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Although courses in solid modeling and computer programming are required in many engineering curriculums, students typically study these topics in separate courses. At Michigan Technological University, both of these topics are taught in the same course to meet the first-year engineering program objective of developing proficiency in the use of computers in solving engineering problems. Another objective of the program is for students to understand the design process through a practical, hands-on design experience. Michigan Tech uses these objectives to engage second semester freshmen in engineering design in a unique way. Students are challenged to create an innovative design concept, produce CAD solid models and assemblies to convey their concept, and develop a mathematical model in Matlab to predict the performance of their design. This paper will discuss the design projects used in this first year course to innovatively integrate solid modeling and computer programming throughout the freshman design experience.