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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.

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.

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.

Apply to enrol

Key information

Study Locations:Hamilton, Tauranga
Papers offered differ by location. The Catalogue of Papers has full location info.

Study Mechanical Engineering in these qualifications

Mechanical Engineering as a specialisation of

Career opportunities

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

Study in Tauranga

Years 1 and 4 of the BE(Hons) in Mechanical Engineering are available in Tauranga. You'll still need to complete years 2 and 3 in Hamilton.

Year 1

Students must take the following papers: ENGEN103, ENGEN110, ENGEN111, ENGEN112, ENGEN170, ENGEN180, ENGEN183 and ENGEN184.

Year 2

Students must take the following papers: ENGEN201, ENGEN270, ENGEN271, ENGME221, ENGME251, ENGME280, ENGMP211 and ENGMP213.

Plus 15 points of electives from their chosen elective path: COMPX203 or ENGCB224.

Year 3

Students must take the following papers: ENGEN301, ENGEN371, ENGEV342, ENGME352, ENGME353, ENGME380 and ENGMP313.

Plus 30 points of electives from either ENGCB223, ENGCB321, or ENGMP311 or ENGME357, ENGME323.

Year 4

Students must take the following papers: ENGEN570, ENGEN582, and ENGME580.

Plus 30 points of electives (with no more than one 300 level paper): ENGCB321, ENGEV341, ENGCB521, ENGCB523, ENGEN585, ENGME540, ENGME557, ENGMP511, ENGMP512 and ENGMP513.

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 EXMBM511, EXMBM512, EXMBM514, EXMBM521 and EXMBM522, 60 points from ENGCB523, ENGEN584, ENGEN585, ENGEN586, ENGEN587, ENGEV543, ENGME515, ENGME557, ENGME585, and ENGMP513, as well as 60 points from ENGEN508.

100 Level

Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
ENGEN103Engineering Computing19A (Hamilton), 19A (Tauranga) & 19T (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 Mechanics19A (Tauranga), 19B (Hamilton) & 19B (Tauranga)
This paper covers aspects of engineering mechanics.
ENGEN111Electricity and Electronics19A (Hamilton), 19A (Tauranga), 19B (Tauranga) & 19T (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 Engineering19B (Hamilton) & 19B (Tauranga)
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 Society19B (Hamilton) & 19B (Tauranga)
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 Engineering19A (Hamilton) & 19A (Tauranga)
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 Engineers19A (Hamilton), 19A (Tauranga), 19B (Hamilton) & 19B (Tauranga)
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 Engineers19A (Hamilton), 19A (Tauranga), 19B (Hamilton), 19B (Tauranga), 19S (Hamilton) & 19S (Tauranga)
A study of the fundamental techniques of calculus, including differentiation and integration for functions of one real variable, with engineering applications.

200 Level

Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
COMPX203Computer Systems19A (Hamilton) & 19B (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.
ENGCB223Fluid Mechanics19B (Hamilton)
Basic principles of fluid statics and dynamics, including fluid viscosity, Bernoulli and mechanical energy equation, momentum analysis, dimensional analysis, flow in pipes and ducts, flow over bodies, and compressible flow.
ENGCB224Heat and Mass Transfer19B (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.
ENGEN201Engineering Mathematics 219B (Hamilton) & 19S (Hamilton)
Calculus of Several Variables and its Applications. Vector calculus (Green's, Gauss' and Stokes' theorems). Taylor's Theorem in n dimensions. Introduction to ordinary differential equations and methods to solve them.
ENGEN270Engineering Professional Practice 119A (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.
ENGEN271Engineering Work Placement 119C (Hamilton), 19S (Hamilton) & 19T (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 Thermodynamics19A (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 Vibration19B (Hamilton)
This paper covers the principles and application of dynamics and vibration.
ENGME280Design and Manufacturing 119B (Hamilton)
This paper covers the fundamentals of engineering design and manufacture.
ENGMP211Materials 119A (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 119A (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.

