Mechanical Engineers are shaping the future

Mechanical engineering students expo hunter UC

Mechanical Engineering offers qualifications at undergraduate and postgraduate level.

The required courses for a degree in Mechanical Engineering have changed. See the PDF degree structure charts for full details:

Final-year Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) students employ their knowledge and skills to provide solutions to industry-driven research and development needs. By engaging with a realistic engineering problem they develop professional skills that help them transition into the workforce.

The bulk of the projects come from industry, with many described as 'back burner' or 'pushing the envelope'.

Find out more about final-year Research and Development Projects and view recent projects completed in collaboration with our industry sponsors.

Broad industry opportunities

Mechanical Engineering graduates sought-after skills are valued in a range of industries both in New Zealand and abroad. Their skills in design, testing and development of mechanical devices and tools are valued in:

  • aviation
  • agriculture
  • building and construction
  • building services
  • energy
  • manufacturing
  • product development
  • transport
  • water and waste water

What do Mechanical Engineers do?

The work of Mechanical Engineers includes:

  • requirements gathering, including investigating and reporting on existing systems
  • determining potential environmental and safety impacts
  • investigating current use of materials, machinery and energy and their efficiency
  • creating plans and drawings, including computer-aided designs (CAD)
  • estimating costs
  • overseeing building, installation and repair works
  • testing to ensure new systems perform as expected
UC race car

The Formula SAE Racecar is a student-run competition in which the students design, construct and race a single-seat racecar. The 2016 team designed an electric race car that made history in Melbourne in December by becoming the first electric race car to win a dynamic event at the Australasian Formula SAE competition, competing against more than 30 other university teams. The 2015 car was painted in pink and blue, in tribute to the late Christchurch engineer and entrepreneur John Britten, who designed and built the famous Britten V1000 motorcycle. Read the full article.

Warman Design and Build Competition

The Warman competition is an annual competition for second-year mechanical engineering students. Students design and build a device to undertake a set task, with the winning UC team travelling to Australia to compete against other Australasian universities. Watch a recent team in action.

 ‌UC Robotics Club

UC Robotics Club Logo

UC Robotics is a robotics club for University of Canterbury students founded in 2017.  We engage with both competing in tournaments and mentoring high-school students in building, programming and driving robots. 

The club has travelled to the 2018 VEX World Championships in a joint venture with RAVE (Victoria University of Wellington), where we won the Sportsmanship Award.

We host regular VEX competitions for high-schools in the Canterbury Region, usually on weekends. 




UC Rocketry Association (UCRA)



Make a difference in the world

Our undergraduates' creativity, skills and ingenuity are tested by industry, and even internationally, throughout their degrees. In diverse fields - from health care, agriculture, product development, energy, UAVs, materials, biomedical, manufacturing, sustainability, to the good of humanity - our students find innovative solutions to a broad range of industry needs and projects before they even enter the workforce. Their research and development partnerships with industry often lead to employment after graduation, and offer a taste of professional practice with the support of our internationally recognised staff.

Benefit from global expertise

Our academic staff are joined each year by experts from around the world who take part in teaching and research or as Erskine Fellows. Find out more about our past, present and future collaborations with visiting academics.

Stay connected after you graduate with UC Alumni

With great career prospects in a wide range of industries, our graduates are the leaders of the future. Keep in touch after you graduate and benefit from the extensive network of UC graduates working around the world. Our UC Alumni Chapter hosts events each year both in New Zealand and abroad. Find out more about the Mechanical Engineering Alumni network.

Connect with us online

follow Mechanical Engineering