Ten civil engineering undergraduate students from the University of Missouri-Rolla brought home nine awards, including four first-place finishes, from the American Concrete Institute’s student design competitions, held Nov. 5 in Denver.
“We are so proud of these ACI-UMR students who gave their best to represent UMR in highly competitive, international concrete projects,” says team advisor Dr. D.J. Belarbi, Curators’ Teaching Professor of civil, architectural and environmental engineering at UMR. “They definitely used the engineering basics they learned at UMR, and more importantly their creativity, to compete and beat every team at every project. No school has ever got as many awards as UMR throughout the history of ACI competitions.”
More than 30 teams competed in the international contests, including schools from Puerto Rico, Chile and Mexico. The UMR team already competed once this semester in a cylinder competition hosted by the regional chapter of ACI in Columbia, Mo. UMR took first in that competition.
Working in two teams, the UMR students competed in three different competitions: bowling ball, aesthetic cylinder and overall cylinder. Four additional prizes, including lowest cost and highest load-to-weight efficiency, were also awarded in the overall cylinder category.
“The bowling ball was judged on diameter, uniform density (did it roll straight) and load at five given deflections,” says Justin Carr, president of UMR’s ACI chapter and a senior majoring in civil engineering. “The bowling ball that took first place had a perfect roll test. It proved it was uniformly dense by rolling straight on each axis tested.”
Although the other UMR team’s bowling ball did not pass the roll test, it was able to sustain enough load to capture second place and its score was double that of the third place school.
The UMR team also won first and second place in the ACI’s aesthetic cylinder contest, which was judged by both convention attendees and an ACI committee.
“We took first and second with indented specimens that were wavy and black,” Carr explains. “Our aesthetic cylinders looked like they were made of black plastic, not concrete, which impressed many.”
The overall cylinder contest challenged students to design a cheap and lightweight concrete cylinder that has a predetermined target strength, density and bonding efficiency. UMR students captured second and fourth place in that contest by taking first and third places in the lowest cost and highest load-to-weight efficiency categories.
“Through this competition and by speaking to people, we realized how lucky we are here at UMR,” Carr says. “We have world-class lab facilities here for us to use with many materials at our disposal. Additionally, we knew things that no one else had been taught. Our education truly shined at this competition.”
UMR’s first concrete team earned first place in the aesthetic cylinder, lowest cost and highest load-to-weight efficiency cylinder contests; and second place in the bowling ball and overall cylinder competition. Team members are:
UMR’s second concrete team earned first place in the bowling ball contest, second place in aesthetic cylinder, third place in lowest cost and highest load-to-weight efficiency cylinder sections, and fourth place in the overall cylinder competition. Team members are: