The Civil Engineering discipline at The University of the South Pacific (USP) held a mini bridge competition at the Laucala Campus as part of the final year Design of Timber Structures course.
Twenty-five students in the final year of civil engineering courses were placed in groups and allocated the same number of resources. The students were required to design a footbridge using available software before the competition. During the day of the competition, students were required to build a model bridge (L = 45 cm, W = 12 cm) in an allocated timeframe (3 hrs) based on the competition rules. Afterwards, students were required to submit their models to the judges, who tested the bridge using a simple point load at mid-span.
Team Max was over the moon when their model bridge could withstand the load of 320.79N. Mr Pravishek Mani speaking on behalf of the team, said they were happy and overwhelmed after being announced winners of the competition.
“The preparation started four days before the competition,” he said.
Pravishek said the prize money was evenly distributed amongst the team members.
“And thanks to the discipline staff for introducing the bridge-building competitions and making it a successful event,” he added.
He further thanked Glide Engineering Services’ sponsors for their support and kind gestures.
Assistant Lecturer- Civil Engineering and course coordinator for Design of Timber Structures, Mr Thomas Kishore, thanked all the participating groups and wished them the best on their future projects.
He also expressed his sincere gratitude to the school of Information Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Physics (STEMP) and the staff that made the event a success. He conveyed his deepest appreciation to Glide Engineering Services for the sponsorship.
He said the inclusion of innovative learning methods such as the competition bridges the gaps between application and theory. Furthermore, such events break barriers and foster teamwork, tolerance, creativity and ingenuity, which are vital in engineering.
“The students were able to apply theoretical knowledge learnt throughout the semester on timber structure designs and apply this knowledge during the competition,” he said.
“The feedback from students has been positive, and a lot of interest has been generated from civil engineering students currently in their second and third years. We envision this competition to be conducted yearly, improving and growing to a much bigger scale.”