Mechanical Engineering

Mechanical engineering uses mechanics and energy principles to design, research, develop and manufacture tools, engines, motors and other devices.  At the University of Waikato we align what you learn with what industry requires.

Luke Fielding

Bachelor of Engineering with Honours
“It bothers me that so few Māori are completing qualifications in science and engineering, so if I can help change that, then I’ll be pleased.”

Leon Henderson

Bachelor of Engineering with Honours
Since 2013 Leon has been a research associate at Cambridge University, working in an automotive engineering capacity on a project funded by Volvo Trucks.

Tennille Nisbet

Bachelor of Engineering with Honours
“I believe I’m attending the best school of engineering in the country because the education is uniquely hands-on and the classes are a good size.”

Tom Petchell

Bachelor of Engineering with Honours
Choosing to undertake tertiary study is a big decision, and not one that engineering student Tom Petchell took lightly.

Our Mechanical Engineering programme is strongly based on project-based learning.  It combines mechanical engineering, science and mathematics papers to give you a good understanding of engineering theory and practice.

You will study topics such as mechanics, kinematics, thermodynamics, materials science, structural analysis and electricity.

Mechanical Engineering students have unique, hands-on learning opportunities at Waikato:

  • You could be part of the Waikato Formula SAE team, where students design and build their own race car, and compete in the Formula SAE Australasia competition, usually held in Australia.
  • In your third year, you will work in groups to design, manufacture and test a machine to meet a real-world design brief and specifications.  Students in the past have designed a pin-collecting machine for ArborGen Australasia.

An important part of the Mechanical Engineering programme at the University of Waikato is supported work placements into relevant industries. This gives you the opportunity for paid work experience while further exploring the field of Mechanical Engineering you could choose for your career.

You'll work on major research design projects, creating products with commercial applications, which are then showcased at our annual Oji Fibre Solutions Engineering Design Show.  And importantly, there is also a focus on developing well-honed communication skills that are such a vital part of the profession.

At Waikato the Mechanical Engineering programme is fully accredited by Engineering New Zealand (formerly IPENZ); meaning your degree is internationally recognised and you can work just about anywhere in the world.


Students can work in specialised laboratories including the Large Scale Lab complex that features a suite of workshops and laboratories dedicated to engineering teaching and research, such as 3D printing, a mechanical workshop and computer labs with engineering design software.

As a mechanical engineering student you will learn computer aided engineering (CAE) software such as SolidWorks and ANSYS which will set you up for a career in today’s technology-driven society.

Build a successful career

There is currently a shortage of mechanical engineers, and Waikato graduates enjoy excellent employment prospects. There are opportunities in the machine design, agricultural engineering, manufacturing and robotics sectors, among many others.

 Career opportunities

  • Aeronautical Engineer
  • Agricultural Engineer
  • Automation Engineer
  • Energy Engineer
  • Equipment Prototype Engineer
  • Materials Engineer
  • Mechanical Engineer
  • Process Engineer
  • Product Developer
  • Project Manager


Study Mechanical Engineering in any of these qualifications

Year 1

Students must take the following papers:

Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
ENGEN103Engineering Computing18A (Hamilton) & 18B (Hamilton)
This paper introduces computer programming in languages such as C# and Python. It provides the basis for the programming skills required in more advanced papers within the School of Engineering.
ENGEN110Engineering Mechanics18B (Hamilton)
This paper covers aspects of engineering mechanics.
ENGEN111Electricity and Electronics18A (Hamilton)
Students are introduced to underlying concepts in electricity such as current, voltage and power, and apply these concepts in a laboratory by making circuits and measuring them with common laboratory instruments.
ENGEN112Materials Science and Engineering18B (Hamilton)
Introduction to engineering materials (metals, ceramics, polymers, composites, semiconductors and biomaterials) and their atomic structure and mechanical properties. Includes; elastic and plastic deformation, fracture mechanisms, failure in service, iron-carbon phase diagram, redox reactions in corrosion, production of polymers, ce...
ENGEN170Engineering and Society18B (Hamilton)
Introduction to the role of engineering in society in particular understanding of Treaty of Waitangi, history of science, engineering and technology, philosophy and ethics and public participation, participatory design, sustainability.
ENGEN180Foundations of Engineering18A (Hamilton)
Introduction to the engineering design process and computer aided design, fundamental principles of engineering analysis, open ended problem solving, engineering economics and the skills of a successful engineer. Includes a design-build-test experience.
ENGEN183Linear Algebra and Statistics for Engineers18A (Hamilton) & 18B (Hamilton)
A study of introductory statistics and the fundamental techniques of algebra including Gaussian elimination, vector and matrix algebra, complex numbers, eigenvalues and eigenvectors, as well as basic statistical notions and tools, with engineering applications.
ENGEN184Calculus for Engineers18A (Hamilton), 18B (Hamilton) & 18S (Hamilton)
A study of the fundamental techniques of calculus, including differentiation and integration for functions of one real variable, with engineering applications.

