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

History: Knowledge With Know-How

Knowledge With Know-How

  1. What was Thayer School’s first research lab?
  2. When was ENGS 21 first taught?
  3. Who was the first woman to earn a doctorate at Thayer School?

A new book, Knowledge with Know-How: Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth, has all the answers and more. Edited by Ellen Frye, senior editor in Thayer School’s communications office, and published in February by the University Press of New England, the comprehensive history takes its name from a guiding principle espoused by Myron Tribus, dean from 1961 to 1969: “Knowledge without know-how is sterile.”

Featuring 120 archival photos, the history takes up where the 1971 volume The First Hundred Years of the Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth left off. The new book summarizes the first century and goes on to trace the School leadership and the evolution of the curriculum, degree programs, sponsored research, and corporate partnerships from the 1970s to the present. Along the way it highlights Thayer School’s distinctive approach to engineering education, including its appreciation of the liberal arts, emphasis on systems, conviction that even beginning students can define problems and solve them creatively, and dedication to serving society through engineering.

Knowledge with Know-How can be ordered from University Press of New England by phoning 1-800-421-1561.


  1. Professor Millet Morgan’s radiophysics labs, opened in 1941, was Thayer’s first.
  2. ENGS 21 debuted in 1958 to ground students in the theoretical foundation of engineering. In 1961 Professor Robert Dean Jr. revamped it into today’s hands-on-engineering design course.
  3. Diane Knappert Clark Th’77 ’78 received the D.E. degree in 1981.

For more historical photos of Thayer School, visit our Flickr page of Thayer’s Past.

Categories: The Great Hall, History

Tags: history

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