Ball State a finalist in national bridge design competition, leaving rivals behind

Topics: College of Architecture and Planning, Immersive Learning

April 5, 2010

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A group of Ball State students outperformed teams of engineering students from Purdue University, Case Western Reserve University and other prominent engineering programs to advance to the finals of the Student Titanium Pedestrian Bridge Design Competition.

When it comes to designing bridges, a group of Ball State University students outperformed teams of engineering students from Purdue University, Case Western Reserve University and other prominent engineering programs to advance to the finals of a national competition.

Comprised of students from the College of Architecture and Planning (CAP) and the university's Institute of Digital Fabrication (IDF), the group is among five finalists of the Student Titanium Pedestrian Bridge Design Competition, sponsored by the Defense Metals Technology Center (DMTC) and the University of Akron.

This continues CAP's impressive string of national rankings and showings at prominent competitions. In January, CAP students nearly swept the awards at the American Institute of Architecture Students-Kawneer Municipal Courthouse Student Design Competition.

That impressive result came quickly on the heels of Architect magazine naming CAP as one of the nation's top three colleges excelling in digital design and fabrication. All of these accolades serve to bolster Ball State's reputation as a national leader of emerging media, said Kevin Klinger, director of IDF, adding that students are the biggest beneficiaries of these honors.

"Even though the students finished this immersive learning course last semester, they are excited to continue their work because they understand that competitions such as these are how they make their name in the business," he said. "And we're excited because we are working directly with the titanium industry, aiding another key manufacturing sector while showcasing our digital design expertise."

The students will make their final presentations proposing designs for a new titanium pedestrian bridge near the University of Akron's Quaker Square Inn on May 14. The winners will be announced on May 20.

All of the finalists earn scholarships from DMTC. The organization also will convey grants to the students' respective institutions for the study of specialty metals in commercial applications. Following the competition, government and private funding will be sought to actually construct the bridge, according to DMTC. 

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