Engineering & Applied Sciences

Student Profiles

Philip Brune

Philip Brune“It’s a fit you won’t find anywhere else, which makes it an extraordinary opportunity.”

Philip Brune is bridging the gap between engineers who lack historical context and historians who lack engineering concepts. The mechanical engineering doctoral candidate, who analyzed ancient Roman concrete and imperial Roman vaulted architecture as a Fulbright Scholar to Italy during the 2007–08 academic year, comes by both pursuits naturally.

His mother was an artist, and his father was a software engineer.

“They both kind of molded me in their own image, but there was only so much of me to mold, so I had this multifaceted group of interests,” he explains.

During his time overseas, Brune refined and calibrated an engineering computational tool, known as a specialized Finite Element Analysis model, toward the analysis of ancient Roman concrete. He says that undergraduates in the Archaeology, Engineering and Architecture Program will learn techniques that he has used to better investigate what went into building ancient structures and what needs to be done to preserve them.

The program offers tremendous potential for understanding these works of art like never before, adds Brune.

“It’s a fit you won’t find anywhere else, which makes it an extraordinary opportunity.”