This academic year, the Center for Civic Innovation piloted a new EG35101: Industry and Community-Based Innovation Projects course. The course included a Civic section under faculty lead and CCI director Jay Brockman, and an Industry section under faculty lead Matt Morrison.
The course is designed so that students from different majors work in teams of 3 or 4 to develop innovative solutions for real-world problems within industry, government, and not-for-profit organizations. All projects contain substantial technical engineering content, with several employing multidisciplinary concepts. Students earn up to 2 credits (or 3 by special permission) each semester and EG35101 can be taken repeatedly to earn an accumulation of credits to count towards a Technical Elective for any Engineering degree.
In the Fall 2021 semester, 16 students worked on 4 projects mentored by local industry and community partners. Each team provided actionable outcomes for their partners, prompting an expansion for the Spring 2022 semester. The Spring course included an enhanced infrastructure and increase in both student enrollment and faculty involvement with 36 students completing 12 projects under the direction of 6 faculty advisors.
One of the projects this spring was the Energy Audits project, where Notre Dame Engineering students created a report for a City of South Bend Assistant City Engineer who served as their mentor. The report focused on a City of South Bend wastewater building that has received funding for rehabilitation in the next 5 years, and included an analysis of the current condition of energy usage in the building as well as specific recommendations of equipment and improvements.
As an interdisciplinary course that accepts all Engineering majors, EG35101 has been designed with the understanding that students of different majors and backgrounds working alongside each other promotes the sharing of new perspectives to bring about innovative solutions.
Students earn up to 2 credits (or 3 by special permission) each semester and EG35101 can be taken repeatedly to earn an accumulation of credits to count towards a Technical Elective for any Engineering degree.