Chair's Message

A Message from the interim School Chair: Dr. Bert Bras

Welcome to the George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering at Georgia Tech!

Please take your time to visit our website and discover all the amazing things we do. We are the largest Mechanical Engineering program in the U.S. with about 3,000 students and 100 faculty members, which gives an amazing diversity and breadth of opportunities for students and faculty. Our faculty and students work on many different exciting research projects – and not all featured on these web pages. Our classes are many and diverse as well – and we try to keep the sections small so students and faculty can still have meaningful pedagogical interactions.

What is hard to express in these web pages is the immense pride our faculty, students and staff have in our program. In part, that is rooted in our history being the oldest school at Georgia Tech. Georgia Tech opened its doors in 1888 with mechanical engineering being its only degree-granting program during the Institute’s first eight years. Mechanical Engineering grew from the original shop and trade culture to a premier world class professional curriculum with experimental laboratories and multi-disciplinary challenges. Today, with almost 3,000 students, the Woodruff School is the largest mechanical engineering program in the US, graduating over 600 bachelor’s degrees, 200 master’s degrees, and 65+ doctoral degrees each year.  From its early beginning and throughout our history, one thing has always remained constant: excellence in creating and building products, devices, and systems that make the world a better place! 

Mechanical Engineering is an excellent general education for today's technological world.  ME's conceive, construct, test, and operate all kinds of mechanical, thermal, and biological devices. ME's are the backbone of the profession and work in every industry — from transportation, telecommunications, energy, and electronics to bioengineering, commerce, and manufacturing — in business, government, and universities. Georgia Tech's highly-ranked undergraduate mechanical engineering program encompasses cutting-edge, multi-disciplinary areas, such as acoustics, bioengineering, design, materials, manufacturing, robotics, and MEMS, among others.

In keeping with our roots, our school also encourages and enables all its students to engage in hardware prototyping projects by providing a variety of resources, including access to state of the art machines, expertise, and assembly space to all its students, through the Georgia Tech Invention Studio, the Montgomery Machining Mall, the ME Electronics Shop, and the newly created IDEA Lab – all housed in a contiguous space on the second floor of the MRDC building. Some of these resources, like the Montgomery Machining Mall (MMM) which is a 6700sf professional state-of-the art yet student-friendly machining work space, are so unique that several other Georgia Tech academic units have signed service-level agreements to allow their students access to these state-of-the-art facilities – creating economies of scale and increasing resources efficiency. Given these collaborations, it is not surprising that the Woodruff School also leads the drive for multi-disciplinary education, and we can point with pride to strong partnerships with many other schools in Georgia Tech.

The research activities of our faculty and students are varied and the size of our program allows us to provide challenging experiences for our students in areas beyond the typical core of mechanical engineering programs. Multi-disciplinary programs are strongly encouraged and the research experience of our faculty is brought to the classroom, giving students a sense of how mechanical engineering contributes to solving the world’s grand challenges.
Please enjoy your visit to the Woodruff School, which also includes highly-ranked programs in Nuclear and Radiological Engineering and Medical Physics, and remember that we are more than just a website.  Connect with us further via social media and in person with any questions that you may have. We would love to talk to you – especially about engineering!

Bert Bras
Brook Byers Professor and Interim Chair of the Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering