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AUS engineering students design remarkable bridges
First-year College of Engineering students at American University of Sharjah (AUS) put their skills to the test to build the strongest possible bridge out of dried spaghetti as part of a class project competition.
The Seventh NGN 110 Competition saw over 175 freshman students, randomly divided into 35 groups of up to five students each, compete to build a bridge using spaghetti, sticks and glue. The bridges were to be no more than 250 grams and 35 centimeters long. The bridge that carried the maximum weight without breaking was declared the winning project.
The wining bridge was built by Baysangur Abdulaev (Chemical Engineering), Hazza Mubarak Alhajeri (Civil Engineering), Wasel Muntaser Raslan (Electrical Engineering), Salah Youssef Abd ElMotie (Mechanical Engineering) and Nasser Rashed AlSuwaidi (Mechanical Engineering). Their bridge carried 22 kilograms, which was more than any other bridge in the competition could carry without breaking. The winners were awarded cash prizes, certificates and extra points toward their final grade.
Dr. Yousuf Al Asaf, Dean of the College of Engineering congratulated the students who participated in the competition. "They were able to take a simple idea and turn it into a reality and that is what engineering is all about. Keep it up and we expect much more from you," he said.
"The results we have seen today were beyond our expectation," said Dr. Fadi Ahmed Aloul, Associate Professor of Computer Science and Engineering and the NGN 110 course coordinator. "The winning bridge carried almost 90 times its weight and that is just amazing."
First runners-up built a bridge that carried 21 kilograms without breaking; second runners-up, 19 kilograms; and third runners-up carried 17 kilograms. A special prize was also awarded to the best-looking bridge at the competition.
"The course stresses on developing the soft skills of students such as team work, time management, presentation skills, engineering design and problem solving. These students were able to apply those and design and build together a successful model," said Dr. Aloul. "All students receive the same project idea and are given six weeks to complete their project. The goal of the competition is to challenge students to think out of the box, explore new ideas and convert solutions from a simple idea to a real product. The competition also encourages the students to interact with each other to produce creative designs and compete with each other. Students prepared many models, and I was impressed by the quality and effort put into their designs. Their hard work, dedication, and excitement made the event a great success."
The NGN110 class is a freshman course taken by all engineering students enrolled in any of the six engineering programs offered at AUS: Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering, Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering, Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering, Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering and Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering.