Akron, Ohio– Alan Brubaker, P.E., P.S., Summit County Engineer, hosted the 16th Annual Miniature Bridge Building Competition on February 26, 2016 in the Student Union at the University of Akron. Thirty-nine teams from 21 area high schools built miniature bridges of their own designs, made out of balsa wood and according to strict guidelines. The sole team from Hudson High School came in first place by constructing a bridge that held 58.4 pounds. Springfield High School Team 2 claimed the second spot and Springfield High School Team 1 came in 3rd place. Portage Lakes Career Center Team 1 won the Aesthetics Award and Cuyahoga Falls Team 1 was runner up with their model of the Hall of Fame Bridge.
The competition is designed to encourage high school students to implement scientific and mathematical principles they have learned in the classroom. Along with Engineer Alan Brubaker, sixteen engineering consulting firms co-sponsor the annual event and offer scholarship opportunities for competition participants who choose a career in civil engineering. AECOM/URS, Inc, Arcadis, Burgess & Niple, CT Consultants, DLZ, E.L. Robinson, Environmental Design Group, Euthenics, Jones-Stuckey Ltd./Pennoni Associates, ljb, inc, Mannik Smith Group, Inc, Michael Baker Jr., Inc., ms consultants, Osborn Engineering, Richland Engineering, and Thrasher Engineering were the participating consulting firms this year. Representatives from all sixteen firms were on board with displays, handouts and words of encouragement to help bridge the gap from applied bridge design to a real life professional career in the field. College students majoring in civil engineering at The University of Akron and professional engineers from the Summit County Engineer’s Office were also busy circulating among the students to cheer them on while teams competed to build the winning bridge.
After about three hours of construction, the bridges were brought up on stage to be load tested until their ultimate demise. Bridge after bridge broke under the increased weight hanging from the center of the bridges. The winning team members from Hudson High School are Andrew McDonald, Michael Lang, and Brian Glen. They were rewarded with a trophy and cash prizes for their impressive efforts. Second place winners from Springfield High School are Andrew Wilmot, Jonathan Michaels, and Gerald Lanik. Aesthetics Award winners from Portage Lakes Career Center are Nathan Walent, Chai Lin, and Alissa Sarver.