In just 30 minutes, seven OSU Institute of Technology students will transform a pile of steel into a working, 1/10-scale bridge.
Those 30 minutes represent hours of work throughout the last seven months. The OSUIT American Society of Civil Engineers student group prepped all last semester and will continue to work through spring break to compete at the regional 2013 Student Steel Bridge Competition at Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville April 4-6.
“This is the best application of applied and hands-on learning that students can possibly get,” said Dolph Hayden, Engineering Technologies division chair. “Competitions like this set them up for success in their future careers as civil engineering technologists. It creates excitement and passion about being in the field of civil engineering technology.”
The seven students competing are Lindsey Treloar, Drew Beck, Duane Garrett, Jesse Bryan, Lane Wren, Dakota Chancellor and Conner Cutrer. They have worked with Civil Engineering Technology instructor Jennifer Butler approximately 10-15 hours a week throughout the last semester to construct the pieces of steel needed to create a 16.5 foot long bridge. During the weeks leading up to the competition, the students worked to ensure they can construct the bridge during the timeframe allowed.
“After creating the bridge, they load it with 2,500 pounds to be judged on the bridges’ strength,” Butler said. “The competition is a direct example of what we do in class. It is an extremely applied example where they create a working model of what they will eventually create when they are on the job.”
Gayan Herath, the group’s advisor, will also be attending the conference in April with the students. Herath plays a role in all of the group’s activities and successfully guided them to earn the title of OSUIT’s student club of the year for 2012.
In addition, the students also are competing in the Concrete Bowling Ball competition at the same conference. The students worked with engineers involved with the Devon Tower in Oklahoma City to create a high-strength concrete similar to that used in the tower. The student group collaborated with OSUIT’s Engineering Graphics/Design Drafting Technology program staff to create a design for a spherical concrete form and then worked with the Manufacturing Technology program staff to produce a resin based form utilizing the programs 3-D printer.
“The combined efforts of three different areas of OSUIT allowed our students to create a one-of-a kind ball to use in this competition,” Hayden said. “I’m proud that all of the students and faculty involved work so well together and that those same students will represent OSUIT at this competition with so many other schools. It is an opportunity for so many others to learn about the excellence at OSUIT.”
The students will bowl with the 19-pound ball. Afterwards, the ball’s strength and durability will be measured to determine a winner.
Both the completed bridge and bowling ball will be on display at April 13’s Super Saturday. Stop by to sling the ball down the lanes or test the strength of the bridge! For now, check out the step-by-step pictures of the creation of the bridge by visiting ASCE’s website. And, view the list of sponsors that enabled OSUIT students to create and compete in these competitions.