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Engineers break bridges

by Archives March 9, 2005

Bridges from Canada, France and the United States came tumbling down Friday when Concordia University’s Canadian Society for Civil Engineering hosted the 21st annual Troitsky Bridge Building Competition.

Using only Popsicle sticks, glue and string to construct their bridges, competitors from across the country and around the world gathered in the university’s library and Hall building for a chance to win $1,000.

“It’s kind of like American Idol for nerds,” joked Kevin, the afternoon’s MC.

Each team was given two hours to construct their bridges before presenting them to a panel of four judges. The bridges were then evaluated according to five criteria: resistance, design, originality, aesthetics, and presentation.

“I think [the competition] is great,” said Team Plunger’s captain, Hart Honickman, “It’s nice to see how materials behave in reality as opposed to just dry calculations on paper.”

The Plungers, one of six teams from Queen’s University, finished second in the afternoon’s “crushing session”, where each bridge’s resistance was tested by a screw-type mechanism controlled by a computer. The Plunger’s bridge was able to support 1,020 kilos before giving out.

Top honours went to Chicoutimi C

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