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Event Calendar
December 2009
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Report on Student Prize Competition

The graduate student competition was held in DIT Bolton street on the 3rd of November 2009. The competition is designed to reward recent graduates in Structural Engineering for their hard work and endeavors through the previous college years and an opportunity to liaise with other colleges and different perspectives.

This year there were five colleges who entered in the competition as well as an inaugural entry from the new Masters in Structural Engineering with Architecture course in UCD. The evening was well-attended by approximately sixty-five people.

This year the entrants were:

  • CIT: Wayne Mullins – Analysis and Design of a Tied Arch Bridge;
  • UCD CivEng: William Norton & Muiris O’Sullivan – Geometrically Non-linear Analysis;
  • UCD SEA: Austin Devin – Non-Linear Analysis of a Pin Fuse Braced Frame;
  • DIT: Kevin Smyth – Behaviour of Bonded Anchors Under Tension and Sustained Tensile Loading;
  • UCC: David Lapthorne & Sean Murray – Structural Reliability of Agricultural Structures;
  • TCD: Breiffni Fitzgerald – A Dynamic Programming Algorithm for Optimisation of Composite Steel Box Girder Bridges Under Static and Dynamic Loading.

The presentations displayed that within the colleges a wide variety and complex fields of study are being carried out by the students.

The judges had an extremely difficult job deciding the eventual winner. The winning entry was by Breiffni Fitzgerald of Trinity College Dublin. His abstract is:

The project proposes and develops a new dynamic programming algorithm for the optimisation of composite steel box girder bridges of single or multi-span under static and dynamic loads. Box girders are frequently used in highway bridge construction. Composite box girders consist of a U-shaped steel girder with a concrete slab placed on top. There are numerous advantages to be derived from the composite action of the steel and concrete including improved lateral stability, better resistance to torsion and better resistance to distortion. Optimising box girder bridges will improve the efficiency of their performance by reducing the amount of steel they require. This will provide benefits for designers, contractors, clients and users of the bridges.

The Branch Committee like to congratulate those who entered and also those who assisted in the running of the competition. In particular we thank those graduates who travelled from abroad to attend the event and present their work. We wish all entrants well in their future careers.

Gavin Hughes

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