested in the following subjects:

**Basic Principles of Mechanics****Basic Principles of Thermodynamics****Engineering Mathematics****Linear Algebra****Ordinary Differential Equations**

** **

Topics included in the Principles of Mechanics assessment test:

- Solid Mechanics
- Fundamental Concepts: Units, Scalar & Vector
- Adding/resolving forces, moments, types of load/support
- Equilibrium of rigid bodies. Free body diagrams. Static determinacy
- Trusses: static determinacy, method of joints and method of sections
- Stress, strain, elastic constants, Hooke's law
- Beams: shear force and bending moment diagrams
- Engineer's Bending Theory. First and second moments of area
- Beam deflection due to bending, moment-curvature relationship
- Differential equation of the deflection curve. Solution by integration
- Shear stress in beams. Shear formula
- Torsion of circular section shafts, polar second moment of area
- Buckling of elastic struts. Concept of instability. Euler formula
- Stress, strain, elastic constants, thermal strain, Hooke's law (2D/3D)
- Stresses in thin-walled cylinders subject to internal pressure
- Two-dimensional analysis of stress
- Stress transformation using Mohr circles
- Principle stresses and strains
- Friction
- Stress-strain relationships of common structural materials
- Materials in Engineering: Metals, ceramics, polymers and composites
- Basic concepts of fluid Mechanics including but not limited to: Bernoulli principle, Pascal's Law, Boundary Layers, Laminar and turbulent flow in pipes, Momentum of incompressible fluids, Drag force and drag coefficients of common geometries.

Recommended References:

- Roger T. Fenner and J.N. Reddy, Mechanics of Solids and Structures, CRC Press – ISBN 9781439858141.
- Online reference: "Engineering Mechanics of Solids" MIT.
- Fluid Mechanics (OpenStax)

Sample questions from previous tests.

2. Basic Principles of Thermodynamics

Topics included in the Principles of Thermodynamics assessment test:

- First law of thermodynamics
- Energy balance
- Energy analysis of cycles
- Energy storage
- Open systems
- Closed systems
- Control volume analysis (turbines, compressors, pumps, heat exchagners)
- Evaluation of thermodynamics properties
- Ideal gas mixtures
- Reacting mixtures
- Second law of thermodynamics (reversible and irreversible processes)
- Carnot cycle
- Entropy and exergy, entropy balance, isentropic processes, exergy balance
- Energy transfer by heat (Conduction, convection and radiation heat transfer)

Recommended References:

- Moran, Michael J., et al.
*Fundamentals of Engineering Thermodynamics*. Wiley, 2014. - Cengel, Yunus A., and Michael A. Boles.
*Thermodynamics: an Engineering Approach*. McGraw-Hill Education, 2015. - Online reference: Wikibooks, Engineering Thermodynamics, Open Books for an Open World.

Sample question s from previous tests.

3. Engineering Mathematics and Basic Calculus

Topics included in the Engineering Mathematics assessment test:

- Functions and Models (including graphical representation of functions)
- Limits
- Derivatives (including graphical and physical interpretation of derivatives)
- Anti-derivatives and definite integrals.
- The classes of functions used to develop these concepts are: polynomial, rational, trigonometric exponential and logarithmic.
- Integration (by parts, substitutions, partial fractions, approximation of integrals and improper integrals)
- Infinite sequences and series
- Convergence tests
- Power series
- Taylor polynomials and series
- Taylor's Remainder Theorem
- Vector Calculus: Vector Fields, Divergence and Curl.

Recommended References:

- Banner, Adrian. The Calculus Lifesaver: All the Tools You Need to Excel at Calculus. Princeton, NJ, USA: Princeton University Press, 2009, ISBN-13: 978-0691130880
- Strang, Gilbert. Calculus. Wellesley, MA: Wellesley-Cambridge Press, 2010, ISBN 978-09802327-4-5
- Zill, Dennis G., and Warren S. Wright. Advanced Engineering Mathematics. Burlington, Ma: Jones and Bartlett Learning, 2018, ISBN-13: 978-1284105902
- Stewart, James. Essential Calculus: Early Transcendentals. Australia: Brooks/Cole, 2013, ISBN-13: 978-1133112280

Online Recommended References:

Calculus: Early Transcendentals by James Stewart

Sample questions from previous tests.

