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More than 500 people expected at bridge building competition

More than 500 people expected at the university’s student bridge building competition

August 19, 2014

More than 500 people are expected at the University of Canterbury’s annual student bridge building competition, civil engineering’s event of the year on campus this week.

Organiser and senior lecturer in structural engineering Dr Alessandro Palermo says about 180 civil engineering students have designed and built bridges for the event tomorrow (Wednesday).

Bridge building has been one of the litmus tests for second year UC civil engineering students for almost 20 years. The bridge competition requires students to design, construct and test a bridge which sustains two people but fails with three people on it.


Since 2009, Dr Palermo changed the rules of with the competition and introduced creative designs and aesthetics. A judging committee will make awards for the best aesthetic and structurally innovative bridges. He says the event is aimed to stimulate creativity and innovation for the next generation of bridge engineers.

``University of Canterbury has produced some prominent bridge designers who are in the front line with the Christchurch rebuild including Mike Cowan, head of bridge engineering division in OPUS (Christchurch) and Nik Stewart, head of bridge division in BECA (Christchurch),’’ Dr Palermo says.

The careers of many New Zealand engineers started with the University of Canterbury bridge building competition on campus. View previous University of Canterbury bridge-building events here: http://youtu.be/Yfa795VO3k8.

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