COBEM, International Congress of Mechanical Engineering, is the most important event in the field of Mechanical Engineering in Latin America, occurring every two years since 1971. This conference brings together researchers and professionals from the areas of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, Bioengineering, Materials Science, Chemical Engineering, Environmental Engineering, Petroleum, Mechatronics and Aerospace Engineering. Originally named as Congresso Brasileiro de Engenharia Mecânica, COBEM reached international status in the year of 2001, with an increasing number of international participants. In its twentieth second edition, COBEM 2013 will be hosted by the Department of Mechanical Engineering of the São Carlos School of Engineering, EESC, of the University of São Paulo, USP, in the modern and thriving city of Ribeirão Preto. The organization of COBEM in 2013 by the São Carlos School of Engineering coincides with the celebration of the 60th anniversary of the beginning of its activities.

Founded by São Paulo State Law in 1948 and starting its operations in 1952, the São Carlos School of Engineering (EESC, Escola de Engenharia de São Carlos) was first installed in a building assigned by "Sociedade Casa d'Itália." In 1953, the first classes of the Mechanical Engineering and Civil Engineering undergraduate courses were initiated. Between 1956 and 1957, the 'E-1 Building' was constructed in an area donated by the City of São Carlos to accommodate the first activities of the school. This building, which is now used as the EESC Administration Offices, is one of the main architectural landmarks of the city.

In 1970, two additional undergraduate courses were introduced, Industrial Engineering and Electrical Engineering, which were then followed in 1985 by the Architecture course. A separate Institute of Architecture now offers this course. More recently, five other undergraduate courses were created: in 2002, Aeronautical Engineering, in 2003, Environmental, Mechatronics, and Computer Engineering, , and in 2010, Materials and Manufacture Engineering..

About 320 students graduate annually. All of the school's undergraduate courses are recognized by their strong connection with the research developed by the faculty, through individual or network research and industrial projects, and thus, most undergraduate students participate in research projects.

The school also offers ten post graduate courses in: Mechanical Engineering, Bioengineering, Civil (Structural) Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Environmental Engineering, Geotechnical Engineering, Hydraulics and Sanitation Engineering, Industrial Engineering, Materials Engineering, and Transports Engineering.

There are about 280 Masters and Doctoral graduates annually. According to the Brazilian evaluation system most post graduate courses are renowned in their areas of expertise. The campus of the University of São Paulo in São Carlos was founded in 1972 and integrated into the currently named Institute of Mathematics and Computer Science, The São Carlos Institute of Physics and The Institute of Chemistry of Sao Carlos, all originated from The São Carlos School of Engineering. In 2011 a former department of EESC became The São Carlos Institute of Architecture and Urbanism. The São Carlos School of Engineering has at the moment nine departments, with 1244 undergraduate and 1382 post graduate students following its courses. There are , 221 Faculty and 338 Staff members.

Most of the Faculty members of EESC are full time employees and they have generated and disseminated a significant amount of knowledge and presented many pioneer results in agreement with the motto adopted by its first director, Prof. Theodereto de Arruda Souto: "In this house we look for the scientific truth and the adaptation technique of nature's energies on behalf of humanity".

The degree in mechanical engineering offered by EESC has three specialization programs, which prepare a professional fully able to play the role expected from a Mechanical engineer: Mechanics, Mechanics specialized in Design Engineering and Mechanics specialized in Materials Engineering.

Nowadays the Department of Mechanical Engineering has several laboratories equipped to assist undergraduate and post graduate programs. Two undergraduate courses are offered: Mechanical (5-star course according to the magazine "Guia do Estudante") and Mechatronics Engineering. The department is also part of the Graduate Program in Mechanical Engineering of EESC-USP (CAPES grade 5). It has 35 faculty members with Doctoral degree and 20 Staff members. One of the most important features of the Mechanical Engineers graduating from EESC is the specialization in design engineering and the development of new technologies.

The Mechatronics Engineering course originated from a former specialization offered since the 1980s by the Department of Mechanical Engineering and responsible for graduating the first class in mechatronics in Brazil. It aims at the enhancement of the concept of artificial intelligence, communication and cooperation between man and machine and the challenges of the inherent interdisciplinary discipline of designing mechanical systems controlled by sensors, actuators and electronic logical systems. A strong emphasis on practical and laboratory activities as a means of consolidation of the theoretical information given in the classroom is one of the features of the course.

Another interesting feature of the EESC undergraduate students is their determination and success in extra-curricular activities. Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering Weeks are organized, which offer talks, workshops and technical visits to all campus students and also students from other universities, as well as the historically successful performance in national and international competitions organized by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), as Baja, Formula-SAE and Aurodesign, to name a few.

The Masters and Doctorate degree of The Graduate Program in Mechanical Engineering (PPG-AEM) of the São Carlos School of Engineering were inaugurated in 1970 and 1976, respectively. Since then the Program has been evaluated by CAPES (Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior) and it is nowadays one of the 13 post graduate programs in Mechanical Engineering with a grade of 5 or higher in the country. The Program has six areas of specialization: Aeronautics, Dynamics of Structured Solids, Manufacturing, Materials, Design and Thermo-Fluids. The Program's goal is to qualify human resources and promote scientific research and technical development related to mechanical sciences