Student Beam Competition

On Saturday morning, April 1, 2017, at Widener University in Chester, Pa., the Eastern Pennsylvania & Delaware Chapter will sponsor its Annual Student Beam Competition for the 32nd time.  Teams of not less than two nor more than five undergraduate students enrolled at any university or college with no geographical restrictions were eligible to compete for the $3,000 in prizes given to the winners.  The beam specimen must fit into a 40” x 5.5” x 2.5” envelope reinforced with at least one but no more than two steel #4 reinforcing bars 39” long.  The concrete mix could contain any nonmetallic aggregate, or chemical admixture, but no cementitious materials other than portland cement, blended hydraulic cement, ground granulated slag, fly ash, or silica fume.  The use of chemical admixtures, including superplasticizers, was optional.  The beam could contain no more than 7.5 pounds of cementitious material and no fibers of any kind were permitted.  A "Green Concrete Bonus" was applied for the amount of portland cement used less than the 7.5 pound maximum.  Check the current official rules for the complete current competition rules.

The students gain insights on the effects of tolerances in beam fabrication, as well as concrete mix technology and structural design parameters.  It is the mission of the chapter to challenge the ingenuity of the students and to foster communication and involvement among students, faculty and industry.

It always has been traditional for the Chapter President and other representatives of the chapter to be present to act as judges.  Some material suppliers donated concrete mix ingredients.  ACI International conducted a similar competition -- patterned very closely after ours -- during its fall conventions.

The students gain insights on the effects of tolerances in beam fabrication as well as concrete mix technology, and structural design parameters.  It is the mission of the Chapter to challenge the ingenuity of the students and to foster communication and involvement among students, faculty, and industry.

It has always been traditional for the Chapter President and other representatives of the Chapter to be present to act as judges.  Some material suppliers have donated concrete mix ingredients.  ACI National now holds a similar competition during their Fall Conventions which was patterned very closely after ours.

Challenge

Design and construct a concrete beam reinforced with steel reinforcement bars in accordance with the contest rules, predict the ultimate load, and predict the load that will result in a midspan deflection of 1/4 inch.

Eligibility

Undergraduate students enrolled on a full or part-time basis at any college or university.

Prizes

  • Highest Ultimate Load to Weight Ratio - $1,500
  • Most Accurate Prediction of Loads - $1,500

Each team is eligible for only one prize.

Entry Form

For an Official Entry Form and complete contest rules, contact EPDACI Student Beam Competition Chair Lizanne Pepin at lizanne.pepin@hilti.com.  The Official 2017 Entry Form and complete contest rules may also be obtained by clicking here.

Completed Entry Forms shall be submitted to EPDACI Student Beam Competition Chair Lizanne Pepin at lizanne.pepin@hilti.com.

Competition Location

Widener University Structures Lab

East 17th Street & Melrose Avenue

Chester, PA

Directions to the Widener University Structures Lab may be found by clicking on the link here.

The Winners

Participating students and their faculty advisers are invited as our guests to attend a chapter Dinner Meeting or Awards Banquet to receive their prizes.

From Left: Lawrence, Cardinal, Connell, Esham, and Jayne

The $1,500 prize for the highest ultimate load to beam weight ratio after adjusting for the green concrete bonus was awarded to the 2014 University of Delaware team of Eric Lawrence, Jack Cardinal, Ryan Connell, and Calvin Esham, pictured with faculty advisor Allen Jayne, during the May Dinner Meeting program.

From Left: Getz, Yarosh, Gentile, Siglin, and Brown

The $1,500 prize for the most accurate prediction of load at 1/4" deflection was awarded to the 2014 Widener University team of Robert Getz, Stephen Yarosh, Nick Gentile, and James Siglin, pictured with faculty advisor Vicki Brown, whose prediction varied from the actual load by only 5%, during the May Dinner Meeting program.


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