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.
Mechanical Engeering

Why study Mechanical Engineering?

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.  In your second and third years you can choose papers to focus on either a Mechatronics Stream or a Manufacturing and Energy Stream.

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 has supported work placements in 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.

Career Opportunities

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

Hamilton, Tauranga


The Mechanical Engineering programme is fully accredited under the Washington Accord.

Practical experience

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 Work-Integrated Learning team actively seeks and oversees your work placement, ensuring a good fit for your area of study and career goals, and supporting you throughout your work experience.

By the time you graduate you will have the credibility of paid experience to take with you as you start your career.


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.

Scholarships and prizes

Visit our Scholarship Finder for information about possible scholarships

Mechanical Engineering papers