Time To Get Civil.

S&T has two civil engineering-focused design teams, and both hit the road exactly one week from now.

BRidge2SUN_8974Steel Bridge packs up a 1/10th –scale bridge that is assembled by just three students in a race against the clock, then has to support 2,500 lbs of dead weight. Without flexing too much. The past weeks it’s been test, modify, practice and do it all again. Learn not to drop bolts lest ye be docked critical assembly seconds. Hand off each section with great precision so the ironworkers drop it into place just right.

Concrete Canoe is a 300-lb, single-piece project that if all goes well remains in one piece. A week ago the team “birthed” The Mother Rowed, a Route 66-themed watercraft made of lightweight(?) concrete. Not the stuff that goes into driveways and sidewalks, but a purpose-designed mixture for a narrowly-defined and somewhat iffy engineering application.CanoeDSC_1990“Mother” was molded on an upside-down form that could only be extracted when the whole assembly was carefully flipped over, a task that calls for lots of team work. More accurately, a lot of teams work.

Solution? Yell out “Everybody! Drop what you’re doing and get over here!” In seconds Mars Rover, Solar Car, AAVG Rocket, and Baja students jumped in and under Erin Bolling’s direction, carefully lifted and rolled the monster over. Simple, quick, and efficient; that’s the joy of having teams working together. They work in the broadest sense, using skills, cooperation, and a great attitude to help each other.

How’s the canoe look? Wellllllllllll, let’s hope for smooth sailing on the road to Stillwater OK. Concrete cracks, and it cracked a lot when the form was removed. While duct tape may be a solution, “Mother” looks much like Old Route 66, with bigger cracks bigger than planned or expected. It’s gonna take some creative work to get boat ready to go. The real risk comes from rough roads. Or dropping the boat. Let’s hope for neither.