University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota: Department of Mechanical Engineering

ME doctoral program placed seventh in nation in NRC assessment

The Department of Mechanical Engineering placed seventh in the nation overall in the recently released 2010 National Research Council (NRC) Assessment of Doctoral Research Programs. This ranking reflects the departments place in the regression-based overall ranking of 127 mechanical engineering programs nation-wide.

ME Department Head, Prof. Uwe Kortshagen, commented on these results: “I am excited about the high ranking of the mechanical engineering program, in particular, since it is based on actual numerical data of faculty and program performance rather than simply on departmental reputations. The ranking reflects on our outstanding faculty and the dedication and talent of our graduate students.”

Many consider the NRC assessment as the most authoritative ranking of doctoral programs. While departmental rankings of sources such as US News and World report are purely based on departmental reputation, the NRC ranking used a set of quantitative measures to assess the performance of graduate programs. Data were collected in the areas of research activity, student support and diversity. Research activity measured metrics such as publications, citations, grants and awards. Student support assessed the department’s ability to provide financial support to students, job placement, and timely degree completion. Data for the current ranking were collected in 2006. The last NRC assessment of doctorate programs was reported in 1995, in which ME was ranked eighth among all mechanical engineering programs.

College of Science and Engineering Dean Steven Crouch reflected on the results, "The 2010 NRC assessment showed that nearly half of the College of Science and Engineering's Ph.D. programs rank as high as within the upper 10 percent of their respective peer groups. Mechanical engineering is among these highly ranked programs -- a clear testament to years of hard work and dedication by the faculty, staff, and students of the Department of Mechanical Engineering. On behalf of the college, I want to congratulate the department for this outstanding accomplishment."

The NRC is one of the four organizations that make up the United States National Academies.

University News Release