5th Annual Mahoning Valley Miniature Bridge Building Competition (MVMBBC)

During the National Engineers’ Week 2012, the 5th Annual MVMBBC was held on Friday, February 24, 2012, from 8 a.m. – 2:30 p.m., in the Chestnut Room of Kilcawley Center at Youngstown State University. A total of 31 teams from 17 different high schools participated this year.

Teams arrived in the morning with their teacher/advisor and constructed their bridges on site, to meet the design specifications established by the competition. After allowing for lunch and glue drying time, bridges were inspected for adherence to design specifications and load-tested until failure. The winning bridge was chosen based on meeting the design criteria and the most efficient load carrying capacity to structure weight ratio. Winning 1st place was Lowellville High School, Team 1 with Carmen Donofiro, Randy Pavlicko and Bryan Schirald; Lowellville High School, Team 2 came in 2nd place with Dean Donatelli, Eric Inskeep and Michael Willliams. Both teams are coached by Travis Williams. This is the 3rd time in 5 years that Lowellville High School has won 1st place in the competition. Winning 3rd place was Niles-M1. The winning team achieved a load to weight ratio/structure efficiency of 1243.

The event involves design and construction of a balsa wood bridge followed by a load testing until failure. The goal of the MVMBBC is to promote civil engineering as a career choice to students, and to provide students with an educational opportunity to apply their knowledge to a real-world application. High school students in the Mahoning and Trumbull Counties are strongly encouraged to participate in this event since it will expose them to some basics of engineering design.

The competition has been organized and supported since 2008 by: Civil & Environmental Engineering at Youngstown State University; Mahoning County Engineer’s Office; Trumbull County Engineer’s Office; and ms consultants, inc.

Dr. Hans Tritico accepted into FOEE Program

Dr. Hans Tritico, Assistant Professor for the Civil and Environmental Engineering department, was accepted into the Frontiers of Engineering Education program. The FOEE program is sponsored by the National Academy of Engineers. Approximately 50 engineering professors were selected to attend the symposium in Irvine, CA. Dr. Tritico will meet other leading engineering educators and brainstorm on ways to improve engineering education. They will then present their innovations to the engineering community.

Dr. Tritico said his ultimate goal for participating in the program is to help YSU students become the best engineers in the nation. He added that this is an opportunity to highlight the incredible teaching and learning that is going on at YSU. He is also looking forward to bringing back fresh ideas on curriculum and teaching methods to YSU and sharing those ideas with his colleagues.

Dr. Tritico teaches water resources engineering at YSU. He also teaches fluid mechanics and hydraulic design as well as co-teaches the capstone design course. His graduate level courses include sediment transport, water policy and advanced hydrology. He has done research in sustainable hydraulics with emphasis on stream restoration and fish passage design. He holds a joint PhD from the University of Michigan in both Civil Engineering and Aquatic Ecology.

He added, “It’s an honor that YSU and I have been recognized by the National Academy of Engineers for our innovations in engineering education. Such an honor is a testament to the quality of our students and the dedication of our faculty,”