The design of UA’s “Blue Team” impressed the panel of judges to take first place in the Defense Metals Technology Center Titanium Bridge Design Competition. UA engineering students on the winning blue team are, from left to right, Mark Andrasik, Donna Orellana, Brett Klinger and Brian McGannon. Each student won $5,000 to apply toward their tuition. DMTC provided tuition scholarships for students on the five final teams and conveyed grants to their institutions for the study of specialty metals in commercial applications. Their design is below.
Four engineering students from The University of Akron took first place in the Defense Metals Technology Center Titanium Pedestrian Bridge Competition at an awards dinner on Thursday, May 20, at InfoCision Stadium-Summa Field. UA’s “Team Blue,” with recent civil engineering graduates Mark Andrasik, Brett Klinger and Brian McGannon and senior Donna Orellana, placed ahead of finalist teams from Ball State University, Kent State University and Miami University with their cable-stayed bridge design. Each member of the UA team received a $5,000 scholarship. The department also received a $5,000 award. Another UA entry, “Team Gold,” was named first honorable mention.
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Each team was challenged to design the nation’s first titanium pedestrian bridge – ultimately to connect Quaker Square Inn at The University of Akron with the rest of campus.
Klinger says the team drew its inspiration from the Dubrovnik Bridge in Croatia. “We wanted a single-tower bridge with both strength and aesthetic appeal,” he says.
The team’s 255-foot-span bridge complements the University’s existing architecture, notes Orellana.
“We looked at the prevailing bridge structures and newer architectural styles on campus and strived to incorporate that look into our design,” Orellana says. “Our bridge’s asymmetrical design and brick veneer tie closely to the campus feel.”
The competition, sponsored by the Defense Metals Technology Center and UA, attracted 17 teams including those from Case Western Reserve, Purdue and Stevens Institute of Technology.
The bridge would help solve a logistical problem at the Quaker Square complex, which is separated from the main campus by CSX railroad tracks, forcing pedestrians to use remote bridges that provide access to the central campus.
A bridge constructed of titanium would weigh much less than steel yet provide equivalent strength and corrosion resistance, according to the DMTC. Experts believe that bridges secured with titanium would be better protected against a possible collapse than would conventional steel-supported bridges.
Government and private funding will be sought for the construction of the UA team’s bridge. The DMTC hopes the bridge will demonstrate the versatility of titanium and make the metal more affordable in lifesaving military armament.
In addition to the $5,000 awards to UA’s Team Blue, Ball State University’s team earned the runner-up position and $3,250 to each team member and their department. UA’s Team Gold earned first honorable mention and $1,750 in awards for each team member and their department. Kent State earned second place and $1,250 for each team member and their department. Miami University placed third and received $1,000 for each team member and their department.
Dr. Anil Patnaik, associate professor of civil engineering; Dr. Craig Menzemer, associate professor of civil engineering; and Dr. Tirumalai Srivatsan, professor of mechanical engineering served as faculty advisers for both UA teams.
Media contact: Denise Henry, 330-972-6477 or firstname.lastname@example.org.