University of Notre Dame: Building on a 175-year Legacy
University of Notre Dame - The Knowledge Review

We combine technical inquiry with a creative bent to develop innovations that can improve the health, well-being, and quality of life for all people. Our mission is to create and transfer knowledge that reflects a profound and complete respect for the dignity of all people and for the greater good of humanity.

Founded in 1842, the University of Notre Dame is a private, not-for-profit Catholic university based in Indiana. Sprawling over 1,250 acres, Notre Dame is recognized as one of the top universities in the world. With a student representation from all 50 states and more than 100 countries, Notre Dame has built a reputation as a place where faith is treasured, diverse traditions are shared and respected, and rigorous academic standards are applied. Strong curricula across its many programs, NCAA Division I athletics, and numerous service and extracurricular opportunities create a dynamic learning environment in which students learn and live to their fullest capacity. The University’s alumni count is considered strongest among U.S. colleges, and it is one of the few universities that regularly rank among the top 25 in the U.S. by the annual U.S. News & World Report survey.

Dean of Notre Dame Engineering

Peter Kilpatrick is the Matthew H. McCloskey Dean of Engineering. He joined the University in January 2008. Prior to this, he served at North Carolina State University as the head of the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering.

Kilpatrick believes that to nurture leadership in engineering, students must possess four C’s: Competence, Compassion, Commitment, and Character. To that end, he has been instrumental in the development of academic programs, enhanced facilities, and new buildings, all aimed at supporting student growth and success while at the University and after graduation.

A proficient teacher and exemplary researcher, Kilpatrick has a deep expertise in colloidal and interfacial science. His work in the colloidal and molecular properties of crude oil and biological membranes is well-recognized and is focused on making energy more efficient and better for the environment.

Academic Offerings and Extracurricular Activities

The University provides a wide range of academic programs through its College of Engineering, College of Arts and Letters, College of Science, Mendoza College of Business, School of Architecture, and the Keough School of Global Affairs. Within the College of Engineering, there are five departments offering a variety of degree options — aerospace and mechanical engineering, chemical and biomolecular engineering, civil and environmental engineering and earth sciences, computer science and engineering, and electrical engineering. It also offers a wide range of study abroad options and the Integrated Engineering and Business Practices Curriculum that is extremely popular among students and employers. In addition to exemplary academic offerings, Notre Dame and the College of Engineering offer a multitude of local and global service opportunities so students may begin using their technical skills to impact the lives of those around them, from local food drives to Notre Dame Students Empowering through Engineering Development.


  • The University of Notre Dame received $138.1 million in research funding for the fiscal year (FY) 2017. This amount surpassed the previous record of $133.7 million in FY 2015.
  • Notre Dame’s College of Engineering will lead a new $26 million research center focusing on improving the performance, efficiency, and capabilities of next-generation computing technologies.
  • Chemical engineers at the University of Notre Dame are contributing their expertise in materials development and modeling to a new $19.7 million research center that focuses on new methods of converting shale gas reserves into chemicals and transportation fuel.
  • Researchers in the College of Engineering have developed a novel platform to accurately detect and identify the presence and severity of peanut allergies, without directly exposing patients to the allergens.
  • The College of Engineering is also building one of the country’s largest quiet hypersonic wind tunnels on the Notre Dame campus.

Becoming an Engineer

Although they do not have to declare a major until the beginning of their sophomore year, first-year students at Notre Dame who have indicated an interest in engineering start their University career with a course sequence that introduces them to the different engineering disciplines. These hands-on courses help students identify areas of interest while also giving them unique firsthand experiences working as engineers individually and in teams.

Students also have a variety of research opportunities available to them all year round. From the Notre Dame Nanofabrication Facility to the Energy Center, engineering undergraduates work in labs side by side with internationally known faculty and with graduate students.

However, the value of a Notre Dame degree is not only in the things one learns and the experiences one gains but also in learning “how to learn,” because an individual’s ability to learn and adapt to meet the needs of society is critical for success as an engineer.

Diversity Spurs Creativity and Innovation

Multiethnic, multilingual peoples come from across the globe to America and represent multiple faiths and traditions. A true melting pot, America is one of the most diverse nations on Earth. Notre Dame understands and welcomes the benefits of such diversity. It spurs creativity while encouraging different views and approaches in order to develop solutions to the challenges this world is facing.

That is why it is important to the University and the College of Engineering that all programs represent the demographics of the country. Notre Dame remains committed to excellence and dedicated to the growth and development of all students and faculty in order to ensure diversity and inclusivity. One example is the College of Engineering’s consistent record in admitting women to its programs (approximately twice than the national average).

Popular Events Held on Campus

Everyone has heard of Notre Dame football, and home games (for all sports) are all very popular. But there are some other events that are pretty popular too.

  • Engineering Industry Day: This annual career fair provides opportunities for engineering students to interact with potential employers for full-time employment and internships.
  • Majors Night: Majors Night gives first-year students a chance to talk to faculty and other students (already in specific programs) in order to find out more about the different majors before choosing a program.
  • Energy Week: For more than a decade, this campus-wide event has highlighted energy-related research and issues. Activities include films, speakers, tours of the Notre Dame power plant, and more.
  • GE Girls Summer Camp: For five years running, GE, Notre Dame’s College of Engineering students and alumnae, and the South Bend Schools have teamed up to give girls in grades 6-9 a taste of what it is like to be an engineer. The weeklong camp exposes these young women to different fields of science, technology, engineering, and math.

Financial Aid at Notre Dame

The University of Notre Dame is one of the 66 colleges nationally that is committed to providing financial aid to undergraduate students for all four years. More than half of last year’s first-year students who applied for financial aid received an average need-based scholarship of $37,400.

  • Nearly 75 percent of undergraduate students receive some form of financial aid.
  • Approximately 50 percent of first-year students receive University aid.

What Notre Dame Engineering Students Say

“Whatever a person is going through, Notre Dame students lift one another up instead of bringing each other down. You are not alone. There is a focus on the whole person instead of a single dimension, and it makes a difference.” — Katherine Shih, mechanical engineering and mathematics

“Engineering is difficult, but it teaches you that failure is okay. Learning how to solve a problem from a failure is the most important skill I have learned.” — Theodore Dilenschneider, chemical engineering

“From an early age, I have known that in whatever I do for a job I wanted to help people. I think that developing a deeper faith in life has made me more sure of myself and the gifts I have been given. It has helped me to discern the next steps and recognize where I am being called.” — Claire Nauman, environmental engineering

“I talked to some Notre Dame alumni at home and realized that coming here would not be a typical college experience. It is more a family-like bond that will last a lifetime.” — Matthew Perez, computer science

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