Eureka Girls Build and Test Bridges with BCT PhD Students

Eureka Girls Build and Test Bridges with BCT PhD Students

BCT Ph.D. Candidates Carl Fiocchi, Nariman Mostafavi, and Soroush Farzinmoghadam sponsored a session for “Eureka” which is on campus for the month of July. Eureka is a fantastic program where young women are exposed to opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and math. In this session, “Why Buildings don’t Fall Down – Building with Macaroni” the girls, Eureka Scholars, viewed a presentation on buildings and bridges - elegant, strong, and safe; worked through a statics lecture solving a simple equilibrium problem, reviewed a vocabulary list of some structural terms and forces, and learned some of building techniques and strategies (with Macaroni). They then built a macaroni bridge and tested its response to greater and greater loads until finally the structures failed or in some cases until they started to fail as some girls wanted to keep their models. Some bridges were pretty darn robust --- check out the photos! You can find more images on our Facebook page....
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Building a Wood-Concrete Floor Mockup Bench

Building a Wood-Concrete Floor Mockup Bench

As part of their independent studies, two BCT students, Henry Braley and Loran Kaleci (with help from fellow student Rommel Cordova-Fiori and shop manager Dan Pepin), this semester built an 8 ft bench for Holdsworth Hall. This bench (while arguably extremely overdesigned) serves as a mockup of the wood-concrete composite floor construction that will be in the new (Integrated) Design Building. As shown in the diagram below, it consists of a three-layer cross-laminated timber (CLT) slab, which we generously received from Nordic EWP (thanks!). Above it is a 3/4 inch layer of rigid insulation and a 3 inch cast-in-place concrete topping. The concrete and the wood layers are connected rigidly with glued-in shear "HBV" connectors by TiComTec from Germany (thanks for those, too!), making both act as a single composite element. If you want to learn more about this technology, check out this research spotlight. BCT has been researching this technology for quite a while now and we are excited to see it in a real building on campus soon. The floors...
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Schreyer introduces elementary school kids to 3D printing

Schreyer introduces elementary school kids to 3D printing

Often called the third industrial revolution, digital-based manufacturing and especially 3D printing is a technology that can enable easy (home-)production of various consumer and industrial goods. To demonstrate this technology to the next generation of designers and engineers, BCT Program Director Alexander Schreyer brought our 3D printer to Amherst's Wildwood Elementary School. As part of the fourth- and sixth-grade IT curriculum (led by "Mr. T", Trevor Takayama), he first demonstrated how to create printable 3D models and then let the students 3D print some of those. Many students had already designed objects using the freely available Tinkercad web app. As the images show, the 3D printer proved to be a popular addition to the classroom. All kids also took home a small 3D-printed key tag with the "WW" letters on them. In the time since this visit, the Amherst Regional School District has purchased its own 3D printer and is working on integrating it permanently into the IT curriculum. (All images by...
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