300 Level

Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
ENGCB321Thermal Engineering19B (Hamilton)
Application of engineering thermodynamics to steady and unsteady industrial processes, including, steam boiler systems, advanced power and refrigeration cycles, cooling towers and plant utility systems
ENGCB322Chemical and Biological Operations19B (Hamilton)
This paper covers the principle and application of enzymes, concepts of fermentation technology, principles of bioreactor operation, bioprocess variables and their measurement, key product separation techniques, and bioprocess economics.
ENGCB323Chemical Reaction Engineering19A (Hamilton)
This paper is an introduction to the quantitative treatment of chemical and biological reaction and reactor engineering, including homogeneous and heterogeneous reacting systems.
ENGCB324Mass Transfer Operations19A (Hamilton)
This paper covers the application of heat and mass transfer, and thermodynamics to chemical and physical separation process.
ENGCB380Process Engineering Design 219B (Hamilton)
Conceptual and detailed design, costing and economic assessment of chemical, biological and materials process plants, including software and numerical simulation, separation trains, heat exchanger and pump sizing, and reactor kinetics.
ENGCV312Structural Engineering 219B (Hamilton)
Analysis of statically indeterminate structures, application of moment-area method, computer analysis of structures, design of structures in steel, wood, reinforced concrete and pre-stressed concrete.
ENGCV323Water Engineering 219A (Hamilton)
Application of fluid mechanics principles to water engineering applications such as design of pipe system networks, pump characteristics and selection, open channel flow, hydraulic jump, measurement, analysis and modelling of surface hydrological processes.
ENGCV331Geotechnical Engineering 219B (Hamilton)
Advanced course in geotechnical engineering including analysis and design of shallow and deep foundations, and retaining structures under a variety of conditions, includes a project based learning activity that reinforces threshold concepts and theory.
ENGCV351Construction 219A (Hamilton)
Construction processes and building technology including surveying, site preparation, earthworks, foundations, Building Information Modelling (BIM), risk assessment, site health and safety, construction project management, demolition and site remediation.
ENGCV380Civil Design Challenge 219B (Hamilton)
Engineering design principles applied to an advanced open-ended civil design challenge. Design standards, project finance, environmental consideration, health and safety and risk assessment.
ENGEE323Sensors and Measurement19B (Hamilton)
The paper covers the theory and applications of semiconductor sensors and the basic theory and design concepts used in common electronic measurement systems used by electronic engineers.
ENGEE331Signals19B (Hamilton)
This paper covers communications signalling and modulation, and signals fundamentals. Wired and wireless, baseband and passband, the Fourier representation of signals, bandwidth, and transmit filtering, are taught.
ENGEE334Transmission Lines & Antennae19A (Hamilton)
The paper uses classical electromagnetic theory to describe the propagation of electromagnetic waves and to analyse applications like transmission lines, waveguides, antennas, and microwave circuits.
ENGEE335Integrated Circuits19B (Hamilton)
The paper covers techniques for fabricating ICs, CMOS devices, logic gate characteristics and design, monolithic topologies such as differential pairs, multipliers, current mirrors, bandgap references, opamps, device failure mechanisms, ESD, electromigration, and estimating circuit reliability.
ENGEE336Power Electronics19B (Hamilton)
Paper covers theory, design, applications and the systems approach in power electronics. Subjects include power semiconductors, power converters, energy storge devices, DC power management, AC power conditioning and surge protection.
ENGEN301Engineering Mathematics 319A (Hamilton)
Introduces numerical methods and statistical ideas relevant to Engineering.
ENGEN371Engineering Work Placement 219C (Hamilton)
Second 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 third year.
ENGEN390Special Topics in Engineering 119A (Hamilton), 19B (Hamilton), 19C (Hamilton), 19D (Hamilton) & 19Y (Hamilton)
An independent theoretical literature or experimental investigation of an engineering topic supervised by a member of staff.
ENGEN391Special Topics in Engineering 219A (Hamilton), 19B (Hamilton), 19C (Hamilton), 19D (Hamilton) & 19Y (Hamilton)
An independent theoretical literature or experimental investigation of an engineering topic supervised by a member of staff.
ENGEV341Environmental Engineering 219B (Hamilton)
This paper covers the design, operation and management of unit processes used in environmental engineering including air, water, wastewater, storm water, waste, soils and noise treatment and control systems.
ENGEV342Sustainable Engineering19A (Hamilton)
This paper covers sustainability in engineering design within the context of quality standards, emissions, carbon accounting and life cycle analysis.
ENGME323Thermofluids19B (Hamilton)
Application of basic principles of fluids and heat transfer to mechatronic engineering. Topics include fluid viscosity, fluid statics, hydraulics, flow in pipes, fans and pumps, conduction, convection and radiation heat transfer, heat exchangers and cooling electronic components.
ENGME352Machine Control and Applications19A (Hamilton)
This paper teaches students the theory and application of machine control.
ENGME353Electrical and Mechanical Machines19A (Hamilton)
This paper teaches students the theory and application of electrical and mechanical machines.
ENGME357Microcontrollers and Mechatronics19B (Hamilton)
This paper teaches students the basics of mechatronics with advanced theory of machine control.
ENGME380Design and Manufacturing 219B (Hamilton)
This paper covers modern aspects of engineering design and manufacture.
ENGMP311Materials 219B (Hamilton)
It will develop understanding of the relationship between material structure, processing and behaviour to support engineering of materials and engineering with materials.
ENGMP313Mechanics of Materials 219B (Hamilton)
Advanced level knowledge on mechanics and performance of materials, covering stress and strain transformations, failure criteria, unsymmetrical bending, torsion of non-circular sections, fatigue, materials selection and materials testing.

