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Student Awards

An aquatics centre containing multiple pools and an ice rink or single carriageway road bridge across a river were this year’s competition requirements.

The 2011 Tata Steel/BCSA Student Awards, organised by the Steel Construction Institute and supported by the Institution of Structural Engineers and the Institution of Civil Engineers, once again revealed the depth of emerging engineering talent in the UK.

The awards which were created 23 years ago to acknowledge excellence in steel design among undergraduates, encourages innovative structural engineering design skills.

Entrants are expected to demonstrate individuality and flair, in addition to showing an understanding of structural design; and to communicate their ideas in a written report with calculations and drawings.

The winning team from the University of Sheffield and their design for an aquatic centre (top)

The competition is divided into two steel categories – Structures and Bridges. The Structures category required students to prepare an outline design for a structure to enclose an aquatics centre. This building included an Olympic sized pool, a diving pool, a leisure pool, an ice rink and an upper floor with a viewing gallery and a cafe.

The major aquatics centre was to be constructed in a UK regional city, on a brownfield site, with no limitations on its overall footprint. The site is level, with no constraints on storage during the construction programme.

The Structures first prize went to the University of Sheffield, whose entry was described by  the judges as well presented with a very clear artist’s impression. The scheme struck a good balance between practicality and ambition, and was very professionally executed.

Second place in the Structures category went to the University of Manchester, with Queens University Belfast collecting the third prize.

Bridges category winners from the University of Bristol and their multi arched bridge design (below)

The Bridges category was won by the University of Bristol, with the judges panel, chaired by Barry Mawson of Capita Symonds, commenting that the multi-arched open spandrel structure suited the site well.

The judges also said the entry was well presented and clearly discussed alternatives. The calculations were also well presented and were accompanied by a good construction  programme and cost estimate.

Second place in the Bridges category went to the University of Southampton with the University of Liverpool collecting the third prize.

The Bridges category required students to design a single carriageway structure across a loop in a river. On the outside of the loop, there are cliffs and woodlands, while inside the loop the land is a Site of Special Scientific Interest and consequently there is limited access for construction.


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