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* News Release *
 
Friday, May 18, 2007
For Immediate Release

THIRD ANNUAL BRIDGE COMPETITION
BCEO and Hamilton City Schools

For a third straight year, students from the Hamilton City Schools Gifted Program participated in a bridge building competition hosted by the Butler County Engineer's Office. About 70 students gathered with their toothpick bridges as BCEO engineers subjected each bridge to a load stress test.

The activity is designed to teach students about the physics of bridge design and the principles of engineering. "We always hope to inspire a few to pursue an engineering career in the hopes of replenishing our ranks," chuckled Greg Wilkens, Butler County Engineer. "Based on this year's bridges, there may be quite a few aspiring engineers. We saw many fine structures -- well-designed, sturdy, and innovative."

The first place winner in the 2007 competition was Shyann Duncan from Madison Elementary School. Her bridge withstood 81 pounds point loaded. Point loading refers to applying all the weight to a single spot on a bridge versus that weight being spread evenly across the entire structure. Point loading is usually applied to the spot that engineers deem the most critical or vulnerable on a bridge -- typically mid-span.

The winners --
Shyann, Sean, and Chad.
The second sturdiest bridge withstood 65.5 pounds and was built by Sean Van Dyne of Fillmore School. Chad McClain from Cleveland Elementary was awarded third place with a "beautiful bridge" that finally broke at 58 pounds, according to BCEO Engineering Manager Kar Singh, who helped organize the event.

"There were some very nice bridges this year with a lot of thought and research put into them," said Singh. "We appreciate and respect the Hamilton City Schools for partnering with us on this worthwhile endeavor. Hopefully the kids had fun and learned a lot about bridge design and safety as well as about the general operations of their County Engineer's Office." Before the actual bridge competition, students toured the BCEO and were given demonstrations of surveying equipment and Computer Aided Design and Drafting (CADD) technique. They were also afforded first hand, closeup encounters with snow plows and other equipment used by BCEO road crews.

# # #

For more information contact:

Chris Petrocy, BCEO Public Information Supervisor
Greg Wilkens, P.E., P.S., Butler County Engineer
Phone 513.867.5744 • Fax 513.867.5849


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