Mechanical Engineering at Cal Poly

Learn all about mechanical engineering through the design and creation of cranes

Summer Springboard program located on the campus of Cal Poly

Program Highlights

Discover the vital role that cranes play in engineering applications with their power to move massive materials in all directions.
Understand the stability conditions of the crane, determine the center of mass and pinpoint the moment of inertia.
Identify multiple types of cranes, and implement the standard steps of the design and manufacturing process.
Design and build a functioning crane, and compete to see which crane can lift the maximum weight.

Residential Price: $4,998 USD (+ supplemental fees)

Extended Commuter Price: $3,398 USD (+ supplemental fees)

Commuter Price: $2,798 USD (+ supplemental fees)


Late June: June 27-July 9, 2021

Early July: July 11-July 23, 2021


Cal Poly - San Luis Obispo
San Luis Obispo, CA

Course Overview

Cranes are machines that play a vital role in the various engineering applications and construction industry because they have enough power to move materials of various weights upward, downward and horizontally. Come explore mechanical engineering through the use of cranes at the Summer Springboard program at Cal Poly.

Mechanical engineering is the largest department at Cal Poly with more than 1,250 undergraduates and is ranked as the second-best undergraduate focused mechanical engineering program in the country by U.S. News and World Reports.  The state-of-the-art laboratories and machine shops are integral parts of our curriculum and give students unique Learn by Doing opportunities to become successful and resourceful professionals in their fields.

Meet your instructor


Ashraf Elbarbary, Ph.D.

Mechanical Engineering Professor
Dr. Ashraf Elbarbary received his Masters degree in Aerospace Engineering and a PhD in Mechanical Design Engineering. His studies have focused on the field of control of mechanical vibrations of rotating shafts by using magnetic bearing. Dr. Elbarbary has worked on research projects in the following fields: propulsion systems for satellites, seawater desalination, and design of recycling machines for nonhazardous waste. He is currently a Scholar Visitor and Lecturer at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo.

Topics you'll explore

Hands-On Learning

In this workshop, the students study and know the different types of cranes, how to get the center of gravity of the crane, the moment of inertia and the stability conditions of the crane. Each group of students will design and build a crane with maximum dimensions using coffee stirrer sticks, two small DC motors, small pulleys, string, small wax gun, etc.

Mechanical Engineering - Cranes - Hands-On Learning

Career Exploration

Mechanical engineering is an exciting field, offering jobs in almost every industry. Some of the top industries hiring mechanical engineers today include engineering services, R&D and manufacturing. This hands-on course will provide exposure to mechanical engineers who can share their personal academic and career paths.

mechanical engineering - career exploration

Get started today

Summer Springboard Pre-College Summer Program