About the UW-Madison Mechanics Group

Strengthening our broader mechanics community throughout the College of Engineering and the UW-Madison campus.

The University of Wisconsin–Madison is a leader in the field of engineering mechanics. Beginning with the Department of Pure and Applied Mechanics established in 1887 (and predates even the College of Engineering, which was established in 1889 as the College of Mechanics and Engineering), the field of engineering mechanics has been a pillar of the university’s strength. Mechanics integrates mathematical, scientific and engineering principles, spanning solids, fluids and controls, with applications to aerospace, computer, construction, defense, energy, healthcare and manufacturing industries.

The UW-Madison Mechanics Group provides an umbrella organization operating within the College of Engineering, spanning multiple departments. This cross-college group acts as a central point of contact, information and facilitation for engineering mechanics research activities on campus. Its mission is to advance engineering mechanics as a field and foster breakthroughs in engineering applications that depend on mechanics.

Photo of conference attendees
Student attendees of a past mechanics conference hosted by UW-Madison. The conference drew students from several universities.

To enhance interaction among mechanicians from across the college and to maintain communication within this diverse set of researchers, the UW-Madison Mechanics Group sponsors a weekly seminar during the academic year. This seminar series includes both on-campus and external speakers, some of whom are chosen by the prestigious Midwest Mechanics Seminar series (in which UW-Madison is a longstanding participant). Students can enroll in this seminar series for 1 credit for up to three semesters.

Areas of research emphasis include:

  • Biomechanics
  • Controls
  • Dynamics
  • Fluid Mechanics
  • Mechatronics
  • Micromechanics
  • Nanomechanics
  • Solid mechanics
  • Thermomechanics
  • Structural dynamics
  • … and/or can be organized around application areas such as those identified above.


Students are trained in mechanics through a number of degree programs, including:

Undergraduatel-Level DegreesPhoto of a student in a lab

Biomedical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Geological Engineering, Engineering Mechanics, Engineering Mechanics-Astronautics Option, Mechanical Engineering, Nuclear Engineering, Materials Science and Engineering

Graduate-Level Degrees

Biomedical Engineering, Civil & Environmental Engineering, Geological Engineering, Engineering Mechanics, Mechanical Engineering, Nuclear Engineering and Engineering Physics

Our Goals

  • Maintain UW-Madison as leader in engineering mechanics.
  • Foster increased communication and collaboration among mechanics investigators and students across the College of Engineering.
  • Support engineering mechanics research: experimental, computational, and analytical.
  • Enhance existing educational opportunities through collaborative exchange
  • Improve understanding of engineering mechanics, especially in precollege and college-level populations, through outreach.
  • Enhance philanthropic support of mechanics research and teaching