Dartmouth Engineer - The Magazine of Thayer School of EngineeringDartmouth Engineer - The Magazine of Thayer School of Engineering

Tuck Summer Camp Includes a Shot of Engineering

By Anna Fiorentino
October 2013 • Thayer By Degrees: MEM

Benefits of the ongoing partnership between Thayer School and Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth came to light again in August during an eye-opening presentation on Thayer’s Formula Hybrid Competition by Research Engineer and Competition Director, Douglas Fraser. It was one of many sessions highlighting an interdisciplinary approach to problem solving during the pilot Tuck Summer Camp by the business school’s Executive Education program.

The four-day camp brought together 18 Tuck MBA and Executive Education alumni and members from the MBA Advisory Board and Tuck Board of Overseers. Activities included a studio session on Pablo Picasso, a master cooking class with Hanover Inn Executive Chef Justin Dain, and an a cappella music lesson led by Dartmouth students—all in addition to Fraser’s Formula Hybrid discussion.

“The audience was made up of only two engineers and no hybrid drivers—my presentation was from another world than what these people were used to. But that was the intention,” says Fraser.

Doug Fraser at Formula Hybrid
Doug Fraser watches over the group photo at the 5th annual Formula Hybrid Competition.

His talk addressed the difference between what he calls “artist engineers” and “scientist engineers.” Artist engineers—those with a proclivity toward creativity—don’t always respond well to traditional engineering education practices, explains Fraser. Designing and building high-performance racecars tends to appeal to these students.

For example, Formula Hybrid encourages students to make their cars efficient but stops short of setting precise limits on energy consumption despite “scientist engineers” on the rules committee pushing for a more detailed analysis of energy usage to be part of the scoring process.

“We have resisted this change. Instead, the competition has had success using a ‘fuel allocation’ method where all the teams start the endurance event with the same amount of energy on-board,” says Fraser. Winning requires drivers to use that energy more efficiently than the other teams, through a combination of optimum speed, driving techniques, and vehicle design.

“Doug discussed how both scientist engineers and artist engineers are needed to solve engineering problems. This idea turned into a great discussion between Doug and our participants about everything from planetary gears to how engineering and business education can be combined,” says Patroklos Karantinos T’12, Strategic Projects Manager for Tuck Executive Education. Fraser also discussed how to recognize and nurture artistic engineering students who may not thrive in a traditional curriculum, and how to help them get a job.

Afterward, one attendee of the Tuck Summer Camp—initiated by Sydney Finkelstein, Associate Dean for Executive Education and Steven Roth Professor of Management— recommended even more collaboration between Thayer and Tuck.

Current collaborations also include Thayer’s Master of Engineering Management Program for engineers who want to understand the business aspects of technology, and Tuck’s Barris Incubator Program to facilitate the launch and development of Dartmouth student led ventures.

The impact of these partnerships hasn’t gone unnoticed.

“My personal perspective as a former MBA student is that having engineering students in the classroom enriched the dialogue by giving us the opportunity to hear from people with quite different backgrounds,” says Karantinos.  

Tags: curriculum, design, formula hybrid, M.E.M., race cars, students

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