Topics included in the Linear Algebra assessment test:

- Vector spaces and linear mappings between such spaces
- Introduction to vector spaces
- Basis and dimension
- Rank of a matrix
- Determinants
- Inverse of a matrix
- Eigenvalues and diagonalization
- Similarity
- Positive definite matrices
- Orthogonal and unitary matrices and transformations
- Orthogonal projections
- Gram-Schmidt procedure
- Solving systems of linear equations
- Applications of linear systems
- Cramer's rule
- Linear transformations
- Isomorphism
- Parallelepipeds

Recommended References:

- Linear Algebra and Its Applications, David C. Lay, Addison-Wesley/Pearson, ISBN: 978-0321385178.
- Linear Algebra: Concepts and Methods, Martin Anthony & Michele Harvey, Cambridge University Press, ISBN:978-0-521-27948-2.

Online Recommended References:

A First Course in Linear Algebra, by Robert A. Beezer

Introduction to Linear Algebra, by Gilbert Strang

Sample questions from previous tests.

5. Vector Analysis and Ordinary Differential Equations

Topics included in the ODE assessment test:

- Direction Fields (visualize the solution(s) of an ordinary differential equation without actually solving the equation.)
- Solving simple ordinary differential equations
- Classification by order
- Linearity and homogeneity
- Autonomous differential equations
- Asymptotic behavior
- Equilibrium points and stability
- Solutions by numerical schemes
- Euler's method

Recommended References:

- J. Robinson, An Introduction to Ordinary Differential Equations, Cambridge University Press, ISBN: 978-0521533911.
- J. Polking, A. Boggess, D. Arnold, Differential Equations with Boundary Value Problems, Pearson, ISBN: 978-0131862364.
- M. Tenenbaum, H. Pollard, Ordinary Differential Equations, Dover Publications, ISBN: 978-0486649405.
- J. Robinson, Differential Equations, Cambridge University Press, ISBN: 978-0521533911.

Online Recommended References:

Elementary Differential Equations with Boundary Values Problems, by William F. Trench

Master's Non-Thesis

Students wishing to pursue the non-thesis option must complete a total of 12 capstone credits, with a minimum of 6 credits of directed research (299).

Students must complete the remaining 6 credits through one or a combination of the options listed below:

- Broadening experience courses: courses that broaden a student’s M.Sc. experience. These include any graduate-level (i.e., courses numbered 200 or higher) courses offered at the university and the IED courses.
- Internship: summer internship (295) – students are only allowed to take one internship. The internship must be pre-approved by the academic advisor. The academic advisor may require an internship report from the student at the completion of the internship. The report must demonstrate the research carried out during the internship.
- Ph.D. courses: courses numbered at the 300 level

Masters with Thesis

Students wishing to pursue thesis option must secure the approval of an academic advisor who will supervise the thesis work. Student should register for a minimum of 12 credits of ME ME 297 (thesis research).

An oral defense of the M.Sc. thesis is required. Public presentation and all other details related to the format of the oral defense are left to the discretion of the thesis committee. The thesis defense committee, which must be approved by the dean, must consist of at least three members and typically includes no more than four members. At least two of the required members must be KAUST faculty. The chair plus one additional faculty member must be affiliated with the student’s program. This membership can be summarized as:

MEMBER | ROLE | PROGRAM STATUS |

1 | Chair | Within Program |

2 | Faculty | Within Program |

3 | Faculty or Approved Research Scientist | Outside Program |

4 | Additional Faculty | Inside or Outside KAUST |

****Notes:

- Academic advisors may serve as the chair
- Members 1-3 are required, member 4 is optional
- Co-chairs may serve as member 2, 3, or 4, but may not be a research scientist
- Faculty members holding secondary affiliation with ME may serve as member 1 or 2 but not as member 3
- Adjunct professors and professor emeriti may retain their roles on current committees, but may not serve as chair on any new committees
- Professors of practice and research professors may serve as members 2, 3 or 4 depending upon their affiliation with the student’s program, they may also serve as co-chairs
- Visiting professors may serve as member 4

View a list of faculty and their affiliations: HERE

**Submitting the Thesis **

The division recommends that the student submit the Thesis to the examining committee **no later than two weeks** prior to the defense. However, the committee chair sets the final requirement for the submission timeline.

**Thesis Defense Date**

The deadline to defend the Thesis is no later than two weeks before the last day of the semester. The student must set the date of the Thesis Defense inline with the committee member’s schedules. At the time the student submits the Thesis Committee Formation form, the defense has to be scheduled.

