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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, including the EG10111/10112 course sequence, which is offered as 75-minute sessions on Tuesdays and Thursdays 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 3
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

Student pet projectPet Project:

Students learn fundamental programming concepts through LabView, an icon based system. Using LEGO NXT, they design and build an autonomous "Pet Robot." Local fifth grade students act as customers that guide the student design groups in determining the type of pet to create, as well as the features of that pet (i.e., a dog with a wagging tail).

Platform Builder:

Tower Builder

Students design, build, and test a 12" x 12" platform to carry a payload of several pounds. Using the design process and physics based design equations, students determine the optimal flotation characteristics for their design requirements. Via the computer aided design (CAD) package PTC Creo, students simulate various platform designs before building and manufacturing.

Programming with MATLAB and Open Ended Design:


Students learn the fundamental concepts of programming using MATLAB as a platform. They apply their programming skills in an open ended design project of their choosing. Guided by course personnel, students focus on modeling a system to predict its performance. They design a Graphical User Interface that conducts the analysis of the system and shows users a visual representation of how the project should perform. Students can choose to complete a computational only project or also create a physical system in the Notre Dame Design Deck and a $100 budget for materials. 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.

Learning Objectives

Although the projects introduced in class change, the primary activities associated with each relate to modeling, computer programming, and design (which are further broken down into the concepts shown below). Throughout the school year, students are exposed to each of these in a variety of contexts which allows students to make an informed choice about engineering and what discipline is right for them.

ModelingComputer ProgrammingDesignProfessional Development

Model development (accurate representations)

Variables / computations / data storage

Design selection / comparison of alternatives

Support of informed decision making for engineering major and future career

Prediction of performance

Conditionals / loops

Identification of theoretical model
for expected performance

Technical communication - Written


Arrays / matrices
/ plotting

Building a prototype
/ testing

Technical communication - Oral

Evaluation of model prediction to actual performance

Graphical User Interface (GUI)

Evaluation of uncertainty (prediction vs. actual performance)

Engineering exploration