PhD in Mechanical Engineering


Program Description

Students in Florida Tech’s doctoral program experience an intimate learning environment where professors mentor and collaborate with students as professionals. Class sizes are small and the environment promotes innovative, independent thinking to develop graduates who are positioned for leadership.

Students seeking a mechanical engineering Ph.D. degree are dedicated researchers exploring topics currently important to the industry. Because of the multidisciplinary nature of the research conducted at Florida Tech, students are knowledgeable professionals ready to make immediate contributions in the workplace.

Dedicated, Experienced Faculty

Each faculty member is a professional engineer who has experience in real-world design and research. Professors conduct a wide range of research interests in instrumentation and control, mechatronics, robotics, biomechanics, computer-aided design, alternative energy, and more. Mechanical engineering Ph.D. students can contribute to these projects and often publish their findings in respected research journals. NASA, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, the National Science Foundation, the State of Florida, and the Department of Energy has recently funded faculty research projects.

Customized Degree Options

Five areas of specialization are offered to students in the mechanical engineering Ph.D. program: automotive engineering; dynamic systems: robotics and controls; hydrogen and fuel cell technology; solid mechanics and materials; or thermal fluid sciences. Prior to beginning the program, candidates map out their own course of study with a faculty mentor whose professional field is aligned to the student’s career goals and interests.


Extensive Research Facilities

The university’s reputation is built on a solid record of engineering and research excellence. Research facilities and infrastructure where students conduct state-of-the-art research include the National Center for Hydrogen Research, Florida Center for Automotive Research, and the Institute for Energy Systems. Florida Tech students in the mechanical engineering Ph.D. program have access to additional research facilities and laboratories including:

  • Wireless Center of Excellence
  • College of Engineering Center for Space Commercialization
  • Wind and Hurricane Impacts Research Laboratory
  • Laser, Optics, and Instrumentation Laboratory
  • Low-Speed Wind Tunnel
  • Dynamic Systems and Controls Laboratory
  • Drop Tower
  • Shaker Table
  • Materials Testing Machine
  • Composite Manufacturing Lab
  • Cascade Tunnel
  • Laser Optics and Instrumentation Laboratory
  • Robotics and Spatial Systems Laboratory
  • Thermal Plasma Spray and High Heat-Flux Testing Laboratories
  • Automotive Engineering Testing Laboratory

Important Research Projects

Mechanical engineering Ph.D. students often collaborate with numerous organizations on research projects including:

  • NASA
  • Department of Energy
  • Department of Defense
  • Florida Department of Transportation
  • Federal Aviation Administration
  • Air Force Research Laboratory

Great Florida Location

While many mechanical engineering Ph.D. students are already working professionals in the local area, other candidates choose the mechanical engineering master’s program at Florida Tech for its prime location in the heart of Florida’s Space Coast, in the middle of one of the nation’s largest high-tech workforces.


The student’s master’s and doctoral coursework combined should include a minimum of 24 credit hours in mechanical engineering and nine credit hours in mathematics. The doctoral program of study must be approved by the student’s advisor and the department head. The distribution of these courses should include courses in each of the four areas of specialization, and as a minimum should have the credit distribution given below:

  • Major Area of Specialization (including master’s courses) Credit Hours: 18
  • Related Areas of Specialization (including master’s courses) Credit Hours: 9
  • Mathematics (including master’s courses) Credit Hours: 9

Coursework and Dissertation Summary

  • Doctoral coursework beyond the master’s degree (minimum) Credit Hours: 18
  • ​Doctoral research and dissertation (minimum) Credit Hours: 24

Minimum Credits Required Beyond the Master’s Degree: 42

Excellent Career Potential

Graduates find a wide range of career options with a degree from Florida Tech’s mechanical engineering Ph.D. program. Mechanical engineers work in industries such as the aerospace, electronics, railway, government and defense, materials and metals, construction, and automotive industries, to name a few.

Demand for mechanical engineers is growing through 2022 with new job opportunities in alternative energy, nanotechnology, and automotive. Employers such as Harris Corp., GE, the US Air Force, and Pratt & Whitney have hired Florida mechanical engineering graduates.

Last updated Aug 2020

About the School

Florida Institute of Technology is a private, coeducational, residential, research-intensive, doctoral-granting university located in the beautiful City of Melbourne on Florida’s sunny “Space Coast.” ... Read More

Florida Institute of Technology is a private, coeducational, residential, research-intensive, doctoral-granting university located in the beautiful City of Melbourne on Florida’s sunny “Space Coast.” But who we are is so much more. We are a community of researchers, scholars, and learners hailing from all around the world. We are engineers, aviators, innovators, leaders, educators, athletes, and astronauts. We have the brains of rocket scientists and the hearts of Panthers. We are Florida Tech. Read less