**Booking a Venue of the Thesis Defense**

It is the student’s responsibility to book a room and make the necessary IT arrangements for the Thesis Defense. Room booking is done thru the student portal under Service Request Management.

**Thesis Defense Announcement**

The student must submit to their GPC the title and abstract of his/her Thesis **a week before defense date**. The GPC will announce the Thesis defense to program members. The time and location of the defense must be included in the email. The student is required to check their program guides for further instructions related to their defense format.

An oral defense is required however the Dean can waive this requirement. The requirement of a public or private defense is left to the discretion of the committee.

As a general guideline the defense is expected to be a 45-minute presentation followed by 15 minutes of general Q&A then a closed-door Q&A session with the committee.

**Thesis Defense Evaluation**

A pass is achieved when the committee agrees with no more than one dissenting vote otherwise the student fails. The final approval must be submitted **no more than three days** after the defense.

After examination/defense, you will receive one of the following outcomes:

- Pass: The student will be given one week to apply any corrections required by the committee members. During the following week, the student is required to upload the final draft of Thesis document to Blackboard for format check and to start the submission process

- Fail: The student must notify the program GPC immediately of the committee decision. The student is required to submit MS Thesis Approval form within two days after the Thesis defense regardless of the outcome.

**Thesis Submission**

Once the post-examination corrections are made, the student must do the following:

Upload the final draft of the Thesis document to Turnitin through Blackboard under the course titled (“Year”_”Semester”_THES) available on the list of Courses: Quick View.

- Inform your GPC when this has been done.
- Submit the M.S. Thesis Final Approval form to GPC.
- Submit the Copyright form available on KAUST Library website to GPC.

The student will run the Turnitin Plagiarism report which will be sent to the Thesis Supervisor to confirm the authenticity of the Thesis document. If citation corrections need to be made, the supervisor will let you know and you must re-upload the Thesis after corrections are made.

- The library will send the tracking number of the Thesis document to GPC.
- GPC will add the tracking number to the M.S. Thesis Final Approval form.
- GPC will send the M.S. Thesis Final Approval form to officially notify the Registrar Office and confirm the completion of the M.S. Thesis degree requirements. A copy of the email will be sent to the student.
- The registrar office will start the graduation and exit processes at this stage.

The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree is designed to prepare students for research careers in academia and industry.

It is offered exclusively as a full-time program.

There is a minimum residency requirement at KAUST of 3.5 years for students entering with a B.S. degree and 2.5 years for students entering with an M.S. degree. A minimum GPA of 3.0 must be achieved on all Doctoral coursework. Individual courses require a minimum of a B- to earn course credit.

Students pursuing Ph.D. degree are required to complete the following degree requirements to earn the degree:

- Securing a Dissertation Advisor.
- Successful completion of program coursework.
- Passing the Qualifying Examination.
- Formation of the Dissertation Committee.
- Passing the Dissertation Proposal Defense.
- Defend and Submit Ph .D. Dissertation

Designation of Dissertation Advisor

The selected Dissertation Advisor must be a full time program-affiliated Assistant, Associate or Full Professor at KAUST.

The student may also select an advisor from another program at KAUST. This advisor can only become project-affiliated for the specific thesis project with program level approval.

Project-affiliation approval must be completed prior to commencing research. View a list of faculty and their affiliations: CLICK HERE

The student may also select an advisor from another program at KAUST. This advisor can only become project-affiliated for the specific thesis project with program level approval.

Project-affiliation approval must be completed prior to commencing research. View a list of faculty and their affiliations: CLICK HERE

Ph.D. Course Requirements

The required coursework varies for students entering the Ph.D. Degree with a B.S. Degree or a relevant M.S. Degree.

Students holding a B.S. Degree must complete all Program Core/Mandatory Courses and Elective Courses outlined in the M.S. Degree section and are also required to complete the Ph.D. courses below.

Students entering with a B.S. Degree may also qualify to earn the M.S. Degree by satisfying the M.S. Degree requirements; however, it is the student's responsibility to declare their intentions to graduate with an M.S.

Students entering the Ph.D. Degree with a relevant M.S. Degree must complete the requirements below, though additional courses may be required by the Dissertation Advisor.**Ph.D. Courses**

- Two 300-level Mechanical Engineering courses, one Applied Mathematics course, one elective course.
- Graduate Seminar 398 (non-credit): All students are required to register and receive a Satisfactory grade for every semester the program requires they attend.
- Winter Enrichment Program: Students are required to satisfactorily complete at least one full Winter Enrichment Program (WEP) as part of the degree requirements. Students who completed WEP requirements while earning the M.S. Degree are not required to enroll in a full WEP for a second time in the Ph.D. Degree.

