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Prizes for steel bridges made by our students

Photo of 10 people from The Science Club of Bridge Engineers who are standing on their bridge

10 people from The Science Club of Bridge Engineers went to the competition

The Science Club of Bridge Engineers of the Warsaw University of Technology have just returned from Turkey, where they competed in the finals of the international Design and Construct Steel Bridge Competition. Students have gained valuable experience and prizes.

The competition took place at the Boğaziçi University in Istanbul and lasted from 8 to 12 May 2023. The competition consisted of three parts where the following were evaluated: the aesthetics of the bridges presented, construction on time and loading with deflection measurement. In the end, 12 shortlisted teams competed for the prize.

The team from the Science Club of Bridge Engineers (operating at the Faculty of Civil Engineering) went to Turkey with two projects. The Kartal 7 was characterized by a proven arched construction that provided it with minimal deflection and aesthetic values, while the Beautiful Bridge – endeavoured to optimally combine folding time, weight and deflection.

– We opted for a structure consisting of an arched girder, whose belt converges to a point at the base – says Mateusz Frydrycki from the Kartal 7 team. – The applied geometry made it possible to construct a form pleasing to the eye. We wanted to achieve the effect of a slender and inconspicuous structure, but at the same time capable of carrying a considerable load with minimal deflection. Choosing the color, we chose the white and red colours, which are present in the flag of Poland and also in the flag of Turkey.

The solutions worked just fine. Kartal 7 received an award for its visual qualities and took fourth place in the general classification of the competition.

– We wanted the bridge to be light and easy to build – explains Maciej Siemionko from the Beautiful Bridge team. – The design is an experiment and an attempt to implement a non-standard approach to design. We wanted to see if we could trust the computational model and how accurately we would be able to predict the construction work.

In the design, students used the finite element method and topological optimization algorithms.

– Thanks to the use of advanced software, we simulated fasteners and friction between elements, explains Maciej Siemionko. "– In this way, we were looking for a shape that would be optimal in terms of the number of elements, weight and assembly time. In its very form, we referred to traditional lattice steel bridges. The bridge was covered with a thick layer of paint in a uniform colour to reflect the character of those structures.

The Beautiful Bridge was the highest rated structure in terms of uniqueness, and in the total score it came ninth.

– Participation in the competition was a great opportunity to make new friends and gain knowledge in practice – says Paweł Pachla. – We not only gained knowledge about the construction, but also learned the organization. Every aspect of the preparation brought new challenges, which we as engineers solved. We started from scratch, and we managed to produce two structures, find sponsors, organize transport and provide promotion.

In the DE&CO'23 competition, the Warsaw University of Technology was represented by: Michał Pawłowski, Julia Czaplicka, Karol Urbańczyk, Mateusz Frydrycki, Piotr Ambrochowicz (the team responsible for Kartal 7) and Maciej Siemionko, Edgar Maciejewski, Mateusz Rajda, Paweł Pachla, Radosław Szarwiło (the Beautiful Bridge team).

The students are already planning to analyze the results and design bridges for next year.