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Mechanical Engineering

Course Description

Mechanical engineering is a very broad field of study in the engineering sciences. It integrates almost all disciplines of technology. Any device or product that is used in modern, everyday life is the result of an ongoing synergy between different basic techniques.

A car, for instance, is a complex system which consists of very different kinds of materials equipped with an energy-efficient combustion engine and/or electric motor and a multitude of on-board intelligent systems. It must be quiet and safe for occupants and other road users, and must meet many other increasingly stringent requirements. An electric shaver, a hair dryer, kitchen robot, a refrigerator and a washing machine - these machines may seem somewhat less complex, but they, too, are being further refined thanks to the integration of state-of-the-art technology. The same applies to surgical robots, advanced production machines and satellites for telecommunications and earth observation. In short, all products in modern society arose from the merger of different technical disciplines. Mechanical engineering is the preferred integrator specialised for realising this. Technological developments in mechanical engineering are often a catalyst for innovations in related domains. New production techniques make it possible to further miniaturise electromechanical systems. This requires a multidisciplinary training and a curriculum in which all these technologies get the place they deserve, no more but certainly no less.

The Master of Science in Engineering: Mechanical Engineering is a general training programme integrating all disciplines of basic sciences, engineering and technology. An essential element of the mechanical engineering curriculum at KU Leuven is the direct training of each student in a real-life industrial or research setting. Following up on the design assignment in the Bachelor's programme, the Master's programme brings the student in close contact with the industrial reality.

This is an initial Master's programme and can be followed on a full-time or part-time basis.


The program trains engineers in the field of mechanical engineering in the design, manufacturing and application of tools and systems for the benefit of society: machine tools, robotics, ground and air transportation, automated systems, thermal machines and mechanical systems.

Based on the fundamental mechanical sciences (kinematics and dynamics, vibration theory, production techniques, thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, strength of materials, electrical engineering, machine elements, mechanical design techniques...), the student obtains at the end of study:
- A thorough knowledge in control theory, measurement techniques, numerical simulation techniques, mechanical drive systems, continuum mechanics and the standards and regulations related to engineering;
- In-depth skills on mechanical design and research;
- A broad analytical, problem-synthetic thinking;
- Scientific training in order to participate within research projects and activities;
- Leadership and management skills using knowledge, social skills and understanding of the ethical, social and economic framework;
- The ability to acquire and create new insights, methodologies and results within his/her discipline and to apply this in research as well as in business context;
- The skill to critically follow the social role of the engineer.

Career paths
The field of mechanical engineering is very wide. Mechanical engineers find employment in many industrial sectors thanks to our broad training programme. Demand for this engineering degree on the labour market is very strong and constant. A study by the Royal Flemish Engineers Association, identifies the specific sectors in which graduated mechanical engineers are employed.
o mechanical engineering: e.g. production machinery, compressed air systems, agricultural machinery
o metal and non-metal products: a very wide range of products e.g. pressure vessels, piping, suit cases,...
o off-shore and maritime engineering
o automation industry
o vehicle components, such as exhaust systems, drivetrain components and windshield wipers,...
o development and production of bicycles
o aircraft components, such high lift devices, aircraft engines and cockpit display systems
o building, textile, plastic, paper sector
o electrical industry
o chemical industry
o environmental engineering and waste management
o energy sector
o financial, banking and insurance sector
o communications sector
o transportation sector: infrastructure and exploitation and maintenance of rolling stock
o software development and vendors
o technical and management consulting: large companies and small offices
o education and research
o technical and management functions in the public sector

Entry Requirements

Direct Access: Bachelor of Engineering - Mechanical Engineering; Bachelor in de ingenieurswetenschappen, major subject werktuigkunde; Bachelor in de ingenieurswetenschappen, other major subjects with subprogramme werktuigkunde; Master in de industriële wetenschappen, after admissionNon-native English students are required to submit a TOEFL or IELTS certificate. More information: www.kuleuven.be/admissions

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