Major: Mechanical Engineering
Toward the end of his first semester, for a final class project, freshman mechanical engineering major Chris Roll decided to compare the columns in front of the Rush Rhees Library with buildings designed by the venerable Roman architect and engineer Vitruvius. It gave him the chance to better appreciate the structural integrity of the Parthenon and other temples he toured while on an educational trip to Greece two years ago.
With guidance from one of his professors, Roll found proportions Vitruvius used in his modular design of a Doric-style temple and measured them against scaled, hand-drawn plans from the Department of Rare Books, Special Collections and Preservation in Rush Rhees Library. Though there were notable deviations, the Rush Rhees architect clearly drew from the ancient draftsman’s writings.
Roll finds his daily stroll past the library columns more meaningful now and is proud of the work he accomplished shortly after arriving on campus.
“The professor was real open to discussing the project with me and helping me find the resources for it,” he says, “which made it real easy to be able to do something like this right away.”