500 Level

Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
ENGCB521Advanced Process Control19A (Hamilton)
This paper covers the fundamentals of process control, and introduces advanced process control strategies.
ENGCB523Advanced Energy Engineering19A (Hamilton) & 19B (Hamilton)
Analysis of chemical processing plants and renewable, cogen and smart energy systems through pinch analysis and total site process integration.
ENGCB561Advanced Bioprocessing 119A (Hamilton)
Theory of protein purification and selected large-scale bioprocesses.
ENGCB563Food Technology 119A (Hamilton)
No description available.
ENGCB564Food Technology 219B (Hamilton)
No description available.
ENGCV512Advanced Structural Design19A (Hamilton)
This paper covers advanced analysis and design of structures made from structural steel, reinforced concrete, reinforced masonry and timber, including connections, retaining walls and concrete floor slabs.
ENGCV513Earthquake Engineering and Design19B (Hamilton)
Design of civil structures to withstand natural hazards and seismic events, including materials selection, geology and geotechnical considerations, types of foundations and single and multi-level structures.
ENGCV531Advanced Geotechnical Engineering19B (Hamilton)
Principles of critical state soil mechanics and soil plasticity applied to soil-structure interactions under seismic loading and the practical aspects of geotechnical earthquake engineering.
ENGCV541Advanced Highways and Transportation19A (Hamilton)
Universal design and participatory planning of useful, safe and resilient land-based transport systems and infrastructure.
ENGEE504Analog Filter Design19B (Hamilton)
This paper introduces students to the design of electronic filters to process analog signals.
ENGEE505Rechargeable Batteries and their Management19A (Hamilton)
This paper covers engineering characteristics of rechargeable battery chemistries including lead-acid, nickel-based, and Li-based. Specifications such as charge control, state of charge, state of health and SMBus will be covered.
ENGEE506Electronics Systems Analysis19A (Hamilton)
This paper uses the approach of problem based learning for the analysis of common electronics circuits and their applications.
ENGEE516Surge Protection of Electronic Systems19B (Hamilton)
This paper covers the essential principles related to surge protection of electronic systems powered by the commercial AC power utility and the systems interconnected via data or telecommunication interfaces.
ENGEE531Advanced Signal Processing19A (Hamilton)
This paper introduces advanced methods for digitally processing signals. It covers signal transforms with applications in 1D and 2D, principles and practical methods of digital filter design, statistical signal processing.
ENGEE532Image Processing and Machine Vision19B (Hamilton)
This paper is an introduction to image processing and machine vision in the context of machine automation and control and includes noise suppression, object recognition and tracking, and camera technologies and geometries.
ENGEE580Mechatronic Projects19A (Hamilton)
The paper brings together electronic, programming, and mechanical skills into projects where real-time systems are designed, constructed, and demonstrated. Timing of actuators and sensor inputs from fastest to slowest limits of a real-time controller imparts an appreciation of scheduling what is possible in any given mechatronic pr...
ENGEE585Advanced Power Electronics19B (Hamilton)
This paper provides an advanced systems-level teaching on the subject of power electronics. Subjects include power semiconductors, power converters, energy storage devices, DC power management, AC power conditioning and surge protection.
ENGEN508Master's Capstone Project19C (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.
ENGEN570Engineering Professional Practice 219Y (Hamilton)
Role engineers in industry, business and society, contract law and legal responsibility, Treaty of Waitangi considerations, intellectual property, teamwork and leadership skills, responsibilities of a professional, ethics with industrial case studies.
ENGEN581Honours Research Project19A (Hamilton), 19B (Hamilton), 19C (Hamilton) & 19Y (Hamilton)
Final year honours research project carried out on a topic assigned and supervised by a member of staff.
ENGEN582Honours Research and Development Project19A (Hamilton), 19B (Hamilton), 19C (Hamilton) & 19Y (Hamilton)
This is the final year Honours, research and design "capstone" project.
