January 26, 2013 marked the tenth year that SCE engineering students, Professor Ganesh Thiagajaran and Engineering Research Technician Pat O’Bannon have happily provided logistics and volunteers for the 30th Annual Model Bridge Building Competition which is organized and sponsored by the Western Chapter of the Missouri Society of Professional Engineers (MSPE). SCE engineering students Tim Hines, Bhargav Javvaji, Clark Johnson, Bhavani Ramneedi, Sean Rivers and Jerome Shin loaded and measured each of the 11 model bridge entries and carefully recorded results. Under the direction of Contest Chairperson Jim Guthrie, DE, PE, bridges were tested while their high school student builders and their teacher mentors experienced memorable demonstrations on how truss-type bridge design must include attention to individual member and global requirements, and the economics of the lightest bridge for the largest applied load.
Everyone found out the maximum load their bridge could withstand as weight was added until the bridges broke. The purpose of the testing was to determine the most efficient bridge as all were constructed per the contest rules and specifications provided by the 2013 International Bridge Building Contest. The winning bridge spanned 300 mm, weighed 22.3 grams, and supported 62.5 pounds of sand (28,349.4 grams) for an efficiency rating of 1,271.3. Cash prizes of $150, $75 and $50 will be awarded to the builder and teacher mentor of the three most efficient bridges at the 2013 Engineers Week Luncheon which is attended by hundreds of practicing engineers.