Just as technology is always evolving, so must the education of the next generation of engineering innovators. The Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering has developed a new experiential curricula and upgraded its facilities to be able to better prepare students for their future roles as leaders who can integrate engineering knowledge with service in order to solve problems that affect quality of life for all. Our curriculum and wide variety of co-curricular opportunities provide students the opportunity to apply and develop their technical fundamentals in realistic engineering settings, creating a bridge from theory to practice. Coupled with and informed by our Catholic mission, the Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering prepares our students to be servant-engineers so that they may be a force for good in our
world today.

EXPERIENTIAL CURRICULUM

Student using band saw in the AME Student Fab Lab.

Students in the Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering at Notre Dame have a long history of being well-versed and well-prepared in the fundamentals and theory essential to engineering. While this aspect of our programs remains strong and at the core of our department, we now complement it with a series of hands-on courses that enable students to understand how to transfer theory from the classroom to the real world. Several courses have been updated to offer more experiential learning opportunities that expose students to the design, model/simulate, fabricate, test, and redesign engineering process so they are better prepared to contribute to the changing face of industry today.  

New Courses

  • AME Design Tools 1 and 2 student testing materialsAME Design Tools
    1 and 2

    In this two-course sequence students gain practical experience with the modern tools of design and fabrication, all in the context of the design process. The sequence focuses on CAD, CAM, and Additive Manufacturing while incorporating modern teaching strategies, such as flipping the classroom and team-oriented, project-based learning.

  • AME Lab 1 and 2 students at a workspaceAME Lab 1
    and 2

    This two-course sequence focuses on developing knowledge and laboratory skills, merging the fundamentals of measurements and data analysis with applications in solids, fluids, energy, and motion control. Students experience an array of build and test exercises ranging from I-beams to wind turbine blades.

  • AE Intro to Design students learning modeling softwareAE Flight Mechanics and Introduction to Design

    In Flight Mechanics and Introduction to Design, aerospace engineering students learn the fundamentals of flight and how design parameters affect aircraft performance. It sets the stage so that students will be able to design their own aircraft in their capstone senior design course.  

  • AE Senior Design student checking out his RC plane prototypeAE Senior Design

    All aerospace engineering seniors must complete this semester-long team-based capstone design course that requires them to develop a comprehensive design of an RC aircraft and build a fully functional prototype capable of fulfilling specific flight mission criteria. The mission changes every year with recent examples including a mother-daughter tandem flight of an RC aircraft and glider, endurance flights with a large payload, and an aircraft capable of deploying a payload midflight.

  • ME Design Methodology student inspecting a 3-d printed prototypeME Design Methodology

    In Design Methodology, mechanical engineering students learn the principles of design, including the design process from concept selection through prototyping, and how to utilize engineering analysis in the design process. Students are exposed to aspects of modern design such as human-centered design, design for manufacturing, and ethics in the design process.

  • A group of ME Seniors working together on their final design project.ME Senior Design

    All mechanical engineering seniors must complete this semester-long team-based capstone design course, designing and building a fully functional prototype that also requires some type of feedback control. The projects vary from each semester. Recent examples include designing a gait analysis system for a local hospital, building an autonomous mine detection system, and developing ergonomic upgrades to a wrist pin hopper.

New & Expanded Facilities

  • AME Student Fab LabAME Student Fab Lab

    Replacing our previous 1,500-sq.-ft. design space, the new 2,800-sq.-ft. AME Student Fabrication Laboratory (SFL) features two new Haas CNC Minimills, equipment ranging from CNC engravers and to manual mills and lathes, expanded space for fabrication and assembly, and a full-time lab manager. The SFL supports all of the AME experiential courses, as well as co-curricular clubs and activities. It is also open to students outside of AME – to those in other departments in the College of Engineering and in other colleges on campus. Learn more about available equipment, access, and training at:
    SFL Website

  • 3D printers in the MakerSpace & 3D Printing LabMakerSpace & 3-D printing lab

    The new MakerSpace 3-D Printing Lab now features 16 MakerBot 3-D printers and supports all of the AME experiential courses, as well as co-curricular clubs and activities. Learn more about getting trained and printing parts at:
    Makerspace Website

CO-CURRICULAR ACTIVITIES

Members of the Baja Team with the cart in front of Fitzpatrick Hall

Rigorous technical challenges are vital in any engineering program, but these can also be found outside the classroom where a wide variety of co-curricular clubs and activities encourage team building and individual responsibility. Clubs such as the Baja SAE, the Notre Dame Rocketry team, and Design, Build, Fly regularly compete in national intercollegiate competitions sponsored by organizations such as the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) and NASA.

Service-oriented clubs like Engineers without Borders and E-Nable give the Notre Dame engineer the opportunity to apply their engineering skills to help those less fortunate and put to practice the call to be a #Force4Good. 

CATHOLIC MISSION

Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes on the campus of the University of Notre Dame

Rigorous technical challenges are vital in any engineering program. As important, however, is the grounding in the Notre Dame liberal arts heritage: the University’s Core Curriculum. Studying fluid mechanics and thermodynamics alongside theology and philosophy helps students better understand how their work impacts humanity. According to students, those required courses in the liberal arts also help them learn to think differently and communicate with individuals who are not engineers. They develop a deeper sense of their place in the world and become more well-rounded engineers in the process as they work in teams. Through our department’s fundamental and experiential courses, the required liberal arts core curriculum, and through co-curricular activities, our students learn the link between faith and technology, helping prepare them to be servant leaders and #Innovate4Humanity

ENGINEERING INNOVATION HUB

Rendering of the Engineering Innovation Hub

#Innovate4Humanity

The Engineering Innovation Hub (EIH), once complete, will be a unique facility that reflects the modern engineering curriculum – one that emphasizes innovation and entrepreneurship while addressing complex multidisciplinary challenges. The EIH will bring together leading-edge technology, people, and tools to deliver an unparalleled student experience by creating engineers who are servant leaders equipped to solve problems that affect human dignity and quality of life. To learn more about this next phase of development in our AME education and facilities, visit: