Monday, August 12, 2013

NEES Chooses Quanser Testbed to Help Judge Bridge Competition

When a leading earthquake engineering organization conducts a national structural bridge competition for undergraduate engineering students, then uses your products to help the judges determine which is the most seismically sound bridge, you might be excused for feeling a little proud.

That’s exactly what happened last May when the Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES) held their K’NEX Bridge Competition in Oakland, California. 

With a Quanser Shake Table II system as the testbed, five student teams subjected their 1.5-meter long K’NEX bridges to the seismic simulations of a number of powerful, recorded earthquakes. The team from Oregon State was declared the winner, but all participating teams were the beneficiaries of the competition.

The Quanser Shake Table II (center, under plywood base) was selected to be the testbed that simulated real-life earthquakes at the K’NEX Bridge Competition in May, 2013.  
(Photo courtesy of NEES.)
 Student competitions like this one are excellent learning opportunities because they closely resemble real-world engineering practice. Students have to work with tight deadlines, prescribed materials and other predetermined parameters, just as industry engineers do.

The student team from Oregon State University proudly stands next to their bridge, which was judged most seismically sound at the competition in Oakland. California.  (Photo courtesy of NEES.)

This type of competition fits naturally into the pedagogical approach Quanser has long championed - hands-on learning. We support this approach by offering over80 hands-on, hardware-in-the-loop experiments to engineering educators in controls, robotics and mechatronics. Naturally we couldn’t have been more pleased when a leading organization like NEES, which is dedicated to “developing the next generation of earthquake and tsunami engineers”, chose Quanser lab equipment to help them test, educate and encourage students of earthquake science. NEES’s choice reflects their belief in our shake table’s ease of use, accuracy and reliability.

Confucius said it best more than 2500 years ago: “I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.” Hands-on education and quality learning tools that Quanser provides are advancing that philosophy today - and helping to educate the global engineers of tomorrow.

No comments: