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Student Projects for Engineering Experience & Design

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PCI Big Beam:

Here’s the problem:

You have to design and build a concrete beam that meets a builder’s specific needs.
Hundreds of other engineers are working on the same thing.
Your beam has to be lighter, cheaper and stronger than the others.

Work toward a solution and you will:

-Get hands-on experience working with pre-cast and pre-stressed concrete
-Learn its intricacies, demands and potential
-Work with regional manufacturers that are PCI members
-Work with — and lead — a team of student engineers
-Compete with some of the best engineering students across the U.S.
-Prepare yourself for a career in structural engineering

This team is challenged to design a pre-stressed concrete beam that meets a strict set of criteria. The students complete the design and construction specifications and the beam is manufactured at a PCI (Pre-stressed Concrete Institute) member company. Team members predict the load when the concrete starts to crack, the maximum load that the beam can carry before it breaks and the deflection at maximum load.

The awards program includes cash prizes for the most efficient design, highest load capacity, best report and other categories.


Advisor: Narayanan Neithalath

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