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

Thayer Welcomes Its 7th Design Fellow

By Anna Fiorentino
June 2017 • CoolStuff

Robert Halvorsen

G. Robert Halvorsen Jr. '17 Th’17 enjoyed being a teaching assistant at Thayer and fell in love with mechanical engineering. So, for Halvorsen (especially knowing that a group of his friends are staying on for a fifth year), any opportunity to continue working on Dartmouth engineering projects would be irresistible and accepting the one-year term as Thayer Design Fellow was a no-brainer.

Starting in July, Halvorsen will be assisting faculty in many of Thayer's design-intensive courses, as well as working with the staff and TAs in the Machine Shop, prototyping facilities, CAD lab, and electronics labs.

What do you hope to take away from this experience?

Working under Professor Peter Robbie, I hope to be a positive presence at Thayer, to help students when they need it, and maybe inspire others to explore engineering. One third of my time will be devoted to my independent project and an opportunity to create a meaningful product, and the rest will be split between helping students and faculty with their projects and being a resource for everyone at Thayer.

What compelled you to stay at Thayer?

I love the interdisciplinary focus and that was reflected in the job description for Design Fellow so I seized the opportunity to apply. My experience in ENGS 21 and the time after prepared me well for this position. It taught me a lot about self-starting and independent motivation, which is important during the independent project section of the Design Fellowship.

What was your favorite project at Thayer?

The coolest thing I've built is a ride-able walking beast with 12 legs. In May, my team and I rode it into a jousting battle against the class's other bots.

I also helped build the hardware for "RunRite Smartsole," which collects data to prevent injuries for runners. The device, placed under the insole of a running shoe, is fitted with a series of pressure sensors. The sensors would send a picture of the runner’s foot hitting the ground to an app that would analyze how a runner injured his or her foot.

What do you love about engineering?

I like helping people understand things and I just like people in general, and working together on a problem is a great way to make friends. As Design Fellow, I'm really excited to hone my skills as an engineer and gain more experience before going out into the workforce. Afterwards, I hope to either go to grad school or go to work as an engineer for a product design firm.

Tags: alumni, design, projects, students

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