ISU civil and environmental students ranked in top 20 in Big Beam Competition

POCATELLO – Idaho State University civil and environmental engineering students competed in the Precast/Prestressed Institute (PCI) Big Beam Competition in summer 2018 and were top-20 performers.

The results were recently announced and ISU’s Big Beam Team was awarded 44.75 points, with the highest being 57. ISU outranked all other teams from the PCI Mountain States region.

The PCI Big Beam team at ISU consisted of graduate students Maximilian Casanova, Christopher Clauson, Karma Gurung, undergraduate student Jared Cantrell and German exchange student Henrik Karstens. Their faculty advisor was Mustafa Mashal.

“This was the first time we participated in the PCI Big Beam Competition,” Mashal said. “We would like to continue this competition and improve our performance.”

One of the team members, Henrik Karstens, came to ISU from Technische Universität Braunschweig in Germany to participate in the competition.

“Given the successful experience of having a student from overseas in the ISU team, we are working with colleagues from Technische Universität Braunschweig to have one or more German students coming to ISU and participating in the next big beam competition,” said Mashal. “We believe it would create collaboration opportunities for both institutions.”

“It was great experience for our team, and for the first time team in this competition, we did wonderful” said Bruce Savage, chair of the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department.

The beam, which was made out of concrete, was tested as a simply supported 20-foot span, with the overall length limited to 22-feet. The beam was not allowed to crack below 20 kips of loading and was designed to fail within the range of 32 to 39 kips. Kips are equivalent to 1,000 pounds of force.

The beam was judged on:

· Design accuracy

· Lowest cost

· Lowest weight

· Largest measured deflection at maximum total applied load

· Most accurate prediction of:

o Deflection

o Cracking load

o Failure load

· Report quality

· Practicality, innovation and conformance with code

Forterra Structural Precast in Salt Lake City sponsored the ISU team for the 2017-2018 big beam competition.

For more information on the PCI Big Beam Competition, visit mashmust.

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