Bridge Project



This project involved the design, construction, and testing of a model bridge.  Students were asked to use wooden craft sticks as compression members, hemp rope as tension members, and wooden dowel rods at the joints to serve as transverse connectors.  The goal was for the bridge to span a one-meter gorge, to support as much weight as possible, to weigh as little as possible, and to deflect by no more than six inches.  A finite element analysis was performed to optimize the solution.  The project was part of Physics 236, Mechanics and Properties of Solids, taught by Dr. Hiemcke in the spring of 1999.  Depicted is the winner of the competition, which was a cable-stay bridge.  The students are (from left to right):  Mark Frick, Denis Dorojkine, Matt Pilcher, and Nathan Copeland. 


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