2018 Competition Guide


Welcome & Introduction

Rules & Clarifications

Scoring Spreadsheet
v00: Coming Soon

General Competition Information

Design Tips

Eligibility Requirements
Paper Competition
Business Meeting

Judges Training Meeting

Team Captain Meeting

Display Judging

Site Layout



Post Construction

Lateral Load Test

Vertical Load Tests
- Loading Devices
- Deflection Measurement
- Sway Measurement

Bridge Weight

Data Entry

History & Results


Sway Measurement

The rules limit the sway of the bridges during loading. Means must be provided for measuring the sway to the limits given in the current rules.

Plumb Bob:

Plumb bobs are very common sway devices. The trick is to get the point of the plumb bob as close to the round mounted target as possible without it actually touching the target as the bridge deflects. There is usually some judgment involved in determining exactly when the plumb bob moves outside the target. The other problem associated with all plumb bobs is developing a means to prevent swaying of the plumb bob--slow movement is key to solving this problem.

Occasionally, competition organizers have experimented with a variety of "spacer' used to position the plumb bob at the start of the load sequence.


Laser Plumb Bob:

This is an improvement on the straight plumb bob as it is easier to trace the movement of the bridge on the target. Note that the target in this image is mounted on a flat piece of metal. This makes the target much easier to position and eliminates the need to tape the target to the floor.


Ground Mounted Laser:

For the 2011 ASCE Pacific Northwest Student Conference garage parking lasers where purchased on sale ($13 each) at a large department store and mounted on a board to sit on the ground, pointing upward. The target was placed at the decking level and consisted of thin plywood with a 2" diameter hole covered by a paper target (with concentric circles of the appropriate diameter). An edge of the laser beam targets the center of the target before loading, painting a dot on the paper target. This is monitored during loading.

Ground Mounted
  Target at Deck Level