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Corus undergraduate design awards

The rollercoaster building demonstrated flair and individuality

This year’s competition involved designing either a bridge over a deep gorge or a high-level access building for a rollercoaster.

The winners of this year’s Corus Undergraduate Design Awards, which was held at the Institution of Civil Engineers in London on 14 July, were Queen’s University Belfast and London’s South Bank University.

Queen’s University, Belfast

The winning bridge design

London South Bank University

The national awards were divided into two categories, one for steel bridge design and one for structural steelwork design. The teams had to submit calculations, drawings, cost estimates and construction methodology to back-up their schemes.

The bridge design winners were a team from Queen’s University, Belfast, comprising Ciaran Doherty, Richard Crymble and Jon Hilditch under tutor Dr David Stewart.

The brief was to design a structure to carry a single carriageway and two footpaths spanning 200m over a deep gorge. A wide range of solutions was available, and the judges were looking for a cost-effective and elegant solution. The idea was to both motivate and challenge the entrants into producing something that also paid close attention to safety and maintenance.

Steel Construction Institute (SCI) Deputy Director David Brown said the judges were impressed by the Queen’s entry’s design development, and particularly the launch and construction scheme.

Manchester University claimed second spot in this category while Edinburgh University came third.

A London South Bank University team of Tarun Sharma, Alan Clarke, Jose Figueiredo and Samson Matiradonna under tutor Ken Smith won the structural steelwork rollercoaster category.

The brief for this category consisted of designing an entry/exit platform 10m above ground level to access a rollercoaster. Other aspects to be included were features such as weather protection, a viewing platform and a means for controlling queuing.

Entrants were expected to demonstrate individuality and flair in this category, in addition to showing an understanding of structural design. The judges said the Queen’s entry represented an integrated design solution that showed strong scheme development with the final connections and detailing being well designed.

Corus Construction & Industrial General Manager Technical Sales and Marketing, Alan Todd commented: “We thank all the tutors involved in the entries for using the competition as part of the curriculum. The excellence we have seen in these designs is way beyond what would be expected from undergraduates. We are proud to remain committed to our sponsorship of such a high quality competition.”

The judging panel for the structural design was chaired by Alan Jones of SKM Anthony Hunts, while Barry Mawson of Capita Symonds chaired the bridges panel.

Sustainability in construction design was an underlying theme at the awards ceremony. SCI Director, Graham Owens, told students that sustainability would be a key driver in their future careers. “This year’s entries show that some students are even ahead of us in incorporating sustainability into construction designs. The built environment has become more fully sustainable in our working lives, and you will be the custodians of this. Enjoy the journey.”

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