Mechanical Engineering Advising

Faculty Academic Advisors

All students have access to an academic advisor.  Existing students should contact Mechanical Engineering faculty from the following list using your last name.

  Advisor  Phone Email  Room  
 A-B Dr. Getu Hailu  786-6366 ECB 301K
C-D Oleg Shiryayev  786-1104 ECB 301J
E-G Dr. Raghu Srinivasan 786-4815 ECB 301F
H-K Dr. Matthew Cullin 786-1038 ECB 301D
 L-O Dr. Nicolae Lobontiu  786-1863 ECB 301L
 P-S Dr. Anthony Paris  786-1912 ECB 301B
 T-Z Dr. Jifeng Peng 786-6193 ECB 301H

All incoming freshman or newly enrolled students are encouraged to contact the College of Engineering Student Services & Advising office 907-786-1878, to explore admission or transfer requirements.

Mandatory Advising FAQ

  • What is the ME Department’s Academic Standing Policy?
    Basically, the Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy (the "Policy") amounts to mandatory advising for students who fail to pass engineering classes. If you get a grade of "D," "F," "W," "AU," "NC," or "NB" in any class offered by the College of Engineering (the "College") (this includes ENGR and ES classes), you will need to see your advisor and fill out an Academic Advising Form (which will be provided to you by your advisor). The purpose of the form is to facilitate a discussion with your advisor on why you were unsuccessful in the class the last time you took it and what you could do to be more successful moving forward. Students who fail the same engineering class twice will be required to have a second meeting with their faculty advisor, AND an additional mandatory meeting with a member of the College's professional advising staff. The purpose of these meetings is to talk about strategies that will help you to be more successful if you are having particular trouble with a class. Students who fail the same engineering class three times will be removed from the Mechanical Engineering (the "Department") Program (the "Program"). Our goal in implementing this Policy is that if you are a student who is failing engineering courses, particularly if you are failing engineering courses frequently, we want to talk to you and try to figure out why. We want to help you come up with strategies and habits that will lead to better academic success. The complete text of the Department’s Policy can be found here.
  • I have a DNP hold on my account. What does that mean and what do I do about it?
    A Did Not Pass (DNP) hold will be placed on your account if you receive a grade of  "D," "F," "W," "AU," "NC," or "NB" in any class offered by the College (including ENGR and ES classes), which will prevent you from registering for classes in the next semester. In order to have this hold removed from your account, you will need to meet with your faculty advisor if this is your first attempt to pass a given class, or if this is your second attempt to pass a given class, you will need to meet with your faculty AND academic advisor.
  • Which classes count toward the Academic Standing Policy?
    The ME Department academic standing policy will be enforced on classes offered by the College of Engineering only. This includes ENGR and ES classes, but does not include MATH, PHYS or CHEM classes, or any other classes that are offered outside the College of Engineering, whether they are required for your degree or not.  
  • There are a lot of reasons why someone who is typically a good student might get a D one semester or need to withdraw from a class.  Why do you want to punish us?
    First and foremost, if you get called in for a meeting with your academic advisor, please don’t think of it as a punishment. That is not the intent at all! A large number of our students will receive a  "D," "F," "W," "AU," "NC," or "NB" once or twice as they progress toward their degree. The purpose of our policy is that we want to talk to students who are failing courses and help them find ways to succeed academically. If you just signed up for too many classes and decided to withdraw from one, or had a medical or family emergency during midterms, or some other one-time event that ended with you not performing well in a class, this policy is not meant to “catch” or punish you. Those things happen to a lot of us, and your conversation with your academic advisor is probably going to be short. However, if you are a student who is routinely failing one or several engineering classes semester after semester, then we do want to get you in for advising and start the discussion on how you might change some habits, patterns or strategies and start making successful progress in the future. 
  • I am very early in my catalog and have not yet started meeting with a regular faculty advisor. May I do my mandatory advising with the CoEng Student Advising Office?
    If you are early enough in your catalog that you have not yet enrolled in Calculus I, you may do your mandatory advisor with one of the advisors in the CoEng Student Advising Office and fill out the Academic Progress Form with them. The professional advising staff might decide that you would be better served by a faculty advisor and send you to one. If you have an assigned faculty advisor, you must do the mandatory advising with a faculty advisor, although if you would like to get additional advising with the CoEng Student Advising Office we certainly encourage that as well.
  • I got a D, F or W in a class last semester. So with this policy, is it going to be flagged on my transcript that I had to go in for mandatory advising?
    No. Non-passing grades will of course be reflected on your transcript (as they were before this policy went into effect), but none of the mandatory advising meetings will ever show up on records external to the university. If you have to fill out an Academic Progress Form, it will go into your student file (every student has one), but your student file is private and cannot be shared with potential employers or graduate schools, or anyone that you do not choose to share it with. This policy does not involve putting you on probation (something that does show up on transcripts). It’s also worth mentioning, as a general point, that the privacy of your academic records is protected by the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). If you’re not very familiar with your rights under FERPA, you can get more information here.
  • If I rack up three failing grades in three separate engineering classes, will I be dropped from the program?
    No. Consider each class separately. If you fail three separate classes, then you will be called in for mandatory advising three times. If you are a student who is routinely failing engineering classes, then our hope is that by bringing you info advising we can get at the root of why you are having trouble being successful and make a plan that will help you make better progress. Hopefully after coming in for a few mandatory advising meetings you will develop better habits, or a more manageable work/school schedule, or whatever it is you need, and then the failed classes will become a thing of the past. 
