ENGS 21: Introduction to Engineering


15F: 10A

No Textbook Required.

16W: 10A

No Textbook Required.

16S: 10A

No Textbook Required.

16F: 10A

17W: 10A

17S: 10A


MATH 3 or equivalent



The student is introduced to engineering through participation, as a member of a team, in a complete design project. The synthesis of many fields involving the laws of nature, mathematics, economics, management, and communication is required in the project. Engineering principles of analysis, experimentation, and design are applied to a real problem, from initial concept to final recommendations. The project results are evaluated in terms of technical and economic feasibility and social significance. Lectures are directed toward the problem, with experiments designed by students as the need develops. Enrollment is limited to 64 students.

Image Gallery

2014 Demonstrations
2014 Demonstrations
2014 Demonstrations
2013 Demonstrations
Soil Irrigation Through Capillary Action of Water in Ropes
Utilizing Seesaw Movement for Water Filtration
2012 Prototype Demonstrations
Ice Core Transport
Prototype Demonstration
Improved Smoke Alarms
Single-Firefighter Aerial Ladder Operation
President Kim Visits ENGS 21
President Kim Visits ENGS 21
Quieter Paper Towel Dispenser
ENGS 21 Group
Hill Breaker
ENGS 21 Class
ENGS 21 Class
ENGS 21 Group
Project Demonstration
ENGS 21 Instructor
ENGS 21 Class
Growing Bike
Machine Shop
Students at Work


Drinking Water Melting and Storage Device: For their ENGS 21 project, students designed a solar thermal drinking water melting and storage device for use in polar regions.

Student Design Presentations: Students present the projects they designed and built in their ENGS 21 class. The theme: design a product to improve quality of life in winter.

A Safer Sled: For their ENGS 21 project, students designed, built, and tested a "Sled Collision Avoidance System" that gives the feel of an accelerator with a pedal that disengages a built-in brake.

Student Project: Salt Blaster: Students built "Salt Blaster," a mobile salt spreader for stairs and other hard-to-reach places, for their ENGS 21 final project.

Student Project: The Ice Iron: Students designed the "Ice Iron," a pond resurfacing device, for their ENGS 21 final project. Video by Paul M. Donnelly.

Student Project: Solar Panel Snow Removal System : Students Caroline Allan, Katherine Bullion, Matthew McFarland, Sarah McGowan, and Allison Wang demonstrate their project that efficiently removes snow from solar panels. Catch a timelapse of the prototype in action, and get some user feedback.

Student Project: Beginner's Ice Skate: Students Abdul-Rashid Alhassan, Bao-Han Nguyen, Cameron O'Reilly, Marie Schwalbe, and Rui Zhang demonstrate their ENGS 21 final project: a beginner's ice skate that helps prevent backward falls.

Introduction to Engineering Projects: Engineering students present their ENGS 21 course projects to the community.

Water Conservation Projects: Students demonstrate the products they created to promote water conservation and decrease daily waste.

Icebot: Students in Introduction to Engineering show off their project: the Icebot, which measures ice thickness on ponds.

Introduction to Engineering: Dartmouth engineering students in ENGS 21 demonstrate their projects and their problem-solving skills.

Poaching Detector System: Undergraduate students in ENGS 21 designed, built, and tested a system for detecting poachers in wilderness areas.

Single-Firefighter Aerial Ladder Operation: Undergraduate students in ENGS 21 designed, built, and tested a sensor system for fire engine aerial ladders that enables one person—rather than two—to position a rescue ladder safely and accurately. Inventors Frances Davenport '13, John Mascari '13, Noam Rosenthal '13, Maya Viavant '12, and Byrnne Weeks '12 earned the Phillip R. Jackson Award for best performance in the course. Their teaching assistant was Emily Mason-Osann '11.

Introduction to Engineering: In this course students define a problem, devise a solution, and build a working prototype. This term's problem was "efficiency"—watch as three students explain their projects.

Student Project: Spotter-Free Weight-Lifting Bench: For ENGS 21, students created a system that lowers the lifter out of the way during weight-lifting.

Student Project: Hillbreakers: For ENGS 21, students created a system that automatically regulated speed on longboards

Custom Keyboard: A group of Dartmouth engineering students descended on Crotched Mountain in 1986 and built this keyboard for Maureen Gaynor.

RunRite Smartsole Shoe Insert : Dartmouth engineering students designed this insert to alert runners as to when their shoes are wearing out.

Vision Enhancement System: Dartmouth engineering students prototyped a vision enhancement system for skiing in flat and low light conditions, giving skiers a sense of the terrain before approach.

Shower Chair Stability: Dartmouth engineering students prototyped a more stable, safer shower chair that uses shower water to weight the base and provides extra features such as swivel and height adjustability.

Cold Weather Football Gloves: Dartmouth engineering students prototyped these cold weather football gloves, designed to keep players hands warm while not interfering with performance.