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Corus Student Awards

Cardiff Univerity’s winning entry in the Structures category

A low carbon school or a bridge to carry a single carriageway bypass over a valley were this year’s competition requirements.

The 2010 Corus Student Design Awards, organised by SCI and supported by IStructE, ICE and the BCSA, once again revealed the depth of emerging engineering talent in the UK.

The awards which were created 22 years ago to acknowledge excellence in steel design among undergraduates, were divided into two categories. The first – Structures – required and challenged students to prepare an outline design for a new school.

In addition to an excellent structural design, entrants were required to consider the carbon footprint of their proposed solutions. This should include both the embodied carbon impacts of the construction materials and the operational carbon impacts of the building in use.

The Structures first prize went to Cardiff University, whose entry was described by the judges as outstanding, well conceived, with an integrated solution which was well presented. The judges were also impressed with the design’s majestic central atrium.

Second place in the Structures category was awarded to University of Bristol, while joint third place went to London South Bank University; University of Wales, Swansea; and University of Sheffield.

Roadside view of Cardiff University’s award winning bridge design

Aerial view of Cardiff University’s award winning bridge design

Cardiff University also scooped the first prize in the Bridges category, with the judges panel, chaired by Barry Mawson of Capita Symonds, commenting on the nice simple design of the entry which had taken the construction method into account, even at the detailed level. The judges also said the design was presented in a clear and concise manner, and the drawings showed professional looking details as used in real bridges.

The brief for the Bridges category was to design a structure to carry a single carriageway bypass across a valley. A river, a railway and difficult access to one side of the river demanded a careful approach to the construction process. A wide range of solutions were available, and the client was seeking a cost effective, elegant solution.

The Bridges project was intended to both motivate and challenge the entrants, while the students were also expected to demonstrate sound engineering skills and structural design acumen.

University of Edinburgh was awarded second place in the Bridges category, while University of Liverpool took third prize.

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