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Courses and Projects

Course Sequence

As a First-Year engineering student, you have the same opportunities that all Notre Dame students have to find the major that’s right for you, while also taking a set of required courses to give you a strong foundation for further engineering studies. This includes the EG10111/10112 course sequence, which meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays for 75 minutes in the McCourtney Learning Center in Stinson-Remick Hall of Engineering.


First Year of Studies — Engineering

A typical first-year in the College of Engineering includes the following courses:

Fall Semester Course Credits Spring Semester Course Credits
Un­­iversity Seminar or Writing & Rhetoric 3 University Seminar or Writing & Rhetoric 3
Calculus I 4 Calculus II 4
General Chemistry — Fundamental Principles 4

General Chemistry — Biological Processes

OR Technical Elective

Arts & Letters Core Course 3 General Physics I 4
Introduction to Engineering
Systems I (EG10111)
3 Introduction to Engineering
Systems II (EG10112)
Moreau First Year Experience 1 Moreau First Year Experience 1
— Total 18 — Total 18



School Year Projects

Controlled Descent:


Students use physics-based equations to design, build, and test a prototype for a system to control the descent of a medical aid package during relief efforts. During the project, the students must protect a specified weight, which represents the medical aid supply. The system is dropped in the atrium of Stinson-Remick Hall and an impact sensor attached to the weight determines if the system adequately protected the medical aid package. Through this project, students also learn about uncertainty in data collection through validation tests of the sensor equipment analyzed using Excel.


Major Discernment:

Tower Builder

While students have the opportunity throughout the course sequence to explore the various engineering disciplines, the fall semester includes a module dedicated explicitly to support students in the selection of their major. This module includes a 75-minute hands-on activity by each department in the College of Engineering. Additional components of the module include student panels, alumni panels and department lab tours. The collection of these experiences provides students with the necessarily information to make an informed decision about their intended area of study.

Iterative Design:

wrenchesThrough the iterative design project, students learn about additive manufacturing design using 3D printing technology. Each year a different object is selected and the students complete two iterations of the design process, which includes modeling, printing and testing their design. Using the 3D computer aided design (CAD) software SOLIDWORKS, students create a 3D model of their object, which is then printed using MakerBot 3D printers. Previously, students created a 3D wrench that had to loosen a tightened hex nut.


Programming with MATLAB and Open Ended Design:


During the spring semester, students learn the fundamental concepts of programming using MATLAB. They apply their programming skills in an open ended design project of their choosing. Guided by course instructors, other faculty within the College of Engineering, and non-university partners, students focus on modeling a system to predict its performance. Students can choose to complete a computational-only project or also create a physical system in the Notre Dame Design Deck with a $100 budget for materials. The groups often create a Graphical User Interface that conducts the analysis of the system and shows users a visual representation of how the project should perform. Finally, they test their project, review the uncertainties (differences between predicted and actual performance) and demonstrate it to their classmates, instructors, and the engineering community.