Ph.D. Qualifying Exam

The purpose of the Subject-based Qualifying Exam is to test the student's knowledge of the subject matter within the field of study. All students entering the Ph.D. program with a B.S. degree must take this examination within two years of their admission. Students admitted to the program with an M.S. degree must take this exam within one year.**CLICK HERE For List of Topics for the Ph.D. Qualifying Examination**

The examination in all three subjects will be held on the same week.

Only PhD and MS/PhD students will be allowed to take the qualifying exam.

**Registration for the Qualifying Exam: **

The qualifying exam is scheduled twice per year, beginning of Fall and Spring semesters. A call for registration will be sent via email to Ph.D. students eight (8) weeks before the exam date. The email will include the exam date and instructions to register for the exam.

**Evaluation of Ph.D. Qualifying Exam:**

This is an oral exam: 30 minutes preparation + 45 minutes oral examination.

The exams will be evaluated within the next 72 hours.

Faculty members will discuss and approve the results before sending the results to students.

Results will be sent to students via email.

Students failed the qualifying exam are required to re-take the exam the following time the exam is offered.

Students who fail the Subject-based Qualifying Exam with no retake or fail the retake will be dismissed from the university.

Dissertation Committee Formation

The Dissertation Committee must include the following members:

- First member: Dissertation Advisor who acts as committee chair
- Second member: Program or Program-affiliated faculty member
- Third member: KAUST faculty member from another program

The Dissertation Committee must be approved by the Program Chair and the Dean. Once constituted, the composition of the committee can only be changed with the approval of both the Dissertation Advisor and the Dean.

The Dissertation Committee form must be completed and submitted to GPC for approval two weeks prior to the Ph.D. proposal defense

PhD Dissertation Proposal Defense

The Dissertation Proposal Defense is the second part of the qualification milestones that must be completed to become a Ph.D. Candidate. The purpose of the Dissertation Proposal Defense is to demonstrate that the student has the ability and is adequately prepared to undertake Ph.D. level research in the proposed area. This preparation includes necessary knowledge of the chosen subject, a review of the literature and preparatory theory or experiment as applicable.Ph.D. students are required to complete the Dissertation Proposal Defense within one (1) year after passing the qualifying exam. The proposal defense date will be determined by student and his/her advisor. Ph.D. students must request to present the Dissertation Proposal Defense to the Proposal Dissertation Committee by submitting the Dissertation Committee Formation Form two weeks prior to the Ph.D. proposal defense date.

The Dissertation Proposal Defense includes two aspects: a written research proposal and an oral research proposal defense.

- The written research proposal document should be 3000 words (+/- 10%).
- The oral defense should be 1.5 hours long (30 min presentation, 60 min questions)

**Ph.D. Proposal Defense Evaluation**

There are four possible outcomes from this Dissertation Proposal Defense:

- Pass: A pass is achieved when the committee agrees with no more than one dissenting vote, otherwise the student fails.
- Pass with conditions: In the instance of a Pass with conditions, the entire committee must agree on the required conditions and if they cannot, the Dean decides. The deadline to complete the conditions is one month after the defense date, unless the committee unanimously agrees to change it.
- Fail with retake: The deadline to complete the retake is six months after the defense date, unless the committee unanimously agrees to reduce it.
- Fail without retake: In the instance of a Fail without Retake, the decision of the committee must be unanimous. Students who fail the Dissertation Proposal Defense, or who fail the retake, will be dismissed from the University.

The Dissertation Proposal Evaluation form must be submitted within 48 hours after presenting the dissertation proposal.

Upon passing the Proposal Defense, student must submit the Change to Ph.D. candidate status form.

PhD Dissertation Defense and Submission

The Dissertation Defense is the final milestone of the degree. This requires acceptance of the Dissertation and passing of the final defense. The final defense is a public presentation that consists of an oral defense followed by questions.

To complete this part of their Ph.D. the student is required to complete the following:

- Form Ph.D. Dissertation Committee and petition for Ph.D. dissertation Defense examination .
- Defend the dissertation and submit the results
- Submit Ph.D. Dissertation and the Final Approval form

Note:

Students must follow the KAUST Thesis and Dissertation Guidelines available on the library website when they write their dissertation.

Student Forms - Registrar's Office