Lukas Winklerprins, '15, a BDW monitor and applied math concentrator, did an independent study this spring, during which he investigated pneumatic structures (think sports domes or “bouncy houses”). His work included finite element modeling to understand the stresses in the fabric and seams that make up a pneumatic structure, fluid analysis to predict leak rates and blower requirements, and the design and fabrication of a full scale structure. His design is an assembly of triangles, like a geodesic dome, and because there are no rigid elements, the outcome is more spherical.
The creation of the Brown Design Workshop (BDW) in Prince Lab is a key to the overall re-envisioning of engineering, which aims to make the disciplines of creation and design within the School of Engineering more collaborative, open, flexible and accessible to all parts of campus. With new technologies the opportunities have never been greater, nor more accessible for a wide range of students. These developments provide a unique opportunity to unite classroom and experiential learning.
Students in a robotics class spent the semester thinking about and building devices with a human-centered design principle. How, for example, would a remote telepresence user manage to push the button on an elevator?
Lincoln School is partnering with Brown’s School of Engineering and the Sheridan Center for Teaching and Learning to offer the course, Introduction to Engineering, to Lincoln students. The course will be taught in the School of Engineering at Brown and will take advantage of the newly established Brown Design Workshop. The Sheridan Center for Teaching and Learning will work with both Lincoln School and the School of Engineering to aid in the course design and student-centered pedagogy.
During November of 2014 RISD and Brown STEAM invited Dutch artist and polymath, Theo Jansen to visit College Hill. Jansen is well known for his creations, the Strandbeests, which are pipe constructs that can crawl along beaches by way of wind power. His work is captivating to people from many creative disciplines because it is born from a material investigation. Jansen used the structural integrity of the humble PVC pipe to create light, self-supporting and flexible structures.