Teams are common throughout engineering practice and industry when solving complex, interdisciplinary problems. Previous works in engineering problem solving have studied the effectiveness of teams and individuals, showing that in some circumstances, individuals can outperform collaborative teams working on the same task. The current work extends these insights to novel team configurations in virtual, interdisciplinary teams. In these team configurations, the whole meta-team can interact, but the sub-teams within them may or may not. Here, team performance and process are studied within the context of a complex drone design and path-planning problem. Via a collaborative research platform called HyForm, communication and behavioral patterns can be tracked and analyzed throughout problem solving. This work shows that nominally inspired sub-structured teams, where members work independently, outperform interacting sub-structured teams. While problem-solving actions remain consistent, communication patterns significantly differ, with nominally inspired sub-structured teams communicating significantly less. Questionnaires reveal that the manager roles in the nominally inspired sub-structured teams, which are more central in communication and information flow, experience a greater cognitive and workload burden than their counterparts in the interacting sub-structured teams. Moreover, members in the nominally inspired sub-structured teams experience their teams as inferior on various dimensions, including communication and feedback effectiveness, yet their performance is superior. Overall, this work adds to the literature on nominal versus interacting problem-solving teams, extending the finding to larger, interdisciplinary teams.