  • If I fail two engineering classes in the same semester, do I have to come in for two separate advising meetings or can I take care of both of them at once?
    You and your advisor can take care of both meetings at once and put your academic progress plan on a single Academic Progress Form. This policy is not meant to generate extra bureaucracy or paperwork for you, it’s meant to get you talking to an advisor if you are not passing your classes. If you are failing to pass multiple engineering courses in the same semester, then talking with an advisor about a plan for academic success is going to be especially important. 
  • If I fail the same class three times, am I just dropped from the program automatically or can I appeal?
    If you fail the same class three times, you will be automatically dropped from the program. You can, however, reapply if you choose to do so. If you would like to apply for re-admittance to our program, you must write a letter explaining any mitigating factors that lead to your dismissal the first time and how you have addressed these factors. The decision over whether to re-admit a student dismissed due to failure to make academic progress is made by the entire ME Department faculty and requires a majority vote in favor. 
  • I have failed engineering classes in past semesters. Is this policy retroactive?
    Every student started with a clean slate as of Spring semester, 2016. This policy is not retroactive. Any non-passing grades that you received in engineering classes prior to the implementation date of this policy will not be counted. 
  • Why are you counting D’s and W’s the same as failed classes?
    The College of Engineering and the ME Department both require that engineering courses be passed with a grade of C or better. So if you get a grade of D in a class, you cannot apply it toward your degree and that counts as failure to pass a class. There are a lot of reasons why we are including W’s in this policy. First of all, there is a federal requirement that students must make Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) in order to qualify for financial aid, and all UAA students are monitored for SAP whether they intend to file for financial air or not. Part of SAP is your cumulative completion rate, which is the percentage of classes that you actually pass after you sign up for them.  Withdrawing from a class counts against your cumulative completion rate (for more information on SAP, go here. Since UAA counts withdrawals as failure to pass a course, our policy does as well. In addition, please remember that W’s are not completely harmless. If you signed up for too many classes and feel overwhelmed, or if it’s clear that you’re going to fail one of your classes and you want to drop it and concentrate on passing the others, then please do use the withdraw option – that’s exactly what it’s there for. But if you stayed in a class for longer than 2 weeks (long enough for the W to appear on your transcript), then you took up a seat that could have gone to someone else. Many students are going to end up withdrawing from a class at least once during their college career, and that’s perfectly fine. But you should see the withdraw option as a last resort, and not a habit to get into semester after semester. For more information about what the different grades at UAA mean, go here.
  • If I change from credit to audit (AU), will that count toward the policy?
    Changing to audit still counts as failing to pass the class, and you would still be called in for mandatory advising. Changes from credit to audit count against your cumulative completion rate (for more information on cumulative completion rate and Satisfactory Academic Progress, go here. Also, changing from credit to audit between weeks 2 and 12 of the semester requires the instructor’s signature, and a lot of instructors will not permit you to change from credit to audit if you do not have a passing grade at the time that you want to make the change. Students who audit classes are required to register, meet prerequisites and pay tuition, but do not receive academic credit for their coursework. Typically it makes sense to audit a course only if there is material that you need to brush up on but that you do not need to count toward a degree. The people for whom audited classes generally make the most sense are working professionals brushing up on a topic for professional development, or graduate students who need background in an area but cannot count a particular class toward their graduate degree. You should absolutely not think of making a credit-to-audit switch merely to avoid a failing grade showing up on your transcript. This is why you are allowed to withdraw from classes if you discover that the schedule you originally signed up for is too much, or if it becomes clear that you are not going to pass one of your classes this semester for whatever reason. For more information about what the different grades at UAA mean, go here.
  • What if I get a grade of incomplete (I) in a class?
    A grade of I indicates that the student was unable to complete the course in the allotted time but received an extension to complete the coursework outside of the normal course timeframe. An I grade is given at the instructors discretion and students are encouraged to speak with their instructors and work with them directly if they need to request an extension to complete coursework. Because an I is not a final grade (it's more like a placeholder), it is not counted as a strike against the Policy.
  •   What if I get a grade of NB (no basis) in a class?
    A grade of NB indicates that there was insufficient progress or attendance for the instructor to evaluate you. Grades of NB are very rare, and most instructors will simply give you a failing grade (F) if you do not attend class or do sufficient work to pass. If you receive a grade of NB, then not only is this failure to complete a class, but it is also an indicator that you are either not attending classes that you have signed up for or not completing the coursework (or both). This is certainly a circumstance in which we will bring you in for mandatory advising so that we can discuss strategies to be more successful in the future. For more information about what the different grades at UAA mean, go here.
  • I took an engineering class at a different UA campus, or at another university hoping to gain transfer credit, and I did not pass. Will that count against me?
    This policy only applies to courses offered within the UAA College of Engineering, although obviously if you did not receive a passing grade at an outside institution, you will not be able to transfer that class in for degree credit.