MAE 156A Syllabus

Fundamental Principles of Mechanical Design I

Winter 2019

Lectures Tuesday and Thursday, 2:00pm-3:20pm, CSB-001

Lab Sections: Weeks 1-3 in EBU2-311, Weeks 4-10 in EBU2-B35

Final presentations: Thursday, 3/21/2019, 3:00-6:00pm --- Location TBA

Reminder: Sections meet in machine shop EBU2 B35 for weeks 4-9

Class Overview:

Fundamental principles of mechanical design and the design process. Application of engineering science to the design and analysis of mechanical components. Initiation of team design projects that culminate in MAE 156B with a working prototype designed for a real engineering application. 

The class website will be used to convey all important class information and communication from the instructor.  Homework assignments, sample solutions, class notes and demonstrations will be posted on this website.


  • Homework: 50%
  • Machine shop project: 10%
  • Midterm: 20%
  • Sponsored Project: 20% 
  • Peer Review will be implemented for the sponsored project team and will weight the team score.
Late Assignments
  • Late assignments will be penalized by 20% and will not be accepted more than 1 days late.


  • Typically two per week, one for lecture and one for lab.
    • Lecture homework typically due at midnight 1-week from assignment. 
    • Section (aka Lab) assignments are due at the beginning of your lab section in person. 
  • Completed in report format, discuss your answers and explain your solution as needed.
  • Graphs must be generated from Matlab or similar plotting program (not hand drawn). 
  • Assignments will require electronic turn in via gradescope.
  • Show all work and include a cover page. Include all plots and answer all questions.
  • Any questions on grading should be raised within one week of grades posting
  • In any assignment, credit to teammate and outside contributions should be noted.
  • Keep copies of all assignments turned in, you will need results for future assignments. 

Midterm: Thursday, 2/21/2019

Final presentations: Thursday, 3/21/2019, 3:00 - 6:00 pm, --- Location TBA

Instructor and TA Contact Information


Nick Gravish, PhD ngravish@ucsd.edu Office Hours: After lecture or by appointment. Jerry Tustaniwskyj, PhD jtustaniwskyj@ucsd.edu Office Hours: After lecture or by appointment.


James Lynch
Office hours in
Tuesday 4:00pm-5:00pm

Mingsong (Jason) Jiang mij032@eng.ucsd.edu Office hours in
Monday 4:00pm-5:00pm

Jamie Luong
Office hours in
Wednesday 4:00pm-5:00pm


Yi Cui yic194@ucsd.edu Office hours in EBU2-311 Monday 3:30pm-5:00pm
Lumei Xue
Office hours in EBU2-311
Tuesday 3:30pm-5:00pm

Andrew Wang anw052@ucsd.edu Office hours in EBU2-311
Wednesday 3:30pm-5:00pm

Bowen Zhang boz085@ucsd.edu
Office hours in EBU2-311
Thursday 3:30pm-5:00pm
Shaghayegh (Anem) Kepar syekepar@eng.ucsd.edu Office hours in EBU2-311
Thursday 3:30pm-5:00pm

William Lee wil029@ucsd.edu
Office hours in EBU2-311
Friday 3:30pm-5:00pm Guanhao (Dean) Fu g1fu@ucsd.edu Office hours in EBU2-311
Friday 3:30pm-5:00pm
Wesley Cheung

    Engineering Staff:

    • Chris Cassidy, ccassidy@ucsd.edu, Design Studio in EBU2-315
    • Stephen Roberts, steveroberts@ucsd.edu, Electronics Shop in EBU2-328
    • Thomas Chalfant, tchalfant@ucsd.edu, Machine Shop in EBU2-B31
    • Ian Richardson, irichardson@eng.ucsd.edu, Machine Shop in EBU2-B31
    • Greg Specht, gspecht@eng.ucsd.edu, EBU2-329

    Lab Locations:

    • Design Studio, EBU2 RM 315
    • Mechatronics Lab, EBU2 RM 311
    • Machine shop, EBU2 RM B35
    • Electronics Shop in EBU2 RM 328 

    Design Studio Working Hours

    A schedule of when the Design Studio is open for general use is posted outside of the door.

    In general, it will be open during normal business hours Mon-Fri. The studio can only remain open if there is engineering staff present, and sometimes they get called away to take care of other lab duties. Therefore, sometimes the Design Studio may be closed during normal business hours. 

    The studio will remain open during TA office hours, at which times Design Studio assistants have been scheduled to keep the fabrication area open.

    ACMS Lab Access

    You can find the door code to the ACMS computer labs in EBU2 (203, 205, and 239) by using the on-line Account Lookup link under Tools at http://acms.ucsd.edu . Your will need to click on the details button for the course specific account.

    OSD Accommodations

    Students requesting accommodations for this course due to a disability must provide a current Authorization for Accommodation (AFA) letter issued by the Office for Students with Disabilities (OSD) which is located in University Center 202 behind Center Hall.  Students should present their AFA letters to Faculty (please make arrangements to contact me privately) and to the OSD Liaison (Sandra de Sousa - EBU2-Rm.169) in the department at least two weeks prior to an exam to ensure that accommodations may be arranged.

    Contact the OSD for further information:

    T: 858.534.4382

    E: osd@ucsd.edu

    W: http://disabilities.ucsd.edu