Message from the Chair

It is my pleasure to welcome you to the Department of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering at Virginia Commonwealth University.  Mechanical engineering is one of the broadest of the engineering disciplines. Mechanical engineers design and analyze machines of all types, including automobiles, airplanes, rockets, submarines, power generation systems, biomedical instrumentation, robots, manufacturing systems, household appliances and many, many more.

In addition, mechanical engineers plan and examine energy sources that power machines, fluids through which the machines travel, and materials from which the machines are constructed. Mechanical engineers also work in cutting-edge fields such as nanotechnology, alternative energy sources, and environmentally friendly “green” manufacturing processes.

Our exciting nuclear engineering concentration addresses the strong demand for nuclear engineers in both the public and private sectors. Nuclear engineers not only design and maintain nuclear reactors and nuclear power plants; they also work on medical applications of ionizing radiation, nuclear safety, nuclear fuel and radioactive waste disposal, and the problems of nuclear proliferation.

Mechanical and Nuclear engineers are in continuous demand across all employment sectors and enjoy one of the highest starting salaries of all college majors. VCU engineering students are highly motivated and committed to achieving excellence and making it real in both the classroom and laboratory. These dedicated students inspire and motivate our faculty and staff to provide an exciting and inclusive learning environment. 

The Department of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering offers an ABET-accredited Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Mechanical Engineering and a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Mechanical Engineering with a concentration in Nuclear Engineering. The department further offers a Master of Science (M.S.) and a first of its kind hybrid doctoral degree (Ph.D.) in Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering.  

It is truly an exciting time to be a Mechanical or Nuclear engineer, and I invite you to browse through our website to learn more about our outstanding degree-granting programs as well as VCU’s world-class faculty and state-of-the-art facilities.


John Speich, Ph.D.
Acting Chair, Department of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering