Minds Blown: Truss Bridge Project Puts Design Theory to Test

Minds Blown: Truss Bridge Project Puts Design Theory to Test

Dr. Naser Haghbin uses active project-based learning to teach engineering statics to sophomore mechanical engineering majors.

Watch the video below to discover what it's like to blow up a bridge in a School of Engineering lab class!

The vibe in visiting assistant professor Naser Haghbin, PhD’s “Engineering Statics” class was anything but static as students ambled into the School of Engineering’s mechanics lab on a November afternoon.

The sophomore mechanical engineering students had spent the semester learning and analyzing theories of truss bridge construction – using triangular systems of diagonal bars to create a load-bearing structure, based on the principle that a triangle cannot be distorted by stress. Using the lab’s 3D Makerbot printers, they had worked in teams to design and create the strongest possible truss bridge prototypes.

Now it was time to assess the load-bearing capacity of each team’s bridge, determined by first weighing the 3D-printed project and then testing it in the lab’s Structural Stress Analyzer 1000 machine, set to a maximum force of 500 lbs.

With each resulting stress fracture, the engineers’ percipience was strengthened. If you’ve never had the chance to blow up a bridge in class, join Dr. Haghbin’s students vicariously in the video below!

Watch the Video

Tags:  School of Engineering,  Top Stories

Last modified: 12-07-20 12:12 PM

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