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Resiliency and Sustainability of Engineering Systems


Sustainable engineering systems in the context of multiple hazards, the environment, society, and economic constraints require mitigation to lessen the impacts from natural disasters and human activity and as well as resiliency to recover quickly from those hazards. The Resiliency and Sustainability of Engineering Systems minor will help educate students to become successful leaders who understand the complexity of the multi-hazard challenge in a changing World and can offer meaningful solutions. The graduates from this minor will be able to:

  1. Recognize and assess the complex interactions and interdependencies within and between critical infrastructure, engineering networks, social systems, and our environment.
  2. Recognize the technical, social, economic, and ethical aspects of a commitment to sustainable and resilient development.
  3. Recognize and apply engineering principles, processes, and practices to engineered infrastructure and systems that result in sustainable and resilient development.
  4. Develop a functional knowledge of the historical and economic frameworks that guide engineering regulations and public policy.
  5. Develop skills to convey critical information about sustainability and resilience to the non-expert.


Future Events


Past Events

Resiliency and Sustainability Workshop

The Resiliency and Sustainability of Engineering Systems minor is open to students from all disciplines (i.e., not just limited to students in the College of Engineering) who can satisfy the pre-requisites for CE10700 (see below). The minor includes two required courses, three elective courses, and a capstone experience. The two required courses are:

CE10700: Sustainable Development in a Changing World (Required) spans a broad range of topics on the environmental consequences of engineering systems in sustainable development.

CE30720: Resiliency of Engineering Systems (Required) focuses on engineering for mitigation and resiliency, also emphasizing communication skills so that graduates are equipped to work with city planners, policymakers and the public.

The three elective courses will be selected in collaboration with the Director of the Minor. Options to fulfill this requirement span multiple departments and include pre-approved courses from departments such as Political Science, Psychology, Philosophy, Laws, Economics, and Sociology. Courses will be from at least two different departments. At least two of the elective courses will be at the advanced undergraduate level (i.e., junior or senior). In addition, at least one of the three elective courses will be outside the College of Engineering.

In addition to coursework, students will be required to complete a 1-credit capstone experience. The goal is for the student to obtain hands-on experience with resiliency and sustainability issues focusing on implementation in a real-world setting, such as a related research position or an internship with a governmental body, regulatory agency, environmental advocacy group, or other organization. Proposed by the student, each capstone experience will be approved by the Director of the Minor. Projects will vary among students, and it is expected that each experience will allow the student to pursue a topic of particular interest to him/her in much more depth than a single course might allow. Each experience will be accompanied by a Capstone Thesis Report that will be due no later than the spring semester of the senior year.

How to find out more and register:

Contact  for questions and registration information. 


RSES Logo 

The triple layered planes in the center of the logo represent the three historical critical infrastructure groups: water, energy, and transportation[1]. The overlapped configuration of the layers symbolizes the interdependencies amongst these critical infrastructure groups (see Figure 1). The dual symbolism of the layered planes is that they also look like the floors of a building, which reminds us that “vertical” infrastructure cannot be disregarded as part of any complete community assessment of resiliency or sustainability.

The stem of the shamrock is curving upward from left to right in order to represent the recovery portion of the temporal resilience curve (see Figure 2). Furthermore, the leafed portion of the shamrock at the end of this stem reminds us that truly resilient systems flourish after recovery. The shamrock itself also represents the natural, vegetative elements of a community that is designed in concert with nature instead of against it. Of course, the shamrock also represents the Catholic and Irish heritage of the University of Notre Dame.

The hexagonal frame represents the six components of community capital: built, economic, human/social, cultural, natural, and political. The hexagonal shape also represents the six major practice areas pertaining to civil infrastructure: structural, water resources, construction, transportation, geotechnical, and environmental. The colors represent the elements of nature with which we seek to build in concert. Blue represents the water and the sky, and green represents the vegetative elements of the earth. Of course, blue and green are also colors associated formally with the University of Notre Dame.


[1] Telecommunications infrastructure was historically grouped with transportation, although it is usually considered as its own infrastructure group in modern times.



Research Experience for Undergraduates, New Zealand

Summer 2020

  • 3-week introduction course in asset management (May 19-June 6; 3-credit hours; counts as a technical or general elective). 
  • 8-10 weeks of optional research experience in infrastructure asset management, transportation, structures, water, or energy (sponsored by New Zealand institutions). 
  • 1-credit hour capstone course upon return to the Main Campus in Fall.


New Zealand

Havana, Cuba

Sustainable Performance in Heritage Architecture and the Havana International Charrette



A Future for the Past