Engineering in the Arts - Alumni & Friends
May 20-28, 2023
Florence, Italy
Registration deadline: February 15, 2023

This class also described as “art appreciation for the technically-minded” teaches engineering and scientific concepts in the context of various artforms. It will be taught in Florence, Italy over the course of eight days. Lectures will be held in the morning and include topics such as The Renaissance, Leonardo Da Vinci, The Engineering of Musical Instruments, and Michelangelo and Sculpture. Afternoons will include excursions and tours that supplement the morning lectures such as a music concert, touring the Accademia Gallery and seeing The David, visiting the Uffizi gallery to see Da Vinci paintings, and a fresco painting class followed by a tour of the Palazzo Vecchio. This course is based on the study abroad course taught to Auburn Engineering students since 2019 called, “Engineering in the Arts”.

Date Lecture Activity
Saturday, May 20 No Lecture Planned Arrival in Florence; Welcome Dinner*
Sunday, May 21 No Lecture Planned Guided Walking Tour
Monday, May 22 Introduction and The Renaissance Guided Palazzo Vecchio Tour and Fresco Painting Workshop
Tuesday, May 23 Da Vinci & Science of Painting and Drawing Guided Uffizi Gallery Tour
Wednesday, May 24 Engineering of Music, Instruments & Song Musical Concert (Depending on Availability)
Thursday, May 25 Michelangelo and Sculpture & Leather and Weaving* Guided Accademia Gallery Tour
Friday, May 26 Architecture and the Human Body Guided Winery Visit with Lunch
Saturday, May 27 No Lecture Planned Guided Santa Maria del Fiore (Duomo) Tour; Formal Dinner
Sunday, May 28 No Lecture Planned Depart Florence

*Shared event with Auburn University students

Michael Zabala
Dr. Michael Zabala

Dr. Zabala is an Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Auburn University. He is the Director of the Auburn University Biomechanical Engineering Lab. His research specializes in human movement, performance enhancement, and injury prevention. He is also the Founder and Executive Chairman of XO Armor Technologies. Dr. Zabala’s enjoys marble carving and playing the piano as his artistic outlets.

Taylor Oldfather
Dr. Taylor Oldfather

Dr. Oldfather is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Auburn University. Her research focuses on performance biomechanics in athletics and in the arts, namely soccer and dance, respectively. She is uniquely interested in the role engineering in the arts having danced for 17 years and played piano for eight. In her spare time, Dr. Oldfather enjoys drawing, reading, and playing games with her family.

Complete the online registration with credit card payment.

Please note - lodging and airfare are not included, however one lunch and two dinners are included.

Register Now

This course requires a minimum of eight enrollees to be viable. Viability will be determined after the registration deadline (February 15, 2023). In the event that the course is not viable, a full refund of the registration fee will be returned to all registrants.

For more information about this program, please contact:

Last Updated: May 1, 2024