Year 2

Students must take the following papers:

Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
ENGEN201Engineering Mathematics 218B (Hamilton)
Calculus of Several Variables and its Applications. Vector calculus (Green's, Gauss' and Stokes' theorems). Taylor's Theorem in n dimensions. Introduction to partial differential equations. Fourier series.
ENGEN270Engineering Professional Practice 118A (Hamilton)
Preparation for success in the engineering workplace including CV preparation, interview techniques, job seeking skills, online profile, workplace and engineering business cultures and norms, ethics, communication and management structures.
ENGEN271Industry Placement 118C (Hamilton)
First work placement involving 400 hours of work experience at an approved engineering organisation relevant to your studies. Typically undertaken during the summer semesters at the end of second year.
ENGME221Engineering Thermodynamics18A (Hamilton)
This paper covers the fundamental concepts and laws of thermodynamics, including thermodynamics properties of substances, first and second law analysis, power cycles, refrigeration cycles and simple combustion analysis of engines.
ENGME251Dynamics and Vibration18A (Hamilton) & 18B (Hamilton)
This paper covers the principles and application of dynamics and vibration.
ENGME280Design and Manufacturing 118B (Hamilton)
This paper covers the fundamentals of engineering design and manufacture.
ENGMP211Materials 118A (Hamilton)
This paper will provide a foundation for understanding the relationship between material structure, processing and behaviour to support engineering of materials and engineering with materials.
ENGMP213Mechanics of Materials 118A (Hamilton)
Stress and failure analysis of statically determinant and material systems under axial, bending and torsional loads, including beam deflections, buckling of struts, shear in joints, twisting in circular shafts and couplings.

Plus 15 points of electives from their chosen elective path:

Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
COMPX203Computer Systems18A (Hamilton) & 18B (Hamilton)
This paper provides an overview of the operation of computer systems. The central theme is the way in which the hardware and software co-operate to allow the execution of programs written in a high-level language.
ENGCB224Heat and Mass Transfer18B (Hamilton)
This paper covers the fundamentals of heat and mass transfer analysis, including conduction, heat convection, radiation, molecular diffusion and mass convection. Finned surfaces and heat exchangers are also covered.

Year 3

Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
ENGG372Engineering Work Placement 218C (Hamilton)
The second Work Placement for the Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) degree.
ENGG379Reflection on Professional Workplace Experience18A (Hamilton)
Guided reflection on professional work placements in engineering.
ENGG386Engineering Modelling18A (Hamilton)
Principles of engineering modelling and the application of software tools to solve real life engineering problems.
ENME323Thermofluids18A (Hamilton)
The fundamental concepts and laws of fluids mechanics and heat transfer in steady and transient systems.
ENME351Dynamics and Mechanisms18A (Hamilton) & 18B (Hamilton)
This paper examines the application of kinetics and kinematics to mechanical systems and provides an introduction to 3-D dynamics.
ENME352Machine Dynamics and Control18B (Hamilton)
This paper covers vibrations of multiple degree of freedom systems, modelling and analysis for design improvements, vibration control, mathematical modelling, time, feedback and frequency response, control actions and controllers.
ENME380Mechanical Engineering Design18B (Hamilton)
Aspects of machine design and power transmission are covered. Engineering drawing and design techniques are further developed and applied through project work. The benefits and pitfalls of simulating mechanical designs are demonstrated and discussed. Electrical machines including DC, AC motors and solenoids are explained in a mecha...
ENMP313Mechanics of Materials 218A (Hamilton)
The scientific principles and relationships underlying mechanics and performance of materials. This paper covers stress and strain transformations, failure criteria, deflections and angle of twist, stress in bending fatigue and materials testing.

Year 4

Students must take the following papers:

Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
ENGG381Engineering Statistics18A (Hamilton)
Aimed specifically at Engineering students, this paper covers statistical models, experimentation for quality design and control, process measurement and improvement, statistical process control and capability, and reliability.
ENGG492Honours Research and Management Project18A (Hamilton), 18B (Hamilton), 18C (Hamilton) & 18Y (Hamilton)
An engineering research and development project, including design philosophy, market requirements, specifications, design and analysis, component and materials selection, prototype development, documentation, quality and failure analysis, standards and codes, IP protection, and project planning and management.
ENME480Advanced Product Development18A (Hamilton)
This paper explains the technologically driven changes affecting modern product development. It also teaches the most common rapid prototyping technologies and when to apply them. Examples of virtual engineering and simulation are demonstrated. Advanced manufacturing techniques are explained and demonstrated.

