Home > Undergraduate Programs

Undergraduate Programs

The Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering offers two undergraduate degree programs, one in Aerospace Engineering and one in Mechanical Engineering. The programs are designed to produce graduates capable of independent critical thinking and judgement characteristic of a well-educated individual, with specific understanding, insight and skills in the subjects traditionally within the realm of aerospace and mechanical engineering.

Both programs require a series of courses in mathematics and science as well as foundational engineering analysis courses in the areas of mechanics, thermodynamics, measurements and data analysis, CAD/CAM, computing, fluid mechanics and heat transfer. Broadly speaking, upon this foundation, the aerospace program then specializes in subjects such as aerodynamics, orbital mechanics, aircraft design, aircraft stability and aircraft control, while the mechanical program addresses issues in mechanisms, machines and design.

Both programs also require a senior-level, hands-on capstone design course in which students design and prototype a solution to an open-ended design problem representative of problems faced by engineers working in industry. Also both programs require students to select some electives which allows the student to tailor, to some degree, the program to his or her specific interests and needs. Also, concentrations and minors in areas such as bioengineering, computational science, energy, design and manufacturing are available for both programs.

Undergraduate programs at Notre Dame, including engineering, also must satisfy a set of university requirements, which include one course in composition, one course in history, one course in a social science, one fine arts or literature course, one university seminar course, two philosophy courses and two theology courses.

WHY STUDY AEROSPACE AND MECHANICAL ENGINEERING

Broadly speaking, engineering is applied science. While the purpose of science is to discover, understand and express the fundamental principles of nature, the purpose of engineering is to make use of such scientific understanding for the development of new and useful products, devices and solutions for the betterment of humanity and the world. Hence, the classic advice “if you are good in math and science then you should consider engineering” is true, provided the motivation of the individual is to leverage his or her scientific insight and understanding to address many of the needs faced by humanity. Expressed in economic terms, engineers create new things of value.

WHAT OUR STUDENTS DO WHEN THEY GRADUATE

Upon graduation, approximately 65% of our students enter industry, approximately 15% enter public service or military positions and approximately 15% go to graduate school. Most students attending graduate school pursue advanced engineering degrees, but occasionally students will attend medical, law or a graduate business school. Consistent with the fact that Notre Dame is a national and international university, our graduates are present thoughout the United States and throughout the world.

A representative list of companies that have employed our graduates since 2008 includes Accenture, Boeing, Cargill, Deloitte, Exxon Mobil, General Electic, Intel, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Procter and Gamble, Raytheon, Rockwell Collins, Siemens, Schlumberger, Stryker, US Patent and Trademark Office, Westinghouse, Xerox, and many others.

A representative list of graduate schools which our graduates since 2008 have attended include the University of California San Diego, the University of Colorado, Columbia University, Duke University, Johns Hopkins University, McGill University, Ohio State, the University of Maryland, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, North Carolina State University, Northwestern University, the University of Notre Dame, the University of Texas, Texas A&M, Stanford University, the University of Western Australia and many others.

Program Educational Objectives and Student Outcomes of the Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering Degree Programs

Both the Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering Bachelor of Science Programs in the Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering are accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, http://www.abet.org. Publication of the Program Educational Objectives and Student Outcomes, as well as assessment and evaluation of the extent to which these objectives and outcomes are being satisfied is part of the Department's continuous improvement process.

Program Educational Objectives

The Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering at Notre Dame has established the following Program Educational Objectives that are consistent with the mission of the University and College of Engineering. These Program Educational Objectives have been developed in collaboration with faculty, students and industry representatives. Though one can describe “Program Educational Objectives” in many ways, the ABET description is that Program Educational Objectives are “broad statements that describe the career and professional accomplishments that the program is preparing the graduates to achieve.” These are usually recognized as accomplishments in the first few years after graduation.

The Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering programs at Notre Dame appreciates the diverse set of individual goals to which our students aspire so it has expressed the Program Educational Objectives in two forms.

Graduates of the program should:

  • secure a position consistent with their personal aspirations and qualifications;
  • assume a technical or managerial leadership role with their organization; and,
  • participate as a volunteer with at least one professional or social service organization.

In addition, depending upon the career path selected, graduates will achieve one or more of the following:

  • be recognized as the key technical specialist within their organization for a particular professional specialty;
  • receive a graduate or professional degree;
  • start their own company; or,
  • apply for or be granted a patent.

Student Outcomes

To achieve these Program Educational Objectives, the curriculum is designed to provide the following Student Outcomes, which describe what students are expected to know or be able to do by the time of graduation.

  • First Principles and Problem Solving: Graduates understand fundamental scientific first principles of engineering, and can apply them to the solution of problems for modeling or simulation of engineering problems or systems by way of analytical and numerical treatment
  • Engineering Skills and Professional Practice: Graduates understand the essential role of experimentation in engineering and they are able to compare, and gain insight from a combination of analytical, numerical and experimental results. They are able to use modern engineering software tools including CAD and are capable of programming digital computers including microprocessors.
  • Design: Graduates have a pragmatic understanding of design and the engineering design process and are able to contribute in various ways to the design of a product, system or process.
  • Communication: Graduates are able to communicate well, both orally and in writing, and function effectively in multidisciplinary groups both in leadership and support roles.
  • Professional Responsibility: Graduates are familiar with the responsibilities of professional practice, the roles that aerospace and mechanical engineers play in society, the kinds of issues they deal with and their influence in society.

Contacts

Students needing assistance regarding questions not addressed by the web site, should refer to their academic advisor or the following contacts. Following the order listed is typically the most efficient.

  • Mrs. Donna Fecher, Administrative Assistant, 365 Fitzpatrick, 574-631-5432, dfecher@nd.edu
  • Dr. Joseph M. Powers, Associate Department Chair and Director of Undergraduate Studies, 365B Fitzpatrick,574-631-5978, powers@nd.edu
  • Ms. Catherine F. Pieronek, Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs, 257 Fitzpatrick, 574-631-4385, cpierone@nd.edu
  • Dr. Gretar Tryggvason, Department Chair, 365 Fitzpatrick, 574-631-5433, Gretar.Tryggvason.1@nd.edu