CSU, Chico News

Civil Engineering Students Win Small Wood Structure Competition

Date: 11-16-2007

Joe Wills
Public Affairs

California State University, Chico’s Department of Civil Engineering hosted a small wood structure design competition with University of Pacific Nov. 10 to test student groups’ abilities to design, test and construct wood truss structures.

The competition, sponsored by the Structural Engineers Association of Central California, resulted in a win by the CSU, Chico student team and a $1,000 award from the association to the CSU, Chico civil engineering program.

Students were required to design and construct 8-inch by 2-inch wood trusses to which weight was added until the structures failed. Student teams were awarded points based on their ability to predict how and when the structures would fail, and present their results to a group of civil engineers.

Curt Haselton, assistant professor of civil engineering, said the purpose of the competition was to give the students an opportunity to apply their knowledge through a hands-on experience, where they could learn how real structures behave and fail under extreme loads. Haselton and assistant professor Charles Roberts were advisers to the students.

Hazelton said the competition is a prelude to the larger steel bridge competition that CSU, Chico civil engineering students participate in each spring. He said the award from the small structure competition will be used to support the steel bridge construction team.

CSU, Chico is one of the top competitors in the country in the National Steel Bridge Competition, sponsored by the American Society of Civil Engineers and the American Institute of Steel Construction. Civil engineering students won the competition in 2000 and have earned a berth in the national finals 10 straight years.