Earlier this year, Primera structural design engineer, Karen Yung, served on the judging panel for the 47th Annual Chicago Regional Bridge Building Contest hosted by the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT). The annual competition brings together Chicago area high school students who have won or placed in the top four of a bridge building contest conducted by their teachers for their school.
The contest consists of designing, constructing and testing the most efficient bridges made from basswood and glue. Each bridge must meet the contest design specifications and is load tested until failure. Load testing is performed using a Vernier testing machine with assistance from the judges. The competition encourages students to learn and apply the fundamental principles of physics and structural engineering in an entertaining and hands-on way. Participating in the competition gives students a realistic glimpse into the life of an engineer and serves as an academically oriented extracurricular activity which is nationally recognized.
“It was great to interact with the future generation of engineers and I loved seeing so much interest in the STEM field,” explains Karen. “I had a great time being a judge and was impressed by the intricate bridge designs.”
The top two bridges from each region (city, north suburbs, and south suburbs) with the highest structural efficiency move on to compete at the International Bridge Building Contest, taking place in Chicago on April 29th – kudos to all the winners! Additional information on the Bridge Building Contest can be found here.