Department of Engineering

Summer School

Summer School

A group of Year 11 students from the London area descended on the Engineering Department in July to take part in a summer school activity.

The summer school, funded by HEFCE, is designed to give students a flavour of life at Cambridge, and we hope some of them will consider applying to study engineering as a result.

Ten teams were each challenged to build a new Millennium Bridge to cross the Thames, using a single span design. The only materials they were given were cardboard, paper, string, nuts and bolts and tape.

Half an hour was allowed for design, and an hour and a half for construction.

The inventiveness was a joy to behold as the bridges were all tested to find the maximum weight they could support. Each model bridge was also weighed to judge efficient use of materials, and marks were awarded for aesthetic appeal.

The session was rounded off by a chance to experience the wobbles of the original Millennium Bridge design on the scale model built by Allan McRobie, lecturer in structural mechanics, in the Structures lab.