On 29th March, Billington were delighted to be invited to the University of Sheffield Engineering Department to be on the judging panel for the Spaghetti Bridge Challenge, in which teams of students compete to design and construct the lightest and most efficient bridge using limited materials; spaghetti and glue.
There were two awards up for grabs. The first was based on a load test with the following criteria: bridges had to span 1m, be less than 20cm in width, weigh less than 300 grams, with geometry such that a 10cm cube could be passed through the bridge along a virtual road surface and be able to carry a sling from the centre, from which test weights were hung. Once bridges were judged to be compliant, it was sequentially loaded to failure and the maximum load recorded.
The second prize was based on Architectural merit. As a group the judges agreed to base assessment on quality of build, constructional tolerance, aesthetic value and originality of concept.
Simon Thrift, Billington Structures Technical Director, represented Billington on the judging panel and said ‘it was a really enjoyable day, the level of structural engineering knowledge exhibited by the students was surprisingly well developed and there were several original structural concepts on display. The competition really seemed to inspire the contestants, who had clearly put a lot of research and constructional effort into their spaghetti offerings. Great to see budding future Engineers showing their paces in such a light-hearted and fun event, but one with very real benefits.’
Billington look forward to working alongside the University again in the future, and send our best wishes to the students with their remaining studies.