We are the Queen’s University Bridge Building Design Team. We build bridges.
No, seriously. We are currently in our 6th year of operation and we compete in the Troitsky Bridge Building Competition which originated in 1975 and hosts universities all across Canada. We are an entirely student run team that oversees the design, fabrication, construction, and crushing of multiple wooden bridges.
Our task is simple: build a bridge out of popsicle sticks, glue, and dental floss. Seems pretty simple, right? We break into 6 teams of 6 Engineering students and each team designs and assembles a bridge. We spend a month designing the bridges and then the next 4 months constructing them so we can crush them in March.
Seems pretty straight forward, right?
Except we have multiple constraints and restrictions to our bridges that make it incredibly challenging. The regulations are as follows:
- Bridge must be 1m in length
- Must have a certain road deck width
- Must have a certain span and gap underneath
- All pieces must fit in a specific sized box (no piece more than 40cm in length)
- Marked for creativity
- Marked for efficiency (weight supported / amount of material used)
- Marked for strength
- Height restrictions
So these 1 meter long popsicle stick bridges undergo a lot of design and testing before they are completed. The end result is bridges that can hold up to 10,000 lbs, or 4 metric tonnes. It’s pretty crazy.
Check out the other pages of the website for more information!