Plus 30 points of electives from:

Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
ENGG301Special Topic in Engineering18A (Hamilton), 18B (Hamilton), 18C (Hamilton) & 18Y (Hamilton)
An independent theoretical, literature or experimental investigation of an engineering topic, supervised by a member of staff.
ENME440Finite Element Analysis and Applications18A (Hamilton)
This paper explains the theory behind the Finite Element Method (FEM) and its application to solve engineering problems using a commercial software package.
ENME451Mechanics of Vibration18B (Hamilton)
Students will learn how to apply Newton's laws of motion and energy principles to complex mechanical systems including continuous systems and how to calculate natural frequencies and dynamic response of machines and machine components.
ENMP311Materials 218B (Hamilton)
This paper advances knowledge presented in ENMP211 on structure, property, processing relationships fundamental to materials science and engineering. This paper includes microstructure modification, new materials and applications.
ENMP407Materials and Processing Elective18A (Hamilton) & 18B (Hamilton)
An advanced study in materials and processing. Possible options include: advanced composites; metals; bioseparation processing. Sub-topics include: available processing options; effect of material characteristics on processing parameters.
ENMP413Materials Performance in Service18B (Hamilton)
Students learn how to solve load and displacement problems using energy methods. Students will be introduced to plastic limit state analysis of structures.
ENMP422Advanced Process Simulation and Control18A (Hamilton)
Process dynamics, simulation and control and modern control systems, including open and closed loop, linear and non-linear systems, PID control, stability and tuning. It includes process simulation with commercial software packages.

Prescriptions for the MEngPrac

Students completing a Master of Engineering Practice are required to take a research project and a selection of papers. To complete a MEngPrac in Mechanical Engineering students must complete 180 points at 500 level, including ENGME506, 30 points from EXPM501, EXPM502, EXPM505, EXPM506, EXPM507 and EXPM510, 60 points from ENGME513, ENGME555, ENGME580, ENMP515, ENMP516, ENMP542 and ENMP586, as well as 60 points from ENGEN508.

Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
ENGEN508Master's Capstone Project18A (Hamilton) & 18C (Hamilton)
This paper requires students to carry out a theoretical or empirical investigation in a relevant subject/engineering discipline and write a report on the findings of the investigation.
ENGME506Mechanical and Mechatronics Systems Analysis18A (Hamilton)
This paper covers the principles of mechanical and mechatronics engineering analysis.
ENGME555Advanced Control in Mechatronics18B (Hamilton)
This paper teaches students the advanced application of control in mechatronics.
ENMP515CAD/CAM for Engineering18A (Hamilton)
No description available.
ENMP516Materials Characterisation18B (Hamilton)
No description available.
ENMP542Design for Energy and the Environment18C (Hamilton)
This interdisciplinary paper focuses on the important aspects of science and technology related to new and existing energy resources and energy efficiency. Topics covered reflect the trend of current development in energy technology.
ENMP586Industrial Technology and Innovation 218B (Hamilton)
No description available.

Work placements are a major feature of the Mechanical Engineering programme and you will complete 800 hours of relevant work experience during your degree.

Our Cooperative Education Unit actively seeks and oversees your industrial work placement, ensuring a good fit for your area of study and career goals, and monitoring the quality of your work experience.  They are the leader in New Zealand for co-operative education programmes, with an average 350 students placed in industry every year.

By the time you graduate you will have the credibility of paid experience to take to your interviews.

Brian Perry Charitable Trust Undergraduate Scholarship in Science & Engineering

For students who are enrolled in the second year of full-time study towards an undergraduate degree, in the Faculty of Science and Engineering at the University of Waikato. The scholarship will have a value of up to $2,000.

Closing Date: 2017-05-31 23:59:00

DairyNZ Masters Scholarship

For students who are enrolled in the final year or have completed a Bachelors degree in Science, agricultural science, agricultural business or economics and are eligible to enrol in a masters degree at a New Zealand University. Up to three scholarships of $30,000 will be available each year + tuition fees.

Closing Date: 2016-08-08 23:59:00

Engineering Admission Fees Scholarship

For students who are intending to enrol full-time (120 pts) in the first year of a Bachelor of Engineering(Honours) degree in the Faculty of Science & Engineering at the University of Waikato and are currently completing the final year of secondary school. The Scholarship has a value of up to $4,000

Closing Date: 2017-08-31 23:59:00

School of Engineering Postgraduate Study Scholarship

For students who qualify to enrol at the University of Waikato, and are intending to study part or full-time in semester B 2016 in the School of Engineering in either a masters degree 90 or 120 point thesis or the first year of a PhD degree.

Closing Date: 2016-07-18 23:59:00


Faculty of Science & Engineering

Phone: +64 7 838 4625 / 0800 438 254