ENGEN583Special Topics in Engineering 319A (Hamilton), 19B (Hamilton), 19C (Hamilton), 19D (Hamilton) & 19Y (Hamilton)
An independent theoretical literature or experimental investigation of an engineering topic supervised by a member of staff.
ENGEN584Special Topics in Engineering 419A (Hamilton), 19B (Hamilton), 19C (Hamilton) & 19D (Hamilton)
An independent theoretical literature or experimental investigation of an engineering topic supervised by a member of staff.
ENGEN585Special Topics in Engineering 519A (Hamilton), 19B (Hamilton), 19C (Hamilton) & 19D (Hamilton)
An independent theoretical literature or experimental investigation of an engineering topic supervised by a member of staff.
ENGEN586Special Topics in Engineering 619A (Hamilton), 19B (Hamilton), 19C (Hamilton) & 19D (Hamilton)
An independent theoretical literature or experimental investigation of an engineering topic supervised by a member of staff.
ENGEN587Directed Study 119A (Hamilton), 19B (Hamilton) & 19C (Hamilton)
Students have the opportunity to pursue a topic of their own interest under the guidance of academic staff.
ENGEN588Directed Study 219A (Hamilton), 19B (Hamilton) & 19C (Hamilton)
Students have the opportunity to pursue a topic of their own interest under the guidance of academic staff.
ENGEV543Design for Energy and the Environment19B (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.
ENGEV544Environmental Technology Water and Wastewater 119A (Hamilton)
No description available.
ENGEV545Environmental Technology Water and Wastewater 219B (Hamilton)
No description available.
ENGME506Mechanical and Mechatronics Systems Analysis19A (Hamilton)
This paper covers the principles of mechanical and mechatronics engineering analysis.
ENGME515CAD/CAM for Engineering19B (Hamilton)
No description available.
ENGME540Finite Element Analysis19A (Hamilton)
This paper covers kinematics, momentum and variational formulation of particles, dynamics of rigid body system, vibration of linear-lumped-parameters system and dynamics of continuous systems.
ENGME555Advanced Control in Mechatronics19B (Hamilton)
This paper teaches students the advanced application of control in mechatronics.
ENGME557Robotics19B (Hamilton)
This paper teaches students the advanced mechatronics with applications to mobile and industrial robotic applications.
ENGME580Product Innovation and Development19A (Hamilton)
This paper covers modern aspects of product innovation and development.
ENGME585Industrial Technology and Innovation 119A (Hamilton)
Industrial Technology and Innovation explores the process of technological innovation in industry through readings, assignments, case studies and discussion sessions. It is interactive and draws upon student experiences from work and project experience.
ENGME586Industrial Technology and Innovation 219B (Hamilton)
No description available.
ENGMP511Advanced Materials Properties and Performance19A (Hamilton)
This paper deals with advanced materials science knowledge and principles underlying materials behaviour and engineering.
ENGMP512Advanced Materials Manufacture19A (Hamilton)
This paper deals with advanced materials science knowledge and principles underlying materials engineering. It focuses on the relationships between processing conditions and microstructures of materials and major materials processing technologies.
ENGMP513Materials Performance in Service19B (Hamilton)
Students wll learn the importance of design to avoid fracture using fracture mechanics, advanced stress analysis includng plasticity and advanced fatigue, and creep behaviour.
ENGMP516Materials Characterisation19B (Hamilton)
This paper covers the basic theory and use of advanced analytical techniques used in materials characterization using optical microscopy, x-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and differential thermal analysis (DTA).

New to Waikato? The International Excellence Scholarship is worth up to $10,000.

Brian Perry Charitable Trust Undergraduate Scholarship in Science & Engineering  Open

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 $3,000.
Closing Date: 15 Jul 2019

DairyNZ Masters Scholarship  Closed

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.

Looking for more scholarships?

Visit our Scholarship Finder

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 of 350 students placed in the industry every year.

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

Subject links



Faculty of Science & Engineering

Phone: +64 7 838 4625 or 0800 438 254