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.

Pinwei Jin

Master of Engineering
Master of Engineering (ME) student Pinwei Jin has designed and built a remote control robotic snake, which he hopes will be used in the future for rescue operations.

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.”

Mahonri Owen

Master of Engineering
For engineering masters student Mahonri Owen, the drive to help others led him to undertake one of the most complex research projects – to design and create a brain-controlled electro-mechanical prosthetic hand.

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:

Engineering ComputingENGEN10315.0 Points
Engineering MechanicsENGEN11015.0 Points
Electricity and ElectronicsENGEN11115.0 Points
Materials Science and EngineeringENGEN11215.0 Points
Engineering and SocietyENGEN17015.0 Points
Foundations of EngineeringENGEN18015.0 Points
Linear Algebra and Statistics for EngineersENGEN18315.0 Points
Calculus for EngineersENGEN18415.0 Points

Year 2

Students must take the following papers:

Engineering Mathematics 2ENGEN20115.0 Points
Engineering Professional Practice 1ENGEN27015.0 Points
Industry Placement 1ENGEN2710.0 Points
Engineering ThermodynamicsENGME22115.0 Points
Dynamics and VibrationENGME25115.0 Points
Design and Manufacturing 1ENGME28015.0 Points
Materials 1ENGMP21115.0 Points
Mechanics of Materials 1ENGMP21315.0 Points

Plus 15 points of electives from their chosen elective path:

Computer SystemsCOMPX20315.0 Points
Heat and Mass TransferENGCB22415.0 Points

Year 3

Engineering Work Placement 2ENGG3720.0 Points
Reflection on Professional Workplace ExperienceENGG3790.0 Points
Engineering ModellingENGG38620.0 Points
ThermofluidsENME32320.0 Points
Dynamics and MechanismsENME35120.0 Points
Machine Dynamics and ControlENME35220.0 Points
Mechanical Engineering DesignENME38020.0 Points
Mechanics of Materials 2ENMP31320.0 Points

Year 4

Students must take the following papers:

Plus 30 points of electives from:

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.

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